Narrow golden temples and a brightly patterned front in acetate: the new PFB label from Barbados has a colourful entry for all occasions in model PFB 03, now in a hot pink/red (colour C2). The design is one of several in this chic collection designed to embody the Bajan spirit: warmth and individuality in a graceful and softly feminine frame with a high-tech finish including screwless hinges and a lovely lightweight feel.
Peoples from Barbados is the new line by Alicia Hartman, the owner/optician at EYE Q Opticians in Limegrove (Barbados). The frames are designed in Barbados and made in Japan. Coming soon to selected optical boutiques in the UK and US: www.peoplesfrombarbados.comCN
We took a look for ourselves and discovered tiny aliens with an obsession for kung fu. This is the inspiration behind the installations at the new 2-floor Gentle Monster store in London, a space that is more straightforward in its conceptual presentation than sister stores in the US or Korea, where part of the fun is the architectural excellence of the spaces and unexpected surprises encountered as you literally “journey” through the stores.
In London, the experience is more about the installations themselves: they include a huge kinetic apparatus with a gong that sounds every three minutes, a Kung Fu “training field” and “battle ground” for the aliens and a waterfall video installation by artist Ryoici Kurokawa, referencing the places where an aspiring Kung Fu master would typically train and meditate.
And then there are the glasses and sunglasses: not so much at centre stage, and displayed in typical Gentle Monster style, in amongst the installations, usually on minimal, open shelves, but always designed to invite us to pick up and try them on as much as possible, the experience of which is positively encouraged at Gentle Monster.
The eyewear and sunglass designs available here offer a mix of wearable and very flamboyant metal and plastic shapes, colours and forms, and are priced – unexpectedly – at more moderate prices than we had imagined (some just under £200 – all made in China or Korea). Highlights include very classic plastic sun styles in easy colours – the collab with Tilda Swinton was a memorably classy one – and a few outlandish sci-fi pieces with metal details such as the capsule, Once Upon a Future. Much more is promised, with London Fashion Week being the immediate focus for September and, as in other GM shops, a changing and evolving theme, a part of the DNA of the label, will ensure nothing stays the same for too long.
The new store is located at 28 & 29 Argyll Street London, just near Liberty’s in Central London. The opening in the UK follows a second store in LA and a new pop up in NYC at DSM and Selfridges on Oxford St., London. Gentle Monster was founded in 2011 by Hankook Kim. www.gentlemonster.comCN
Award-winning fashion graduate Becky Hong studied Millinery Design at the Royal College of Art, and fell in love with eyewear, now one of her principle design projects and – she hopes – a possible career path. Eyestylist first met her at the 100% Optical fair in 2017, when she won the fair’s student competition with an exceptional design project entitled My Tribe – in that year students were asked to consider the wearer and their activities and lifestyle, by designing a frame for a specific person and specific use. Becky considered the frame’s capacity to work like make-up. https://www.eyestylist.com/2016/12/rca-x-100-optical/
This year, Eyestylist returned to London to meet Becky at her RCA finals show in June. Allthat Solidity, All that Fragility– RE-FORM looked at breaking – in eyewear and millinery – to ‘re-create’, says the young designer.
“Through challenging the possibilities of the construction based on materiality, the technique of breaking, displacing and replacing both the lenses and the frame itself is reflective of the wearer’s impermanent real life experience and fragility of the wider society…”
The project offered exciting ideas in lens design concepts and frame functionality, extending not only through the refined reconstruction of the “broken” and “reconstructed” designs themselves but also in a strong, minimal concept in packaging. For more details about the young designer visit www.beckyhong.comCN
Young Italian label Delirious Eyewear is the first eyewear collection to receive special recognition in VOGUE ITALIA’s Who’s on next? annual awards, supported by Altaroma, the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade.
Delirious founder Marco Lanero was honored at the event held in June alongside fashion names which included Angelia Ami, Diletta Cancellato, MRZ and MTF Maria Turri. Accessory brands highlighted ranged from Maissa (luxury accessories), Manfredi Manara (shoes), and Woobag (a collection of bags), as well as Delirious, the only eyewear label present in the accessories category. In addition, Tomorrow, the international fashion sales platform, awarded a special prize to Delirious for their expertise and precision in Made in Italy production while the eyewear label also took away the Sugar prize, a special accolade awarded by the avantgarde concept store in Arezzo (Tuscany).
The awards are judged by fashion experts from Altaroma and Vogue Italia, with the winners being voted by an eminent Jury who includes manufacturers, distributors and the Italian and international press. The new collection for 2019 will soon to be presented at the Paris trade fair SILMO, September 2018 including new launches in buffalo horn and a titanium/beta titanium mix.
Delirious Eyewear is available at international concept stores and optical boutiques including Ackerman (Rotterdam), Epice (Osaka) and Visionary Optics (NYC). For more details about the collection, visit www.deliriouseyewear.com CN
The sun is shining, it’s holiday time, and L.G.R has stunning sunglasses that are the epitome of contemporary chic and style. The exclusive Yacht Club Collection combines elegance and high performance, and sporty SKIPPER, is the first model in this special edition – ideally suited to life on the water, leisurely lunches in the marina, or sipping an aperitif at sunset. (Above image: Skipper in Crystal Grey Matt)
Skipper is crafted in acetate, and then covered with a special rubber layer; it is scratch resistance, waterproof, pleasant to the touch, and extremely comfortable to wear. The polarised lenses have twelve layers of anti-reflective coating – exclusively manufactured for L.G.R.
The Skipper model is available in four colour variations and handsomely presented in a beautiful satin blue box imprinted with the Yacht Club Collection logo. For the launch of this special edition, Luca Gnecchi Ruscone has also created a customised case and cleaning cloth. www.lgrworld.comJG
Majestic architecture, the river Danube and the backdrop of the Buda Hills make Budapest one of the most stunning weekend destinations in Europe. The city is also home to Hungary’s no 1 independent eyewear company Tipton Eyeworks, located in the centre of the city across the street from the historic Cafe Centrale.
A wide choice of inventive eyewear at Tipton’s showroom
Opened to the public in 2017, the showroom offers a wonderful peep at a team of industrious, highly skilled artisans finishing frames, and a buzzing retail space exhibiting the collection, where Zach Tipton’s first eyewear designs and some very special limited edition glasses – including the NVSBLE range and a tribute to Bob Marley, are on show. A highlight is the photo wall of famous faces, including Robbie Williams, Elvis Costello, Fred Durst and Elton John. “I started with rimless in early 2000, but soon moved into vinyl,” explains Zach as we toured the workshops and store. “Over the years we have perfected how we use the vinyl and we remain the only company who has pursued this direction with a growing global success in top-level boutique shops.”
Visitors to Budapest can arrange an appointment to make their own frame at the showroom, with expert artisans on hand to explain the process of assembling individual frame parts, personalising the frame with gold lettering, and, eventually cleaning and polishing the frame – ready to wear. In the background music plays from the vinyl archive on a retro ‘record player’: we play all the LPs we use for the frames, Zach explains, as he puts on a mysterious 90s ambient album that has come from a London warehouse. A current favourite is AC/DC, the focus of a collaboration using the 22 x multi-platinum “Back in Black” album.
Tipton Eyeworks has also achieved notoriety in the film industry in Budapest, producing frames for particular requirements on set, and as special commissions and gifts for the many actors and actresses visiting the city. This Spring, a Limited Edition design from the Cinematiq Collection was created for Antonio Banderas during the shooting of Genius: Life of Picasso. These unique sunglass editions are presented in a flat circular case similar to that used to carry old-school film.
Alongside the VINYLIZE collection launched in 2004, the new Cinematiq concept presents luxury acetate frames which make use of vintage 16mm film footage – perfectly aligned inside the temples where light illuminates the colourful action and characters within. And there is no stopping there. Whilst we were at the store, an ingenious, collaborative eco-inspired project was in production – a limited edition commission by coffee machine makers, Nespresso, recycling the aluminium coffee capsules into a chic run of co-branded sunglasses for Hungarian stores.
Welcome summer – free from winter doldrums, and with eager anticipation of leisurely, sun-drenched days – now is the time to enjoy fabulous sunglasses. Eyewear designers cater to style/trend setters, with sunglass selections in alluring materials, shapes and colours to complement your easy-going, laid-back days. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone at L.G.R adores the Italian Rivera, and is influenced by the natural beauty of Capri for his sun specs that glow with the colours of the island. (Top image: Reunion – design purity, elegance and chic in Cappuccino from the L.G.R Capri Collection) www.lgrworld.com
Copper is an unexpected component for eyewear, and in Ti Kwa’s talented vision it is a wonderful standout in his new collection for RIGARDS. RG0104CU – codenamed “Mad Scientist” – as it was designed in homage to the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic horror Frankenstein – is full of character with individual hand texturing adding an organic dimension to the frames. www.rigards.com
The open green spaces of Norway inspire Karmoie’s beautiful design by Kirsten and Lars Iversen. They embrace summer with voluminous sunglasses in a sleek round shape. Rise in Bark is lovingly crafted in fine quality acetate with meticulous details. www.karmoie.com
Plein Les Mirettes in France entices with rich colourations for their impressive and dazzling variety of sun styles. Left to right: Diva 6 in exclusive colouration for PLM by Mazzucchelli; Fantasque 7 in vivid tones; Re Belle 9 in mustard – a seasonal favourite; Diva 7 in specific Mazzucchelli colours for PLM. Visit www.plein-les-mirettes.fr for additional glamorous colours and styles.
The exclusive Signature Collection at Fleye Copenhagen includes the sophisticated and oh so cool – Elverfeld – that combines solid and transparent layered acetate in beautiful colour combinations. Explore www.fleye.dk for additional sunglass creativity from the Danish brand.
Sunshine is always a dynamic, enlightening inspiration for Marseille-based JF Rey. Jimmy 9010S is the latest innovative model in the Jean-François Rey 1985 collection – a powerful design in striking colours with a splendidly curved double-bridge. www. jfrey.frJG
With the introduction of Compositions by Tim Van Steenbergen + theo – optics and art fuse naturally – and with exceptional distinction – into stunning, dramatic sunglasses. The Belgian duo frequently collaborates on eyewear, and the latest collection includes a third Belgian – the accomplished post-war artist, Guy Van Den Branden. Top image: Composition 1957 TVS + theo
Van Steenbergen is an admirer and collector of Van Den Branden’s paintings. The artist’s geometrical abstractions focus on composition, rhythm, form and colour…the same characteristics that highlight Van Steenbergen’s visionary insights. So it was an instinctive progression that Tim pay homage to the artist’s work.
There are six Compositions sunglass designs in the collection – offering an exciting harmony in titanium and acetate. The array of colours are amazing – from vivid and shiny – to mysterious darker hues – for a total of eight specialised theo-colours.
The interplay of material and colour, further enhanced with the arcs and lines that criss-cross the frames, transform recognisable shapes. The outcome is a unique ‘constructivist’ sunglass collection with highly individual composites – resulting in beautiful and impressive eyewear. Explore more at www.theo.beJG
In 2011, the French eyewear company FACE A FACE launched a second brand, WOOW, a colourful stylish line of off-beat frames with engaging messages on the temples. Eyestylist met the young designers behind the catchy concept, Claire Ferreira and Marianne Dezes (above).
How did you come up with “WOOW” eyewear?In 2011, we had been working on the possibility of creating another brand in addition to FACE A FACE. We wanted it to be young and fresh with an accessible price. We started with the concept of the frame, and focused on the temples or arms which face each other – the original focus of FACE A FACE. We imagined them starting to chat to one another – and that was the beginning of this very different idea. We now see the WOOW label as the child of FACE A FACE.
Why WOOW? Woow is a palindrome, a fun “sound” that people use as an expression for many different things. You can say it any way you want and it is totally spontaneous. As a collection name, it works perfectly with the witty phrases on the temples. We wanted to see if we could create a new relationship with eyewear through this name, inspiring happiness, joy and hope through British inspired humour, colour and the personal touch of the words on different frame styles.
How are the frames styled? The shapes are always trendy and fashionable, for the young and the daring. The touch of colour is really specific in the combination of materials. Our inspiration came from London, but always with a strong influence, naturally, from our own French taste. One of our idiosyncratic design details – highlighting the words at the temple tips – came from the design of the old-fashioned typewriters and their classic round keys.
As designers, you have created something completely different. Are you pleased with the results? WOOW is like our baby, it’s a collection we adore! When we were training, we didn’t only learn about shape and colour and product design, for us designing means thinking too – and coming up with new ideas. With WOOW we had the chance to oversee all the steps, from the concept to the creation of the actual frames, giving life to a brand with an evolution that we hope our wearers will truly enjoy. you don’t just choose a frame with WOOW, it’s really about choosing a lifestyle!
Tell us about the styles releasing this month?The new collection includes different looks: a more “working girl” styling, through to architectural shapes and, on the other hand, some very feminine frames. Bigger trendy silhouettes and a mix of more unusual colours stand out. Our frames are tempting like sweets – it’s difficult choose which one to go for! For more details about WOOW, visit www.wooweyewear.com CN