The 1880 Collection from MOREL offers classical ‘retro-inspired’ styling based on the original designs of this established French eyewear company. Inspired by buffalo horn tones and textures, model Homere is in fact produced in a luxurious acetate, comfortable to wear and practical and hard wearing for daily use. The design has a tapered, three-section temple, with the hinge section revealing a discreet “M” when the temples are folded – based on original designs in the 1880 vintage collection. Colours are dark and muted in black, red, blue or brown with a solid or tortoiseshell finish – sophisticated yet flattering for different faces and ages.
MOREL is one of the original French eyewear producers of the Jura, the French spectacle-making region, located in eastern France – and remains a leader in the field – committed to quality and fine design. Their eyewear collections range from the classic luxury of 1880 to the modern 3D printed state-of-the-art LIGHTEC range. Find details at www.morel-france.comCN
When a titanium specialist like Ørgreen announces a new departure in acetate, all eyes are upon them: the material is different to work with, unique in its colour possibilities, transparency and design focus when compared to the characteristic pared back look of metal frames.
Launched in Spring 2018, the Minimal Vintage Collection strives to uphold the same quality and minimalist design typical of the Danish design company whilst adding a vintage feel with nostalgic design references suited to the acetate material. It has taken painstaking research and study – and the commitment and unreserved enthusiasm of the young entrepreneurs behind the label who set out to achieve a high-level wearable fashion collection, with individual, innovative touches. The acetate launch signifies an important step for the business that has grown successfully in the titanium eyewear field since Henrik Ørgreen and the co-founders first set up in 1997. Above: model Michelle, a shape within a shape – daring, playful and easy to wear.
“The Michelle frame is not your regular cats eye throw-back design, the colours are much more graphic with unique details on the corners…”
For the current season, men’s and women’s styles have launched including models Jose and Michelle pictured, paying attention to the refined aspects of transparent colours such as nude, rose and blush and blending them with more concentrated tones to allow for definitive accents at certain points on the frames.
An independent label, Ørgreen is based in Copenhagen – the frames are available worldwide from high level opticians and include models in titanium, acetate and state-of-the-art 3D printed Polyamide. All the latest models are now available in selected stores and through Ørgreen’s flagship store (Copenhagen). Find more details atwww.orgreenoptics.comCN
theo’s exceptional Somers Optiek store in Antwerp, a window on the eyewear label’s world of colour, love, energy and design, always has a trick up its sleeve. In anticipation of the Chinese New Year in February and theo’s passion for all things ‘Valentine’ (14th February), the boutique is now resonating with the vibrant colours and textures of colourful dragons from the East.
Somers Optiek first opened in its current location behind the KBC Tower – a landmark ‘Art Deco Skyscraper” – in 2008. Since our last visit in 2012 – see Joan Grady’s feature at https://www.eyestylist.com/2012/11/somers-optiek/ – the store has expanded, with a new fresh open space designed to cater to a young customer and their particular requirements for styling, colour and design. The space was designed by APRIL ONE’s Karine Ribbens (www.aprilone.be).
The store features a comprehensive selection of new and past designs by the iconic Belgian company, many of which are hidden behind the scenes, ready for customers to explore and try on at their leisure. Just a few frames are displayed on cabinets or in alcoves to highlight new colour, shapes or special releases. Somers Optiek offers a comprehensive eyecare service with state-0f-the-art eye testing available in the lower level consulting rooms as well as styling expertise from ‘theo’ trained frame specialists. Visit online at www.somersoptiek.be / www.theo.beCN
Glittering holiday events present magical possibilities for fun and fashion flourishes – and eyewear is no exception! Designers concur – as frames are beautifully crafted with luxurious diamonds, sparkling crystals, and captivating accents. The exceptional designs are not only holiday oriented: shapes and exquisite colours are destined to be worn beyond this glorious period, and will enliven and brighten your days – and attitude – throughout the year. Celebrations start early for Finest Seven and Frame Chain, where their brilliant designs were photographed at the trendy cult bar – “Bananas” – in Barcelona (above image). Finest Seven’s glamorous, lightweight sunglass designs provide luxury, comfort and elegance. www.finestseven.com The prestigious UK brand Frame Chain ensures your frames are protected with sophisticated and practical chains in plaited silver and gold. www.framechain.co.uk
If the holidays take you to sunny climes, the dramatic shaping that characterises The Emperor, by award-winning Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson, is certain to dazzle. The bold silhouette features crystals set in Japanese Titanium, plated in White Gold with Carl Zeiss lenses. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Twinkling Swarovski crystals adorn a stunningly sculptured shape with Art Deco echoes on the frame sides. Capeline by Lafont Paris is available in a lovely selection of colours. www.lafont.com
The beauty and flexibility of acetate is splendidly featured in l.a. Eyeworks Pancha – clear acetate with a delightful, confetti-peppered motif in vivid colours. www.laeyeworks.com
For merry and bright occasions, JF Rey proposes Havane – a spirited design with its stunning round shape, stylish colourations and intricate details with sleek gold engraving. www.jfrey.fr
Buffalo horn is a traditional favourite for the embodiment of fine frames. LINDBERG luxury and flourish are captured in the latest designs teamed with white gold. www.lindberg.com
Jono Hennessy in Australia embraces the jubilant mood of Carnivale – with fabric-patterned frames in joyous colours. Discover the variations of The Carnivale Collection at www.jonohennessy.comJG
Luxurious crafting in titanium; exceptional shiny finishes in amazing colours; and sleek shapes ensure unmistakable elegance in Blackfin’s Black Edition. Frames – including Charleston (above) are available in dark blue, brown and black, and the finishes include striking colour details in Pale Amber Gold, Obsidian Black Gold, Imperial Yellow and Ancient Rose Gold. The Italian label has created an exclusive patented process – Blackfin Nano-Plating. This is a special treatment in which metal particles are vaporised in a vacuum, inducing sublimation that enables the particles to be deposited – atom-by-atom – on the the surface of the frames to obtain a stunning chromatic effect. The results are luxurious frame designs that are durable, sophisticated and comfortable to wear. Visit www.blackfin.eu to discover all the new optical models with Blackfin Nano-Plating. JG
Italian craftsmanship is long revered in fine accessories…often viewed as an art form. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone (above photo) – the creative force behind L.G.R – combines the tradition of superb workmanship with his deep love of and passion for Italy and Africa. These elements ensure eyewear with artistic flair, purity of line, and subtle elegance.
The latest collection of stunning eyewear designs for men and women includes expressive eyewear shapes with timeless chic.
The finest quality hand-polished materials in acetate and metals are transformed into sunglass and optical designs that are equally comfortable for city and country pursuits.
The enduring beauty of tortoiseshell and the interplay of subtle interpretations in neutral tones gives the frames distinctive finesse.
L.G.R eyewear designs are sold internationally in style savvy opticians and boutiques. The frames are also available in the smart, sophisticated, L.G.R boutique on Corso Garibaldi in Milan. Explore and experience the individualistic eyewear artistry of L.G.R at www.lgrworld.comJG
Eyewear from across the globe will find its way to London in January for 100% Optical, the UK’s premier optical event (for trade), now in its sixth year. The event is a showcase for new and established eyewear collections, as well as the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology – and takes place at ExCel exhibition centre in East London. The fast expanding independent eyewear design collections are represented each year by a selection of highly regarded companies including Andy Wolf, Tavat Eyewear, Silhouette and Francis Klein. Above: Tavat Eyewear returns to 100% in 2019: their collection continues to expand with striking designs in premium materials and a much praised and innovative ‘sandwich frame design’ called “SoupCan”. www.tavat-eyewear.com
FACE A FACE will bring chic colour to the London fair and new 2019 sunglasses with an audacious character in their interpretation of light and colour.
“Our new collection is all about exploring colours and the dynamic movement created by sculpting with light,” explains Pascal Jaulent, Head of Design at FACE A FACE. “Playful transparencies highlight the contrasts between being and not being, challenging the viewer and creating optical illusions.” www.faceaface-paris.com
Newcomers to the London event will include Lafont Paris, a label which has long been appreciated in the UK for its quality, elegance and design excellence. For those unfamiliar with Lafont, this Paris based company has an exciting history, originating in the 1920s. Their expertise continues to evolve with extraordinary creativity under the direction of brothers Matthieu and Thomas Lafont. www.lafont.com
Another notable addition to the London fair for January – and a must-see – is the Swiss label Von Arkel. Currently Von Arkel’s innovations and extraordinary design precision in the luxury eyewear segment is propelling the business quickly into new markets and the most exclusive optician’s stores, internationally. Their secret ingredient is there successful “marriage of eyewear manufacturing and Swiss watchmaking inspired hinges.” Find out more at www.vonarkel.com
Swiss label Gotti is a regular exhibitor in London, successful across the country for its appeal both technologically and in terms of its unique comfortable materials and design competence. As well as gorgeous titanium collections, they also highlight achievements in 3D printed eyewear, as one of few labels that has mastered a sophistication in the 3D printing process and combination designs using Polyamide and other materials – the resulting designs are impressive and a delight to wear. More information at www.gotti.ch.
100% takes place at London’s ExCel from 12th to 14th January 2019. The event has announced the launch of “Eyewear Week” from 7th to 13th January to further raise the profile of eyewear as a fashion accessory. To find out more visit https://www.100percentoptical.com/ CN
FLEYE Copenhagen has been awarded the prestigious German Design Award for Excellent Product Design in the Category Lifestyle and Fashion for ‘Fox’ – stylish sunglasses in beta-titanium and acetate.The sleek design is handcrafted with three layers, combining solid and transparent hard density cellulose acetate with beta-titanium. Lightness, flexibility and durability add to the character of the design, with its individualistic attitude. Environmental – as well as fashion considerations – are incorporated into Fox, as the sunglasses are constructed using non-toxic materials with hypoallergenic qualities, and AR coated lenses. Discover more from the Scandinavian label at www.fleye.dkJG
Alicia Hartman opened Eye Q in 2011 at the luxury location Limegrove Lifestyle Center on Barbados platinum west coast, a shopping hot spot featuring luxury fashion stores – Vuitton, Burberry and Ralph Lauren. Despite a worldwide recession at the time, the shop quickly became the leading independent optical boutique on the island. In 2018, the owner launched her own independent sunglasses label, PFB (Peoples from Barbados) dedicated to the Bajan community and its unique all-embracing lifestyle, filled with warmth, colour and natural style.
“Many people thought I was crazy to take on a project of this scale with no experience in retail, marketing and management,” explains Alicia Hartman with a smile. But with the support of her husband Sam and family she achieved what she set out to do, “with passion and love”.
Alicia set out to offer personalized stylist consultations offering the best eye care with a stylistic approach and a laid back yet professional atmosphere. “Initially we brought the world to Barbados through a combination of designer and independent brands,” she explains. “From day one, I preferred independent brands, but I did incorporate some of the well known designer brands as crowd pleasers.”
Over the years she gained the trust of clients and was able to focus on creative independent brands. With this came Peoples from Barbados in 2017, Alicia’s own collection of sunglasses. “The shop has a real purpose beyond eyewear and I’m excited. It’s as if we’re taking Barbados, the people and the culture to the world through a truly unique colorful understated and glamorous collection!”
The store itself offers a clean minimal space designed to showcase the frames – with Caribbean flair, and a personal playlist of music that reflects the owner’s love for travel and other cultures. “Initially there were wall decals of different people in glasses. We referred to them as the #eyeqpeoplez with a “z”. In Barbados “my peoples or my people” is a connecting phrase, to make someone feel a part of something special. The idea was always to have a personalized stylistic approach bringing people together in Barbados, regardless of there class or colour – and with one thing in common: “great taste in glasses and the desire to be unique and stand out from the crowd”.
Today a few things have changed. “To liven up the minimal space there are life size black and white portraits of beautiful Bajan faces in PFB eyewear by local photographer Adrian Richards. We wanted to showcase the real Barbados – not just the “postcard images”.”
This season, the collections in the store include independent brands from different cities around the world. “On an island, it’s important to do that! The demographic here ranges from aristocrats to fishermen to artists and celebrities.”
When I select designs I have a specific client in mind. I must offer glamour (Linda Farrow / UK), colour (theo /Belgium) , and technological sophistication (Mykita / Germany). With the Peoples from Barbados collection, we can also offer our own distinctive DNA ‘with Bajan Soul’. “I have aspirations for PFB, to make my Bajan people proud of who they are. I plan to promote Bajan artists and local talent and to encourage them to think independently – to live their dreams!”
From the 16th Century through to the mid-19th Century, portrait miniatures were symbols of love and devotion. People eagerly wore them as pendants around their necks, or imbedded in bracelets – and even worn as ornamental brooches. Napoleon never left home without his portrait miniature of Josephine; Marie-Antoinette’s first glimpse of the future Louis XVI was a portrait miniature of the Dauphin – a flattering portrayal as a svelte young man, and not the stout boy he really was; and in Verdi’s La Traviata, as Violetta dies of tuberculosis, she gives Alfredo her young lover, a miniature with her image to remember their doomed affair. Nowadays discerning collectors seek these diminutive pedigree keepsakes. Connoisseur Thierry Jaegy – Jaegy-Theoleyre Gallery – shares his expertise, love and enthusiasm for Portrait Miniatures.(Above image: Portrait of a Lady by François Dumont which is in the Tansey Foundation Collection in Celle, Germany. Photo courtesy of Thierry Jaegy with kind permission of the Tansey Foundation)
How did you become inspired and excited about Portrait Miniatures? TJ: I discovered portrait miniatures when I was twenty years old in a “brocante” (antique show) in the small village of Sancerre in the Loire Valley. It was a miniature signed by Carteaux P.D.R (peintre du Roi – painter to the king), lost and forgotten on a dusty shelf. I was fascinated by the life in this very small portrait. The sitter seems to be waiting for me for many centuries, protected under this small fragile glass, ignored by everyone. How did this piece of art come from Versailles to be here, in the countryside, abandoned? In fact, the art of portrait miniatures is totally forgotten by French people; it’s different in England. I have great pleasure to participate with this art: to discover, reveal them, and share them. Laurent and I became passionate collectors during the past twenty years, and we made this passion our life ten years ago by starting the very first web gallery dedicated exclusively to this Art: The Gallery jaegy-theoleyre.fr
What Portrait Miniaturists do you believe are the most significant from the 18th and 19th Centuries? It is very difficult to choose when there were so many great artists everywhere in Europe. Difficult but not too much…as one of them touches my heart above all: this artist is Francois Dumont (Top image). Even if he is not regular in the quality of portraits, he made (but he painted so many that I pardon him), he created real masterpieces with an inimitable look that Dumont gives to his sitters eyes. A seduction, a dialogue between the portraiture and the portraitist, with a particular charm that touches me so much. In French, we have an expression about this way to look with seduction in the eyes: to have a “oeil de velours” (velvet eyes). Dumont was the only one to give his models this “oeil de velours” – an additional feeling of happiness.
Twenty-five years ago, there were International sales of Portrait Miniatures. Now there are virtually none. What has happened to the market? The age of collectors has changed: their buying habits changed too. The sales you talk about were only two times per year. Nowadays, nobody wants to wait so long for pleasure. With the Internet, collectors how have the possibility to access what they like immediately, when they want, night and day. This is the role of web galleries like e-commerce in general.
Are SnapChat and Instagram the 21st Century version of Portrait Miniatures? I don’t think so. Instagram, Snapchat…this is instantaneously forgotten as soon as it is published…it’s so far from the art of Portrait Miniatures. In our modern life, what has replaced Portrait Miniatures – for me – is our smartphones! We keep our pictures inside it, the small portraits of the ones we love, keep them in our pockets, to see them as soon as we need to – and this is exactly the role that Portrait Miniatures had.
Could you please give a brief profile of the Portrait Miniature collector? In my opinion, the time when collecting portrait miniatures was reserved for a small select group of millionaires is finished. Now it appears that collectors are younger, curious and connected…Most often rich, but not exclusively. If the last generation bought star artists like Hall, Sicardy, Smart and Isabey…the new generation discovered that we can find true little masterpieces in unsigned portrait miniatures, or in pieces signed by less famous artists. But there are also investors who discovered this precious art; easy to preserve and to travel with, whose rating grows. www.jaegy-theoleyre.frJG
Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross are to join forces as eyewear partners, with a first collection launch planned for March 2019. The British eyewear brand will utilise its traditional production expertise that spans almost 50 years to create Paul Smith eyewear and sunglasses with a luxurious finesse in the metal and acetate materials and subtle design details that will tie in with the fashion designer’s colours and tailoring. Marie Wilkinson, long serving Design Director for the London eyewear brand will oversee the creation and development of the frames in collaboration with Smith’s design experts.
In a statement, Paul Smith explained: “I’ve always had enormous admiration for Cutler and Gross. Before we sadly lost him, Tony Gross was a personal friend of mine. The attention to detail and expertise that Tony practiced is still absolutely central to the work the company are doing today. I’m delighted to be collaborating with Cutler and Gross and look forward to an exciting and creative future.”
The frames, which will feature high quality Dalloz sun lenses, will be on show to retailers at Mido Milan – the Italian trade fair – in February. They will then be available from Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross outlets and a selection of premium stores and opticians globally. For more details about Cutler and Gross visit www.cutlerandgross.comCN
LINDBERG Precious embellishes winter festivities with the opulence and beauty of their handcrafted eyewear. The award-winning Danish label – who just received the German Design Award for 2019 in the Lifestyle and Fashion Category – celebrates this wonderful season with frame designs in 18 carat gold with splendid diamond highlights.(Above image: 18 carat solid rose gold with a 0.33 carat baguette cut pink diamond, and a 0.38 carat baguette cut purplish pink diamond)
The frames exude masterful engineering with silhouettes that are exquisitely shaped to the contours of the face. Pink is fashion’s energetic and spirited colour of the season, and LINDBERG extols its virtues with the highest quality diamonds in alluring pink – as well as exclusive options in black, and raw uncut, clear diamond accents.
With minimalist construction, the frames are featherweight, yet durable, and each frame is individually crafted. The distinguished collection includes designs for men and women.
Treat yourself this holiday season, and just as importantly – your eyes – to the dramatic brilliance of a LINDBERG Precious design – a gift that truly keeps on giving – with its timeless, sophisticated beauty. www.lindberg.comJG
Plein Les Mirettes’ Christophe Morcamp combines the creative eye of a couture designer with an astute focus on comfort and ease of wear in a frame design. The stunning new acetate model Re Belle 14 by this exotic little French label offers a wearable statement shape, gently cut into on either side of the front to add to its vibrant character. The colour palette has an unusual vertical fade effect, playing with chic tones “side by side” for a result that is both surprising technically and flattering when worn.
Plein Les Mirettes produces its women’s eyewear designs in a highly regarded traditional spectacle-making factory in Normandy, northern France. The elegant materials come from Mazzucchelli, the Italian leader in acetate production. Find the latest designs at www.plein-les-mirettes.frCN