100% Optical, 2019: trend watch

At the 100% fair in London, the UK showcase for all things optical, the year kicked off with diverse eyewear statements, bountiful colour and a mix of individual collections and new accessories that suggest an eclectic trend forecast for the year. It was a chance for some smaller labels to launch and be seen in the UK, alongside annual exhibitors and historic eyewear companies that have a strong and established following in the UK.

Above: model Bert in corn, from The Centena Collection by Kirk & Kirk, eye-catching shapes and dynamic colours. The brand has just launched their new campaign. www.kirkandkirk.com

Accessorise your accessories: Le Kevin is a new glasses holder, designed in London

Accessories label Le Kevin, by Michele Quastel, launched a range of colourful unisex leather glasses holders at 100% Optical. The materials featured range from 100% luxury leather to vegan leather-look designs. This is a lovely practical wearable accessory, that would make an ideal gift. We expect to see much more of this brand in the months ahead: www.lekevin.co.uk

Oval shape in the Outline Collection – Von Arkel Switzerland

Von Arkel is a luxury eyewear company from Switzerland, established in Europe, and ready to expand into new markets. With contemporary style, the company has developed their own technical hinges inspired by Swiss watchmaking. New innovations are coming for 2019…keep an eye on www.vonarkel.com

Cateye glamour: Ezra by Andy Wolf

The quirky cateye is still enjoying a revival, and judging by the examples we saw in London, many new versions are coming in 2019, in metal or in acetate, in classic or bright tones. This narrow model Ezra by Andy Wolf stood out as a nice choice for those who love the classic colorations and the upswept feature of this glamorous feline classic. www.andywolf.com

Recycling plastic waste collected from the sea: Sea2See

The rise in interest in ecological brands, as concerns heighten over the devastating effects of plastic waste, was evident at 100% Optical with several exhibitors showing a sustainable focus including BIRD, Pala Eyewear and Sea2See. The founder of Sea2See –  Francois van den Abeele – has created his own eyewear material out of recycled ocean plastic collected from the Catalan coast. The injection molded frames are made in Italy and offer a simple minimal design with classic colours which include havana and matt black. More details at www.sea2see.org

The Royal College of Art Design competition – run in a collaboration with 100% Optical – celebrated optical talent and achievement with six finalists showing creative eyewear projects for the future.  Annie Foo came first in the design competition with ‘Party on Face’, using music and fashion as expression and making glasses light up and flash in time to music.

100% Optical returns from 25-27th January 2020. For more information visit www.100percentoptical.com CN

Monoqool for opti 19

As innovation in 3D printing moves forward with leaps and bounds, in eyewear, new design directions focus on the extraordinary lightness and comfort of the Polyamide material and, increasingly, its adaptability to produce different, more creative eyewear designs. Specialists in 3D printed frames, Danish company Monoqool continues to work in this field with a particular focus on the perfect balance of comfort and astute contemporary style. With an architectural aesthetic and an underlying passion for Danish design, Monoqool has taken their collection forward with combination styles featuring Polyamide fronts and fine metal temples in a palette of eye-catching modern colours from ochre and violet through to a light, dusty green.

Above: The spectacular Ragnarock Museum of Rock in Roskilde (http://museumragnarock.dk/besoeg/), Denmark was selected as the venue for the Spring/Summer campaign. The setting is a colourful, unusual building designed by Cobe Architects (http://www.cobe.dk) – inspired by the 70s looks of Danish designer Verner Panton (http://verner-panton.com), who shocked the world with his colourful space age design. 

Balanced design: a Polyamide front with slim metal temples

For SS19, the Danish brand launches 12 eyewear shapes and four new sunglasses. “We aimed for a mix of frames, from the colourful and extraordinary to the classically cool,” says Allan Petersen, founder of  Monoqool. “Four new colours are added to the already considerable line of 3D printed frames.”

New hues from Monoqool: Big Love in burnt ochre

The line up of frames features the popular Monoqool Slider series with a flat horizontal temple and screwless hinge. The Slider frames are made in ultra lightweight 3D printed polyamide material, which results in a frame weighing only 4 grams. It is in the Monoqool DNA to make frames with a high degree of comfort and which are easy to adjust and give a perfect fit – as well as offering contemporary design and an accomplished attention to detail.

Exploring 3d printed design: trend-focused cut-out effect

Monoqool will exhibit the new collection at opti Munich in Germany from 25th to 27th January 2019. For more details about the latest designs, visit their website at www.monoqool.com. CN

Lunetier Ludovic Brussels Belgium

An energetic hub embraces Brussels. It is a hive of remarkable activity for culture, cuisine, fashion, and international politics. The city boasts vast green spaces and lovely parks; numerous museums; architectural landmarks; and it is the capital of the European Union. Belgian fashion designers have captivated the global style stage, and include Dries Van Noten; Raf Simons; Ann Demeulemeester, and Martin Mangela. Chocolate, chips, waffles and beer are known to dominate cuisine; however, elegant gastronomy is alive, well and flourishing in Brussels, and beyond the city centre.

Lunetier Ludovic Brussels

Brussels includes nineteen municipalities, and a stroll of the historic Sablon area enchants the visitor with tempting antique shops; vintage clothing; designer labels; charming cafés; and speciality food shops. For distinctive and original custom-made eyewear – set your sights on the remarkable and influential Lunetier Ludovic Boutique. “My wife Vinciane and I opened the boutique in 2015,” recollects optician and owner Ludovic Elens when we met in Brussels, “and we specialise in bespoke glasses. We do feature some brands, but I am an eyewear crafter…that is my passion. We offer the finest quality and personalisation.”

Lunetier Ludovic interior

Lunetier Ludovic is a bright and airy space over three levels; the street level displays frames where customers try on the designs; the lower level is Elens craft shop; and the upper level houses the office. “It was very hard to find a location; every week we went to a different area. We chose the Sablon as it has many interesting shops – art;  jewellery; chocolate; antiques; and luxury products,’ says Elens.

Ludovic crafting his designs

The frames crafted at Lunetier Ludovic are truly luxurious works of art. Clients chose their materials from the intriguing collection that Elens has acquired – including sheep and deer horns that he works in layers. “We never throw anything out”, declares Elens, “as you never know when a particular piece of acetate or horn might be useful.”

Bespoke Ludovic design in acetate with Knot and Lemon Tree Wood

Each design takes approximately two weeks to create – and then two to three months for the actual crafting of the frame. “I want to design the frame that the wearer wants to wear,” Elens emphasises, “as we have many clients who are unable to wear a regular frame from a designer or manufacturer – perhaps due to an abnormal facial issue. However, that can be overcome with the correct design and bespoke fitting. There are details in the designs that you may not see, but the wearer can feel.”

Sculpted sun design by Lunetier Ludovic

Lunetier Ludovic has an amazingly diverse international clientele that range in age from two-and-one-half-years old – to eighty-one years old. They all wear Ludovic designs, which are individually personalised. Some clients are very specific about what they want. “We had a client who was a Roy Orbison fan, and he wanted frames exactly like what Orbison wore, so that is what we created.” Discover more about Lunetier Ludovic and the boutique’s unique, and beautifully handcrafted eyewear at www.lunetierludovic.be JG

Octagon by Delirious

The Octagon, considered a polygon of eight angles and eight sides, also demonstrates the positive attributes for renewal and rejuvenation. These honoured and symbolic meanings of the Octagon are inspirational characteristics to launch a New Year. Painter Leonardo frequently used the octagon in his drawings and renderings. This geometrical concept is beautifully represented in a slender, slim acetate version by Delirious Eyewear, and is professionally and eloquently handcrafted with essential production protocols in Italy.  Details are meticulous with fine construction. Delirious Eyewear is an award-winning Italian label, with an ingenious collection of innovative frame designs for men and women. www.deliriouseyewear.com JG

Eyewear for opti

Munich’s expanding international fair for optical professionals – opti – takes place in a few weeks at Fairground Munich. Known for its wide variety of exhibitors and impressive line up of independent designers, the event is one of the highlights of the optical year in Europe, and is increasingly attended by retailers and business professionals from inside and outside Europe.

This year, the fair offers an exceptional mix of creative designers and distinctive eyewear collections from as far afield as Hong Kong, the US, Swedish Lapland and Canada. First time exhibitors include Rapp, Nirvan Javan, Frency and Mercury and Specs Lab Zurich.

A selection of start-ups and small labels will show in the OPTI Boxes (Hall C2), some, such as Lightbird (Italy), showing product for the first time. Above: Young label PORTRAIT Eyewear from Italy will show their new artistic Glitch Series (opti BOXES). The Interface sunglasses (above) are a tribute to Peter Campus, the American pioneer video artist. www.portraiteyewear.com

Oliver Goldsmith – highlighting new winter sunglasses for opti

Oliver Goldsmith pioneered the idea of “winter sunglasses” in 1966, according to Claire Goldsmith. In an article written about them in the 60s in the UK, the concept was explained: “The idea was that these designs should be worn in the winter months as  there was insufficient sun-light to warrant wearing dark lensed summer sunglasses.” Originally, the lenses were made from precision ground optical glass and were very pale in density making them ideal for wearing indoors as well as outside on dull winter days.” Re-exploring the concept with special releases for opti19, the new styles offer the statement style of Goldsmith designs and are fitted with state-of-the-art soft hued lenses by Divel Italy for exceptional comfort and protection. www.olivergoldsmith.com

Honey by BOZ

Always bold and decorative, J F REY’s BOZ collection continues to offer surprising shapes and eccentric combinations, designed with sophisticated creative touches. The BOZ collection will be exhibited with JF REY, 1985, and the much praised leather line – Le Cuir – at the opti fair. www.jfrey.fr

Pantos C8 – Tavat Eyewear

Tavat Eyewear has launched a series of exciting designs in recent months. Their ability to use innovative construction in multiple designs and material combinations continues to develop through a strong commitment to original design and artisan excellence. Find them at opti and visit their website at www.tavateyewear.com

BLACKFIN Black Edition – model Sandbridge

Titanium experts Blackfin return to the fair in Germany with new styles in the Black Edition, where a special treatment – Blackfin Nano-Plating™ – creates shiny finishes on the advanced material. Find out more at www.blackfineyewear.eu

opti Munich takes place at Fairground Munich from 25th to 27th January 2019. The show will offer an extensive new layout as it expands to include Halls C5 and C6. For full details and a full list of exhibitors, visit www.opti.de CN

The Cran by TBD Eyewear

Italian-made, unpretentious and classical in approach with a price point under 200 euros. Having started out as The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear company, ‘TBD’ as it is now most commonly known is a well loved label on the fashion circuit, especially in Italy and at fashion industry events such as Pitti where they have a successful following of design fans,  fashion bloggers and entrepreneurial types who include Marco Taddei, Niccolo Zaffarano and Gabriel Cohen.

The frames are timeless in their look and style. The Cran is an example – a well-known round shape, produced in an attractive, lightweight acetate and in colours that are usually subtle; traditional black, blue, crystal, tortoise and so on or occasionally quite different – the canvas brown has a patterned look like horn – there are also delicate metal shapes and metal/acetate combinations.

Bespoke Dudes Eyewear was set up by Fabio Attanasio, the founder of The Bespoke Dudes, an Italian blog about craftsmanship and tailoring and Andrea Viganò ‘with the aim of enhancing the image of Italy and its exceptional craftsmanship abroad and promoting excellence and creativity’. The frames are made in Cadore and feature unique details – a favourite is the styling of the hinges which resemble bow-ties – these were picked from a lot dating back to the 1930’s and feature four screws – rather than the usual two – each one applied and tightened by hand. For more details and to visit the online store go to www.thebespokedudeseyewear.com CN

 

What to see: 100% Optical, London

As the first fairs of the 2019 Spring season approach, eyewear companies will reveal the trends of the months ahead, fresh innovations in design, and expressive new colour codes to explore and inspire. 100% Optical, the UK’s optical fair – which takes place at ExCel exhibition centre will set the scene for the Spring optical calendar from 12th to 14th January 2019 and promises a selection of independent eyewear designers as part of the line-up which also includes innovative lenses and technology. Above: From Denmark, LINDBERG is one of the leading independent luxury companies exhibiting at 100% this year. Their collections include fine materials such as titanium, wood and buffalo horn. www.LINDBERG.com

Kirk & Kirk will show the Centena Collection

British label Kirk & Kirk are staunch supporters of the UK fair and return with their colourful Centena collection in January, designed by Jason Kirk in celebration of his family’s 100 years in optics. This line is unique in its 10mm acrylic material which is flattering, bold yet – at the same time – surprisingly light to wear. The sculptural look of the frames is part and parcel of their unique appeal. Check out www.kirkandkirk.com

Quantum by Ørgreen

Ørgreen Optics has an exceptionally strong and varied selection of eyewear collections to show for 100%: as well as the new acetates in the latest Minimal Vintage Collection, they have just announced a 3rd Quantum collection, which features their exceptional spherical hinge design and showcases their design skills in combining Polyamide and titanium. Visit www.orgreenoptics.com

Woow model Super Sonic 1

Part of The Eyewear Design Group, Woow Eyewear will exhibit with other exceptional collections in this portfolio of brands which also includes FACE A FACE. Woow is colourful, exuberant in character and always injects humour and fun! www.wooweyewear.com

Walter & Wassily: a special edition by neubau eyewear

neubau’s latest sunglasses edition offers a homage to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and the painter Wassily Kandinsky. The shape of the model is based on the Bauhaus philosophy of  “form follows function” while the design and material choices are directly inspired by the movement, with a titanium frame based on bent steel tubes combined with fade tint mirror lenses recalling the facade of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus school building in Dessau. neubau will exhibit their new optical and sun collections alongside sister company Silhouette Eyewear at the London fair. For more details about the brand, visit www.neubau-eyewear.com.

Rita by Danish sustainable company Monkey Glasses

Just released a few days ago the new Elevate collection by Monkey Glasses also goes on show this month – this sustainable brand is one of several to exhibit at the London show (Bird Eyewear and Pala), and highlights the growing interest in recycling in the frame business. The brand has begun to use packaging in recycled paper as part of its eco action to go plastic free. For more details visit www.monkeyglasses.com.

Arranged by the fair organisers, this year’s RCA Eyewear design competition’s theme is 2020 Vision in Motion. The competition asked the Royal College of Art students to design and make a maquette of a new vision device, which functions as a health aid/ protection as well as a style statement we are opening up the range to possibly include; viewfinder/ device/ VR headset. Six finalists have been chosen by the judging panel and their work will be on show during the 3-day event : Andrew Cullo, Annie Foo, Fi Grew, Giulia Lombardi, Loy Chen and Sunny Kitfung. The winner will be announced during the fair.

100% Optical opens its doors on 12th January at 10am and runs through until Monday 14th January 2019. For further details and registration visit www.100percentoptical.com/about/visiting CN