In the design world, oak provides an inimitable surface texture, desirable natural colour tones and opportunity for innovation in form and detail.
A tribute to the great master of chair design, Hans J. Wegner, whose anniversary takes place in early April, a unique edition of the Wishbone Chair is produced in ancient oak.
The Danish architect is considered a pioneering furniture designer of the twentieth century. As a driving force behind ‘Danish Modern’, he helped change the general public’s view of furniture in the 1950s and 1960s. His passion for designing chairs, more than 500 of them, is recognised worldwide and reflected in his title ‘the Master of the Chair’.
The oak edition of the chair is available on April 2-3rd, 2018 exclusively, and features a brass plate engraved with Wegner’s signature and a certificate of authenticity.
“Hans J. Wegner has left a unique cultural heritage that continues to inspire. His furniture has the potential to be challenged and reimagined in new materials. This is what we have done with the new Ancient Oak variant, which will be of particular interest to collectors and Wegner enthusiasts,” explains Knud Erik Hansen from Carl Hansen & Son.
The special-edition Wishbone Chair can be purchased from authorized Carl Hansen & Son dealers and flagship stores. Details at www.carlhansen.com
At ROLF Spectacles, the leader in handcrafted wood eyewear, who subscribe to the same high craftsmanship standards in wood design, the circular SPRITE and STAR models from the EVOLVED collection are for lovers of pure minimalist glasses. Made from Smoked Oak, Maple Smoked Oak, and Smoked Oak Walnut and handcrafted in the Austrian Tyrol with outstanding precision through each step of production, the grain of the natural material and the subtle nuances of the colours are immediately visible. Moreover, these artisan frames offer exceptional comfort thanks to the natural finish of the oak and a multi-directional screwless, metal-free Flexlock hinge. Find out about ROLF Spectacles stockists at www.rolf-spectacles.comCN
Repeated visits to the elegant Götti + Niederer Boutique in Lucerne, Switzerland are always a genuine pleasure. Located in a landmark building, the boutique – celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – is situated on an historical square – Mühlenplatz – in the city’s charming Old Town. Evolution and discovery go hand in hand for Urs Niederer – whose passion for fine eyewear sizzles with enthusiasm.
The latest excitement in the boutique is the launch of The First Floor. This beautiful space, just above the main building, with its original parquet floors and decor has occasionally hosted exhibitions, designer appearances and short-term events, but was never used continuously. Now Niederer – with the design expertise of Thomas Frischknecht, who works at Götti Switzerland in Marketing and Communication – has launched a concept for young, fashion conscious people who love frames, but may not be able to afford luxury labels.
Emphasis is on sunglasses, with frame prices not exceeding 300 Swiss Francs. Niederer resources young eyewear and accessory designers from Switzerland and globally. The selection includes Sunday Somewhere from Australia; Pride, Web and Gambini from Italy; Funk Food in Germany; and Myth from Korea, among others.
The decor on The First Floor is fresh, contemporary and chic. “I love cactus,” says Niederer, “so when Thomas and I were discussing the design concept, we wanted something simple and natural.” Frames are displayed on cube units, wall shelves, and metal latticework, with an exotic selection of cactus displays. Frischknecht’s streamlined, uncluttered approach to The First Floor ambiance ensures an inviting, relaxing environment for leisurely trying on frames. Niederer plans to hold various events on The First Floor – and stipulates: “Everything is going to be fun and an adventure!” And indeed it is! www.goetti-niederer.chJG
Japanese designer Masahiro Maruyama has a fresh, artistic approach to frame design. The erase collection, the latest series proposed by the young designer and a terrific example of his innovative style, applies the process of drawing and ‘erasing’, removing pieces of the frames and questioning the understanding of perfection.
Each frame is individually shaped by a skilled craftsman by filing the entire surface. This makes it possible to create a well-balanced combination of rim, endpiece, thickness of temple, and shape of nose pad for an excellent feel and fit. Intensive polishing allows for the very smooth finish and beautiful luster.
All Maruyama’s designs are produced in the eyewear region of Fukui, in Kawada ward, Sabae city. According to the designer, here, “the fine craftsmanship and quality goes without saying.” For more information about Maruyama, one of the most talked about Japanese young designers in original eyewear this season, visit www.masahiromaruyama.comCN
Tony Gross, co-founder of British eyewear brand Cutler & Gross has died, aged 78. Gross was an advocate of fashionable, trendsetting eyewear design that attracted fashion circles and celebrities including Elton John, Princess Diana and Grace Jones.
The Cutler & Gross label was started in London in 1969 by partners Tony and Graham, who met at optometry school in London in the ’60s. The entrepreneurial duo opened their first store in Knightsbridge in 1971, stocking handmade bespoke frames, designed, unlike most at the time, as a fashion accessory.
“Tony truly believed in the transcendence of spectacles from unattractive, government-funded pieces of eye science to a genuine fashion accessory infused with sex appeal and glamour.” Extract from Forty Years of Vision and Style, 2009.
“I still have vivid memories of meeting Tony at Optometry College in London,” says Graham Cutler. “We were looking for something to occupy ourselves at lunchtimes, and Tony suggested poker. So he taught me how to play and groups of us would play each day for money. He had been a professional player before going to College, so was very successful! We also discovered that we had met a lot of the same people in our earlier rambles around Soho.
“After college our friendship continued, and we ended up working for the same group of Optometrists in London, and often working together. We started talking about opening our own practice, where we would each be able to work just six months of the year. Obviously that plan didn’t work out!”
Marie Wilkinson, Design Director for over 30 years at Cutler & Gross said: “He was, without question, a pioneer, turning eyewear into the genuine fashion accessory infused with sex appeal and glamour that we know today. The first three decades of the brand’s existence had much to do with Tony’s formidable social appetite and his ability to mix just as easily with Royalty and music stars, as with his wonderful friends that filled the Cutler & Gross stores. Tony’s enthusiasm and taste were undeniably infectious, and coupled with his skill as an Optometrist, drew huge cross-sections of people to the brand. His spirit continues to give Cutler & Gross its unique and much loved personality to this day. He will be sorely missed.” Portrait (top) by Dennis Rolfe / www.cutlerandgross.com CN
Isabelle Lunettes Nantes, interior design by Decodheure: redesigned in 2017, the new store explores colour and minimal open spaces to highlight exclusive individual eyewear collections.
“I first opened my shop in 2008, in a collaboration with the network Rien Ne Va Plus,” explains Isabelle, the owner of Isabelle Lunettes in Nantes, one of the most beautiful optical stores we have seen in Europe in recent months.
“The shop was originally, “Le Petit Salon des Créateurs.” In 2017, I decided to leave the group and became completely independent. At that time I got in touch with friends who owned an agency in Nantes called Idile Edito and I started the year with a total redesign of our visual image and graphics. We changed the name, the logo, and the graphics completely. And then I realised it was also the right time to change the interior.”
By the end of the year, Isabelle had completely transformed the store with a new striking interior. “It was natural to choose Decodheure (www.decodheure.com). Sandie and Pierre-Edouard were introduced to me by my communications agency Idile Edito who have worked with each other on many different projects. When we met, we were completely in tune with the vision and design and I was able to put all my trust in their work. The project was completely focused on DESIGN – GRAPHICS – and COLOUR….”
“I am completely in love with the new store, I feel completely at home here. The interior design corresponds completely to my vision of creative eyewear: chic, modern, and very colourful”, Isabelle told Eyestylist.
Featured brands: Cutler & Gross / Dita / Thom Browne / Struktur / l.a. eyeworks / Coblens / Kuboraum / Kaleos Eyehunters / Blake Kuwahara / Clément Lunetier / Robert La Roche. Address: 24 Rue de Strasbourg, 44000 Nantes, France – www.isabellelunettes.fr Interior design by https://decodheure.comCN
Contemporary, sleek and sculpted shapes characterise the striking sunglass collection for Spring/Summer 2018 by Blackfin. Designed and produced in Italy, Blackfin frames are crafted in the finest quality titanium, with the latest technical innovations. Sunset Reef is two-dimensional with a bas-relief on the front, for a highly original effect with a dual colour scheme. The frame shape is an expressive mix of retro with futuristic direction. Discover more beautiful designs by Blackfin at www.blackfin.eu JG
Ideas, concepts, and influences spring from many sources – nature, music, art, fashion, architecture, and much more. The latest eyewear collections demonstrate how designers draw upon a wide variety of familiar sources to create frames that are innovative and distinctive. Cuddly little koala bears – Australia’s favourite fauna – decorate unique Limited Edition sunglasses by Jono Hennessy.
Hennessy and the family love their country, and decided to celebrate the Australian natives with their fluffy ears and amazing nose. KOALA sunglasses are fitted with quality CR39 brown gradient lenses. Visit www.jonohennessy.com for more super sunnies.
The elegance and charm of music highlights designs from the VIVACE Collection that includes XL2116, in a contemporary silhouette with sleek understatement.
Fluidity and smooth design features are crafted in flexible Excellence Titanium, and the frame features temples with delicate colour ingredients that harmonise with subtle contrasts. For additional styles inspired by the world of music in the Line Art Collection explore www.charmant.com
The landscape, colours, and natural beauty of The Isle of Capri inspires Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s delightfully chic Capri Collection. The newest rendition is Orchid – a glamorous cat-eye in Matt Limoncello with gradient green lenses. The Capri Collection captures the atmosphere, beauty and colours of the Italian Rivera reflected in Luca’s graceful designs. www.lgrworld.com
The rich tones and blossoming beauty of nature influences frames in Oliviero Zanon’s Flowers Collection for Res/Rei. The frames are handmade in a variety of acetates – fusing and overlapping to create designs that express flower petals and delicacy. Amaranto is the latest interpretation in The Flowers Collection that projects feminine flair. www.resrei.com
A clear, tranquil, aquamarine sea comes to mind with Kirk & Kirk’s beautifully transparent design – Ray from the Kaleidoscope Collection – in lightweight, durable Acrylic. The bold shape adds lustre and allure to a design characterised with smooth, modernised elegance. www.kirkandkirk.comJG
The Lasnik team, known for their clever and practical specs cleaning product (Eyeshaker) have launched a high-quality men’s jacket, designed with an eyewear pocket and other special features.
The Omniment jacket is made from loden, a classic, warm fabric, produced in South Tyrol, and the details around the head and face feature soft alcantara from the utmost comfort in cold weather.
“We wanted to create a good looking jacket where you can store your glasses comfortably,” explains Patrick Volk. “The idea is to have them showing in a pocket, and not completely hidden away.”
The special front pocket is lined and designed to ensure the glasses can not fall out. Under the arms, a high-tech ventilation system brings added comfort in different temperatures. The jacket converts into a backpack so you can move around with it easily when not wearing it. For more details : www.lasnikeyeworks.com / www.eyeshaker.comCN
The iconic British brand Oliver Goldsmith has launched a superb collection of sunglasses – OG Decades – to celebrate their 90th anniversary. An amazing eyewear journey that began in the “Roaring 20’s” has overcome numerous international crises – including a World War – achieving an enamoured and engaging history that continues to captivate global customers. (Top image: 1930 OG Decades)
Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Michael Caine and Lady Gaga are just a few of the spectacle wearers who have created style legacies wearing Oliver Goldsmith. Nowadays, fashion world luminaries, royalty, rock stars and movie stars embrace the striking, timeless designs.
The collection includes ten different frames that transcend the lifestyle and fashion highlights of each decade, with every design meticulously investigated.
If travels take you to London, include on your itinerary a visit to the stunning OG Store.LDN, in Notting Hill, just off Portobello Road. Here you can connect to the history and heritage of the Goldsmith family, as well as seeing the current collections, and admiring the influential designs that are recognised as historic and timeless. Visit www.olivergoldsmith.com for further details on all the collections at Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, and Claire Goldsmith Optical. JG
Bolder. More unusual. Statement-making tones and eccentric combinations. In colour, the direction for 2018 offers an ever widening choice of looks and colour combinations in frame design, tied to the fashion collections, as well as a general desire for self-expression, unique choices and an upbeat, fun and positive focus on exploring and experimenting with new ideas.
Lens colours are particularly playful. ic! berlin’s capsule collection TWOTWO comprises layer upon layer of colour and texture in shapes inspired by the mod movement of 1960s London. The limited edition frame froufrou features oversized circular lenses capped with contrasting sheetmetal inlays. Above: Claudia wears Froufrou in black with orange lens, by ic! berlin – www.ic-berlin.de
Blackfin, the Italian brand of titanium eyewear has added new colours for model ARC in a limited edition. This sunglass has been presented in a special limited edition of just 499 pieces in each of the three colour combinations. With its front in pure titanium and patented Swordfish beta-titanium temples, ARC is available in opaque black/metallic grey with silver mirrored lenses, metallic tropical blue with blue mirrored graduated-tint lenses and metallic red with bright red mirrored lenses (above). The arch, a structural support element, lends an original connotation to the frame, as the name implies. But the arch can also be seen as the span of a bridge, in this case embracing the lenses and enclosing them in the single piece of metal. www.blackfin.eu
Colours that have traditionally been popular in eyewear are appearing in combination with less common choices. Independent designers are particularly creative in this area, proposing, with specialist materials, the classical appeal of a tortoise or Havana acetate with a bright pop of acidic colour, in one single frame. Model Vidice is an artisan design from Stephane Vranjes, an artist and optical store owner living in the South of France. His handmade designs are linked with the medium of photography, and play with colour and individual material mixes. http://eyewear-stephane-vranjes.tumblr.com
At Fleye Copenhagen, new releases focus on summery colours with inspiration coming from traditional Danish smørrebrød featuring foods such as butternut squash, lobster and tangerine. Model Ulrikke offers refined lines and subtle colour schemes, pictured here with the finest golden temples. Find out more about this trendsetting Danish brand at www.fleye.dkCN
Fancy an indulgent spoonful of Tiramisu? Most indulgences when connected to cuisine come with massive amounts of calories. Here is an exception: theo’s delicious rendition of Tiramisu – layered like the famous dessert – and totally without calories! Theo loves layers, and the new Desserts Collection explores provocative colourations in acetate that makes the most of layers and the play of light.
Desserts was designed by Patrick Hoet with four different, individualistic models that are inspired – layer by layer – of celebrated desserts, including Tiramisu (top photo) Parfait, Mille-feuille and Trifle. Visit www.theo.be for more details on the Desserts Collection – and all theo’s inspirational designs. JG
Among the glamorous collaborations at London Fashion Week was Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson, and New York born, London based, Michael Halpern. Both designers are noted for the luxurious tone of their respective eyewear and fashion models. Karlsson adorns her exotic frames with diamantes, enamelled flowers, and fresh water pearls; while Halpern enjoys working in sultry velvet and satin, adding sequin and feathers for movie-star status. Indeed, Marion Cotillad wears his exclusive designs.
“I am thrilled to work with super-talented Halpern,” said Anna-Karin, “as we both share a love for over-the-top glamour juxtaposed with classic shapes. For this collaboration I have created designs that intensify Halpern’s sense of hyper femininity and flow, and eyewear with strong, sharp, asymmetrical lines.”
The sunglasses featured in the catwalk show are handcrafted in titanium by Japanese eyewear artisans, who carved each piece of garniture by hand, with the lenses hand tinted and hand cut. The lavish avant-garde designs are executed only through handcrafted and exclusive materials, and represent the Anna-Karin Karlsson trademark for amazingly individual eyewear expressions. www.annakarinkarlsson.comJG
In March, 130 Milliners from around the world will showcase their 200 beautiful creations inspired by a piece of history or culture, crafted with unique technique and creative expertise. The exhibition takes place at The Living Centre, near King’s Cross during London Hat Week (www.londonhatweek.com), a celebration of the art of hats and a showcase of talented designers from around the world. The name of the 2018 London Hat Week exhibition originates from the historical Great Exhibition that took place in London in 1851.
The exhibition is managed and curated by Monique Lee, Founder of X Terrace, a fashion platform tailored to connect creatives in Europe with fast growing fashion companies worldwide. Monique’s designs have been featured on more than 200 covers of the most prestigious fashion and design magazines in the world including Vogue, Vanity Fair and L’Officiel. She has recently become one of the official milliners for Royal Ascot 2018.
In anticipation of the exhibition, a press preview at PINKO flagship store highlighted 32 of the hats in a live presentation with four models. Designers participating included Wendy Scully Millinery, Dorothy Morant Millinery, Monique Lee, and Ana bella.
The Great Hat exhibition takes place from 22nd to 28th March 2018 at The Living Centre, 2 Ossulston Street, London NW1 1DF. For more details and tickets visitwww.xterrace.com/hat18CN