Marco Grassi at HOFA Gallery, London

Marco Grassi creates figurative portraits that combine realistic and abstract elements. Since the start of his career, the Italian artist has developed a  personal style which praises the identity of the female subject in the specific moment in which they are painted. Through intense female portraits, Grassi is focused on captivating the viewer, and creating a silent dialogue between the subject and audience. Above: Marco Grassi – Gold Experience 2018 – Oil on aluminium with resin

Marco Grassi 2018
In the forthcoming exhibition in London, Grassi has abandoned the element that was once his trademark style and technique: the decisive strokes which outlined his anatomic forms and lent a sense of stability to the whole of the figure, and contrasted with bold colours, blended with a spatula, and drippings to break them down and make them more subtle. His recent subjects display less certainty, which once allowed the figures to integrate themselves fully with the complex weave of colours. The background is more decisive and reflects the subjects’ facial expressions and intense silence, creating a complicity with the observer.
“Central to my forthcoming exhibition is the expressiveness of the body and my determination to portray to our younger generations a truthful and realistic picture of themselves,” says the artist. “An image that goes deeper than cultural standards and opinions of the media and discovers the inner beauty that lies beneath the surface in all human beings.”
Marco Grassi’s works have been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions, and international fairs including Art Basel, Art Miami, SCOPE Basel and the Moscow Art Fair. He was also selected to exhibit at the opening of the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.
Exhibition dates:
  • 31th March to 6th April at HOFA Gallery, 30 Royal Opera Arcade, London, SW1Y 4UY
  • 6th April to 17th April at HOFA Gallery, 58 Maddox Street (corner with New Bond Street), WIS 1AY
For further details visit http://thehouseoffineart.com/ CN

Delicate blush pinks

It’s by no means an obvious choice in adult eyewear, but its popularity in fashion has led to a surge in delicate blush or blossom tones for frame and lens. At the Spring fashion and eyewear fairs, this delicate, soft tone was a key feature across collections from emerging to established, sitting next to the darker classics of black and tortoise and establishing its presence for what we believe will be several seasons to come.

Above: Heidi London cateye with pearlised textured finish. www.heidilondon.comModel: Melanie Baird – Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist.com – London, Covent Garden

Above: Evangelisti Eyewear: Squared acetate sunglasses Drop 01.

Young label Evangelisti was created by designers Giulio Milano and Giacomo Beghin. The sunglasses have a bold appearance with sculptured “flame-like” pattern on the temples. The design was launched this season in five statement colorways. https://evangelistiworld.com/

Grass by Fleye Copenhagen

The Danish independent brand Fleye has added new styles in the Signature collection, with pink tones, inspired by floral compositions in their “Flowers of Denmark” campaign.

Jasione by Fleye Copenhagen

Tones range from the bright baby pink of model Grass or the more neutral blush pink combination in the double rim optical style, Jasione. www.fleye.dk

Titanium frame Yuma 933 by Ørrgreen Optics

Ørgreen’s latest release of titanium eyewear, Titanium Tribe, explores the effects of milling the edges of the frames to create softer, more rounded edges. The contemporary palette, created by colorist Sahra Lysell includes brights such as Rio Red and Grape Juice, as well as the more delicate shades of Cloud Cream and Misty Rose (above). For more details visit www.orgreenoptics.com CN

Götti Ultrafine Dimensions – Kobi

Slim, trim and elegantly minimalistic, the newest designs in 3D printing from the Götti Dimension Collection are a unique marriage of revolutionary manufacturing improvements, and sleek, innovative design. Kobi is superbly crafted in Götti’s own customised factory in Zurich, and shown above in Stone – a colour favourite that harmonises with spring and summer fashions. The beautifully sculpted shape exudes character, comfort and style. Five different designs are available in delicious colours: Ash, Berry, Sand, Moss, Mocca and Denim. Discover more Götti Dimension news at www.gotti.ch JG

Serge Bracké: Visionary designer at theo Belgium

Goldsmith, furniture maker, innovative eyewear creator – Serge Bracké’s formidable talents highlight theo designs. In an exclusive interview with Eyestylist, the Belgium designer shares his viewpoints on creativity, inspiration, and the future.

What event in your life may have motivated you to pursue a challenging career in creative design? “Like most things in life, it’s probably a combination of events, influences, being at a certain place at a certain time…With my final exams, the school strongly hinted that I look for ‘new opportunities’ and my parents had all but given up on me. Luckily my art teacher showed up during the examination board meeting. He didn’t really have to but – divine intervention? he did. Based upon an interpretation I had made on a Mondrian painting, he convinced the other teachers to refer me to a design/art college. The funny thing is that the Mondrian assignment, the search for balance between horizontal and vertical lines, and primary colours, is still of great influence in my daily work. I can still literally lose myself in the equilibrium of a shape, the mix of materials, or the combination of colour shades.”

Mille 41 by Serge Bracké for theo

Please elaborate on how you became involved in creating eyewear for theo? “I spent my college years in jewellery design, but designing more practical objects already had my preference. When I had a  job with an eyewear brand near Brussels, my  skills as a goldsmith helped me make prototypes as if they were finalised production frames. From the start, I knew that eyewear was going to be a big part of my future. That challenging balance between aesthetics and functionality was right up my alley. I contacted Wim Somers at theo. It took about a year to convince him to meet. I wasn’t playing football, a needed skill back then at theo. Nowadays, cycling is a plus…”

“I literally lose myself in the equilibrium of shape, mix of materials, or the combination of colour shades” Tag by Serge Bracké

With regard to your unique creative process, how do you cultivate and energise your instincts for design concepts? “For me inspiration and new concepts are everywhere – stay curious, open and alert for new impressions. For children everything is new and exciting. Too often, as a grown-up we stare at things in a singular, mono-dimensional way, or observe on a superficial level only. ‘Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional’ should be on a tile in every kitchen and design studio. I try to absorb as much as possible from ‘exotic’ disciplines, and stay fresh and inspired. I have a weak spot for cities that never sleep, for industrial heritage, for youth subcultures, for…so many impulses, so little time!”

“That challenging balance between aesthetic and functionality is right up my alley” Throwie from The Graffiti Collection by Serge Bracké for theo

Are there any designers – past or present – whose creative concepts provided inspiration and guidance for your own artistic innovations? “I have a thing for movie directors with a distinctive layout and a creative identity. The balanced framework and colour schemes of Wes Anderson’s films, as well as the vibrant, eclectic scenes from a Baz Luhrman movie (inspiration for the theo ‘Graffiti’ frames came from his Nextflix series ‘The Get Down’) can really overwhelm me with respect, inspiration and a healthy dose of jealousy. Of course, these two examples are relatively easy to translate to the theo story.”

Mille+45 by Serge Bracké for theo

What particular trends in shapes, colours, and materials do you envision or anticipate in eyewear? “History repeats itself. We had the vintage 80s revival – which back then was already a revival of 50s shapes – followed by the oversized 70s frames that positioned the eyebrows into the rim shape again. Today the small, flat shapes of the 90s overrun all sunglass collections, and optical frames follow in their wake. The advantage at theo is that we don’t follow trends. Patrick and Wim always considered small metal frames as being a part of the brand’s DNA. I think in the long term there will be an even larger amount of new brands that develop 3D printed frames. And I see two directions that will survive: first, bespoke frames with a perfect fit and framing. Today the algorithms to scale frames aren’t yet what they should be. German brand YouMawo as well as Yuniku from Hoya and Materialise are really leading the way in this young niche. Secondly, the frames you can’t make in a traditional way. 3D printed manufacturing allows for shapes that cannot be made by milling or even injection moulding technology. The theo strategy for the future remains on creating interesting colours and combining them in original ways, while experimenting with extraordinary shapes and techniques. We set our own trends.”

“We sent our own trends at theo” Mille+64 by Serge Bracké

Are there possibly any new and different products – other than eyewear – you would be interested in developing? “I took a seven-year furniture course and have amassed an eclectic range of woodworking machinery. I spend time in my workshop as therapy or meditation: just the machines, the timber and me. Honestly – and this is by no means meant to be disrespectful or politically incorrect – I think it would give me great satisfaction to develop and design prosthesis. What attracts me is the crossroads of technique and aesthetics, as well as the fact that it can fundamentally change a user’s life. With regards to styling and personalisation there is a universe to be explored. New materials, new combinations, interchangeable covers…In fact, a pair of glasses is also a sort of prosthesis, but one that has become an expression of someone’s identity. See what I mean?” www.theo.be JG

 

Zac Posen: Contemporary aesthetics

Sensuous silhouettes, luxury materials, and impeccable tailoring define the glamorous evening dresses and chic daywear by Zac Posen. These finely-honed skills and high-caliber attributes are also creatively characterised in striking eyewear designs for men and women. The American designer is renowned for his contemporary, modern aesthetics that combine innovative shapes, quality materials, and signature details. Sunglasses are oversized, with slim lines; very lightweight; comfortable to wear; and adapt freely to city and seaside environments. Thiola (left above photo) is an alluring, exaggerated cat-eye shape; while the men’s frame – Roscoe – is casually and distinctively tailored.

Dinero (left) and Chaka from the Zac Posen optical collection

Posen’s optical designs are classically conceived with timeless elements that synchronise with fashionable attire for everyday wear, with subtly refined, yet impressive frame details. Explore www.kenmarkeyewear.com for additional noteworthy eyewear from Zac Posen. JG

Res/Rei: Artisan acetate

Italian Craftsmanship harmonises originality and creativity in Oliviero Zanon’s luminous acetate designs for Res/Rei. The versatility and colour possibilities of acetate delivers vibrant, rich expressions to individualistic eyewear designs for men and women. Frames inspired by art, history, music, and sculpture are accentuated in a diverse collection of sought-after styles. Art and sculpture are among Zanon’s passions, and his awareness of grand Italian sculptors – including Canova and Donatello, Rodin and Milo – are the inspiration for The Sculptures Collection. Frames are crafted to achieve a striking three-dimensional allure, as seen in Balla (above image). The chic Res/Rei ring from the jewellery collection is symmetry in motion – eye to hand fashion coordination with stunning frames and a matching mosaic ring.

Milo from The Sculptures Collection by Res/Rei

Milo, also from The Sculptures Collection, is elegantly refined with gently curved temples. Res/Rei frames are handmade in an atelier close to Venice, and infused with artisan diligence, skill and personalised attention to every detail.

Left: Azalea from The Flowers Collection; Right: Mai Tai from The Cocktails Collection by Res/Rei

Spring is here! And Res/Rei celebrates with their joyous Flowers Collection – combining acetates of different hues to achieve prominent colourations. Azalea (above left) is available in a gorgeous variety of spring flower tones that happily interplay on these decorative frames.The Cocktails Collection takes its cue from light, airy and delicious cocktail colours, interpreted in high-density Mazzucchelli acetate, which is then carved into slim silhouettes. Mai Tai (above right) is voluminous in shape, yet extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. Explore the complete collection of Res/Rei by Oliviero Zanon at www.resrei.com JG

Rolf Spectacles Titanium Skyline Collection

Crafted with artisan ingenuity and galvanised with innovative technologies, ROLF Spectacles Titanium Skyline Collection is a remarkable testimonial to the Austrian brand. The multiple-award winning label features twenty-four prescription frames and six sunglasses with 3D printing processes, in elegant silhouettes with chic minimalistic assets. The Titanium designs are available in textured and smooth surfaces with five intriguing colourations – natural; anthracite; gold; black; and mocha – which are created  with an intricate process, influenced and inspired from the medical sector. Discover the enticing ROLF Spectacle collection at www.rolf-spectacles.com – and from 21-24 March in THE LOFT in New York City. https://lofteyewearshow.com JG

Eco-conscious: Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso

As our attention as consumers is drawn increasingly to sustainable, eco-friendly innovations, eyewear companies across the business are exploring an eco-conscious path with creativity and resourcefulness.

Vinylize, the independent Budapest brand that turns old, unwanted vinyl records into beautifully made ‘upcycled’ artisan eyewear, has moved on its own potential in eco-friendly eyewear production in a special project with coffee giant Nespresso, in Hungary.

“This was a pilot project,” says Zack Tipton, founder of Vinylize. “The limited production run sold out within a few days. We used a material produced from Nespresso capsules, recycled by the coffee company in Hungary. The used coffee grinds are separated from the capsules and sent to composting. The capsules are then smelted and turned into aluminium sheet which we can then use to produce the frames. The entire process is documented and certified.”

Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso – recycled frames made from coffee capsules

The result was an eye-catching limited edition glasses collection for Nespresso with designs inspired by the tones of the Nespresso Kazaar, Dharkan, Roma and Livanto capsules – in tones of satin midnight blue, gold and chocolate. “The coloration and finish were determined by Nespresso. They wanted a perfect match with the original colours of the capsules,” explains Tipton. “The durability we were able to achieve surpassed expectations. The frames were also prescription ready.”

 

Recycled frame for Nespresso: Oval – Livanto – in gold

The shapes produced in the first edition are inspired by the classic oval, butterfly and square designs, with a contemporary interpretation.

Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso is ‘a salute to recycling’, designed to remind consumers of the infinite durability of aluminium which can be re-melted and reused, again and again. The project also aimed to further boost the recycling of Nespresso coffee capsules by showing the infinite potential of the recycled aluminium material.

Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso

The sophisticated matt finish of the frames is achieved through a tumbling process and hand-lacquering treatment at a German facility, while the eco-friendly felt case and paper box the frames were packaged in underscore the eco-credentials of the special edition. Further editions are planned for 2019.

Tipton Eyeworks and the Vinylize brand were founded in 2004, and have become world-renowned for their handmade production using vinyl to produce fashionable sunglasses and eyewear in Hungary. For further details: https://vinylize.com/ CN

Von Arkel: Brilliant Swiss craftsmanship

Every Von Arkel eyewear design epitomises elegance and luxury; created with precious and exclusive materials, and then meticulously finished by masterful artisans. Traditional spectacle guidelines harmonise with sleek, modern technology, culminating in beautiful and exquisite frames. The stunning Calibre 4 and Calibre 6 frames are unique expressions of refined sophistication, precise technical specifications, and an exemplary fusion of lightness, attention to detail, lasting durability, and incredible comfort. The latest frames include innovation and character from the Calibre 4 Outline Collection with stylish simplicity, as featured in the above silhouette in stainless steel with PVD coating, and slim double bridge.

Calibre 6 Classic by Von Arkel

The Calibre 6 Classic concept unites acetate and stainless steel in relaxed, casual frames with purity, and a streamlined structure.

Outline Calibre 4 by Von Arkel

This sleek round shape merges retro and contemporary preferences in an Outline Calibre 4 frame in stainless steel with PVD coating. The ring on the inner frame is in Polyamide, and will soon be available with an acetate ring. Discover more Von Arkel frames and luxurious refinement at www.vonarkel.com JG

Summer spirit: PFB by Alicia Hartman

Sea views. Sundowners. Sugar and Spice. Peoples from Barbados (PFB) sunglasses collection by optical entrepreneur Alicia Hartman condenses the moods and colours of their Bajan origin in flattering UV protective sunglasses. Alicia’s love of the island’s culture, the natural landscape, spectacular views and everyday customs and lifestyle are the essence of her designs, which now include opticals with blue block lenses.

Three sun styles in fresh, tropical-inspired colours have been added for the new season, and will show as part of the full collection in New York next week. They explore subtle embellishments of glitter embedded in the acetate front and all the designs are made in Japan, integrating a screwless hinge and lightweight stainless steel temples for comfort. The frames undergo intense high-end polishing in the final stages to achieve a sophisticated glossy finish only achievable by hand.

Above: Model PFB 14 in colours C1 and C5 and PFB 08 (far right) in C1 – inspired by fresh Bajan coffee tones. For more details about Peoples from Barbados visit the brand at Vision Expo East – (Galleria 139) or click on the website link at https://peoplesfrombarbados.com. Visit EyeQ in Barbados to see the extensive collection of sunglasses and optical frames at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre Holetown. Find the frames in New York at www.selimaoptique.com CN

Plein les Mirettes: Diva delights from France

The independent, artisan French brand Plein les Mirettes heralds spring with delightful new colourations for their stylish Diva designs. PLM Diva’s are distinctive, shapely silhouettes in glistening acetate, with unique colour combinations.

Shapley silhouettes in Plein-les-Mirettes Diva designs

Conventional tones, unexpected mixtures, Havana’s, pastels and mottled designs bring lively radiance to the chic frames. Cat-eye inspiration, cutout details, or layering ensure additional flair in each design that is individually handcrafted in PLM’s Normandy atelier. More exciting Diva’s and PLM designs at www.plein-les-mirettes.fr JG

Richard Nahem: Parisian “eye” for art & attitude

Dreams do come true. Always keeping an “eye” open for opportunities, Richard Nahem, New York City former chef; caterer; events planner; producer and actor; realised a lifelong dream when he moved to Paris, where he proceeded to fulfil his inherent passion to be a photographer.

Parisian café waiters photographed by Richard Nahem

Roaming Parisian “rues” armed with enthusiasm and cameras, Nahem seeks and searches for the unexpected and unpredictable – whether landmark monuments; elegant Parisian doorways; the beauty of parks; and the marvellous play of light in Paris. “I strive to capture places and objects in a unique way that hasn’t been seen before,” says the Parisian aficionado. Nahem’s latest photos reveal the many sudden and remarkable moods of the city.

Unique variety of Parisian doors captured by Richard Nahem

Nahem has established not only a stunning photography portfolio, but also a site – www.eyepreferparis.com  – to ensure that Parisian visitors, residents and those who appreciate and celebrate Nahem’s dream, are able to keep abreast of current and culturally exciting events taking place in the City of Light.

Christmas trees at Place Vendome by Richard Nahem

For a new, fresh perspective on Paris, enjoy Richard Nahem photos currently on display at the chic Hôtel Pont Royal until 31st March www.hotel-pont-royal.com JG

Stoffels Optik, Zürich

Michael Stoffels has transformed part of the historic Zunfthaus zur Meisen in the Lindenhof Quarter, Zürich, into a state-of-the-art designer optical boutique.

Michael Stoffels opened his eponymous store in November 2018, replacing the well-known store on Storchengasse which had been run by the family in this location since 1983. The new prestigious boutique is located in the Zunfthaus zur Meisen, an historic 18th century building celebrated for its Grand Guild Hall and its exceptional central position overlooking the river Limmat. The interior of the shop merges contemporary and traditional features with striking colours and an artistic style with elegant, one-off pieces of furniture and art works.

Striking colours at Stoffels  – inspired by Marrakech

Stoffels, who created the interior design for the store with Jaqueline van Maren, architect and interior designer, said the aim was to open a hip optical store in the very traditional historic setting, with a unique experience compared to other stores and an open and appealing outlook for young people. “We wanted to attract attention in a well-known location,” he added, “where thousands of people walk by every day. The brilliant colours are inspired by Yves Saint Laurent and his love for Marrakech, and the vibrant “Blumlihalle” (hall of little flowers) in Zurich, painted by Augusto Giacometti, nephew of the famous Swiss sculptor.” The exotic interior and its elegant furnishings create a setting that is more like a luxury living room than an optical retail space.

Close-up at Stoffels: elegant displays of fine eyewear

The shop has opened with a selection of handpicked niche collections which include Eyevan, Lucas de Stael, Retro Specs, Moscot, Carin and ‘Stoffels Own’ collection which is handmade in Switzerland.

Other outstanding features of the interior decoration include an impressive wall painting created with a bespoke wallpaper, designed especially for the wall and the colour scheme of the shop, by Jakob Schlaepfer from St. Gallen. Stoffels explains: “Jakob Schlaepfer is one of the most famous producers of haute couture textiles. The wallpaper is covered with a hologram foil, which is illuminated at night and gives a beautiful glittering effect visible from outside to passers-by.”
Munsterhof 20, Wuhre, CH – 8001 Zurich
For further details visit www.storchenoptik.ch CN

 

Anna-Karin Karlsson: Dynamic jewellery

Multi-talented and visionary Swedish eyewear designer Anna-Karin Karlsson (above photo) now brings her prodigious abilities, stunning motivation for beauty, and luxury perspectives to statement jewellery. “As a child, I was obsessed by accessories. Sunglasses are an instant glamour addition, and they always fascinated me. I tried to find jewellery with enough attitude and complexity for me to be fascinated, but decided to start designing my own jewellery, and create designs for fearless Romantics.”

The Rose Necklace for Spring by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Karlsson’s signature jewellery collection is cohesive with the DNA of the eyewear designs: extravagance, originality, and glamour juxtaposed with strong, decisive and impressive elements.

The Magpie Necklace studded with Swarovski Crystals

Necklaces, earrings and bracelets feature exclusive materials, often decorated with Swarovski Crystals in vibrant colours. Dramatic long chains – very on-trend – are plated in 24K gold and white gold.

Romantic Rose Chandelier Earring

The handcrafted, lavish designs created with exceptional components are characterised by luxury, and an indulgence in artistic pleasure. The Haute Couture jewellery collection is currently in selected stores in France, Russia, and Portugal, and will soon be available online at www.annakarinkarlsson.com JG

Wilson by JF Rey 1985

Retro re-interpreted with modern trends brings stylistic freshness to six frames from JF Rey that achieved iconic status during the 1980’s. For the revisit, the Marseille based company is inspired by the Scottish Highlands, with a unique mix of materials, colours and contrasts. Country tweeds, Houndstooth patterns, and Prince of Wales checks (first popularised by The Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII), are artfully worked into acetate frames contemporary and sophisticated. Featured above is Wilson – smart checks with an on-trend double-bridge. Additional discoveries from JF Rey 1985 at www.frey.fr JG

K&K expressive video: Centennial celebration

Achieving a centennial goal is an extraordinary accomplishment, and family-owned British brand Kirk & Kirk are now joyously celebrating – and commemorating  – this iconic milestone. Jason Kirk grew up in the family business, and now he and his wife Karen are poised to continue the family tradition of exceptional creativity in style; superlative materials; exclusive colourations; and encompassing a multi-sensory approach to eyewear. (Top image: Esme in Jade from the K&K Centena Collection

Cecil in Iris from The Centena Collection by Kirk & Kirk

To herald the occasion, Kirk & Kirk have released a lovely video that spotlights the Centena Collection – innovative eyewear crafted from superbly lightweight 10mm acrylic, with streamlined styling, and stunning colourations.

KIRK AND KIRK from EYESTYLIST on Vimeo.

In the video, the male model wears Bert in Corn Yellow, and Dennis in Royal Blue. The female model features Esme in Corn Yellow, and Dena in Tiger Orange. The energetic colours with luminous clarity enhance the smooth, sleek frame silhouettes. Visit www.kirkandkirk.com for more captivating styles. JG

Trends: metal rim + tinted lens

60s fever, and gold and silver retro metal rims, are challenging the elongated It-Girl cat’s eye as one of the most popular sunglass looks as we head into Spring, and we’ve seen it on the streets at London Fashion Week, and again in Milan. The lens tints are fun and colourful or very delicate, so they don’t completely hide the eyes, while the rims are extremely narrow, closely representing the styling of the past. Above: Em . The Lipstick Fever, wearing metal rim sunglasses at London Fashion Week in February. https://thelipstickfever.com/  Photography by G. D’Elia – exclusively for Eyestylist.com

Amira sunglasses at Andy Wolf

Austrian label Andy Wolf has made the metal rims a key feature of the 2019 collections, experimenting with very small shapes as well as classic panto shapes, such as model Amira (above). This design comes with a variety of gentle lens tints including soft blue, pale pink and gold. Available at Matches Fashion – https://www.matchesfashion.com/womens/designers/andy-wolf -, or for further information visit www.andywolf.com

Greg by Viveur, Italy

Or choose a unique style from one of the smaller labels. Viveur’s elegantly fashioned metal designs are made in Italy and have a chic finesse. The metal material is 100% hypoallergenic and very lightweight. The collections for Spring/Summer include round “panto” designs and slightly modified angular shapes such as Greg above – a shape with a flattened top that’s on the rise. Available to purchase online at www.viveursunglasses.com CN