Finest Seven

New from the British luxury label is Zero 11, a clean, minimal aviator shape with striking proportions and fashion-forward lens, designed by Jesse Stephens. Colours are in tune with the high quality aspect of the design. A grey graduated lens matches the sheen of the metal frame itself in this example, while other colour combinations include gold with a graduated brown lens and gold with a baby blue mirrored lens. Attention to form and craft, typical of Stephens’ work, is perfectly illustrated in a design that reinterprets a classic with dramatic aesthetics and a comfortable fit. CN


Blake Kuwahara Eyewear

From a new eponymous collection by a designer who first came to optics as the creator and designer of KATA, the Blake Kuwahara line is made by hand in Japan. I first met Blake when I started as a trade journalist in the eyewear sector in 1999, and was told by senior editors he was one of the most important trendsetting designers at the time. Today he expresses his eyewear passion once again in a collection that is elegant, understated, imaginative and executed with precision and attention to detail.

Style Corbu expresses the key concept of the collection, as Kuwahara explained to Eyestylist at Silmo: “I’ve taken familiar eye shapes but encapsulate them in a nontraditional surrounding shape. By making a “frame within a frame” the juxtaposition of shapes and colours creates a design tension that is fresh and quite unexpected.” The collection launches with nine unisex optical styles and nine sunglass styles. CN

Zero 7 Blush

Finest Seven

Generous proportions enhance beautiful sunglasses from British brand Finest 7 in a new colour – soft, harmonious Blush acetate. A sculpted cut-out nose piece, and detailed gold metal temples complete the ultra-glamorous look. Exquisite handcrafting excellence! JG


Line Art Opera

Semi-rimless frames are enjoying a welcome renaissance, with chic variations. Among the most elegant for women is a super slim Titanium design by Line Art Opera, and lyrical temples illuminated with shimmering Swarovski crystals. Inspired by the harmony and beauty of music, the designs have subtle luxury and supreme comfort.  XL2005 is available in three gorgeous colours – Rich Burgundy (above), Cocoa and Gold. JG




Fabian Hoffmann at Coblens merges style directions of both slim and volume in this striking sunglass design. The lower rim of the frame is crafted in trim proportions, with graceful volume on the sides and upper rim. Intense burgendy acetate provides additional glamour and luxury. Coblens offers a diverse collection of optical and sunglass designs – more information at JG



Rolf Spectacles Austria

Buffalo horn – the classically elegant material for eyewear – is experiencing a resurgence as designers use the fabrication – all eco-friendly – with frames that are timeless and unique. Here we review our favourites.

In their spacious surroundings in the Austrian mountains, the Rolf Team creates – step-by-step – totally handmade horn frames. Select horn plates are used for the designs, which are set on an inner wooden core – no metal or other materials are used. The temples in Hornet are gracefully tapered, and the frame is light, flexible and feels wonderful on the skin. Naturally pure and a work of art. JG



Rigards – Handmade for Your Face

Looking for a unique pair of sunglasses? Made of horn, this super oversized style is the creation of an independent label called Rigards who specialise in handmade horn designs using traditional production techniques. This is a first taste of this label on I can’t really do their collection justice in a few lines but what I can say for this review is there is a lot of attention to hand finishing and detail here that deserves to be noticed, and the passion for quality, style and comfort is very strong. Made in an atelier in Hong Kong, these are one-off designs for connoisseurs of beautiful eyewear and each piece has a huge amount of character and individuality…the horn is carefully selected and is an organic by-product from water buffalos reared on small African farms so there is an eco-friendly element too. Each of the sunglass styles is individually numbered and produced in a limited series of 200 or 500 pieces.

Rigards Eyewear is coming soon to the UK (be quick this Spring!) and available in France at  L’Eclaireur (Paris) and Royal Navy (Marseille). We have more details on Rigards designs coming soon. See the label’s website for insights and further information on stockists: CN

Eolie Collection

Mondelliani Glasses

Another new label we stopped to see in Paris was Rome-based Mondelliani Glasses. Their Eolie Collection features a fresh colour palette inspired by the landscapes of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Created by the owners of the Mondelliani optical shop in Rome and made in their entirety in Italy, the sunglasses are youthful, vibrant, and made in lovely acetate materials where a lot of attention is given to warm sunny colour tones and elegant bright colour pairings. The sunglass styles feature top-of-the-range sun lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision. A perfect choice for a warm holiday destination. CN



Inspired by Hollywood superstars, this pretty modified cat eye frame from the Argentinian label has a feminine shape. It was the animal print that caught my eye; I like this interpretation on the top of the front, with the coordinating design on the side of the temple. This one is the brown, white and leopard version; it also comes in black glitter, one I’d choose for an easy update of my autumn/winter wardrobe. CN



LDStäel O5 Walnut

Lucas de Stäel

Paris based Lucas de Stäel recently launched his own eyewear collection – and swiftly won a Silmo d’Or for 2012. “Once Upon a Time” is the result of two years of intensive research and testing before unveiling the collection. De Stäel is fascinated with industrial processes, and his goal is to achieve a perfect balance between flexibility, lightness, classicism and purist. The frame above – in smooth polished walnut achieves those goals with its refined, graceful shape, and delicate details. JG


Claire Goldsmith Legacy

The lovely acetate colour gradations in this frame are so appealing! The play of light and dark, and the “English tea side” temple harmonize into an elegant, romantic shape. The heightened eyebrow treatment is also a significant touch. Sloane is just one outstanding style from the new Claire Goldsmith Legacy collection. JG

EW-TE 227

Theo Antwerp

The new Theo collection is a colour and design feast,  especially this wonderful Houndstooth pattern , which takes its inspiration from the textile pattern. From Theo’s Eye-Witness selection, the design above is crafted with an exotically extended eyebrow, that is beautifully avant-garde, and the free-spirited colour has real zip. This luscious lime green tone is so cool – and so are the other colours – rich burgundy, raspberry, and a deep blue – distinctively Theo! JG



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. JG



During Hall of Frames in Zurich, I had the opportunity to see the entire Res/Rei collection, which I admire for its top-notch quality, cutting edge precision, and the beautiful acetates. Domiziano (above) is a perfect example – marbled blue acetate, with a distinguished bridge, combined with stainless steel. Designer Oliviero Zanon takes great pride in creating frames with classical traditions, plus sophisticated chic. JG

Palladium 002

RVS by V. Handmade Eyewear

Following the success of their first stainless steel frame the Palladium 001, Turkish company RVS by V. Handmade Eyewear have continued their production of lightweight steel frames with the new 002 and 003. These showpiece styles are available in matt gold with gold lenses and matt black with faded lenses….the timeless but quirky shapes are delightful…the square 002 and small rectangular 003 are both shapes that appeared in the 1960s but also remind me of some very early antique specs produced in the late 1800s….RVS cleverly gives them a makeover producing them in modern stainless steel with luxurious eye-catching lens colours. Exciting! CN