Wim

Rapp Eyewear, Canada

Toronto based Rapp Eyewear has been a highlight on the Canadian optical scene for over twenty years with their unique shop. Several seasons ago, they started creating their own collection, and Wim is a new release, expertly crafted with acetate and titanium temples. In addition to this feature, is the round shape with its vintage flair, and finely curved nosepiece. The tortoise acetate and crystal combination is a beloved classic. www.rappoptical.com JG

Safira

Vera Wang Salon

Classic shaping with the decorative touch of lace inlayed in the arms, model Safira from the Vera Wang collection is one sunglass style that is now on my wish list. The on-trend design has a subtle affinity with the bridalwear designer’s design aesthetic and expertise in working with luxury fabrics. The black version is perfect and a good investment if you want something for all seasons, while the Safira in Umber has a very flattering pairing of cream lace and tortoise and would make a lovely choice for a special occasion such as a summer wedding. To see the complete Vera Wang Salon collection, visit www.kenmarkoptical.com www.verawang.com CN

Grace

Kirk Originals

From the Vintage archives at Kirk Originals, this frame was created in 1995, and the inspiration behind the design was the timeless chic of Princess Grace of Monaco. She wore glasses – both sunglasses and ophthalmic – and was frequently seen in photos wearing sunglasses. Grace, with its distinctive textured acetate and elegant cat eye shape remains a lovely tribute to a style icon. www.kirkoriginals.com JG

BME 3708

Blue Magic Eye, Italy

Fresh spring green highlights this frame by design duo Ciro Tugnoli and Guya Montermini. Based in Bologna, the history and environment of the city frequently inspires their designs. Classic lines and intrepid detailing feature in the above style, and tortoiseshell is a spring favourite  – Eyestylist spotted numerous tortoise eyewear variations at London Fashion Week. For more on the lovely contemporary collections by Blue Magic Eye visit: www.bluemagiceye.com JG 

M3022

Matsuda Eyewear

Another traditional specs shape, made famous by Malcolm X and a men’s style that is always very popular, interpreted here by the luxury eyewear label Matsuda, a company that produces its designs in Japan. This is the M3022 style with a dark brown browline in Japanese acetate combined with titanium. The carefully engraved temples are finished with a hand-applied lacquer. Very much one of the key looks for Spring 2013 and a great alternative if the round shapes aren’t your thing. Colours include brushed silver/matte black, brushed gold/matte natural and brushed dark brown/matte dark tortoise. CN

www.matsuda-eyewear.com

Heidi 2

Face à Face

I love this colour and it works beautifully in this high-quality combination design by Face à Face, the Parisian eyewear label. A shade that will be strong for this year, here it is layered onto a very pale contrasting and delicious looking mint. A delight and very pretty on many complexions, this whole collection is one that holds many surprising colours for the new season and particularly interesting combinations including some much loved tortoise designs for women. www.face-a-faceparis.com CN

 

2nd Skin

Lucas de Stael

Leather is unusual in eyewear or more often used as a trim with other materials. I tried this design on a few weeks ago, and it felt soft and pliable and looks incredibly unique as it is made from one piece and has no hinges. Handmade in Paris, the style pictured here in a gorgeous rich purple is one of the colours that stood our for me in the new collection from Undostrial and designer Lucas de Stael, who already produces some very special designs featuring wood. 4 shapes and 5 colours are featured in 2nd Skin. The frames have an invisible metal core giving them their strength and easy adjustability and making it easy to clip in the lenses. Innovative! http://undostrial.com/ CN

Insider

Orgreen

There is a colour concerto in full swing this season at Orgreen, with the newest collection of Titanium frames. The Danish company loves to experiment, and the results are frames with seductive character and aristocratic charm. Insider(above)unites matt olive brown with matt dusty blue, for men who desire signature styling, and handmade craftsmanship. www.orgreen.dk JG

Jackie

Tom Stevens

Graduated colours or gradients such as this acetate example by the label Tom Stevens are a must-have in the coming months. This colour scheme is very soft and gentle on the face, while the shape offers the right level of statement for girls who like their frames bang on trend. For more on this boutique brand by Dutch designer Tom Stevens, visit their website: www.stevenseyewear.com CN

4th Dimension 4663

Prodesign

This smart optical collection was inspired by the desire to create a high fashion, contemporary line of frames for the design-oriented man and woman. Even though the shapes are obviously inspired by the past – you’ll find the classic panto, the Jackie O and curvy butterfly shapes represented – the collection remains fresh and relevant, because of the cool colour choices and the way in which the acetate layers are combined. There are nine shapes in the collection; two come in two colours and the rest come in four. Suitable for progressive lenses. CN

Blaze

Beam Collection, Kirk Originals

Not new, but definitely a classic from the British KO label, Blaze is one style that will turn heads…the Beam collection is psychedelic and this is because the frames are made entirely from acrylic, which polishes up to shine like glass. It has a completely unique style, and is quite a change from traditional acetate if you want something that is statement-making and light and comfy. Kirk Originals launched their Beam Collection at Silmo in 2011 to celebrate their 20th Anniversary in 2012; it looks very fresh, and the amethyst colour of this model is very much on-trend as we look ahead to Autumn/Winter. 6 styles are available in the range, and they are retailing at around Euros 420. CN www.kirkoriginals.com

Idole

Lafont

Each time I see a new Lafont Collection, I am very impressed with their inspired use of colour – always inventive and creative. Idole in turquoise and tortoise acetate blends two lovely shades in a classic frame shape that will enhance autumn wardrobes. The cut-out temple detailing adds an extra distinctive touch. Lafont frames fit so well too — they are always a pleasure to wear! Available in Paris at their chic Lafont Boutiques and www.lafont.com JG

4Rivet 411

Lunor Eyewear

I have looked at a few hundred luxury frames to get up to speed on what’s available in terms of very high level craftsmanship and quality. I was also looking out for some of the more unique proposals here. This one from Lunor jumped out at me. I love the 4Rivet detail which is functional and aesthetically interesting, and the matt black acetate, which brings this cool classic shape into the 21st century…balanced perfectly with titanium arms. This frame comes with an elegant leather case. Very distinguished and perfect as an everyday luxe style. www.lunor.de CN

JV 779

John Varvatos

Vintage and rock ‘n roll are the perfect partners, and Varvatos captures it so well in this crystal and black acetate frame – with a square shape that is beloved of retro wearers. The award-winning designer is a passionate music lover, so Varvatos has inserted his signature guitar pick hinge on the temple – a unique touch – and a design that merges vintage and current trends most effectively. www.johnvarvatos.com In the UK, go to www.eyerespect.com JG

 

Robert Marc 253

Robert Marc, New York

Robert Marc is using elegant vintage acetate in some of his styles, a trend that has been taken up by a few eyewear companies this year. This model for men features a vintage crystal front with olive havana temples. The 50s look vintage crystal has a warm translucence and combines seamlessly with the  darker temple contrast. The latest collection by Robert Marc which I viewed during Mido also includes these colour combinations using vintage acetate which we see  as on-trend for guys this year. The temple is the classic signature Robert Marc design, for an additional contemporary twist. Available in selected opticians in Europe including in the UK, Icon the Opticians, Isis and Viren Jani.  CN  www.robertmarc.com

Aurelia 42

Rolf Spectacles, Austria

Rolf Spectacles creative team specialise in creating unusual frames – in unique materials. The woodstone series is the result of painstaking attention to detail, and combines both ancient and modern techniques to achieve the smooth finish on the frames. The graceful shape is contemporary, so there is a harmonious mix of a natural, earthy material in a design that is effortlessly stylish. Handmade in a small Tyrolean village, the frames are a distinctive delight – a work of art. www.rolf-spectacles.com JG

Horde

Lafont

2012 sees some new interpretations using carbon in eyewear…this material tends to have an industrial feel but Lafont has come up with something quite different to create a very chic finish. Spotted at the trade show Silmo in the autumn, (and I’ve been eager to show it), model Horde conbines carbon temples with a colourful transparent acetate…both materials are patterned but in such a way that it avoids being flashy and manages to capture an elegant feeling….and a refreshing one that moves away from classic black and the slightly overplayed geek chic formula. Lafont has also created handsome “Riviera” sunglasses using the carbon, which combine French class and a touch of innovation with the clever use of the material.   www.lafont.com  CN

Vinci

Anne et Valentin

Beautifully muted tones of purple and smoky taupe merge elegantly in this lovely frame from Anne et Valentin. Created especially to fit small, feminine faces, the frames have a vintage spirit with a smart retro shape, cut out nose detail, and the two-tone end tips follow through on the bi-colour theme. The totality is a harmonious mix of colour and design. The Anne et Valentin collection is available at Cappelle Opticien in Brussels – www.cappelleopticien.be, and in Innsbruck – www.krischan-panoptikum.at. Visit www.anneetvalentin.com for further information. JG

Effect

Anne et Valentin

Anne et Valentin’s acetate frames have always been a favourite of mine; the aptly named “Effect” is an example of the brand’s work in titanium that stands out for the two-tone colour work and lightweight, accessible design, which works with all faces. The small modified shape features a key hole nose detail, a stylish accent that lends character to the design.

The outlining colour contrasts come in warm tones of orange, turquoise blue and lilac….among others. To find Anne et Valentin frames in the UK, we recommend Adam Simmonds, Primrose Hill, London, Melissa Conway, Temple Fortune and Jones and Co, Manchester. Other stockists include Les Createurs d’Opta, Paris and the eponymous Parisian store Anne et Valentin Optique, 4 Rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie. CN

www.anneetvalentin.com 

Jean-Claude

Lunettes Kollektion

This subtle, coquettish frame with its flirty cat eye shape is a standout in the Lunettes Kollektion. Beautiful, honey coloured, original Italian acetate is crafted into this handmade frame, with quality details that include solid alpaca hinges and steel screws. The design captures the vintage look that continues to inspire, combined with modern aspects, including a lighter, playful look. Jean-Claude is a very Berlin-esque design – even the handsome frame case is handcrafted by noted Berlin box factory Gerhard Reich, a German tradition for fine cases since 1869. www.lunettes-kollektion.com JG

Panache

BOZ

This is a really distinctive looking frame with an eccentric temple.  An intricate decoupage technique is used to create the front. Drops of coloured lacquer are applied by hand to the openings in the metal with an extremely traditional and delicate process, creating a lace effect. The lenses look as if they are floating but in fact a nylon thread holds them in place.

BOZ is produced by the French designer Jean Francois Rey, and his wife Joelle. The range is inspired by textiles and nature, and has a very feminine yet unique look. It always catches my eye for the painstaking attention to detail and hand-finishing. CN

Elma

The Black Edition, Götti Switzerland

We are fortunate to have a peek preview in advance of the new collection designed by Sven Götti – The Black Edition.  There are four distinctive models – all in black – featuring the latest high tech assets and precision details. To ensure this reed-thin titanium frame retains its luscious black finish, a PVD (physical vapor deposition) process is used.  And everything on the frame is Black – front, pads, earpieces, even the miniscule screws are black.   Just a sliver of a silver hinge provides subtle contrast.  Black is seductive, sensuous, secretive and elegant – Götti captures all these qualities with The Black Edition. JG www.gotti.ch

B09.5

Gold & Wood Paris / Wood Optic

This is a luxurious men’s optical frame (also produced as a sunglass) made in two exotic sounding woods…tanganika and bubinga for the face. The temples are made of bubinga while the front combines both woods. Wood is a fashionable material given its longevity and refined patterning…and of course its smooth finish which feels nice on the skin. It is an easy-to-wear material that has lots of exciting colours and effects….this style is subdued and classic with clean lines and a matt finish which adds to the sophistication. The combination of the two woods is simple and very effective for the overall elegance of the frame. CN

www.gold-and-wood.com

Limited Edition LE32739

TD Tom Davies Spectacles with Sparkle

This charming frame, with its inspired 1950’s styling, is one of six from a Limited Edition Spectacle range, created by British designer Tom Davies.  The frame above is embellished with Swarovski crystals on satin smooth quality acetate, and limited to fifty pieces. For an even more luxurious touch, Davies can create a couture version of this stunning cat eye with real diamonds embedded in the temples, or on the brow line. Dazzling! With graceful cat eye styling, this frame is one of those  forever favourites, destined to be cherished.

www.tdtomdavies.com JG

Mech-flex V3611

Vanni

I like the simplicity of this model, from the Mech-Flex range by Vanni, produced by the Italian design company Nico Design. This model combines thin steel and plastic, and it comes from a range that brings together bright fun colours and clean, practical design. The style above features a special hinge, the Mech-flex, which adds flexibility and extra wearer comfort. Offered in four colourways, my favourite is the on-trend matt violet  and purple version, but you can also choose a patterned front teamed with black, a dark violet with turquoise, or brown with fuchsia. The enthusiasm for detail here sets this optical range apart. Very well done. CN

www.vanniocchiali.com

www.nicodesign.it

EK 1503

Emmanuelle Khanh

Emmanuelle Khanh has always been an inspiration.  She was among the first eyewear designers to take the bold steps that helped capitulate eyewear in the 1980’s into a major fashion accessory.  I still have her frames from those days! The brand has been rekindled and the designs continue to be true to Khanh’s desire for individuality, creativity, quality and colour. The above style features a soft, rounded shape in luscious Burgundy acetate, with a distinctive white line edged neatly into the top of the frame front. EK frames are available at Corso Como in Milan and Marc le Bihan in Paris www.marclebihan.fr More information at www.emmanuellekhanhparis.com JG

Alfrik and Bumber

Fleye Eyewear

Colourful, innovative and kid-tested! Fleye Eyewear is a Danish company whose latest collection was inspired by youngsters who gave their ideas on colours, shapes and design.  Colour was high on the list of the children’s demands, so the collection includes bold, hip tones of lime, turquoise and lilac.  Materials are completely free of nickel and other potentially allergenic substances. The styles above are in acetate and beta-titanium in snazzy lime green and black.  You can find Fleye Eyewear for kids at Auerbach & Steele in London www.auerbach-steele.com and at Kidzz Eyezz in Amsterdam.  Further info at www.fleye.dk JG

Special Edition TF5174

Tom Ford

Tom Ford has released a Limited Edition of four frames for men, which are based on vintage designs with a minimal yet highly functional  execution. The TF5174 comes in black acetate (or havana), features metal details which perfectly enhance the overall design. A high-set nose is curved slightly to echo the frame’s 30s inspiration. A ‘T’ symbol on the temple is a discreet reminder that this is a Tom Ford design. This a sophisticated frame for the smart male eyewear connoisseur, anyone who’s wearing it I’d love to see how it looks?….Available in the UK at Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. CN

www.tomford.com