Karmoie: a hand-finished twist

Norwegian independent eyewear duo, Kirsten and Lars Iversen have worked on their timeless Karmoie designs with a hand-polishing technique that produces a unique matt finish on the exclusive acetate designs. Model Totem offers an example of how the artisan polishing work gives an exquisitely subtle look to the eco-friendly M49 material, which immediately stands apart from ordinary mass-produced acetates, both in the delicate texture and coloration.

Model Totem in Spruce matt by Karmoie

Karmoie frames are understated, modern classics. “We aim to create a truly beautiful, lasting piece for you to cherish and wear with pride,” say the founders, who continue their collaboration with Positive Luxury, the website which highlights ethical fashion brands and their commitment towards “positive actions” and sustainability. Find the full sun and optical collection by the Norwegian label and find out about this unique label at www.karmoie.com CN

Von Arkel: Timeless and traditional elegance

Simplicity is sublime and nobly emulates in the streamlined eyewear designs by Von Arkel in Switzerland. Complex engineering by master craftsmen combined with traditional spectacle making techniques, ensure that Von Arkel frames accentuate innovation; lightness; unparalleled flexibility; and comfort.

Von Arkel Calibre 4 Outline Sunglasses

Switzerland excels in watchmaking, and certain elements unique to that industry are also reflected in Von Arkel designs – such as chamfers (cut-aways to make a symmetrical sloping edge) and the intricate, meticulous polishing – so respected and renowned for Swiss watches. These characteristics are beautifully expressed in Calibre 4 Outline designs.

Buffalo horn Calibre 7.95

Buffalo horn has long been considered amongst the most regal of eyewear materials; used in spectacle making for centuries. However, Von Arkel has a modern, environmentally-aware take on Buffalo horn – using only horn from domesticated Indian buffalos that have passed away. Warm, rich tones of Buffalo horn united with Von Arkel’s intricate, precise crafting results in a luxurious design that will be appreciated – and enjoyed – by the discerning wearer.

Von Arkel Steelmaster Gemstone

Superb gemstones opulently accent frames that are exquisitely crafted with unprecedented quality and distinction. Shimmering diamonds sparkle on a Calibre 8 Steelmaster design that embraces the apex of sophisticated gracefulness.

Von Arkel Calibre 9 Entourage Sunglasses

The Calibre 9 Entourage collection includes sleek silhouettes with enticing details: no rivets, no soldering or setting – and no screws. The Calibre 9 has a complex, hidden mechanism featuring a friction-controlled movement – a hinge that is durable, and a frame exceptionally comfortable to wear. Discover more of the illustrious and exquisite spirit of Von Arkel Switzerland at www.vonarkel.com JG

At work & home: Annette Esto at Fleye

Annette Esto, Head of Design at FLEYE Copenhagen, warmly shares her perspectives with Eyestylist, and highlights her design concepts that transcend eyewear itself…and into the beautiful FLEYE Headquarters and her homes.

What qualities and character of Danish design history – with its simplicity and subtle details – have been the most important influence for your eyewear creations and home interiors? “Danish design is renowned for its clean lines, functionality and timeless approach. I like when classics come with a twist: a bright colour or an edgy detail, despite the clean simple lines of the Danish aesthetics. This is highly reflected in my home, where for example, I have a classic Scandinavian ‘smedker’ kitchen – I combined the traditional wood work with a bright, modern orange colour. Also, in FLEYE’s eyewear design we mix classic simplicity with a twist, where tradition meets the modern in innovative ways.” (Top image: Annette Esto with art by Inka Sigel)

“I like classics with a twist” Annette’s kitchen

Enriched cultural concepts ostensibly filter into your eyewear designs – like the Smorrebrod. What other perceptions filter into your home decor, as well as frames, such as travel or other artistic inspirations? “I love artworks – especially abstract art and abstract paintings that play with powerful colours, sharp contrasts, and different materials. My favourite painting is the one I have in our entry – an oil painting by Inka Sigel where different materials are sewn through the canvas. I have always been creative beyond what has become my profession, and personally I love to make flower creations and bouquets. For FLEYE AW18 eyewear, we have actually found inspiration in Flora Danica – an iconic collection of botanical illustrations from the 18th century. Taking a fresh look at the subject, we created our own floral portraits using flowers, trees, and shrubs often seen in Danish gardens. In order to set the right mood for an Autumn & Winter campaign, we decided to freeze flowers in ice blocks, leading to rich and dense colours, as well as the structures and shapes of our newest eyewear.”

Painting by Inka Sigel – a German designer who has worked in Denmark for nearly thirty years. Different materials are sewn through the canvas.

You have a great interest in architecture. How has this inspired and cultivated interior creations in your home? “My home is a balance of traditional and modern furniture. In the dining room, I have a nice classic dining table where I have mixed Eames chairs in all kinds of different colours to give it a more personal and contemporary – yet timeless look. The same goes for the FLEYE office building, which is an old architect-designed manor house from the beginning of the 18th century. The building is protected and preserved in an old-fashioned style with high ceilings, but I have combined it with modern furniture in contemporary colours to give it a personal twist.”

Barfredshoj – the historic manor house for FLEYE Headquarters

Please tell us a brief history of the FLEYE offices and the intriguing building where frames are designed blending “urban impulses with classic simplicity.” “The FLEYE office is a historically beautiful manor house – Barfredshoj – built in 1800 by a German architect Peter Hetsch. Barfredshoj’s architecturally unique rooms and idyllic location form the setting for FLEYE’s creativity and inspiration. To me it is very important to be surrounded by nature and to have a wide and beautiful view – this is reflected in both the eyewear design, at the FLEYE office, and in my home.”

Annette with her team at FLEYE HQ

What designers most influence you in today’s constantly changing, dynamic and tech-savvy environment? “Issey Miyake because he is timeless and classic. I can wear a ten-year-old piece from Issey Miyake at a fair and still receive compliments. His clothes are designed in amazing shapes and structures, and he mixes clean lines with patterns or fun colours. It is also very functional at fairs because the clothes don’t crease or wrinkle.”

Open and airy – the kitchen in Annette’s Summerhouse

In the future, what is a design project that you would most like to create and pursue? “I will continue to work within this nice path, which my team and I have worked so hard to get to, where we keep on surprising and challenging ourselves positively as well as our customers. The next project will be to transfer this beautiful flower concept into a Spring/Summer setting for our SS19 eyewear.” www.fleye.dk JG

Orchid Superleggero L.G.R World

Luca Gnecchi Ruscone has launched a fabulous collection of innovative eyewear that combines his love of history and tradition, with his remarkable flair for contemporary design. One frame that particularly caught our “eye” – is the charming Orchid Superleggero – a beguiling cat-eye design handcrafted in Italy, with an acetate front, and sides in ultra-light metal alloy. Explore more diverse and beautiful L.G.R designs from the new collection at www.lgrworld.com JG

Frame Chain: how will you wear yours?

The rise of the eyewear chain continues as our love affair with decorative details, chunky gold jewellery and semi-precious stones moves forward into the new season. The UK’s no. one company in this department – Frame Chain – has come over all glam for 2019 – proposing a wide selection of new designs as the finishing touch for any outfit – for women, and yes, men too. Above: Classic pearls are a feature of the new season collection at Frame Chain.

The Diamond Geezer from Frame Chain

With the launch of their new campaign, designers Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney demonstrate the complete versatility of the chains, which are equally as beautiful worn as a necklace (top image) or suspended from the frame itself (see above). We also love the bling effect of two or three worn together!

The Golden Balls: an original design by Frame Chain

All the designs come with two sets of attachments in black and white, to coordinate with your chosen eyewear, and feature a small statement Frame Chain logo plaque. More styles can be found at www.framechain.co.uk as well as Selfridges, Matches and Liberty of London. CN

Campaign Credits: Photography by Alastair Strong / Stylist Ailsa Jane Miller/ MUA Anna Gibson / Creative WE ARE DISCO/ Models Nejilka & Paige Saffron.

Claire Goldsmith Optical

The passion to create original and imaginative eyewear creatively flows in the Goldsmith genetic code. The family-run business – now under the leadership of dynamic Claire Goldsmith – is embracing new horizons for the nearly century-old British company. Claire comments on the creation of her own innovative collection – Claire Goldsmith Optical.

Please tell us how you perceived and envisioned the concept that developed and evolved into CG Optical? “CG evolved through an inner ambition to pursue something for myself. Initially all the OG designs we made were replicas of styles held in our archive. They were relics brought back to life in beautiful new colour ways and modern acetates. We’ve since developed the collection to include new original designs, but at the conception of the relaunch there wasn’t a platform for me to create new styles. I was dubious about doing so under the Oliver Goldsmith name. It was so iconic and historically treasured. I wanted something of my own to create, and so the natural evolution was to launch my own brand.” (Above image:Claire Goldsmith)

“My core material will always be acetate”

Was your inspiration or motivation influenced by fashion trends; art or architecture; travel; or other appealing circumstances? “My initial inspiration certainly came from my heritage and the incredible brand my great grandfathers had created and the legacy they left behind. OG was at its peak during the 1960’s and 70’s – and these decades continue to be enormously influential to me: from fashion, car design, architecture…there is something so cool about that period of time that I am forever drawn to the fantasy of the era – the celebrity, the clothes, the apposition of both frivolity and attention to detail  – in detail. But CG is a new brand, and much as I enjoy looking to the past for inspiration, it is today’s customer we are dressing, and as a Londoner (myself) and as a London brand, I am lucky to be continually inspired by the city, and the people who live within it.”

Dean in Rose Gold from the Claire Goldsmith Optical collection

What are your favourite materials and colours in which to create a collection? “OG is an acetate brand, and so it’s very much what I know best. It’s a material I understand, and I love the joy of creating new materials through laminates or changing the thickness of a frame to reveal the richness of its colour. For me, acetate is part of our identity, whether we are talking OG or CG. I adore super light stainless steel frames; I think they are beautiful, but you can’t be every brand to every person and it’s exhausting trying to be. I dabble with metals and combination frames, but my core material will always be acetate – other brands already do metals or wood or vinyl so well – I’ll stick to what I know and do best!”

What is the demographic profile of the CG Optical wearer? “I don’t really think demographics exist in the same way they once did. The CG customer is varied, simply because of the incredible cities and stores around the world where we are represented. Our frames are contemporary classics, and our customers tend to revere the values of the brand rather than because they fit into a particular demographic. We’ve dressed the eyes of so many different people, and so many age groups, and I love that.”

Double bridge chic: Silk in Champagne

What shapes and colours do customers most desire this season? “When I purchase something I want it to last more than a season, and I like to think my customers buy into CG as a lifestyle rather than a seasonal piece. Personal style is so – well – personal – and if my frames can help someone express themselves or become an integral part of their image, then that makes me happy. I truly don’t design to fit into trends. Of course, I’m conscious of what fashion is dictating, but what someone wears on their face doesn’t always correlate with what they wear on their body. There are some amazing brands producing incredibly modern and fashion forward eyewear who dictate micro trends within the eyewear industry, but the colours and shapes we produce at CG focus more on longevity.”

You love to create and have an enterprising spirit. Are there possible creative design thoughts or ideas being cultivated? “Definitely! We are living in such an entrepreneurial era, with the internet and social media providing a platform for almost anyone to launch a brand or concept. I find this both incredibly inspiring and at times, overwhelming, but I do like the idea of being able to be creative in other industries: to dabble or delve into different projects as I see fit. For now, CG an OG keep me more than busy, but who knows, perhaps that enterprising spirit will need exercising at some point!” www.clairegoldsmith.com JG

 

 

Finest Seven Zero 12

If bright pink’s your colour, then Finest Seven, one of the most luxurious brands in independent eyewear, is where you need to head as soon as possible. This glorious shocking pink frame says luxury like no other : the very narrow acetate rim is combined with a slim metal bridge and slick golden temples and a timeless triangular shape that is neither too oversized or too mini.

 

Finest Seven frames are made from a surgical stainless steel wire – super light, comfy and highly durable. The sun lenses offer 100% UV 400 protection and are available in a wide range of specially curated colours. The Zero 12 design with acetate is a brand new version of this unique sunglass design – also available in a minimal stainless steel only version paired with brightly colored lens tints of graduated lilac, graduated blue or dark pink mirror. Find more designs and shop direct at www.finestseven.com CN

Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart

“Since 2012, we have held Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart at Motorworld in Boblingen,” said organiser Nathanaël Wenger, “and this year we decided to change the venue to the centre of Stuttgart, where we found a beautiful, historical building – Haus der Wirtschaft. (Top image:Lars Malmsten Vasuma Eyewear and Nathanaël Wenger)

Isabelle Monteleone Brand Representative Von Arkel Switzerland shows frames to visiting opticians.

“Quality, independent labels were present – including among others – Blackfin; Orgreen; Von Arkel; Vasuma; Nirvan Javan; Didier Voirol; Götti; Coblens; and neubau. However, we were disappointed with the number of opticians that visited during the two days – which was below our projected expectations. Perhaps the rivalry of superb weather; Stuttgart’s Octobefest; shops open on Sunday; and Stuttgart’s challenging traffic contributed to fewer shops visiting.

Patrick Zweifel Co-founder and Co-CEO Nirvan Javan explaining the new collection

“It has always been our goal to bring independent designer brands and opticians together. We have so enjoyed our years of involvement with Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart, but have now decided not to continue for 2019, and will focus on Hall of Frames Zurich for next year. We look forward to seeing you in Switzerland!”  www.hallofframes.ch JG 

Photos:Andrea Tännier All Rights Reserved

Kloe by Volte Face

Chromatic harmonies highlight the latest design at Volte Face, with a frame that is graciously slim, sleek and modern. Different acetates in beautiful colours are used in Kloe, and designed with graphical effects. The luminosity of the acetate provides a soft transparency. The Volte Face Collection is dedicated to women – and their “Parisian Chic” – with frame silhouettes that are subtle, elegant, timeless, and with an air of discreet luxury. View more of this rich and diverse collection at www.volteface.com JG

Kirk & Kirk Centena

Jubilee festivities resonate – as Kirk & Kirk salutes the 100th anniversary of the renowned British brand, with a stunning new range of beautiful designs in exquisite colours – The Centena Collection. Jason and Karen Kirk – the guiding force bringing the label and its optical history into the next century – commented: “The Centena Collection is important to Kirk & Kirk, as it is an embodiment of the celebration of the Kirk family’s one hundred year history in optics. (Top image: Dennisin in Crystal; Sarah in Walnut; Esme in Crimson; Cecil in Tiger; Sidney in Corn from The Centena Collection)

Neville in Royal K & K Centena Collection

“Ever since Sidney and Percy Kirk converted a sewing machine into a lens cutter back in 1919, the Kirk family has innovated eyewear, offering technical or stylistic approaches that are designed to excite and inspire. The Centena Collection mirrors this enthusiasm with its use of acrylic, an unconventional, avant-garde material that is featherweight – and incredibly comfortable to wear. We have used 10mm acrylic for this collection which has been such fun to work with. Each frame is like an individual sculpture featuring beautiful angles to exploit the glasslike properties of the material.”

“We have used 10mm acrylic for Centena..such fun to work with!” Marilyn in Sage

Acrylic is not only lightweight – it is strong and durable. The colours are luxurious  – Iris, Tiger, Corn, Crystal, Crimson, Walnut, Sage and Royal. Designs are bold and strong manifesting the confident colours that re-enforce Jason and Karen Kirk’s philosophy that fine eyewear is made to be experienced – and enjoyed. Visit www.kirkandkirk.com for more CENTENA details – and other optical and sunglass designs. JG