The New York eyewear scene continues to see a healthy surge in creativity and directional trends. This month sees the launch of yet another newcomer called SpiltMilk Eyewear, set up with the creative input from the NYC based designer Vidal Erkohen (RVS Eyewear). Made in Japan, with focus on quality standards and innovative design concepts with a global inspiration, the collection is proposing some experimental ideas “to represent the conjunction between fashion and culture” and builds from a high-energy colour palette – on point for SS19.
In the mix for the launching collections of sunnies are designs that combine two shapes in one (Bali), a super round shape with inner rim connected with an open wire mesh (Bora Bora), a detailed aviator statement piece (Maldives) and a narrow elongated trendy wire form that is slightly upswept – in chic combos such as lime with scarlet and pastel pink with black (Phi Phi).
The new brand has been under development since 2017, and is owned by Saif Ghobash (London) and Judge Khanna (NYC) – a New York based accessories designer. Spilt Milk launches its first sunglasses collection at the end of October and goes online shortly at www.spiltmilkeyewear.com. CN
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
ALERT! Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart will be held at Haus der Wirtschaft (above image) at Willi-Gleicher-Strasse 19, 70174 Stuttgart, commencing Saturday 13th October from 11h00 to 18h00; and Sunday 14th October from 10h00 to 16h00. www.hausderswirtschaft.de
The 2018 edition of Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart takes place in a uniquely historical building with royal connections – and warmly welcomes guests seeking energised state-of-the-art eyewear. Located in the centre of Stuttgart, Haus der Wirtschaft was built at the end of the 19th century as an exhibition centre and museum, and was opened by King Karl I in June 1896. The elegant structure was fortunate to survive the bombing of WW2, and has been updated with caring diligence – and great awareness of its long history. Independent eyewear artisans will introduce their latest collections that include superlative designs in beautiful materials, enhanced with – and highlighting – cutting-edge technology, with original colourations.
The ingenious engineering in Von Arkel’s Calibre 4 Outline designs is a masterpiece of fine detail and the resplendent polishing on the frames is borrowed from the meticulous craftsmanship of watchmaking. www.vonarkel.com
In the Blackfin autumn collection stylistic innovation reigns with sleek cat-eye shaping in titanium and beta-titanium in Sunnyside – blending design sophistication and interplays of technology. www.blackfin.eu
Andy Wolf, the Austrian label, will be in Stuttgart to show their minimalist White Heat design collection that incorporates a divergence of materials and balanced proportions. www.andy-wolf.com
Handmade in Germany, Matze Marpe will present contemporary optical designs in acetate and stainless steel. www.matzemarpe.de
RESERVE THESE DATES for Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart – and the stunning venue – Haus der Wirtschaft – 13th and 14th October – for artisan eyewear from participating – and passionate – independent labels. www.diebrillenmesse.deJG
Fashion permeates the air in Paris as shows regale with exciting new perspectives in clothes and accessories. Silmo Paris salutes eyewear – with the annual event opening on 28th September. Tempting frames from international designers are on display during the four-day event at Parc Des Expositions – Paris Nord Villepinte. Creativity abounds: here is an advance peek at styles that will impress and delight. German model Toni Dreher (above image) wears a striking, bold design by Sol Sol Ito – the boutique Swiss brand. www.solsolito.com
The new Perspective Collection by Götti Switzerland highlights the interplay between segments of circles, reduced corners, and lines for pure avant-garde form. www.gotti.ch
Relaxed, laid-back California style: SALT.Optics beautiful designs are inspired by the fascinating Joshua Tree National Park. www.saltoptics.com
SILMO Paris opens the doors to the latest fashion-savvy eyewear in just a few days. Ernest Hemmingway would agree – it is a feast…for the eyes! Eyestylist previews indicate that the collections will be a plethora of new discoveries in concepts; technology; materials; colours; and irresistible style. Savour the possibilities – and opportunities – and come explore new and beautiful eyewear.
The wondrous world of flowers inspires Lafont Paris as they launch the elegant Les Delicieuses capsule collection (top image). www.lafont.com
A dream come true for Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland with the release of Dimension Next Generation glasses with futuristic 3D printing for young people. www.gotti.ch
Streamlined and sophisticated: LINDBERG presents new elements infused into titanium eyewear. www.lindberg.com
A special Limited Edition in a variety of beautiful colourations is a highlight by Australia’s Jono Hennessy. www.jonohennessy.com
Sensational surprises at theo with Matali Crasset’s collection – Trait d’union – for the Belgian brand, radiant with colour in stainless steel. www.theo.be
A symphony of synergy, lightness and technical achievement hallmark the latest designs in the Line Art Collection by Charmant. www.charmant.com
SILMO Paris – the French eyewear fashion event of the year takes place at Paris Nord Villepinte 28th September – 1st October. Further details at www.silmoparis.comJG
Handmade eyewear, of our time: Patinated Copper with Aluminum Magnesium
Ti Kwa’s commitment to design innovation is increasingly recognised across the industry and in the upper echelons of the optical retailing community and he continues to quietly push the boundaries in his work in materials, textures and specialist production techniques, with resounding individuality and an unmistakable style.
This September, his label RIGARDS explores an exceptional copper material finish with a gently-toned verdigris in a model designed for avant-garde fashion designer Ziggy Chen (RG1911CU), based on an existing “small and narrow” shape in the collection that has come to be known as the ‘Mad Scientist’.
The finish, a tribute to Bronze Age ritual vessels and their weathered slightly mottled greenish tones, appears in a unique way in all the models as the copper takes the patina finish differently from frame to frame.
“We added an interchangeable clip-on,” explains the designer. “Made from ultralight aluminum-magnesium — it locks onto the frame front and converts the glasses from optical frame to sunglasses. Two small side holes hold an eyeglass chain, allowing the sun-clip to double as jewellery.” Both the glasses and the clip-on can be fitted with lenses through built-in openings, part of RIGARDS’ exclusive screwless spring-hinge mechanism designed to ensure the product is both aesthetically pleasing and maintenance-free.
RIGARDS (from Hong Kong) was first launched in 2012, and exhibited their handcrafted buffalo horn eyewear months later at SILMO, the Paris eyewear fair (see our first story in 2012 at https://www.eyestylist.com/2012/11/rg0006/ ). Designer Ti Kwa has a refreshingly different perspective on design and has gradually opened eyes to the possibilities in creating exclusive artisan pieces with a distinctive modern approach to production techniques and eyewear aesthetics. RIGARDS exhibits at SILMO (Paris) and Paris Fashion Week. Don’t miss this collection: https://rigards.com CN
Hall of Frames Zurich returns to its roots – the historical and refurbished location Papiersaal – that was originally an ageing paper factory – to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. Organiser Nathanael Wenger reflected: “During the years, opticians all over Switzerland have supported our event, even during different moves inside the city. The event grew slowly, but now we have over forty independent brands, some whom have been with us since the beginning.”
Wenger is particularly delighted that more and more Swiss designers have joined the show. Some are Newcomers – Baselli, Fassungswerk, Specs Lab and Nirvan Javan – while other brands are well established and include Götti, Didier Voirol, Einstoffen, and Von Arkel. “We are proud that these companies show their collections at Hall of Frames Zurich along with many other well-known labels,” said Wenger.
The two-day event will showcase unique eyewear brands featuring artisan quality, creative imaginations, and enticing styling. Koali by Morel Lunettes introduces stunning new optical and sun designs (above photo) in a collection that is rich in beautiful colourations and shapes. www.morel-france.com
German designer Anne Dickhardt creates fabulous bags…and innovative, fun and useful eyeglasses cases (above) in elegant natural materials, with a welcoming sense of humour. www.any-di.com
Blackfin’s latest collection is highlighted with new craftsmanship processes and stylistic features. A unique frame structure reflects masterful technology with Leven BF850 – an innovation that anchors the beta titanium bridge to the titanium rims. www.blackfin.eu
Hungarian brand Vinylize introduces sleek geometric shapes in octagonal, square and round variations. The Vinylize signature vinyl record exterior on Roach (above) is individualised with graceful sculpted temples. Handcrafted in Budapest. www.vinylize.com
Mark the dates – now! 7th and 8th October at Papeiersaal in Zurich for the 10th anniversary celebrations of Hall of Frames Zurich. Seize the moment and experience skilfully gifted eyewear collections – from long-time favourites – as well as new and talented independent designers. www.hallofframes.ch JG
In nineteen-nineteen, two brothers – Sidney and Percy Kirk – laid the foundation for a century of optical innovations and strategies that still inspires around the world today. The mantle is now carried with Jason and Karen Kirk (above) at the helm, as the Kirk dynasty celebrates its 100th anniversary. “This is an amazing moment; having seen everything that my grandfather achieved, and grown up in my parent’s practice, Karen and I are very proud to learn from the past to drive the future. This is about looking forward, as like the previous generations, we try to contribute to the next century of optics,” said Jason.
Karen reflected on the influence of Sidney and Percy: “It is easy to overlook how innovative the Kirk Brothers were as a company. Things that seem normal to us today were visionary in the 1920’s. For example: Kirk Brothers were the first to deliver glasses to opticians by motorbike courier to offer a better, faster service.” Jason and Karen will launch the Centena Collection at SILMO – celebrating the one-hundred year history, and they are now firmly focused on future development programmes. The frames are handcrafted in France with special Italian acrylic – a very light, yet strong durable material. The new designs are chunky and bold in 10mm acrylic, but featherweight and wonderfully comfortable.
Colour is always imaginative in Kirk & Kirk designs – and ten vibrant colourations bring additional beauty and character to the Centena Collection.With their innovative eyewear approach, and exploration of shapes, colours and materials, Sidney and Percy Kirk would indeed be very proud of the continuing family tradition.
At SILMO Paris, 28th September-1st October, Jason and Karen will present Centena designs, alongside the Kaleidoscope, Spectrum and sunglass collections. Warmest congratulations to Kirk & Kirk on their exceptional and memorable centennial anniversary. www.kirkandkirk.comJG
The run-up to the international shows in Paris has begun. Eyewear designers exhibit at Silmo, Paris at the end of the month, an international trade fair that brings together some of the freshest new designers and start-ups as well as iconic established eyewear companies.
For trends, our previews point to a fastidious focus on excellence and finesse in all details of frame designs. Acetate and metal collections appear to be equally well represented, although some designers refer to an increase in metal for 2019. These designs, while they are more and more sinuous and shapely, they tend to come in a wide variety of shapes, with oversized being just as popular as more reduced proportions.
Highlights in our previews include L.G.R, the Italian luxury brand by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, who has some particularly strong new designs in metal and for Silmo, the special focus is on the development of the optical collection for the season ahead. An avant-garde direction is noted with careful attention paid to minimalist lines and metal colorations, with the introduction of a delicate, and slightly exotic copper finish. As trends go, it’s our favourite use of the colour in eyewear so far. www.lgrworld.com Pictured above: Tuareg in copper by L.G.R
At Claire Goldsmith, the latest CG Legacy releases take on a new direction by utilising the properties of stainless steel combined with Mazzucchelli acetate. Model Dean will be amongst the collections on show in Paris, “a solid light tint allows customers to make the choice of wearing the design either as a sunglass or an optical,” says the designer.
The light tint mirrors some of Goldsmith’s first ever ‘sun specs’ and the original glass lenses, which make a great addition to a wardrobe in the winter months. The Goldsmith stand will also feature OG Decades during the Paris fair, a collection of era-defining designs that represent the traditional values of the brand, combining that with a fresh and dynamic twist. www.clairegoldsmith.com / www.olivergoldsmith.com
An acutely design-focused buffalo horn collection from Delirious Eyewear (Milan) balances the natural colour effects of a classically luxurious material with a beautiful individuality and subtlety. This young award-winning artisan label – who also produce in other materials including metal, is moving in to the top optical boutiques worldwide, as one of the hottest emerging labels from Italy. More information at www.deliriouseyewear.com
Frame Chain – from the UK – always has something new and innovative and their latest chains are chic and delicate – with minute jewellery details such as freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals. The female design duo – Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney – continue to shake up the eyewear accessories side of things across the fashion and optics industries (their collections are now in the top fashion stores worldwide) with designs that perfectly blend practicality and statement style. Meet this fabulous team at the fair and find out more about the chains at www.framechain.co.uk
A series of fresh collections by the Jura-based company MOREL – including their historic 1880 range, will highlight traditional French eyewear production at the Silmo exhibition in 2018. KOALI – the nature-inspired collection by MOREL, will release several new designs including this dramatic modified cat eye, sunglass style 20038K. Pink, gold and black are the tones highlighted in these designs which play with contrast and design accents behind the lens. Visit www.morel-france.com
Laura Imami, from the UK, exhibits at the fair in Paris for the first time. Her exclusive designs, which are made in Northern Italy, are, this season, inspired by architecture. Model Toska, produced in 8mm Mazzucchelli acetate, demonstrates a bold sculptural style with a faceted front, highlighted in a stunning colour mix. Other innovative designs require that the lenses are glazed into the front of the frame. Laura’s creative collection is currently available at Schuller Opticians in the UK where she is based, and at selected stores in Copenhagen and Berlin. www.lauraimami.com
Watch this space for exclusive Silmo updates / Silmo Paris takes place from 28th September 2018 to 1st October 2018. www.silmoparis.com CN
September is the harbinger of a new season – a harvest of back-to-school, cultural events…and the latest eyewear creations. Captivating shapes, in a host of intriguing colours – from subtle to sizzling – in technically advanced materials, ensure that eyewear for autumn is dynamic and stylish. ROLF Spectacles introduces a stunning new “Twist” design from their Evolved Collection (above image). Razor-thin sliced end-grained wood veneers are carefully selected and combined with each other. Crosscutting the tree trunk rather than cutting it lengthwise obtains the unique characteristics of the frame. ROLF’S individualistic collection will be presented at SILMO Paris 28th September-1st October. www.rolf-spectacles.com
JF Rey’s Parisian chic VOLTE FACE collection highlights exclusive Mazzucchelli acetate designs in beautiful patterns and colour palettes that are enriched with glittery accents. www.volteface.com
The autumn harvest is abundant with original concepts. Jeremy Tarian launches his superlative eyewear collection that unites his consuming passion for creation, and the memories and expertise of a childhood pleasure – working with clay. His striking designs are handcrafted in acetate in glorious colours reflecting the ceramic work. See the complete elegant, luxurious collection at SILMO Paris 28th September – 1st October. www:jeremytarian.com
Anna-Karin Karlsson’s slinky, seductive panther has a new look this season, artfully perched on a beautifully silhouetted voluminous shape in acetate. 24K gold plated accents and the graceful panther shimmering in Swarovski crystals, add to the glamour of Rose et la Roue. www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Berlin’s exclusive nightclub the Berghain – is the inspiration for the strikingly chic sunglasses by KBL. The nightclub located in a former power station. is famous for its long queues…and powerful security. Break the deadlock in KBL’s distinguished, dashing design – the Berghain. www.kbleyewear.com
Flowers of Denmark by Fleye Copenhagen pays tribute to Danish heritage with its beautiful collection inspired by Flora Danica – an iconic collection of plants from the 18th Century. Daisy is portrayed in subtle acetate patterns with shapely graphics. www:fleye.dkJG
Design trends are often influential in other disciplines, and the Decorex International fair in London – which highlights luxury interior design – specifically furniture, lighting, textiles and crafts – provides exceptional inspiration and insight into new directions and creations for the home. This year among the array of trends forecasted, details in line using inlays and marquetry in furniture take on a new contemporary aesthetic – and the typically astute attention to material mixes such as exotic wood and metal offers some very classy and refined design work across categories.
Above: Dhow monochrome 2×2 cabinet from Bethan Gray – showing at Decorex International Fair. The handmade Dhow collection features intricate use of marquetry on stained maple veneer with a stunning combination of solid brass. The collection is handmade to order in Muscat, Oman. Bethan Gray is a talented Welsh designer who combines luxurious natural materials with expertise in craftsmanship and technology. Find out more: www.bethangray.com
As is often the way, a similar interest in bold and graphic use of line has infiltrated the designer eyewear collections. In Studio 1 by Mykita, an art deco aesthetic meets functionalism for an aesthetic evoking the Fritz Lang classic. These particular models have a strong graphic look with fine, repetitive horizontal lines which join with round lenses. A sleek single or two-tone colour concept accentuates the 2-d quality of the sunglasses.
Inspired by the latest advancements in surface treatment technology, MYKITA’s Studio 6 uses a precision etching process to make ultra fine lines on the frame surface – the lines follow the exact contour of the frame and create a 3d graphic pattern. By combining metallic tones with matt solid colours the emphasis falls on a psychedelic effect, which evokes the optical illusion art of the 1960s. www.mykita.com
Similarly, exquisite inlays characterise the Stella’d Cocktail Cabinet by Zelouf + Bell – creating an exciting and eye-catching optical pattern that mixes a modern look and art deco with real artisan expertise. Zealouf + Bell – award-winning studio furniture makers – will also be highlighted at Decorex International. Visit www.zeloufandbell.com for further information.
The brand new model Hop from BOZ is an equally masterful design-focused frame from France. It’s unusual angular line superimposed on a circular eye shape is enhanced further with a very finely laser-etched pattern at the top of the double triangle creating an enchanting focus on linear detailing. www.jfrey.frCN
The leading interior design event – DECOREX International – takes place on 16 to 19th September at Syon Park London. Visit www.decorex.com for details and tickets.