French creative designer Jean-François Rey announces the opening of a redesigned flagship store, located in Marseille in the South of France – home to the company. Two passionate young opticians take the helm of the store – Julia Maggio and Valentin Abrioux – which first opened in the French city in September 2008.
The shop has a new striking black facade with a new identity : ‘Jean-François Rey, Créateur Lunetier’, strengthening the link with the Jean-François Rey company, now over 30 years old with a global distribution. Inside, the shop has been completely transformed with a beautiful, chic and creative area for each of the company’s different specialists collections: JF Rey, JF Rey Petite, Kids&Teens, Boz, Volte Face, Sky Eyes, Jean-François Rey 1985 and LE CUIR.
The company told Eyestylist: “The result is just perfect. This is the universe of designers Joëlle and Jean-François Rey! Our intention was to express the mood of each of the brands, the spirit of the designer and the House Jean-François Rey. Our customers can now see each and every one of our collections, the inspiration, and the original, creative style of our frames.” Marseille, FranceCN
ic! berlin frames have been trialled in a rigorous series of Mars field simulations and experiments in the Omani desert, run by the Austrian Space Forum.
The AMADEE-18 Mars Analogue Mission studied equipment, procedures and work flows under the extreme ‘Martian-like’ conditions of the deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman. Above: photo taken during the AMADEE- 18 Mars Analogue Mission
During the simulations the analogue astronauts from the OeWF wore 45-kilogram robotic spacesuits equipped with their own power supply, communication systems and a variety of sensors. They also tested ic! berlin sunglasses – selected to protect their eyes from the desert sun and provide a lightweight technical solution for the face.
With an average weight of around 20 grams, ic! berlin’s advanced rubberized sunglasses combine features such as comfort and state-of-the-art UV protection with a reliable and robust construction, resilient screwless hinge and high-performance materials. The frames tested during the field work feature extremely flexible and lightweight 0.5mm spring stainless steel with a rubber polyurethane-based thermoplastic elastomer (TPE-U) coating which is scratch and heat resistant. More details: www.ic-berlin.deCN
There’s a good choice of different shapes in sunwear this season. As well as smaller proportions, frames can be as different as you like, evolving from the classics like ovals and rounds. FLEYE Copenhagen does this well with Alleno, a luxurious technical frame made from 23 thin layers of carbon fibre and one super slim layer of wood.
The shape is almond-like, with a geometric yet organic like structure and matt surface. The colours are as refined as the construction itself, and in tune with a very fashionable, youthful vibe: choose from velvet black (my choice for the season), silver wood, grape or sea blue. FLEYE Copenhagen specialises in innovative design, “Driven by curiosity.” Find the full collection at www.fleye.dk CN
Ørgreen is preparing the launch of its second Quantum collection, a high-tech minimal eyewear range that unites state-of-the-art eyewear materials and a unique hinge design (see https://www.eyestylist.com/2017/09/silmo-2017-one-week-go/ ) – the subject of much curiosity in the world of optics.
Consisting of 12 designs for men and women, the second Collection extends what the brand describes as “the preoccupation with contemporary urban identity, characterized by constant movement, freedom, and self-determination” with focus on the extra matte Polyamide fronts paired with titanium, and a new range of hues with a distinct yet understated direction.
Eyestylist asked Head of Design Tobias Wandrup to comment on what differentiates a frame with this level of technicality and state-of-the-art construction: “Quantum perfectly represents the minimal and functional DNA of the Ørgreen designs. And it’s in the DNA of this brand to continuously research and implement ways to increment the minimalistic aesthetic and the functionality of the frames. In that sense, Quantum is the Ørgreen state of the art.”
“Innovation is more and more a key factor for consumers, and brands are following this trend using innovative material, applying new technologies. It is of course a matter of balance. The brand needs to be able to do that without losing the aesthetic appeal – or compromising their design statement.”
For those who have not yet seen the product close up, as well as nice clean proportions typical of the label, the frames feature a minute spherical hinge which connects the titanium temple to the polyamide front, eliminating common eyewear components such as screws and bolts, and producing a finely honed minimal focus that fits perfectly with the Danish design aesthetic. Comfort, of course, is at the top of the agenda, and with high-performance materials like titanium and polyamide in combination, you can feel secure that the frame will wear well and stand the test of time. Find out more about eyewear innovations and the latest collections by Ørgreen Optics at www.orgreenoptics.comCN
Wear the Eyes SS18 – An Artisanal Eyewear Collection designed by Belgian fashion designer Anneleen Bertels for Liselore Frowijn ‘MEXICO’ SS18 collection. Handcrafted in collaboration with Eline De Winter and Vincent Verstrepen.
The SS18 “Wear the eyes”- collection by Anneleen Bertels in collaboration with Eline De Winter and Vincent Verstrepen is the search for the functionality of ‘viewing’ and the luxury of admiring eyewear as a custom-made piece of jewelry or fine art. Shaped in an entirely handcrafted manner, the designs are executed with close attention to detail and are exclusively available as a limited couture edition.
‘Wear the eyes’ is an architectural game of raw and refined metal drawings for the eyes with fractions of colours, inspired by the 3-dimensional shapes of swimming goggles and the sharpness of sports eyewear. The aim, according to Bertels, was to push the limit of what eyewear can and could be.
The artisan’s expertise is reflected by the way the lenses are placed on the frames, referencing ancient and traditional ways of setting stones and diamonds on jewelry. “These frames are shaped out of the idea that we should experience and feel our surroundings more consciously through the objects we are in touch with on a daily basis,” explains the designer. Anneleen aims to reach out for objects that have the power to create effective experiences and make us want to invest more in a tactile and emotional relationship and interaction with these objects over time.
For this collection, Anneleen Bertels collaborated with and called upon the expertise of jewelry designers and makers Vincent Verstrepen en Eline De Winter, who assisted her throughout the whole design process with their knowledge and insights. They crafted the eyewear in their atelier with extreme precision. All the coloured lenses were provided by Zeiss. The designs are available exclusively from the designer via www.anneleenbertels.be. CN
Vinylize extends their ranges this season with a new musical connection. The Official Vinylize x AC/DC collection is a special edition of “collectible” optical frames and sunglasses, with fronts laminated with the 22 x multi-platinum “Back in Black”, AC/DC’s seventh studio album and sixth international release, produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, which has gone down in history as one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The frames have the distinctive hand-finished nuances typical of the Budapest brand, with names inspired by the tracks on the album. Model Noise is linked to the final track on Back in Black – “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”, an anthem that captures the feeling of the time.
Three optical frames and three sunglasses (with polarised lenses) are available in the limited collection, each in three sizes. Find out more about handmade vinyl designs by Zach Tipton at www.vinylize.comCN
For those who love a throwback, the new wave of monochrome in fashion and home decor, with a nod to the 60s (and a hint of the 90s), comes with a modern flavour and directional elegance, whatever the context. In the accessory world, the trend is easy-to-wear and instantly on point, and designers – from specialists in eyewear to milliners and home furnishing creatives – are having fun with the mix, as a “fresh” redefined statement or classic combo. Above: AnifInChains, Athens, produce coloured chains including marble effects and black&white styles – for details: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AnifInChains
On the face, black and white or black and crystal provides a touch of drama and individuality, and an interesting alternative to all over black. Claire Goldsmith’s model Hathaway, a luxurious example, features a front in a thin black with crystal acetate, and a silhouette inspired by the cat eye with a deep, square form. More two-tone designs including Dalton (in Matte Slate & Storm) are featured in the CG line by the great-granddaughter of iconic designer Oliver Goldsmith: details at www.olivergoldsmith.com
Also combined on the front, the monochrome mix makes a statement in Vue DC’s CM 10, with the black along the brow and crystal outlining the eyes. The frame is handmade in France and stands out for its artisan finishing and artsy, charismatic silhouette. Find more inspiration at www.vuedc.frCN
Spring offers a fresh start and an opportune moment to update spectacles and sunglasses. On our radar for women are statement titanium and acetate designs with a clear identity and absolute precision in details, colours and flattering feminine shaping.
Falvin Eyewear’s model Orbit – from the Black Crystal Collection – exemplifies luxury sophistication in a Danish design concept where the handcrafted titanium frames come with precious platings of palladium, rose gold and 24 carat gold. Rendered in a subtle two-tone colour scheme, the frame is modern and fashion-forward and perfectly suited to everyday wear, with the kind of comfort and barely-there feel that ensures a pleasurable experience through long periods. www.falvineyewear.com
The sweet model Cosmos by Lafont Paris, an acetate design with a tri-colour combination, is a classical example of the cat’s eye shape with a playful femininity in pretty, fashionable pastels (colour way Cosmos 3100) of pink crystal and teal with bright blue temples. www.lafont.com
Delicate colours and a very narrow shaping create the feminine touch in model Bise by ic! berlin, part of the super fine silk collection – free from “unnecessary branding or ornament”. These designs have a new 3.5mm screwless hinge – a progressive frame feature that offers excellent slimline aesthetics and long-lasting comfort. The two tone front is a fun new look in a season of bolder eyewear statements and colour. www.ic-berlin.de
Morganne Leigh initially began Tyche + Iset Eyewear as a portfolio piece in order to attain graphic design jobs after college. Always a sunglasses enthusiast, Morganne decided to try her hand at product design after studying jewelry design. In order to stand apart for her debut collection (Autumn 2014), she chose to utilize her handwritten signature of “Los Angeles” across the top of the frame, laser etched into the acetate and rubbed with gold oil. Another exclusive detail, which is her brand’s signature, is the gold music note charm on every model’s temple tip. Casablanca (pictured above), is available in an elegant acetate in chestnut (brown multi) with almond brown lenses, magenta (magenta ombré to clear) with grey lenses, and slate(black ombré to clear) with a blue-grey lens.Find out more about the designer at www.tycheandiset.com CN
Japanese designer Masahiro Maruyama has a fresh, artistic approach to frame design. The erase collection, the latest series proposed by the young designer and a terrific example of his innovative style, applies the process of drawing and ‘erasing’, removing pieces of the frames and questioning the understanding of perfection.
Each frame is individually shaped by a skilled craftsman by filing the entire surface. This makes it possible to create a well-balanced combination of rim, endpiece, thickness of temple, and shape of nose pad for an excellent feel and fit. Intensive polishing allows for the very smooth finish and beautiful luster.
All Maruyama’s designs are produced in the eyewear region of Fukui, in Kawada ward, Sabae city. According to the designer, here, “the fine craftsmanship and quality goes without saying.” For more information about Maruyama, one of the most talked about Japanese young designers in original eyewear this season, visit www.masahiromaruyama.comCN
Tony Gross, co-founder of British eyewear brand Cutler & Gross has died, aged 78. Gross was an advocate of fashionable, trendsetting eyewear design that attracted fashion circles and celebrities including Elton John, Princess Diana and Grace Jones.
The Cutler & Gross label was started in London in 1969 by partners Tony and Graham, who met at optometry school in London in the ’60s. The entrepreneurial duo opened their first store in Knightsbridge in 1971, stocking handmade bespoke frames, designed, unlike most at the time, as a fashion accessory.
“Tony truly believed in the transcendence of spectacles from unattractive, government-funded pieces of eye science to a genuine fashion accessory infused with sex appeal and glamour.” Extract from Forty Years of Vision and Style, 2009.
“I still have vivid memories of meeting Tony at Optometry College in London,” says Graham Cutler. “We were looking for something to occupy ourselves at lunchtimes, and Tony suggested poker. So he taught me how to play and groups of us would play each day for money. He had been a professional player before going to College, so was very successful! We also discovered that we had met a lot of the same people in our earlier rambles around Soho.
“After college our friendship continued, and we ended up working for the same group of Optometrists in London, and often working together. We started talking about opening our own practice, where we would each be able to work just six months of the year. Obviously that plan didn’t work out!”
Marie Wilkinson, Design Director for over 30 years at Cutler & Gross said: “He was, without question, a pioneer, turning eyewear into the genuine fashion accessory infused with sex appeal and glamour that we know today. The first three decades of the brand’s existence had much to do with Tony’s formidable social appetite and his ability to mix just as easily with Royalty and music stars, as with his wonderful friends that filled the Cutler & Gross stores. Tony’s enthusiasm and taste were undeniably infectious, and coupled with his skill as an Optometrist, drew huge cross-sections of people to the brand. His spirit continues to give Cutler & Gross its unique and much loved personality to this day. He will be sorely missed.” Portrait (top) by Dennis Rolfe / www.cutlerandgross.com CN
Isabelle Lunettes Nantes, interior design by Decodheure: redesigned in 2017, the new store explores colour and minimal open spaces to highlight exclusive individual eyewear collections.
“I first opened my shop in 2008, in a collaboration with the network Rien Ne Va Plus,” explains Isabelle, the owner of Isabelle Lunettes in Nantes, one of the most beautiful optical stores we have seen in Europe in recent months.
“The shop was originally, “Le Petit Salon des Créateurs.” In 2017, I decided to leave the group and became completely independent. At that time I got in touch with friends who owned an agency in Nantes called Idile Edito and I started the year with a total redesign of our visual image and graphics. We changed the name, the logo, and the graphics completely. And then I realised it was also the right time to change the interior.”
By the end of the year, Isabelle had completely transformed the store with a new striking interior. “It was natural to choose Decodheure (www.decodheure.com). Sandie and Pierre-Edouard were introduced to me by my communications agency Idile Edito who have worked with each other on many different projects. When we met, we were completely in tune with the vision and design and I was able to put all my trust in their work. The project was completely focused on DESIGN – GRAPHICS – and COLOUR….”
“I am completely in love with the new store, I feel completely at home here. The interior design corresponds completely to my vision of creative eyewear: chic, modern, and very colourful”, Isabelle told Eyestylist.
Featured brands: Cutler & Gross / Dita / Thom Browne / Struktur / l.a. eyeworks / Coblens / Kuboraum / Kaleos Eyehunters / Blake Kuwahara / Clément Lunetier / Robert La Roche. Address: 24 Rue de Strasbourg, 44000 Nantes, France – www.isabellelunettes.fr Interior design by https://decodheure.comCN
Copenhagen Fashion Week is underway, and as always, the Danish brand Ørgreen has something special to show. Its new 3d printed collection with Yuniku is presented in a spectacular design window by GamFratesi at the flagship store in Store Regnegade 1, a street that boasts some of the city’s most fashionable shopping destinations.
Drawing attention to the exclusive customised collection which currently has 12 models in six colours, the GamFratesi installation takes inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s diverse and eclectic approach to portraiture, never rendering one face in the same way. The accentuated quirks of Picasso’s portraits—evident in the portrayal of his muses Dora Maar, Olga Khokhlova, and his daughter, May—work to celebrate the diversity amongst people: their unique shape, size, and spirit.
The partnership between Ørgreen and Yuniku is an extension of Ørgreen’s desire to provide diverse product range choices for a wider spectrum of consumers, always with respect to a Nordic aesthetic, and with an eye for the newest technological innovation.
Meaning “unique” in Japanese, Yuniku celebrates the uniqueness of the human face with a special scanner that measures facial features. By taking the lifestyle of the consumer into account, lenses are individually designed while the frame is 3D printed around the individual’s visual needs, all in all matching vision, face and personal styling. More details at www.orgreenoptics.comCN
London’s fair at ExCel, 100% Optical, presented an array of new looks in eyewear, from designers and companies across the international frame and sunglasses business. The UK demand for individual glasses is growing, and astute independent opticians have realised the gains in searching for the less easy to find labels, offering creative shapes, innovative, technical frames and beautiful eyewear materials and colours. Above: TAVAT Tactile: from Italy, an evolution in its timeless collection of fine acetate and metal/acetate combination designs. www.tavateyewear.com
Highlighted at the fair, Silhouette’s extensive launches for 2018 include a collaboration with Perret Schaad, representing a new re-craft of Silhouette’s iconic Titan Minimal Art frame for Spring/Summer 2018.
Johanna Perret and Tutia Schaad, the pair behind the label, are best known for sleek, minimalist designs. For Silhouette, the resulting frame takes the form of a unique modified hexagon shape – with cutout on the outer side of each lens -which embodies influences of architecture and geometric styling. Despite the dramatic angles, the design personifies the designers’ passion for minimalism and weightlessness. www.silhouette.com
The colour palette for 2018 encourages bold, exciting statements and 100% helped to highlight the very latest hues. Along with an array of new neutrals, we were impressed by the prevalence of the colour purple, which, with many other pastel tones from pale pink to baby blue and pistachio, is making a huge impression for the coming season. Fresh colour combinations were particularly lively at the independent labels we visited and tone-on-tone effects where lenses match the frame, were fresh and sophisticated. Above: Andy Wolf’s sunglass model Austin, in lilac. The lens tone blends with the frame hue: www.andy-wolf.com
Protective, stylish cases are an important element in eyewear and the array of styles has become more creative and luxurious. Butti Eyewear Cases, a new British label, produces a refined slip case design with a hard protective layer and a silk lining, perfectly suited to modern tastes. A small leather tab releases the glasses! Made in the UK, the brightly coloured cases are produced in Italian leather with a smart lustrous finish. Butti made their first appearance at the 100% fair: find details at www.butti.co.uk
This year, 100%’s excellent “Celebration of Vision” competition for RCA students offered a fascinating insight into the creative talent of the future in the UK. Two winners were announced this weekend: well done to Julia Hauss, (Womenswear –Fashion, Year 1), who designed frames based on children’s birthdays and the joy they bring, and Ely Cao, (Womenswear – Accessories, Year 1), who proposed “a gift from the crazy optician” – a box containing 94 imaginative multi-coloured modular eyewear pieces, “full of possibilities”.
Parisian eyewear designer Alain Mikli and haute couture designer Alexandre Vauthier have today shown an edition of avant-garde eyewear captured through the lens of Mert & Marcus on British fashion icon, Kate Moss. Above: Moss wears model Roselyne
The collaboration includes four styles: Edwidge, Edwidge jeweled, Roselyne, and Nadége that appeared on the runway at the Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture show today at Paris Couture week, with much comment.
Since the launch of his Haute Couture range in 2009, Vauthier’s luxurious and futuristic fabrics, Parisian savoir-faire and vision of the female body have ensured his creations have seduced clients around the world. CN
Photography credit: Kate Moss wears the Alain Mikli x Alexandre Vauthier Edwidge jeweled and the Roselyne in Noir Mikli with Swarovski Crystals and Grey lenses.
London’s 100% Optical takes place on 27th to 29th January, and promises an exciting event, celebrating 5 years of success at the city’s ExCel centre. Many different types of eyewear will be showcased during the weekend, with companies travelling from far and wide.
The Austrian company SILHOUETTE will launch the new Alpha Collection to UK opticians, a new addition expanding the Titan Minimal Art range. The Collection introduces a number of distinguished technical highlights, focusing on an architecturally modern design. A striking nose bridge and an updated metallic temple aesthetic, with the choice of a polished or matte finish, combined with a delicate decorative element are also highlighted. New to the range, inspired by recent SS18 trends, is the luxurious brass and rose gold metal surface. www.silhouette.com
LINDBERG’s presence in the UK continues to go from strength to strength and the Danish company will showcase highlights from across its collections for 2018. Watch out for their Sirius Titanium which won the Red Dot Award in 2017. More details at www.lindberg.com
The ‘Be Hot’ shapes in the WOOW Wool collection have light metal fronts and beautiful matching “Argyll” socks on the temples. Be Hot comes in 2 shapes and 6 colour combinations, and celebrates five years of the Woow Eyewear brand. BeHot1 is typically colourful and upbeat in a line that brings a youthful energy to eyewear! Woow is part of Design Eyewear Group and can be found at their stand at 100%. www.wooweyewear.com
Gotti Switzerland offers a diverse collection of smart, minimal eyewear including 3d printed luxury styles (DIMENSION), a lightweight trendy rimless collection (Perspective) and design classics in titanium and buffalo horn. The new DIMENSION frames offer the ultimate in personalised 3d printed eyewear – with a touch of bold colour! www.gotti.ch
EYESHAKER, an Austrian company who first launched their cleaning product in 2017, will also exhibit in London for the first time. This product is a brilliantly simple way to thoroughly clean away dust, makeup, sweat or finger prints, and keeps frames and lenses looking smart and stylish. A must-have for the optical practice. Try the product out at the Eyeshaker booth or visit www.eyeshaker.at
The Soul Collection by Andy Wolf offers classic design with trend-led nuances of colour and design. Model Amira is the ultimate round style with a unique narrow metal bridge and bold canary yellow colour choice. Find more classic tones and brights in the Soul Collection at 100% and on www.andy-wolf.com
100% Optical will showcase a range of independent labels in 2018 including the following brands: Andy Wolf, Booth & Bruce, Cazal, Dandy’s, Eyeshaker, Francis Klein, Gotti Switzerland, Kirk & Kirk, Neubau, Savile Row, MODO, Markus T, Tavat and Silhouette. For more information visit www.100percentoptical.comCN
Eye Q boutique owner Alicia Hartman has introduced us to her first eyewear collection, developed in Barbados in a design collaboration with the celebrity sunglass designer Eric Jean. Launched on the beach in December, the new limited edition – Peoples from Barbados – “PFB” is a celebration of the island’s rich culture and people, with styling that encapsulates style, Caribbean adventure, joie de vivre and “Bajan soul”. The launch coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the island’s independence.
Alicia met designer Eric Jean last April.”It was the beginning of a journey that turned a dream into a reality,” she told Eyestylist. “We started to work on a capsule collection of sunglasses for men and women, a unique concept of glasses that captures everything that Barbados represents for me.”
The collection features made in Japan temple printing reflecting the excellence of the overall quality of production. High end acetates combine with pure stainless steel temples and special features such as a unique screwless flat stainless steel hinge and subtle bespoke gradient mirrors. Signature end tips come in colours which match the fronts. Unique lamination techniques and Japanese polishing produce glossy to subtle matt finishes that give a luxury fit and feel.
EYE Q stocks niche and independent eyewear brands with a focus on craftsmanship and style, and will now add the PFB line, designed in Barbados.
Korea’s youngest eyewear brands are turning heads. One of the most popular rising names is the stainless steel specialist Stealer from Seoul, a brand that already has an impressive following at home, among them Korean influencers – such as actors Kim Moo Yul and Lee Hanee, who wear their frames on and off camera. The designs themselves are already in some of the finest boutiques in the South Korean capital (https://www.eyestylist.com/2017/06/haute-eye-seoul/). Opened in 2015, their retail HQ is in trendy Sinsa-Dong, Seoul. Lightweight and minimal in thickness and style, the collection plays with thin steel and fine steel wire to create interesting volumes with an industrial yet refined feel.
“As a brand we aim to re-interpret the material with an in-depth and unconstrained point of view….” Stealer Eyewear
Following launches in Europe at Silmo (www.silmoparis.com), the Paris trade fair for optics and eyewear, the Stealer collection is now available in a select number of European opticians and fashion stores including La Vue Parisienne (Paris), Optics Angelos (Athens), Mert Optik (Turkey) and Joseph Haver (Tel Aviv) and continues to grow its European following with a street fashion project in Milan, highlighted on Instagram. Stealer Eyewear will exhibit at MIDO 2018 (Milan). Find out more: www.stealereyewear.comCN
Light-adaptive lenses have taken a new stylish direction thanks to Transitions Optical, who continue to innovate in this specialist area.
The Fashion Chrome collection – just launched ready for SS18 – has a striking mirrored effect combined with Transitions’ XTRActive lens technology – which protects the eyes from the brightest sun and harsh artificial light. It also allows the lenses to darken behind the windscreen of a car.
The lenses have an adaptive tint that reacts to UV and visible light, intensifying when the wearer moves outside. When indoors, the lens has a chic light mirrored tint, which turns into a full mirrored sunglass outdoors, allowing the wearer to have the right tint at the right time. Available in six fashion-forward colour options from Red Sunrise to Sea Green, the new Fashion Chrome lenses provide a tonal range that is striking, unique and fresh – representing an outstanding new opportunity to complement stylish designer eyewear.
Transitions Optical was founded in 1990. In 1991, it became the first company to commercialize and manufacture plastic photochromic lenses.
Antique expert Catherine Southon is including a pair of Sir Winston Churchill’s tortoiseshell spectacles made by his opticians C. W. Dixey & Sons in a Christmas auction on Wednesday, 6th December 2017. The auction will be held at Farleigh Golf Club, near Croydon, UK, not far from Churchill’s Kent residence, and the spectacles are estimated to sell for up to £2,000.
The full rimmed round glasses with white dot to tip of each arm, contained within a leather spectacle case embossed C.W.Dixey & Son London 1777, together with a typed statement from Director of C. W. Dixey Mr P. Varnes verifying that the spectacles were made for Winston Churchill and claiming ‘usually three pairs of spectacles were made to Churchill’s prescription and kept at the Cavendish Square showroom later the Wigmore Street practice. After Churchill’s death C.W. Dixey had three pairs of Churchill’s spectacles still in their possession. It is believed one pair were given to Chartwell, one pair auctioned in 2011 and this is the final pair.
The spectacles were give to the present owner by Mr P. Varnes Director of Dixey and Sons, as the present owner, also an optician, was developing a new range of spectacles in the style of Churchill and Mr Varnes said he should ‘have the real thing’.
Churchill was very fond of his distinctive eyewear – either half-eye or the fully round style which were tailored for specific purposes and marked accordingly. The metal dots in the corner of the frame indicate its purpose – one dot for reading only and two dots for speeches, but he also had specially made glasses for sketching, painting, or card playing.
The wartime prime minister was often seen wearing the circular tortoiseshell spectacles in his later years. He had several made, so he would always have spares and if there was anything wrong with them, they would then be left with opticians Dixey for repairs.
Catherine said: “We are absolutely delighted to be offering a pair of Winston Churchill’s spectacles, especially as this area is very proud of its Churchill connection. His spectacles are as iconic as his cigar and hat. We expect a lot of interest both here and abroad as Churchill memorabilia is always very collectable.”
Today, the British spectacle makers C W Dixey & Son produce a range of classical designs including a faithful replica of Sir Winston’s legendary circular frames, model Chartwell 01, picture above. More details on the line at http://www.cwdixeyandson.com/range.php
Fine lines and a totally minimal structural aesthetic in eyewear continue to trend for the season ahead. Many design brands have produced their own interpretation of the look, some returning to their archives to delve into the past – and eras where fine wired frames were popular – and others proposing a more futuristic design concept, employing advanced materials which are very strong as well as slim. Architectural influences have naturally had an impact on the styling, as more “open” frame structures and different ideas on volumes and the method of construction become significant.
neubau eyewear, the young Austrian brand at Silhouette Eyewear, the Austrian experts in minimalist eyewear design, propose a completely new line in their collection which highlights 4 designs in stainless steel – conceived to combine a forward-looking, yet timeless look and a comfortable fit, achieved through adjustable nose pads and temples and a choice of two sizes. Above: neubau eyewear has launched four styles in The Wire Collection, made from stainless steel.
Manu by neubau is part of the Wire Collection. With its classic round shape and double bridge, the style cleverly plays on current styles and is perfectly fitting for a young audience who are increasingly seeking out the minimal designs. Available in graphite matte, eclectic silver, eclectic silver/black and glorious gold. www.neubau-eyewear.com
From theo, and for those with an eye on a creative lightweight design, the new Noodles serve up minimalism with quirky original details inspired by the Japanese dish and its many varieties: Ramen, Soba, Udon etc.
The lenses are held in place by “sticks” likened to chopsticks and colours vary from neon to more subdued greys and blues – there are 20 colour choices in total. The frames are made of strong, flexible stainless steel, are chemically etched, and feature corners that are laser-cut for an extra delicate effect. Find out more: www.theo.be
Rigards, renowned for its artisan designs in buffalo horn, has created a new take on the oversized aviator in .925 sterling silver. The curves on the frames are meant to create an illusion that it’s always in motion. The delicacy of the bridge design points to a minimal refinement in designer Ti Kwa’s artisan work in silver for the new season. www.rigards.com
Rimless styling has returned to the catwalks, and the new collections with this look represent, in some cases, exceptional steps in technological excellence. Gotti Switzerland’s Perspective Collection offers the ultimate minimal frameless concept, with a new proposal in the construction which is free from screws, glue and soldering. The connecting piece between the stainless steel and the lens itself is manufactured for a seamless aesthetic using 3d printing. More details on Gotti Perspective at www.gotti.chCN
Eyestylist Preview 2018 ….. SIENS EYE CODE in Milan has announced the official launch for 2018 of their brilliant Light Transmutation project which we have recently experienced. The project explores chromotherapy via sunglasses designed to expand and transform the wearer’s vision through “coloured” light. The seven colours are those of the 7 chakras, each offering different therapeutic benefits corresponding to different parts of the body – red, for example, activates the circulatory and nervous systems connected to the heart.
In the frame design, the transparent coloured ring surrounds a dark UV protective sun lens; the same colour reappears on the temple in a striking ‘wing’ design which represents the beneficial and therapeutic effects of the lens whilst giving the frame a cool futuristic look.
Chromotherapy, also referred to as colour therapy, is an ancient alternative medicinal method. The Siens team – headed up by designers Roberto and Stefano Russo – are known for their experimental approach to eyewear and a consistent exploration into different materials, technologies, design disciplines and conceptual ideas. This is the latest project in a collection that also offers innovative technical solutions in the form of a patented hinge, lens assembling system and packaging integrated with the glasses in their first series, Creatures (launched in 2016). Find out more about SIENS at the website: www.sienseyecode.com CN
Pairings in eyewear are increasingly complex and, for future seasons, colourful and bright. For the wearer, the mix of colours or materials should flatter and enhance features without overpowering the face – it’s an art of harmony and balance, where the interplay of texture and colour can be subtle and harmonious, or bold and striking.
JF Rey – the French design house – is creative in combination work and their Destruct line clearly illustrates the opportunity to play both with colour, material and volume on the frame. The concept focuses on the cutting of the acetate to uncover the metal below the surface. “The metal unfolds and redraws the aesthetics of the frame, creating a new graphic balance,” explains the designer. Find out more at www.jfrey.fr
Model Viggo – a smart men’s design by Face à Face – combines classic colours of tortoise and bright blue, in a popular mix that is easy on many complexions. In the photo, the frame is fitted with the newly released Transitions lenses, Style Colours, in their bright blue tone – Sapphire – personalising the colour combinations of the design, and enhancing the points in blue on the bridge and temple when at their most intense tone in the sun. A stunning combination! www.faceaface-paris.com / www.stylecolours.co.uk
Colour combinations at the innovative Italian artisan design label RES/REI are often inspired by nature. Magnolia, from the Flowers Collection, is an example of the label’s new custom designed acetates which feature a geometric use of three different colours on the front face – a magical re-interpretation of the petals of exotic flowers. www.resrei.comCN
We were looking for a sunglass style for a 13 year old who loves fashion, who knows about brands, and who is starting to value the comfort and feel of a well-built design frame v. a mass produced one. One or two obvious brands had caught his attention. The choice, however, seemed limited – most of the frames were too large for his face in the adult lines – and focused on the branding more than the frame itself.
The High Pockets – from Original Penguin – is an adult frame, but in size 53 19-140, fits a growing teenager. The lightweight design and clean details – without embellishment, offer the right balance of style, comfort and design, with a retro feel that appeals to a youngster who notices the design. The frame is available in several colours including black (pictured), cargo and gunmetal and is fitted with Polarized Tri-Acetate sunlenses with 100% UV protection.
Original Penguin produces a men’s sunglasses collection – featuring the Highpockets, and a special selection of “youth” frames – ideal for boys with a developing sense of fashion. Find more details at www.kenmarkeyewear.comCN
Our love for eyewear design always leads us to the small yet creatively minded enterprises in the frame business: Sol Sol Ito is an independent label from Zurich, Switzerland, with a unique perspective on design and a fastidious passion for craftsmanship. Each frame style, including the elegant Sol Sol Ito 032BF (above), has signature exchangeable twin-steel arms – created in a huge choice of colours – a design feature which also offers a comfy, custom fit. 032BF, like all the styles by this Swiss label, is a limited edition – just 50 are produced of each one. The fluid curves of the front are reminiscent of details in the art deco design movement and reappear in different ways in several of the designs across the collections.
Available at selected boutique opticians including Fueter & Halder, (Baden), Parici, (Paris) and Bruce Eyewear, (Vancouver) – the award-winning Sol Sol Ito label was created by designer Sandra Kaufmann and artist Monika Fink. Photo credit: Hans Hansen. More details at www.solsolito.com CN
Aviators are a perennial favourite. This year has been a particularly fab one for this shape with it surging much like it did in the 70s and 80s. In particular, the very narrow aviators in metal have been a hit, glazed with prescription lenses, pale coloured tints – yellow in particular – or in-your-face mirrors, take your pick: the colour palette is infinite.
The shape itself can be edgy. Model Praph by Grey Ant takes this line, emphasising the vintage feel of the classic shape – using acetate with a soft graduated colour shading. Contrasting essential details in metal create a special highlight, and are conveniently designed to adjust (as are the nose pads) for a comfortable fit – a huge bonus with an oversized shape. Grey Ant frames are designed by Grant Krajecki, eyewear innovator and member of the CFDA. The brand is based in NYC. www.greyant.comCN
neubau eyewear from Austria has teamed up again with Hien Le, as part of the designer’s S/S 2018 catwalk show in Berlin. The sunglass models, scheduled for release in Autumn, include the new Eugen, Ruben, Carla and Fabio, which seamlessly blend with the designer’s mens’ and womenswear looks on the runway.
Stylish and eco-friendly, neubau sunglasses are made from the plant based material “natural PX”, and boast an acetate look, while being very light and resistant. The material is very pleasant to wear, and the variety of surface finishes are interesting and unique, with matt effects – which are particularly on trend – and ‘linear’ textures coming into the range for Autumn.
Hien Le’s S/S 2018 collection is a homage to dance in general and explores specific synergies between bodies and materials that compliment and support each other in seemingly fragile movements. The classic silhouettes and pleats in fabrics such as light silks, cottons and linen are reminiscent of dance costumes. Nuances of greige, rosé, sky-blue and accents of saffron yellow mirror the subtlety of the body movements. For more details: www.neubau-eyewear.com – www.hien-le.com / CN
Adaptive lenses – also known as photochromics – are entering a brand new era. Whilst fashion has set down rules for us to wear ever brighter coloured frames with colourful lenses, Transitions Optical, the makers of the most famous light-adaptive lenses has launched a new collection of style-driven colours for specs wearers demanding a stylish and sophisticated final product.
Fitted for my review by Kensington’s Eyeworks London (www.eyeworkslondon.com), the new Style Colours lenses in Sapphire are a fashionable match for the black frame colour I had selected, darkening to a point outside in full sunshine where they take on an intense bright blue. The other lens hues in the range – Amber, Emerald and Amethyst – also darken to produce statement tones that will enhance both a matching frame colour or provide a very stylish dramatic contrast.
Worn indoors the experience is that of wearing normal glasses, with a clear, high-quality lens. The tone changes quickly outside providing immediate UV protection with the trendy tinted coloration, chic and comfortable to wear whether gently faded (a popular look for summer) or at their darkest when the glasses transform ‘magically’ into shades.
Style Colours were launched in the UK in May. For more details visit www.stylecolours.co.uk. Pictured above: the new Style Colours lenses in Sapphire fitted in Kirk & Kirk’s model Warren from the Kaleidoscope Collection. www.kirkandkirk.com. CN
Illustrator and photographer Clément Louis is a newcomer to the eyewear scene. In a experimental liaison with the Barcelona brand Alfred Kerbs, the Parisian multidisciplinary artist has defined the complete SS17 series of sunglasses by Kerbs in a powerful portrait collection evocative of the style of Egon Schiele.
Above: Art + eyewear – model Billy by Alfred Kerbs illustrated by Clément Louis. Part of a series for the Barcelona eyewear label.
Model Billy by Alfred Kerbs is new in the acetate collection for SS17. Colour is underlined in fresh combinations and a play on tonal contrasts while the square 70s shape has intellectual overtones. Available in black, coffee (as seen in the illustration, top, and above), striped havana and the very chic tones of “toasty” or “cheetah”. More information about the artist and the new sunglasses at www.alfredkerbs.com CN