New opening: Krewe, NYC

Following the flagship in New Orleans, and a 6 month pop-up style residency, in Soho, New York, US brand Krewe has opened a permanent location at ​85 1⁄2 Spring St.​

The airy minimal interior has been designed “to cultivate an intimate experience with the brand while strengthening the ties between New Orleans and New York”. Utilizing flora displays, a modern white decor and New Orleans-based artisans to create interior finishings, the space has a close affinity with Krewe’s standalone storefront in the French Quarter of their city of origin.

“New Yorkers are continuing to seek out Krewe,” says founder and creative director, Stirling Barrett. “This store is a celebration of the success that we’ve had with our 6th month residency and our relationship with the SoHo neighborhood.”

Krewe was founded in 2013. The brand is built on the philosophy of doing something unexpected from a place no one would expect. Using the spirit and soul of New Orleans as a source of inspiration, KREWE’s frames are designed to embrace individuality. Designed by Barrett in KREWE’s New Orleans design studio the collection includes colorful hand-carved plant-based acetates, mixed metals, and a wide array of premium lenses. www.krewe.com CN

Artisanal eyewear jewellery: Anneleen Bertels

Wear the Eyes SS18 – An Artisanal Eyewear Collection designed by Belgian fashion designer Anneleen Bertels for Liselore Frowijn ‘MEXICO’ SS18 collection. Handcrafted in collaboration with Eline De Winter and Vincent Verstrepen.

The SS18 “Wear the eyes”- collection by Anneleen Bertels in collaboration with Eline De Winter and Vincent Verstrepen is the search for the functionality of ‘viewing’ and the luxury of admiring eyewear as a custom-made piece of jewelry or fine art. Shaped in an entirely handcrafted manner, the designs are executed with close attention to detail and are exclusively available as a limited couture edition.

Catwalk: Liselore Frowijn MEXICO SS18

‘Wear the eyes’ is an architectural game of raw and refined metal drawings for the eyes with fractions of colours, inspired by the 3-dimensional shapes of swimming goggles and the sharpness of sports eyewear. The aim, according to Bertels, was to push the limit of what eyewear can and could be.

Close-up: eyewear design by Anneleen Bertels

The artisan’s expertise is reflected by the way the lenses are placed on the frames, referencing ancient and traditional ways of setting stones and diamonds on jewelry. “These frames are shaped out of the idea that we should experience and feel our surroundings more consciously through the objects we are in touch with on a daily basis,” explains the designer. Anneleen aims to reach out for objects that have the power to create effective experiences and make us want to invest more in a tactile and emotional relationship and interaction with these objects over time.

Catwalk: Liselore Frowijn MEXICO SS18

For this collection, Anneleen Bertels collaborated with and called upon the expertise of jewelry designers and makers Vincent Verstrepen en Eline De Winter, who assisted her throughout the whole design process with their knowledge and insights. They crafted the eyewear in their atelier with extreme precision. All the coloured lenses were provided by Zeiss. The designs are available exclusively from the designer via www.anneleenbertels.be. CN

The wall display: celebrating colour

As rugs see a revival as true works of art fit for display on the wall, a new exhibition in Milan, timed for Milan Design Week, presents the Boucherouite collection of stunning Berber “Afolki” carpets.

The carpets come from different parts of the Middle Atlas in Morocco. Those created in Azilal are particularly creative, woven by hand by Berber women who expertly select the mix of recycled cotton, wool and synthetic materials. Above: Forbidden Dance – made with Boucherouite recycled yarn

Wedding Flight

The new Boucherouite collection for 2018 is the result of a careful selection of designs from different localities in the region and lengthy discussion with the female creators themselves.

“The Boucherouite is a universal women’s code. It comes from the heart and develops through the women’s hands with extraordinary creativity,” says Mohamed El Alami, the founder of Afolki. “When I describe the carpets it is as if I am talking about Maliparmi, every creation is like a small and unique story. From this affinity is born the idea of a partnership with the Salone, and it represents a perfect occasion to present our new collection.”

For more information visit www.maliparmi.com / www.afolki.com – Boutique Maliparmi, via Solferino 3, Brera, Milan – 17th to 22nd April 2018 – CN

Feminine for S/S18: 4 unique designs

Spring offers a fresh start and an opportune moment to update spectacles and sunglasses. On our radar for women are statement titanium and acetate designs with a clear identity and absolute precision in details, colours and flattering feminine shaping.

Falvin Eyewear’s model Orbit – from the Black Crystal Collection – exemplifies luxury sophistication in a Danish design concept where the handcrafted titanium frames come with precious platings of palladium, rose gold and 24 carat gold. Rendered in a subtle two-tone colour scheme, the frame is modern and fashion-forward and perfectly suited to everyday wear, with the kind of comfort and barely-there feel that ensures a pleasurable experience through long periods. www.falvineyewear.com

Cosmos by Lafont Paris

The sweet model Cosmos by Lafont Paris, an acetate design with a tri-colour combination, is a classical example of the cat’s eye shape with a playful femininity in pretty, fashionable pastels (colour way Cosmos 3100) of pink crystal and teal with bright blue temples. www.lafont.com

Model Bise: ic! berlin ‘silk’ collection

Delicate colours and a very narrow shaping create the feminine touch in model Bise by ic! berlin, part of the super fine silk collection – free from “unnecessary branding or ornament”. These designs have a new 3.5mm screwless hinge –  a progressive frame feature that offers excellent slimline aesthetics and long-lasting comfort. The two tone front is a fun new look in a season of bolder eyewear statements and colour. www.ic-berlin.de

Tyche + Iset Eyewear: effortless femininity in model Casablanca

Morganne Leigh initially began Tyche + Iset Eyewear as a portfolio piece in order to attain graphic design jobs after college. Always a sunglasses enthusiast, Morganne decided to try her hand at product design after studying jewelry design. In order to stand apart for her debut collection (Autumn 2014), she chose to utilize her handwritten signature of “Los Angeles” across the top of the frame, laser etched into the acetate and rubbed with gold oil. Another exclusive detail, which is her brand’s signature, is the gold music note charm on every model’s temple tip. Casablanca (pictured above), is available in an elegant acetate in chestnut (brown multi) with almond brown lenses, magenta (magenta ombré to clear) with grey lenses, and slate (black ombré to clear) with a blue-grey lens. Find out more about the designer at www.tycheandiset.com CN

Ørgreen Optics Sunglasses

Modern architecture characterises the Spring/Summer 2018 sunglass designs from Ørgreen Optics with function, fashion and flair represented in the elegant frames. Classic shapes with daring accents and colourations highlight sun specs for men and women. The capsule collection pays homage to two of the grand masters of modern architecture – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen. The frames unite a trio of architectural elements, new technology and industrial design effects. Sunglasses for this fresh look at sun wear are available in monochrome tones, and bold, multi-coloured combinations. Discover more Ørgreen news at www.orgreenoptics.com JG

L.G.R Heritage Edition

Heritage is an intricate component in everything that Luca Gnecchi Ruscone creates. As he celebrates the 10th anniversary of L.G.R, the Italian designer has launched The Heritage Limited Edition, that beautifully and elegantly reinterprets four iconic models of the distinguished brand: Asmara, Casablanca, Keren and Reunion. (Top image: Luca Gnecchi Ruscone)

Casablanca – Heritage Limited Edition by L.G.R

The L.G.R legacy is rooted in the warehouse discovery of his beloved grandfather – Raffaello Bini – in Asmara in the capital city of Eritrea. Luca came across lenses, sunglasses and cameras that his grandfather used to import. The depth and scope of these vintage treasures influenced Luca to create his own eyewear label. Ten years on, the L.G.R brand is renowned internationally for frames individually handcrafted in Italy by skilled artisans, in the finest quality hand-polished materials.

L.G.R 10th Anniversary – Asmara – iconic design

The new models reflect Luca’s innate appreciation of quality  and homage to Raffaello Bini. The frames are crafted in matt acetate and equipped with polarised tempered mineral glass lenses, with the flaps in cellulose acetate. Small and sophisticated apertures on the side flaps are characterised by the lines of the three-light window in Luca’s grandfather’s store – Ottica Bini in the suburbs of Asmara. The four different designs are packaged in a smart leather box, or if purchased separately, presented in an exclusive, customised box and canvas case.

L.G.R Heritage Limited Edition – Keren

The L.G.R brand has established an international following in selected stores, and Luca recently opened a superbly stylish boutique on Corso Garibaldi in Milan. His individualistic, authentic, beautiful, ingenious designs are favourites with global clients, celebrities, and fashion-conscious wearers who appreciate top quality, cosmopolitan eyewear. Happy Anniversary L.G.R! www.lgrworld.com JG

Dayle @artfulcitystyle NYC

New Yorker Dayle from @artfulcitystyle describes herself as “combining art and style in Manhattan”. A former advocate and public speaker, today, alongside a busy volunteer job in an art gallery, Dayle is the star of an Instagram account with 20.5k followers created with professional photographer, Denton Taylor (www.dentontaylor.com). Dayle’s clever approach to personal style and enthusiasm and openness to trying new things has turned her into a fashion influencer with particular appeal to a fashion-aware over 40 audience. Eyestylist asked her about her inspiration and passion for clothes, accessories and statement eyeglasses.

Your expertise in styling accessories and eyewear has developed out of a love for fashion and art. Tell us more. I have always viewed style as a form of self-expression. So dressing myself—figuring out how to accessorize an outfit or how to combine pieces— is my art form. I have always been drawn to the arts—both visual and performing arts. I did musical theater for years, worked in an art gallery when I was in school, and now, in my retirement, am a docent at an art museum.

Your unique style involves combining outfits with interesting accessories and glasses/sunglasses. Have you always done this? Accessorizing is something I have always done and had fun with. Social media has not changed anything about how I put myself together. It merely allows me to share it with a larger audience.

Above: Dayle wears VAVA spectacles – model WL 0009 in Mazzuchelli bioplastic- a 100% recyclable  material (www.vavaeyewear.com). Photography by @dentontaylor for @artfulcitystyle / NYC.

Dayle wears theo glasses (www.theo.bePhotography by @dentontaylor

Eyewear is for you a statement. Do you shop for frames in one optical store and can you tell us about it? Do they offer you style advice or do you seek out particular shapes or colours depending on your apparel/jewellery for the season? Are they finding “original” frames for you or are you shopping around? I buy most of my glasses from Petite Optique (www.petiteoptique.com) in New York. They have a great selection of unique frames. They know me well and know what I like and what will look good on my face and still work with my prescription. I tend to do best with round frames. I am also looking for frames that are unusual and that most resemble art.

How did you come to select the VAVA frame? I had been looking for black frames for quite a while, but wanted something that didn’t look too severe, since I am very fair-skinned. I tried on many many black frames until I saw the VAVA and fell in love with that.

Dayle wears theo glasses – Photography by @dentontaylor

Can you offer any tips on styling eyewear, for anyone who has not considered that their specs are in fact an extension of their personality. How can we approach the overall look and coordinate with everything else we wear successfully? Many people find it difficult to pull off and need to find that confidence. I think that eyeglasses are a great accessory. As long as you need to wear them, celebrate that! I either use eyeglasses to bring a pop of color to an outfit or to color coordinate with what I am wearing. Finding shapes that work best on your face is extremely important.

What have been your favourite frames to wear in terms of shape, colour or unique design? 
I mostly wear round frames and I like large glasses. I have a lot of glasses by theo. They come out with interesting and unique designs every year and also have great colors!

Find the eyewear featured in this story at Petite Optique, New York – www.petiteoptique.com. Browse the collections at: www.vavaeyewear.com / www.theo.be CN

Tony Gross, Cutler & Gross, 1939-2018

Tony Gross, co-founder of British eyewear brand Cutler & Gross has died, aged 78. Gross was an advocate of fashionable, trendsetting eyewear design that attracted fashion circles and celebrities including Elton John, Princess Diana and Grace Jones.

The Cutler & Gross label was started in London in 1969 by partners Tony and Graham, who met at optometry school in London in the ’60s. The entrepreneurial duo opened their first store in Knightsbridge in 1971, stocking handmade bespoke frames, designed, unlike most at the time, as a fashion accessory.

“Tony truly believed in the transcendence of spectacles from unattractive, government-funded pieces of eye science to a genuine fashion accessory infused with sex appeal and glamour.” Extract from Forty Years of Vision and Style, 2009.

“I still have vivid memories of meeting Tony at Optometry College in London,” says Graham Cutler. “We were looking for something to occupy ourselves at lunchtimes, and Tony suggested poker. So he taught me how to play and groups of us would play each day for money. He had been a professional player before going to College, so was very successful! We also discovered that we had met a lot of the same people in our earlier rambles around Soho.

Modern style: Cutler & Gross model 1277 – from the 2018 collection

“After college our friendship continued, and we ended up working for the same group of Optometrists in London, and often working together. We started talking about opening our own practice, where we would each be able to work just six months of the year. Obviously that plan didn’t work out!”

Marie Wilkinson, Design Director for over 30 years at Cutler & Gross said: “He was, without question, a pioneer, turning eyewear into the genuine fashion accessory infused with sex appeal and glamour that we know today. The first three decades of the brand’s existence had much to do with Tony’s formidable social appetite and his ability to mix just as easily with Royalty and music stars, as with his wonderful friends that filled the Cutler & Gross stores. Tony’s enthusiasm and taste were undeniably infectious, and coupled with his skill as an Optometrist, drew huge cross-sections of people to the brand. His spirit continues to give Cutler & Gross its unique and much loved personality to this day. He will be sorely missed.” Portrait (top) by Dennis Rolfe / www.cutlerandgross.com  CN

OG Decades: Iconic

The iconic British brand Oliver Goldsmith has launched a superb collection of sunglasses – OG Decades – to celebrate their 90th anniversary. An amazing eyewear journey that began in the “Roaring 20’s” has overcome numerous international crises – including a World War – achieving an enamoured and engaging history that continues to captivate global customers. (Top image: 1930 OG Decades)

Roaring 20’s: 1920 OG Decades

Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Michael Caine and Lady Gaga are just a few of the spectacle wearers who have created style legacies wearing Oliver Goldsmith. Nowadays, fashion world luminaries, royalty, rock stars and movie stars embrace the striking, timeless designs.

Swinging Sixties: 1960 OG Decades

The collection includes ten different frames that transcend the lifestyle and fashion highlights of each decade, with every design meticulously investigated.

New century: 2000 OG Decades

If travels take you to London, include on your itinerary a visit to the stunning OG Store.LDN, in Notting Hill, just off Portobello Road. Here you can connect to the history and heritage of the Goldsmith family, as well as seeing the current collections, and admiring the influential designs that are recognised as historic and timeless. Visit www.olivergoldsmith.com for further details on all the collections at Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, and Claire Goldsmith Optical. JG

United Kingdom: Albert Road Opticians

Deepak Oberai is the owner of Albert Road Opticians, a beautiful converted Edwardian house in Wilmslow. Eyestylist asked him about the store, which has an original setting and exquisite mix of eyewear collections.

When did you first open and can you tell me about how you had imagined your store initially? Albert Road Opticians is set in a house that has a lot of character. When we first opened, I was aware of the potential but did not maximise this. However after an impromptu climb of Mt Kilimanjaro, I decided I wanted us to be ‘The House of Spectacles’. So I decided to take it back to the original features (fire places, picture rails) and treat people as if they are coming over to your house, with a lovely cup of tea! This was a game changer for us.

Edwardian style at Albert Road

You are working with very creative brands like theo from Belgium? How is it going, and is there a greater interest for statement design? What have your experiences been so far? Theo is my personal favourite. Initially when we introduced this at Albert Road Opticians we did not know how to approach the bolder design conversation. However, as with anything, practice makes perfect and we are now known for brighter, bolder designs in our local community. Our clients who have bought this eyewear may have been reluctant initially, but as soon as they get a compliment from a stranger (and this happens), they turn into raving fans. It’s incredible to see such joy on people’s faces.

Albert Rd: exclusivity and a design focus

Tell us about the design of the shop and who worked with you on it.
The shop and its unique quirky features lend to the building we are in perfectly. We worked with Sheffield based interior design company 93ft (https://93ft.com) and they really know how to push the boat. The style chosen was reclaimed furniture with a modern twist. The dark colours compliment the handmade cupboards perfectly and the reclaimed flooring brings the design together.

How much do you change your selection of frames – do you stick with old favourites or add newcomers if you find them in the shows? We attend international optical shows regularly to see what is up and coming. When we see something exciting we like to build relationships with that brand and see if they are a good fit for us. Generally we only take one new brand a year if we really like it. However working with innovative brands like Theo or Anne & Valentin, their new collection releases can almost feel like a different brand so that helps keep things fresh.

You have clearly gone out of your way to provide a really special service. Tell us about this and where your priorities lie. Coming to Albert Road is like visiting a good friend. The atmosphere is relaxed; we want people to feel they are in a non-clinical environment. As the building has several rooms, we have renamed the front room, and we call it our ‘Tea Room’. This is where we offer drinks, a bit like a hotel. It the scene for the rest of the show.

Albert Rd interior

Our eye examinations are longer than the average 45 minutes. This allows us to get to know our clients better from a personal perspective. This slow, personal approach means we can highlight opportunities for multiple pair purchases, in the future, where necessary. The eyewear is presented in the ‘Eyewear Gallery’ with a few frames on show, and others hidden in drawers. We like to style people, and this subtle approach of introducing quirky eyewear works very well. Most of all we want our clients to be happy. We always say ‘Our reputation walks around on your face’ and we want this to be spectacular. This friendly relaxed approach has won us many fans.

This January, a second shop – Station Road Optician – has opened in Cheadle Hulme. 18 Albert Road, Wilmslowplan your visit at www.wilmslowopticians.co.uk CN