The creative director/designer says that the 2021 Lafont Paris collection was crafted under extraordinary circumstances which prompted him to explore new perspectives.
Thomas Lafont, chief creative director and designer of the eponymous Parisian family-owned eyewear house, has taken his creative path into new realms in the last 12 months, as lockdowns and disruption required brand new ways to work and develop ideas. The designer told us that while it had been difficult to navigate this new environment initially, particularly when it came to introducing the collection to opticians, he had learnt to develop new ways to preserve the rhythm of his creative style.
“I am lucky that I was able to continue to work from my Paris studio even if I was by myself,” Thomas Lafont told Eyestylist. “In fact with no travel during this period, and not even the usual disturbances of everyday life that we encounter in more normal circumstances, I actually had more time to work on the collection. For me it represented an opportunity to do something different. Looking back it was quite a delicate and precise design concept – partly influenced by new forms of communication online and the inevitability of less feedback from outside in this unusual time – but in a way I experienced more freedom. It was very helpful for us through these last months that we have such a strong relationship and understanding with our manufacturing partner in the Jura here in France. We are also lucky that with lockdown our team adapted from one day to the next, this was impressive.”
The lack of trade fairs or any opportunity to provide an intimate ‘window’ on the image and mood of the Lafont world also prompted something new. Thomas explains: “Since last April, I have used social media, and particularly Instagram, to express myself. Everything I used to do in terms of creative expression for the shows is now something I have developed through digital. This is interesting. It’s like a new tool of expression for who we are. It has definitely opened my mind. It’s very cool and I’ve found it surprisingly creative.”
For SS21, the resulting frames are characterised by intriguing colorations and delicate shapes, and styles that are accessible, easy-to-wear with beautiful quality and bright and colorful design features. “I have worked on the shapes, always playing with colour,” says Thomas. “People want artistic design products from Lafont that are easy to fall in love with and a little bit different – unique style and passion are important too.”
Highlights in the line include an outstanding feather effect acetate and a ‘terrazzo’ pattern across several models, two details we asked Thomas to tell us more about. “What I like is the balance between the material and the way we see it. The ‘terrazzo’ has a natural look, and quite a special irregularity, and what was nice was to play on the shiny effects contrasting with the opaque. The light tones such as light pink are still really working together with a touch of black, it’s like the best natural tortoiseshell where you can have small black details next to little spots of brown. With the feather effect I was looking for sophistication and a really impressive 3d effect. The superimposed colour has an artistic feel. As a designer I don’t like to be limited in what I do! Not at all! I am always looking for a way to go out and away from limitations and constraints.”
The new collection is now available to view online at www.lafont.com – for more details about the company in Paris read about our visit to Lafont HQ at https://www.eyestylist.com/2020/10/lafont-paris/ Clodagh Norton spoke to Matthieu and Thomas Lafont on Zoom in early 2021. All rights reserved