The award winning Austrian label – Rolf Spectacles – excels in moving beyond barriers to create new possibilities and horizons. When the company launched, Tyrol woods were crafted into superb quality frames. Then there were unique designs in stone, and luxurious buffalo horn frames. For their latest eyewear adventure, Rolf has launched a Titanium collection with fresh innovations.
The Titanium Skyline Collection includes sixteen designs for prescription glasses, and six sun styles. Technical engineering is evident with intricate detailing, so finely optimised, and the frames are amazingly slim and light. The glasses are made with only three major components, so therefore, highly flexible, as well as sturdy. Finishes are smooth and sleek, or beautifully textured.
Rolf stated: “Our mission is to follow our vision, to create new things never seen before, and to set new trends while remaining true to our roots.” For more information on the distinctive Titanium Skyline Collection – visit www.rolf-spectacles.com JG
Creative highlights from this year’s Paris eyewear event
There’s one thing we are always in search of at the international eyewear event, SILMO: and that’s innovation with a clearly defined creative or technical achievement in the construction, design or overall concept. This year the stands were loaded with forward-thinking design work and original collections, for the most part, with a strong infusion of interesting colour, exquisite tonal and material combinations, and increasingly daring shapes – which sat alongside very minimal pared back collections where the focus is clearly on lightness and comfort.
Key shapes included elongated cateyes and new 90s-inspired ovals, but the shape story is not confined to these statement looks and we found many geometric forms, octagonal or hexagonal shapes, and a strong trend for complex shapes or constructions that require accomplished design tricks with layering, cutting and colour. Above: a new collection by FACE A FACE with imagery which explores the phenomenon of Synaesthesia. The frames play with contrasts of colour and materials, taking inspiration from the world of fine art.www.faceaface-paris.com
Ørgreen’s state-of-the-art Quantum collection saw the addition of the first Sun styles – a brilliant collection of 5 unisex, male and female designs, with futuristic cases fitted uniquely with the specific form of two of the statement styles.
Pictured above, 3.11 is one of the statement pieces among the designs: an oversize sun style for women which takes strong visual inspiration from the classics of the 1970s – a key theme at SILMO. The low bridge contrasts with large rectangular tinted lenses recall acetate frames from a bygone era, while the titanium and polyamide material add an urban and modern touch. 3.11 is available in three refreshing colours contrasting frame and lenses – from Black/Gun with an amber hue lens to Red Wine / Gold with a light grey and bronze tinted lens. www.orgreenoptics.com
Exceptional handcrafting in precious materials is always a highlight at the fair. From the Netherlands, Alexanian has a devoted following of customers who look for craftsmanship and luxury refinement in rimless and full rim designs created to perfection in solid gold, and in many cases studded boldly with jewels, on frame and even nose pads. The frame with a sculptural detail on the rim above in their new collection is inspired by watches and comes in white gold and 18kt gold. www.alexanian.nl
French eyewear creativity is well represented across the fair, and a handful of young designers are following the traditional spectacle making techniques making use of classic materials and features. The classical style was beautifully conveyed at Meg Eyewear, a label that produces frames in Oyonnax. The designs, specifically for women, offer high quality and sophisticated elegance in ‘sober’ iconic colour tones. www.megeyewear.com
Designers have also paid much attention to the effect of layering rims in different colours or materials on the front of the frame, to play with light and structure. A super example is the Theodore by SALT. Optics, where the round titanium rim features a delicate crystal inner rim in acetate. www.saltoptics.com
Also in our highlights this year is Portrait Eyewear, run by a young delightful brother and sister team, based in Milan, with a genuine passion for art and eyewear. There new Glitch concept is based on the glitch-art movement most often related to video art and photography. The frame surface reproduces the digital and analog interference with an unexpectedly glamorous effect on the face. Find out more at www.portraiteyewear.com
Zack Tipton is the founder of VINYLIZE Eyewear – the only high-quality independent frame brand to create iconic sun and optical designs from old records – and CINEMATIQ, a collection that features old film footage inside the frames. He lives with his family in Budapest, Hungary.
Producing eyewear from vinyl has had its own peculiar challenges, but over the years, through perseverance and hard work, TIPTON Eyeworks has achieved much success since the first vinyl prototypes were created in 2000. Today the team and their artisans work out of an impressive established boutique and studio in central Budapest and boast an enviable and extraordinarily diverse list of VIPS wearing their designs – both in and outside the music + film industries. Their most recent limited editions were produced for Lana del Rey and Kendrick Lamar for the summer festival Sziget: https://www.eyestylist.com/2018/08/vinylize-for-lana-del-rey-kendrick-lamar/
Asked to reflect on his most exciting career moment so far, Zack refers to their constant efforts to make customers happy, which has driven him from the very beginning. He tells this story with pride and humour. “We had launched our Erotic Cinematiq collection which featured frames decorated with strip tease movies. It was selling like hot cakes and an order came in from London for a custom piece to feature details of male strippers. I wasn’t able to get suitable film for the delivery date so I improvised taking selfies with an old SLR camera and some reversal film…we used this footage for the Cinematiq design and that is the piece that Elton John is wearing.”
As well as the main collection Vinylize – produced from old records – the Cinematiq line today continues to attract a new following. “We re-launched this line this year with a 10-piece collection in three colours. Like the original collection, this one uses film stills in the temples, but we have managed to hugely improve the quality. The film strip is now laminated which protects it and the temples hold the film securely. We will soon be offering film choices.”
“Tipton has always had recycling at its heart”
And as with many of the most creative and innovative of the independent labels in this industry, there is always something new in production, or a special collaboration underway. One of the latest at Tipton, in production when Eyestylist was invited to Budapest in May, involves Nespresso. “Tipton has always had recycling at its heart. Vinylize transforms old vinyl records into eyewear. Cinematiq uses old film strips. Recycling is one of the brand aspects Tipton is known for and this is why Nespresso approached us to make frames out of their recycled aluminium capsules. We have designed and produced a three-piece collection – available in four colours. The material for the frames is produced from their used capsules. A trial run was launched in May and the response was astounding. We expect to see it released for purchase from January 2019.”
Similarly, Vinylize has a link up with AC/DC in a special edition collection that’s fresh, young and already sported by some huge stars in the music business, including Shawn Mendes. This collection, along with other one-off -new editions, will show to international buyers at SILMO Paris this month. It’s already available in specialist optical boutiques, in Europe and further afield. “The expanding Vinylize x AC/DC is coming to Paris. We will also release our colored vinyl collection – and a very special CINEMATIQ edition with footage from the “The Godfather” and some vintage erotic film. It’s an exciting time!”
Tipton Eyeworks is located at Iranyi utca 20, Budapest 1056, Hungary. The showroom and studio welcome visitors to see how the frames are created. VINYLIZE Eyewear is available worldwide at selected stores and online at www.vinylize.com CN
On the streets of Manhattan, he was a familiar sight, his slim, lithe figure gliding skilfully amidst the raucous city traffic on his battered bike; trusty Nikon camera dangling from his neck. Bill Cunningham was an amazingly influential style authority and trend-spotter in the late 20th century. He was a beloved figure on the city’s streets, and in 2009, Cunningham was designated a New York living landmark. He captured the fashion icons of the day; attended museum openings and benefit dinners, in order to document the latest craze. When Bill Cunningham noted an item of fashion interest, headlines followed. (Photo above: Bill Cunningham on his bike – photographing Tziporah Salamon, 2011 Photo courtesy Antonio Alvarez)
Celebrating Bill Cunningham at the New York Historical Society is a wonderful tribute to his eclectic creativity, with a selection of objects, personal correspondence, photographs and ephemera that reflect his life and work. His career began as a milliner with stylish “Willian J” hats, as he described his label. On display at the museum is a beach hat – which even Cunningham described as “a bit outrageous.” His photography stint started in the 1960’s and for fifty years, he photographed and catalogued what New Yorkers wore on the streets. His favourite vantage point was 57th Street and Fifth Avenue – where gilded fashion emporiums Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany and Bonwit Teller (until the latter was demolished) were certain to attract the “fashionistas” of the era, and Bill could capture the moment with his Nikon.
The New York Historical Society has acquired his iconic Nikon camera; the French workers jacket that Cunningham adored for its numerous pockets; and one of his many bicycles. It is estimated that he owned at least thirty bikes over the years; frequently the bikes were stolen.
A transplanted Bostonian, Cunningham evolved into the quintessential New Yorker, who was passionate about the city, art and politics. This touching tribute to Cunningham is a reminder of what a revolutionary he was at the time…and how much he is missed. Celebrating Bill Cunningham New York Historical Society Museum & Library through 9th September. www.nyhistory.orgJG