Model 9184

Carter Bond

Setting the tone for the season, this very fine acetate model 9184 comes in fancy graduated tones and soft matt finishes. Offering as always a great level of comfort and fit, the designs in this collection are for stepping out confidently. The understated key hole bridge is a nice touch. www.carterbond.com CN

No. 498

Pollipo’

The cat-eye shape is enjoying a stylish renaissance, and Rome based designer Paola Costantini at Pollipo’ creates a beautifully feminine cat-eye frame in bi-layer acetate. The slender silhouette in asparagus green melts onto white horn sides. Pollipo’ also has a gorgeous range of handcrafted cases – including the handsome special patterned craquelé white leather design shown above. www.pollipocchiali.it JG

Eye-witness VA

Theo Eyewear

A new creative design from theo eyewear that plays on the concept of perspective or “representing depth in a painting or drawing”. The stainless steel frames in this eyewitness series feature two contour lines that give the impression of volume. Combining a basic colour and a shadow colour the result is a spectacular 3d optical illusion on the face, surprising, artistic, and a little bit light-hearted too! Launched this week at Silmo Paris. www.theo.be CN

Sinistre

RockOptika

Sinistre by RockOptika is a favourite style in this swish new line designed in the UK and made in France. Designer Tom Herrington offers a quirky take on artisan styling, with precise details, and painstaking attention to fit and technical details such as pantoscopic tilt. The result? Something we’d love to wear!  www.rockoptika.com CN

 

The SixtyGR

Original Penguin

Original Penguin celebrates their 60th anniversary with a Special Edition frame that captures the brand’s vintage heritage. This cool eyewear design for men combines a nostalgic look and feel with trends of the moment.The SixtyGR features a retro shape in buffed grey matte acetate with black sides. www.kenmarkoptical.com JG

Mazzucchelli – Six Generations of Excellence

The charming Italian medieval village of Castiglione Olona is the home location for Mazzucchelli – the internationally acclaimed producers of acetate. Product Development Manager Elena Orsi Mazzucchelli has graciously shared the amazing history of this remarkable brand with Eyestylist.

Could you please give the history of Mazzucchelli? “Born as a tiny factory, established in 1849 for the production of combs and buttons made from animal horn, bone and tortoiseshell, Mazzucchelli is now the worldwide leader in the production and distribution of the plastic material traditionally used for the production of optical frames: Cellulose Acetate. The company, still owned by the Mazzucchelli family, has been operating for the last 165 years through 6 generations. Now, the last two generations are directly involved in the company, always focused on carrying out the traditional of this exceptional example of Italian excellence. Throughout the years, Mazzucchelli 1849 has been active in several industrial fields and is now performing as the parent company of the most important industrial conglomeration worldwide, which supplies semi-finished products for the optical market (acetate sheets and granules, metal components and sunglass lenses). Massucchelli’s products are aimed at markets ranging from spectacles, sunglasses and fashion accessories, to interior decoration and design objects, where quality and aesthetical values are greatly appreciated. The products with technical qualities are valued by safety, sports and automotive industries.”

Mazzucchelli has successfully survived major upheavals including two World Wars, and economic transitions. How has this been realised or accomplished? “Over three centuries entrepreneurial spirit, intuition, vision have enabled Mazzucchelli to take a global view of the countless new challenges of the market, and to converse with the fashion world, which demands a particular sensibility to aesthetical and innovative features.

Mazzucchelli Archives
Mazzucchelli Archives

“Quality, creativity, and innovation have always been Mazzucchelli’s core values and advantages over its competitors. Over the years, Mazzucchelli has always shown a great capacity for innovation and this has enabled the company to face successfully all the major upheavals, including the two World Wars and economic transitions. After the First World War, with great insight, Mazzucchelli decided to produce on an industrial scale the first thermoplastic material, celluloid, and celluloid still remains a vivid product in collective imagination. Another reason for the success of Mazzucchelli was the elaboration of a new product: cellulose acetate, a polymer of plant origin. The research laboratories developed this product which has the same characteristics of celluloid, but it is safer because it is flame-proof. Even when the standards of beauty evolved towards a ‘modern’ concept of design (since the 60’s), Mazzucchelli, thanks to its traditional vocation to be a pioneer, readily caught these new values participating actively in the new trend, and working with major companies such as Kartell and  Campari in the production of articles which had become cult objects. Starting from the 70’s, the eyewear world has been highly influenced by design. Emerging Italian fashion designers, such as Armani, Valentino and Missoni gave a strong acceleration to the evolution of taste and distinguished themselves in the global fashion environment with the concept of Made in Italy. Mazzucchelli did not remain indifferent to such a huge phenomenon and conveyed the new standards to its product.”

What do you think is the most important development or improvement in the eyewear industry in the past fifty years? “Over the past fifty years, the biggest evolution in the eyewear industry has been the metamorphosis of the optical frame into a fashion accessory, a trendy item. Once the prosthesis function was lost, the optical frame became the answer – in the colours and designs to the specific taste of the moment. this was a real revolution, and since fashion entered the world of eyeglasses nothing has ever been the same. Mazzucchelli started to collaborate with leading fashion brands, and created a research center dedicated to the study of trends, and to all the socio-cultural factors capable of influence on the current taste. This research center, the historic ‘Centre O” is still operating and has become the undisputed benchmark in the world of eyewear.”

Creative Colourations: Acetate Block by Mazzucchelli
Creative Colourations: Acetate Block by Mazzucchelli

Mazzucchelli creates thousands of different colours every year – what general research methods do you incorporate in this massive project? “Product development has always been guaranteed by the Italian ‘Centre O’ based in Castiglione Olona. This research center works closely with brands, designers and customers from all over the world, offering a wide range of products and design consultancy. Every year this activity creates 40 collections inspired by different stylistic tendencies.The creative source for inspiration comes from fashion trends, design trends, from the suggestions collected travelling, from visits to fairs, art exhibitions, as well as from the stimulating conversations with customers, designers or artists. Besides the collections, Mazzucchelli annually develops about 6,000 new colours, unique products specifically manufactured for individual customers, developed to satisfy the need for customization, nowadays increasingly demanded by the market.”

What three colours are enduring favourites with designers? “The colour selection for optical frames includes: a tortoiseshell that, according to the prevailing fashion of the moment, could be a bleeding or a streaky tortoiseshell, or a spotted one. Black as a basic colour, and a unique colour and pattern combination which personalizes the selection.”

1849 Mazzucchelli - Italian Excellence
1849 Mazzucchelli – Italian Excellence

What are Mazzucchelli’s insights or perceptions for the future of eyewear? “Trends remain the guiding principles over the years, but as we have seen, a new requirement has become more assertive, that of personalization. We also feel that the quality and attention paid to detail will gain more significance each day, along with the need to accompany each product with its history, in order to convey its value and its DNA to the market. Eyeglasses will be more and more an object of cult used to reinforce the concept of brand identity. They will also become a new post-modern communicational tool, used to express one’s personality and to feel at ease in specific contexts.”

 

Drawing of Castiglione Olona 1954 by Fourth Generation Franco Mazzucchelli
Drawing of Castiglione Olona 1954 by Fourth Generation Franco Mazzucchelli

Creating Mazzucchelli acetate requires specialized skills. Nowadays, are young people interested in this unique and challenging career? “Every day we perceive an increasing interest in knowing more about the material used for production, because it’s only by being aware of its origin, of its history and of its components that we can be sure it is suitable to meet specific needs. Mazzucchelli manufacturers a wide range of products from classical to trendy and avant-garde. In particular, it’s the sheet produced following the Block process which represents a great attraction for stylists and designers, because the block, being made up of many and always different elements, can create inimitable effects allowing release of boundless and free creativity. This creativity can find expression thanks to the aesthetic sensibility of the workers in the laboratory, whose specialized skills are the outcome of a school, and a long cultural tradition and craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation. Yes, Mazzucchelli receives many requests from people who would like to take part in this creative process: this induces us to continue our work with great enthusiasm.” www.mazzucchelli.com JG

 

 

 

 

SDS NS001

Strada del Sole

One of the super glam Swiss made Strada del Sole sunglass styles in an exclusive collaboration between Pascal Zuber, designer of the eponymous label, and supermodel Nadine Strittmatter. Two shapes have been created in traditional black or tortoise; each individual product requires more than 80 stages, many of which are carried out by hand. According to Strittmatter, “This collaboration has been a good experience, as I have been able to express my creative side. The Swiss label is attractive in its simplicity, with the addition of a luxury touch, high quality materials and authentic artisan production. ” Available in shops from mid October. www.stradadelsole.ch CN

Ella

RVS by V.

For 2015, Ella has us falling for acetate adorned with modern metal clips. RVS by V. from Turkey highlights its metal collection this season and combines it perfectly with colourful Mazzucchelli acetate in a totally different approach. “The result is a beautiful harmony of classic gold and silver metals,” explains designer Vidal Erkohen. Keep your eye on this collection for spectacular mirrors combined with classical shapes and luxe finishes such as tortoise and horn. www.rvsbyv.com CN

Piedade

Paulino Spectacles

A classic from the Portuguese label, Piedade is, like all the styles in this line, named after designer Ramiro Paulino’s relatives. “I never met her,” he explains, “but as a child I fantasized that grandmother “Piedade” would have been a bullfighter, inspired by the one photo that existed of her, in which she used structured hair and a lace shirt.” This sweet and elegant handmade style is available in four colours including the tinted crystal we highlight here. www.paulinospectacles.com CN

Scapa

Face à Face Paris

Tortoiseshell and Turquoise combine to provide a spontaneous and charismatic design – Scapa – from Face à Face Paris. Tortoiseshell is spot-on trend, and turquoise highlights the fine points of the frame shape, including the extended temple and bevelled temple tips. A diverse selection of colours is available. More details at www.faceaface-paris.com JG

Charlotte

Coppe+Sid

A signature trend this season is semi-rimless frames with innovative interpretations. Coppe and Sid’s new collection has desirable, statement styles with vivid colour including Charlotte (above). The acetate frames are “enriched” by a nylon string inserted in the lower or upper part of the rim. Classic yet updated shapes, a cosmopolitan approach to design, and Italian craftsmanship ensure fine quality, and Coppe+Sid’s signature Lapis Lazuli stone is deftly tucked into the end-pieces. For more C+S collection news visit www.coppeandsid.com JG

Urban LITE

Silhouette

Lightweight frames are always a brilliant addition to an eyewear wardrobe. Silhouette, a specialist in barely there designs has a new ultra fine full rim style with a smart screwless snap hinge. Urban LITE is said to be the thinnest full-rim plastic eyewear on the market. The collection is created in high-tech SPX+ plastic for super strength and stability and there is a wide choice of 20 fashionable colours, including favourites such as Havana, bright red and purple.  www.silhouette.com CN

Espada

Rolf Spectacles, Austria

Which wood frame? Here are five designs we have picked out following our visits in Paris – all five I have been able to study in some way. We have looked for fine craftsmanship and beautiful techniques in the making of the frame, but we’ve also looked for great design with a modern direction and a nice fit – I have seen several wonky, not so pretty temples in wood and ill-fitting frames, so we were seeking out a top selection from brands that lead the way in this material or who have done something slightly different with wood details or bamboo.

This exemplary one – Espada – is by Rolf Spectacles, one of the few labels that makes handmade frames entirely in wood …there are no metal parts or screws. As well as being robust with an interesting shape, the frame has an exceptional and precise finish, and the grain and character of the wood are always carefully highlighted in the designs. Rolf Spectacles works with a variety of natural woods such as oak, maple, bamboo and bog oak. The Rolf Spectacles label has launched their first innovations in buffalo horn in Paris last week and that is another story of innovation and artisan expertise. www.rolf-spectacles.com CN

Veiga

Face à Face Paris

Geometric colour blocks and strong contrasts- a tribute to Piet Mondrian – signify the dramatic eyewear collection from Face à Face that they are launching this autumn. The bold shape with its sharp angles creates a real continuity between the acetate pieces. Purity, elegance and simplicity combine in this design by Pascal Jaulent, to create a beautiful new classic. www.faceaface-paris.com JG

Beach Club

Wonderglasses

“Music Express” is the theme for the latest collection from the German company Wonderglasses. The cat eye shape is curvy and charming, with striking colour combinations. The gracefulness of the design extends to the distinctive nose piece, and the overall effect is a harmonious blend of sweet and strong. This new Wonderglass collection is also available in a delightful selection of cat eye optical styles. www.wonderglasses.com JG

Rose/Rouge

Anna-Karin Karlsson

Music, art, acting and the fantasies that emanate from these creative forces, all find their way into the amazing frames created by Anna-Karin Karlsson. Private clients of the  Swedish designer have been fortunate to wear her innovative frames for the past several years; now she has debuted her first official collection in Paris. The above frame is dedicated to her sister Rose, whom Anna-Karin says is “my one and only super star.” Fabricated in sleek acetate, the luscious rose motif is reference to the beauty and romance that she envisions for her sister – with less thorns in life and more petals! www.annakarinkarlsson.com JG

Gemma

Kirk Originals

Just checked this one out in Paris…the brand new Beam Collection from the British cult brand Kirk Originals is made of acrylic, an unusual choice in eyewear, that innovator Jason Kirk has been using for temples combined with other materials since the late 1990s. The result is beautiful, as the material has a lovely shine when polished, similar to that of glass, and the intensity of the colours is striking. Handmade in France, the frames are unusual in that they do not need re-enforcing wires in the temples, so the lines remain pure. Shapes are oversized as is typical of the Kirk Originals brand, and a new colour process allows bright hues to merge and separate in tones of fluo orange, yellow, pink and acqua. RRP 420 euros. Available immediately at the Kirk Originals flagship store in London. www.kirkoriginals.com