This season, conversations around colour and colour directions for autumn/winter into 2021 point to a need for versatility and optimism, with tones that are pretty, soft, flattering and enjoyable to wear appearing alongside the statement-making bright tones with a more fashion focused appeal. And with that in eyewear comes a reinvention of the classics – with crystal doing well – particularly those with a gentle infusion of colour such as lilac or pink, as well as those welcome autumn/winter tones which add warmth to winter complexions and flatter natural tones of the skin.
A frame like Gunn at Erker’s, the Saint Louis framemakers – shows that the same shape – in its different colorways – adapts to different requirements. This is a cat eye frame with a classic acetate front combined with stainless steel temples offered in four colours. The burgundy (above) with gold finished temples is what we’d call an ideal classic for the winter months, a confident colour that also has the ability to flatter skin colours indoors (rainy days) and outdoors in the months when there is less natural sun light.
The delicate crystal version (above) – an altogether different look – is equally sought after as a style statement this season, paired with gold metal accents which add a stylish contemporary elegance to this unpretentious easy-to-wear design. Gunn also comes in classic black, a very easy choice with a distinguished effect or a ‘patterned’ navy – in line with this year’s flattering and reassuring Classic Blue – the tone that Pantone voted in as colour of the year. For more frame styles at Erker’s, visit the brand directly online at https://erkers1879.com/products/gunn-1
It’s coming up to one year exactly since our visit to the creative studio of Thomas Lafont and Lafont Paris HQ in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a leafy south western corner of Paris near Porte de Versailles. This elegant, personal and historic world of creativity continues the traditions set by earlier generations since 1923, and Laurence and Philippe Lafont, Thomas’ parents before him. In their place of work, brothers Thomas and Matthieu Lafont, now the custodians of the business, are surrounded by fine books and arts and textile inspiration, as well as the rich and colourful archives of the esteemed French family business. Above: at the entrance of Lafont Paris, an explanation of the making of Jupiter, one of the label’s iconic P3 frames. This wonderfully classic frame style continues to be available – and is updated in a range of colorations.
A year on, the latest Lafont frame creations, launched this September (at the Paris edition of Silmo Outside the Walls), are a reminder of Thomas’ dedicated creative work, highlighting a unique interest in textiles and how texture, pattern and playful colour combinations can be achieved in fine acetate. Model Hirondelle explores marble-like patterning with a bi-colour front in delicate complementary tones.
Model Halley is the latest Lafont style in a line of rich and exotic animal print creations, each one bearing the signature artisan qualities of the fine materials, studied combinations and exquisite ‘made in France’ production so dear to the house. Lafont Paris is celebrating its 40th anniversary. To find out more, visit their website and blog at www.lafont.com
Handmade eyewear has an instant allure, and the Italian independent labels producing artisan collections of high calibre continue to show their magical creativity and commitment to tradition, even in these harshly competitive and difficult “Covid” times.
One of the new models at the Italian label Essedue – the 8c – combines the classic inspiration of a cat’s eye shape with a beautiful sinuous style derived from looking at flowers in their natural setting. Made in a substantial Mazzucchelli 1849 acetate, the small family-owned Essedue factory (located in Irpinia near Naples) has become one of Italy’s best kept secrets in eyewear production, creating designs born out of love for craftsmanship and a passion for authentic Italian elegance and individuality in style. The frames carefully balance comfort and design, with attention to details and small inserts of colour on the frame front and temple ends, defining a special and uniquely crafted character. Each frame has a small red ‘logo design’ on the inside of the temple tip, a signature of the brand and a sign of authenticity and style finesse.
To see more new styles and visit the online shop visit www.esseduesunglasses.com. To see our top 10 frames of the month visit Eyestylist.com on Pinterest.
Ageless beauty meets timeless design in new portrait imagery by Dorian Prost for Lunettes Alf
The new campaign from Lunettes Alf, rolling out in the months to come, expresses the modern versatility of the French artisan label, and its sober minimalistic style, inspired by iconic glasses of the 1920s and subsequent eras, with particular fondness for the 50s, 60s and 70s. Delicate yet powerful, ageless and uncluttered, the collection by Alf promises elevated finesse through primary materials – refined hand polished Japanese acetate combined with photochromic mineral glass lenses, and for the cord and case, natural leather. Above: Bernard Fouquet wears model h19.01, the optical version of Alf’s e18.01, an elegant, classic round spectacle design. Photography by Dorian Prost
Model a20.02 is a reinterpretation of a frame created by the Italian ‘salute pubblica‘ (National Health system) in the 1960s. The rectangular design and strong shaping of the bridge is reminiscent of Marcello Mastroianni’s eyewear style in Fellini’s great cinematic works. The frame is well suited to men and women and an oval face shape and comes in a retro-inspired variety of colours which include clear crystal, dark tortoise and black.
Lunettes Alf – and their artisan eyewear collection 20/21 was created by brothers Germain and Alexis Bouchara in 2018 and has quickly become available at some of the world’s finest optical boutiques including Kitschenberg (Munich), Frank Lo (Rome) and Opta (Paris). To find out more about the latest additions in the Lunettes Alf collection visit their website at www.lunettes-alf.com
As the seasons change, rich acetate colorations of magenta, cinnamon, rust, berry and maize, and a touch of pattern offer flattering looks with a wintery vibrance. At Tree Spectacles, the Acetate Bold Series by TREE Spectacles conveys both colour and a soft touch of decoration – similar to a marbling effect – with delicate transparent pastels through to intense 1970s inspired reds, browns and soft aubergine hues. The line is produced in two classic materials, eco-friendly acetate and advanced Japanese titanium.
Tree Spectacles is a small brand from Belluno in Northern Italy an area of outstanding beauty known for its spectacle making traditions. Their versatility in working with a wide selection of fine materials and their desire to achieve artisan perfection in everything they create has helped them to evolve as one of the leading family-owned eyewear companies in the region today. www.treespectacles.com
Supersize styles in confident colours, from the UK design label
The colours just keep coming at the British eyewear company, Kirk & Kirk, whose latest additions in the Centena collection offer extra large sizes in bright, exciting statement colorways. The Kirks say that they are responding to a demand for larger sizing (adding eye sizes 59 and 60) with, in models Angus and Guy, an elevated choice of bright acrylic translucent tones – beyond the mainstream styles in brown and black. Above: Model Guy in the Centena collection from Kirk & Kirk. This square and angular men’s frame has a distinguished double bridge detail and thick temples. These frames come in a choice of ten technicolor tints.
Model Angus has a square eye shape with flat brow line. Created in Kirk & Kirk’s acrylic in small traditional spectacle-making factories in France, the frames are very light to wear. By using a 10mm thick material the frame has the extra advantage of hiding “even the most challenging of lens prescriptions” to ensure a strong fashion vibe as well as real comfort. Find out more about the new releases at www.kirkandkirk.com
New interior at The Purists Club in Ho Chi Minh City champions luxury and handcrafted eyewear design
Niche accessories specialists The Purists Club in Vietnam have renovated their Ho Chi Minh boutique to add “exclusivity and a niche environment” for the presentation of its extensive luxury eyewear brands. Currently The Purists Club own two stores (in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) and stock a selection of global eyewear brands including Kuboraum, Tavat Eyewear, Rigards, Chrome Hearts and Matsuda.
Created as a space to welcome their dearest customers and friends, with a warm and engaging atmosphere to bring people together, the new interior space has a vintage-inspired design concept. “We found a vintage boutique style is ideal to connect people together,” said Tung Duy Nguyen, “a style that evokes nostalgia, and that has a lasting quality in a world that gradually becomes flashy…people can feel at home here, sitting and talking to strangers like members of their family, and sharing stories with each other.”
Asked about the Vietnamese market, Nguyen told Eyestylist that customers in Vietnam today are loyal to brands, they are well informed and open to what is new and different. “In our city we have around 10-20 ’boutique’ fashion and style stores, stocking big brands as well as niche quality labels like NYC perfumery, Le Labo Lab.” At The Purists Club, customers can order a made-to-measure suit as well as selecting eyewear or a watch. “This means that we have customers who engage and visit more than 3 times for a fitting; they therefore have an excellent chance to have a closer look at our eyewear collections and learn about craftsmanship and the work that goes into a pair of our bespoke horn frames. By offering these services together, we have created a dynamic and lively atelier environment in our city; the customer feels comfortable and enjoys the time they share with us, and this means they are happy to spend time with us and pay us visits when they want, irrespective of their product needs.”
The new store – operated by Hai Au Tran, with Tung Duy Nguyen, is located at Villa 37 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City. www.thepuristsclub.com
Gotti Switzerland’s economy of style and focus on the minimal aesthetic takes a new leap forward in the Dimension LITE collection and the combination of two outstanding materials, 3D printed Polyamide and filigree stainless steel. Above: Pasha – one of the three styles (the others are Pata and Pine) which make up the new Gotti Dimension series combining Sandvik stainless steel with a 3D printed Polyamide front – made in Switzerland.
The frame designs in the LITE line, such as Pata above, use a screwless hinge which attaches to the polyamide element with a click and offers stability and strength in a design that comes in a wide selection of interesting organic tones, from natural elemental colours such as stone (above) and slate, to fruit or plant-inspired hues of berry or moss.
Gotti’s Dimension collection is a tour de force of 3D printed design and performance, with a highly studied approach to comfort as well as finish and details such as matte surfaces with a distinctive velvety look. For more details about the stylish and sleek Dimension LITE collection, visit www.gotti.ch
“I started Accidental Icon because I was having trouble finding a fashion blog or magazine that offered an urban, modern, intellectual aesthetic but also spoke to women who live what I call “interesting but ordinary lives..”
Lyn Slater – otherwise known by her Instagram and website handle Accidental Icon – is a true modern-day Renaissance Woman. A former social worker, an academic, a blogger, stylist and an influencer with a following of over seven hundred thousand on one hand whilst being a truly authentic, feminist and all-round strong woman on the other. Slater exudes all of the brilliance and indulgence of what we know to be ‘an influencer’ in this day and age, yet sheds all the negative connotations that are thought to be indistinguishable with the online segment of the fashion industry and social media. She concerns herself only with originality, intelligence, serendipity and self-empowerment, encouraging and inviting other women like her to “share the pleasures of everyday life and living” as she does.
When and how did you first develop an interest in fashion and how has that journey taken you to this point in your career? I really have not had an interest in fashion but more in the power of clothing to express identity. If you are following trends and concerned with “what’s fashionable” at any given time, you are conforming to what others think your identity should be, and I’m not about that. So, for me clothes are like an artistic tool that allows for creative expression – something that I’ve been doing all my life, even as a child. I was a social worker and academic until I started this project in 2014 – which was the first time I had anything to do with fashion as a system – from that point I just did what I usually do; wear clothing that tells stories about who I am, remember this is all about relationships, act as if you know nothing, ask many questions and be generous.
Your personal collection of eyewear and accessories is extensive as well as diverse – what particularly, if anything, draws you to choosing a piece to wear and / or to purchase? Something that is well-constructed, it is timeless, ageless and increasingly genderless. There is an element of craft involved. However, my style changes all the time depending on the context I’m living in at the moment, what is going on in my work and personal life and how I think I want to show my creativity to the world. There are times I want big and bold and others I may want something more subtle. I also choose from the inside out and what I want to say at the moment with my style. I’ve never followed norms about anything as they are usually set by those in power to control you. So, it’s really just me being me and expressing who that ‘me’ may be at any given time in my life.
Do you have any thoughts, both positive or negative, on social media and its impact on the society and the people of today? That would be a book – In simple terms it is one of those things that is both, by that I mean it has some productive and democratic uses and some negative uses and impacts. For example, if it were not for social media someone like me would never have gotten past the “gatekeepers” of fashion. It can also do things to your brain which are not productive and erodes critical thinking and analysis. Mainly people allow social media to be in charge of them and lead the way. Social media is a tool and you need to be in charge of how often you turn to it, why you are drawn to it (inspiration or distraction), how you use it to communicate and how you want to be impacted by it.
I have noticed you mentioning your evolving love affair with a slow-paced lifestyle – in regard to slow living, what are your thoughts on slow-fashion and leading a less environmentally impactful lifestyle? Do you have any thoughts on sustainability within one’s own life? This public health crisis has really been a wake-up call regarding economic inequality, and I add ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the political mess my country is in into that list. Fashion Revolution Week and my quarantine started at the same time and I followed all the talks and workshops in London rather than those in New York – there is a higher level of thinking and creativity in my opinion outside the United States. I really deepened my commitment to slow fashion and sustainability during this time especially because the way it was presented in London was all about how creative and exciting the clothing could be. I am really liking the idea of intersectional environmentalism, which simply stated is caring for people, the planet and yourself in everything you might buy, eat, consume (including social media). It’s a good way forward for me as a way to incorporate sustainability into my everyday life.
What advice would you give to your younger self in embarking on a career within the industry of fashion? For me this is a difficult question to answer because of the great importance of context – when I was young the world was dramatically different than it is now, so, my younger self could not make use of the advice I would give today. For young people today “a career in fashion” is a moving target in that it is constantly being impacted by huge forces like we have seen with the pandemic, economic and environmental challenges, technology, etc. What that means is that it is constantly being re-designed – every aspect of it, technology proficiency is a must. I’d tell them to ask themselves why they wanted to be in fashion to begin with, if it is to express yourself creatively, I would say be a generalist – learn and practice skills that enhance creativity across many platforms, not just fashion – choose some applicable skills you want to get really good at and study and practice them.
To join the hundreds of thousands already finding inspiration in Lyn Slater’s esteemed, curated, individual and experimental lifestyle head tohttps://www.accidentalicon.com/about/ An interview by Victoria Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com.
“Familiar everyday forms inspired by daily architectural details, commonly expressed through wood and ceramic, translating the inspiration to the temples….” Julia Gogosha
Dimensional, textured, graphic, and tactile. A new super limited capsule by Julia Gogosha, owner of one of the most famous optical boutiques in the world, and eyewear label Baars, introduces frames inspired by ceramics, woodturning and glassworks. The frames have a new form of expression, with temples replicating wood turning and ceramic work or glass structures, and fitting to the front with a patented magnetic connection. Just 100 pieces have been produced, with the models photographed exclusively by Jimmy Marble.
The capsule collection presents four neutral colours, inspired by warm skin tones (coffee, hazel, dune) and a cool clay hue. The UV lenses are created in colours which harmonise with the frame tones also allowing the wearer the intimacy of eye contact during conversation.
Julia Gogosha told Eyestylist: “It’s a proud moment and a long time in the making. To contribute a design, an idea to be part of a larger conversation. To question how objects are made and what inspires us to make them in our image, referenced by other objects. Eyewear is art to be worn and every component, element and surface is an opportunity to explore a new way.” Find out more:www.gogosha.comBy Clodagh Norton All rights reserved.
Despite continuing travel disruptions and quarantine requirements with Coronavirus spikes in Europe, some small annual trade events which take special care to present independent labels – have managed to meet in their usual locations with strict safety measures and compulsory mask wearing. Hall of Frames, Zurich, an annual fair which takes place in a former paper factory in Zurich’s Sihlcity, went ahead on 14th and 15th September 2020 with over 40 brands exhibiting, a higher number than ever due to cancellations of other established larger shows.
The HOF organisers said that while visitor numbers were lower than usual, given the circumstances of the pandemic and new legislation brought in just before the fair making mask wearing mandatory, the fair was extremely well received by those who could be present as a means of orientation for the latest design trends, new collections and innovations to come. The team told us they look forward to welcoming friends, brands and visitors to the event in 2021 in a new venue called The Garden Rooms (new Zurich Convention Center), on 12 and 13th September 2021. Independent labels who exhibited at the fair included Lunettes ALF, Covrt Project, Falvin Eyewear from Denmark, YOUMAWO, Nirvan Javan, Didier Voirol, MYKITA, Feb31st and Parafina Eco-friendly Eyewear. For more information: www.hallofframes.ch
Thomas Farrow Tomson wrote to us about unique sunglasses brands for a younger age group, from around 16. There began a project to identify specific collections, more unusual and unique styles, and an opportunity to highlight those frames and their details and benefits to reach the 16-25 age group wishing for fashion with an ethos of style, comfort and originality.
Reflect Eyewear, from London combines a love for hand-finished Italian craftsmanship and distinctive gender-neutral shapes and colours made for all ages, without using conspicuous logos and leaving the design and overall look to speak for itself. Their appeal for the young wearer and this particular audience is the combination of design, quality and price – at £179 sterling (online) they are affordable and similarly priced to mass-produced “famous” fashion eyewear brands.
Above: Thomas wears AF11 Unique by Reflect Eyewear, an Italian acetate sunglass style with Carl Zeiss Vision sun lenses – “As many of my close friends know, I have strong feelings about being myself and showing who I am. You can do this even through the expression and style of your glasses….” Thomas Farrow Tomson – photography by @suede_baby
The AF13 by Reflect (above and below) has a thick Mazzucchelli (Italian made) acetate frame fitted with Carl Zeiss Vision sunlenses for high-quality UV protection. The squareish bold eye shape of the front mixes corners and curves which complement the contours of the face.
Model AF8 in clear pink has a downward curve in the top bar and matching crystal pink infused frame and lens, a look that is back with a vengeance for trans-seasonal wear.
About the brand – the London-based brand Reflect Eyewear was founded by Andrea Pisano and Francesco del Garda two years ago. Their aim was to create a high-quality line of glasses, produced in Italy with timeless yet innovative designs that could appeal to an audience who seeks a distinctive and unique style. The brand first launched its models at Sonar, the electronic music festival in Barcelona. Later in June 2019, to mark the launch of the ‘Colour’ collection Reflect Eyewear presented an installation with elements of wood and mirrors at the luxury designer store LABOUTIK during London Fashion Week.
Photography by @suede_baby. Model – Thomas Farrow Tomson @thomasfarrowtomson – for Eyestylist.com. Eyewear by Reflect Eyewear – www.reflect-eyewear.com – For enquiries about product placements and working with our UK-based team of photographers and models, please contact [email protected]