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Magical “metality”

The dictionary definition of “metal” doesn’t give the product sufficient credit for a material that has emerged with an adventurous, technological advantage. Industrial improvements and laser treatments in eyewear and specialised, handcrafted innovations, bring newfound elegance and diversification to visual perceptions. Titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, and precious metals like gold and sterling silver, enable eyewear designers to create amazing variants in frames. Danish brand LINDBERG is a specialist in beautiful metal designs, and Max (above) from the Air Titanium Rim Collection includes this sophisticated, streamlined frame for men. www.lindberg.com

Hapton by Mehran Baghie for Spectacle Eyeworks
Hapton by Mehran Baghie for Spectacle Eyeworks

Another superlative style for men is Mehran Baghie’s Hapton, a strong angular shape that signifies the angles of the face. The frame colour is inspired by the tones of the Maple Leaf through its life span. www.spec-eyeworks.com

Olly by l.a. Eyeworks
Olly by l.a. Eyeworks

Rousing red vibrates on l.a. Eyeworks Olly – crafted in Japan from surgical stainless steel. The thin purple pinstripe surrounding the lens is finely honed with a separate milled insert. Dashing! www.laeyeworks.com

Style 9167 by Carter Bond
Style 9167 by Carter Bond

Carter Bond celebrates metal with style 9167 – superbly crafted with a gold mirror front and nosepiece – a cool retro look – with tortoiseshell sides. www.carterbond.com

Saint Martin by Blackfin
Saint Martin by Blackfin

A special effect technique – which can either be optical or mechanical – reflects a bas-relief pattern carved by photoengraving titanium, and incorporates a luxury woven effect to Blackfin’s model Saint Martin. The sunglasses from the Italian label also highlight a smart double bridge, ample curved lines, and is particularly stunning in blue. www.blackfin.eu JG

 

 

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Flying high with speed and style

This year marks the centennial of a unique and historic event that unified hope, courage and passion – and a strengthened, shared commitment. In 1916, the United States had not yet officially entered World War I. Hence, a group of young American pilots wanted to show their allegiance and unity with the French, in defence of their respected values and spirit – that both countries held dear.

A squadron consisting entirely of American volunteers was organised to lend support to the French Army. The La Fayette squadron debuted in 1916, named after the Marquis de La Fayette, a French hero of the US War of Independence. La Lafayette was a prominent and heroic symbol of friendship between the two countries. The squadron’s insignia was the head of a Sioux Indian Chief, unifying strength and courage. The unit fought in every battle of the war, and notably the battle of Verdun. When the US entered the war, the pilots from the La Fayette Squadron were incorporated into the US Army, and served as the first fighter pilots of America that eventually became the US Air Force. By the end of the war, 267 American pilots had served in the La Fayette Flying Group…and the rest is history!

Collaborative venture: Lafont's frame tribute to the La Fayette Squadron
Collaborative venture: Lafont’s frame tribute to the La Fayette Squadron

Fast forward to 2016, and to mark the occasion, Lafont Paris has created a commemorative Limited Edition sunglass design in collaboration with the French Air Force. Matthieu Lafont, who loves planes, commented what an honour it was to work on this exclusive, joint venture, and a thrill to visit the air base. The rich history of the squadron, along with the devotion and dedication of the pilots were all strong stimulus and inspirations for Lafont in creating these respected frames. To celebrate the milestone, a centennial logo was created based on the initial logo that represented the squadron in WWI, and is prominently used on a Mirage 200N, the aircraft currently used by the La Fayette Squadron.

Socrate La Fayette by Lafont Paris, handcrafted in France
Socrate La Fayette by Lafont Paris, handcrafted in France

In the design process, the Lafont Studio took into consideration the special needs of the pilots who sought an ergonomic sunglass suitable for daily use. The result recognises and pays tribute to the squadron’s insignia and traditions, featuring the Sioux head laser engraved on the lenses. A super sonic winner! www.lafont.com Please note: Model Socrate is available in the Lafont collection, but without the collector colours and décor. JG

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FLEYE: Inspirational, imaginative, iconic!

FLEYE has launched their stunning new campaign for 2016/2017 that celebrates the Danish label with pure aesthetics and timeless simplicity. The extraordinary natural beauty of the La Muralla Roja location – which means “The Red Wall” – not only captures Nature’s ageless landscape – but clearly captivates the new designs and artistic direction of FLEYE’s imaginative collection. Photographer Silvia Conde embraces the amazing lighting and moods of La Muralla Roja – rising from the rocky cliffs of Calpe, nestled in the Alicante region of Spain. This tranquil setting is the ideal canvas to introduce FLEYE’s elegant frame silhouettes that effectively combine a triad of nature, inspiration and creative design.

In the top image (left to right) the Dorius frame unites a unique material mix of carbon and wood in a stylish creation with a distinctive appearance. Kani reinvents the aviator with a chic brow bar in high-density acetate for a slim, lightweight and minimalistic look. A frame with immense character is Emmet, constructed with 23 layers of paper-thin carbon fibre and a slim wood layer. With timeless sophistication and an edgy note, the angular shape of Arden is a trio of beta-titanium, carbon fibre and wood.

Dicte from the FLEYE collection
Dicte from the FLEYE collection

Dicte is a luxuriously crafted beta-titanium design for women in smooth matt black, and a special touch with green marble acetate end-tips, plus a slightly curved top that accentuates the eyebrows. FLEYE designs are adventurous, innovative, ultra-light, comfortable, well-fitted and graciously refined. More beautiful discoveries at www.fleye.dk JG

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New innovators: Falvin Eyewear

Intriguing design by a former jewellery designer, Birgitte Falvin’s new collection for 2017 is presented in exceptional imagery with Danish model Anna Edelfors.

The campaign includes the new Skycrystal Shades (part of the Black Crystal Collection for 2017) in lightweight titanium, a bold, luxurious concept that highlights the designer’s ingenious approach to eyewear. The beautiful, minimal titanium frame, pictured (below) with an elegant architectural shape, typical of Birgitte’s unique style, is complemented by lenses which add to the overall aesthetic: clever facet-cut details along the top edge, and, in some designs, cut-outs in the lenses – precision cut using an old-fashioned artisan technique only achievable by hand. The matte black surface is complemented by exquisite detailing in 24-carat gold.

Falvin Eyewear, Denmark
Falvin Eyewear, Denmark

Falvin Eyewear’s choice of luxury materials – including Japanese titanium, diamonds, 24 carat gold and platinum – is very carefully approached. While comfort and ease of wear is well considered, the clean yet paired-back aesthetics and attention to detail are typical of a strong Danish design ethos which has an immediate draw for the wearer.

Skycrystal by Falvin Eyewear
Skycrystal by Falvin Eyewear, with facet-cut lenses

Colours are harmonious and natural, selected to work seamlessly with clothing and skin tones, for men and women. “The palette is inspired by colours meeting the surface of the Royal Black Diamond Library,” explains the designer, “when the sunlight plays on it, creating special effects.”

The Black Crystal Collection includes 10 different shapes, which can be customised with diamonds and/or sun lenses. A choice of surfaces in rose gold, palladium and 24 carat gold are proposed in combination with a colour palette of black, brown, grey, blue, aubergine, or white. The customised handcrafted diamond setting is made with black, champagne, and white/transparent Wesselton diamonds. For more information, visit www.falvineyewear.com CN

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Orbis + Zoobug bring help & hope to little girl

A heart warming collaboration between Orbis – the worldwide sight saving programme – and ZOOBUG children’s eyewear – has brought sight and hope to a little girl in China. Xiu Ling, who is nine years old, was diagnosed at He University Eye Hospital with the rare condition Double Levator Palsy. The treatment took place on board Orbis’ new Flying Eye Hospital. The Orbis programme includes post-operative assessment, and Xiu was presented with ZOOBUG sunglasses to ensure correct protection and comfort for her eyes following treatment. Photo: Xiu Ling wearing her ZOOBUG sunglasses.

Xiu Ling on the Flying Eye Hospital
Xiu Ling on the Flying Eye Hospital

“ZOOBUG has been donating glasses and sunglasses to Orbis since 2014,” says Dr Julie Diem Le, ZOOBUG Director and an eye surgeon, “and we are always grateful to know that our glasses and sunglasses are reaching children who have undergone surgery, and need access to quality eyewear. In the first days and months after an operation, it is essential that their eyes are properly cared for and protected as they recover.”

Xiu Ling descending the FlyingEye Hospital with her mother and Orbis staff member
Xiu Ling descending the Flying Eye Hospital with her mother and Orbis staff member.

Dr Le continued: “Orbis and their work via the Flying Eye Hospital offers a remarkable opportunity to transform children’s lives in the treatment and prevention of eye disease and avoidable blindness. We are committed to that cause in our endeavours to raise awareness of the importance of children’s eye health.” Award winning ZOOBUG optical and sunglass designs are crafted from fine quality materials and customised elements, to insure perfect fit and comfort for youngsters. www.zoobug.com JG

 

 

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New and novel

The latest collections reveal that designer’s creativity is flourishing, as eyewear styles reach new heights of beauty, craftsmanship, and innovation. Superb materials in unique colourations, and unexpected details add to the charm of expressive eyewear. Elegant new designs from FLEYE in Denmark include Dorius in Indigo Blue (above) with its contemporary shape and excellent fit. Wood, raw carbon fibre (23 paper thin layers) and beta-titanium combine to create this sleek, chic frame. Discover more Scandinavian eyewear flair at www.fleye.dk Photo: Silvia Conde

Gemini in handcrafted horn by MONOCEROS
Gemini in handcrafted horn by MONOCEROS

Making a debut this season is a stunning new collection – MONOCEROS. Gemini is handcrafted from a single piece of eco-friendly buffalo horn. The material is very light, warm and pleasing to the skin. Refined and timeless, and a new dimension in horn excellence. www.monoceros.cc

Luxurious style: The Claw and The Pearl by Anna-Karin Karlsson
Luxurious style: The Claw and The Pearl by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Anna-Karin Karlsson’s romantic and sophisticated The Claw and The Pearl sunglasses unites metal plated in 24K white gold – with beautiful Tahitian black pearls.  Visit www.annakarinkarlsson.com for more exciting, innovative eyewear from the Swedish designer’s latest collection.

Contemporary chic, vintage heritage: Lucio by Oliviero Zanon at Res/Rei
Contemporary chic, vintage heritage: Lucio by Oliviero Zanon at Res/Rei

Vintage acetate highlights Oliviero Zanon’s Lucio sunglasses with a chic round shape. The Res/Rei design is superbly handcrafted in Italy in black, white and crystal. Explore more Res/Rei styles at www.resrei.com

New additions to Kirk & Kirk's animal kingdom: Alligator handcrafted pin on Vivarium frames
New additions to Kirk & Kirk’s animal kingdom: Alligator handcrafted pin on Vivarium frames

The alluring Vivarium range from Kirk & Kirk introduces two new members to their animal kingdom motifs – the alligator (above) and the cobra. The distinctive pins that adorn the acrylic designs are handmade in England. See more of Kirk & Kirk’s colourful eyewear selections at www.kirkandkirk.com JG

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Dubai, for eyewear!

Dubai’s warmth and year-round sunshine provide the ideal setting for an optical fair serving the Middle East and Africa, which attracts around 4000 buyers from 70 countries each year. The show takes place at Dubai’s prestigious World Trade Centre, the UAE’s leading event venue.

The Vision-X fair in October this year (the 17th edition) attracted big-name brands and a handful of independent eyewear exhibitors including Ross & Brown (stocked by Harvey Nichols – http://www.harveynichols.com/brand/ross—brown/), Tomato Glasses for children, INVU, Swiss label Einstoffen and Parisian-based designer, Dzmitry Samal.

006 by Dzmitry Samal
006 by Dzmitry Samal – a highlight at Vision-X

The fair also hosts a German Pavilion annually with 11 exhibitors representing different optical categories including fashion frames. For further information visit www.vision-x.ae.

During the trip, Eyestylist also visited the impressive Dubai Mall – “the world’s largest mall by area”, where numerous optical stores include Magrabi (adult store plus a dedicated kids eyewear store), Occhiali, Solaris, Vista Vision and sports eyewear specialists, Optysport.

Anna-Karin Karlsson, one of the prestigious eyewear brands at The Eye Boutique, Dubai Mall
Anna-Karin Karlsson, one of the sought-after luxury eyewear brands at The Eye Boutique, Dubai Mall

The highlight of the trip was a visit to the exceptional Eye Boutique, directed by eyewear expert, Sanaz Saadat, and part of the historic Hassan’s Optical Company. The Eye Boutique – one of two stores in Dubai (two more will shortly open), offers an unrivalled mix of luxury, experimental and designer eyewear – including LGR, ic! berlin, Anna-Karin Karlsson and Dita and some of the most beautiful rare vintage frames we have seen, preserved from Hassan’s stocks from the past in Kuwait. For more information: www.eyeboutiqueme.com CN

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Creative accessories: Valrose, Provence

Creative accessories for quality glasses and sunglasses are not always easy to come by but the more specialised designs are increasingly featuring in high end optical boutiques where customers value creative products that complement spectacles and keep them safe and easy to find. When we have reviewed the finer examples, there has been a prevailing trend for the use of elegant materials and a design direction in tune with jewellery trends that sets the independent makers apart.

The French label Valrose, based in Saint-Didier, Provence, is one of those labels and one of the most established. The company launched their first collections in 1993, and today produce many styles and designs that offer a practical use with a stylish finish.

Acetate chain by Valrose. Made in France.
Acetate chain by Valrose
Glasses cases by Valrose
Glasses cases by Valrose

For those with a sensibility for good design, their collections will be appreciated. Natural materials, fabrics such as linen, acetate and 100% wool felt are important features in the line, and bright colours and trims set a chic Mediterranean mood. Chains in acetate are made by hand in France, designed as pendants to match one’s style or mood. Also on offer are a nice choice of soft and semi-hard cases, cords in leather and cotton, and pretty decorative chains with gemstones and tropical-style beads, styled as jewellery pieces with unique colour combinations and real individuality and flair. For further details about Valrose accessories visit www.valrose.net CN

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Congratulations! Götti wins German Design Award 2017

Streamlined, cutting edge design and innovative functionality are essential to eyewear by Sven Götti (above). The internationally recognised Swiss brand has been named winner of the renowned German Design Award 2017 in the Lifestyle and Fashion category for the elegant sunglass design – Tamal. The frame is among the Spin & Stow 360° collection, that features patented rotating temples, enabling the frames to fold flat, so the glasses can be carried easily.

TAMAL - winner of the German Design Award 2017 for "Lifestyle and Fashion."
TAMAL – winner of the German Design Award 2017 for “Lifestyle and Fashion.”

The German Design Award has been recognising extraordinary design for over sixty years. Only projects that uniquely represent international design innovations and pioneering creativity are given this revered and respected tribute. The prize will be awarded in February 2017 at a gala event in Frankfurt. Congratulations Sven and the Götti team from Eyestylist! www.gotti.ch JG

 

auf der Brillenmesse Stuttgart Böblingen

Stuttgart shines! – Die Brillenmesse

Opticians from Stuttgart and surrounding regions visited the recent Die Brillenmesse event, and eagerly viewed the diverse, independent eyewear collections on display. Creativity, individuality, and sleek design captivated enthusiastic visitors attending the show. Co-organiser Nathanael Wenger commented: “The Hall of Legends at Motorworld was again a perfect location for the 4th edition of Die Brillenmesse in Stuttgart. About sixty brands presented the autumn news. The spectrum from Adrian Marwitz to Zen Barcelona was enormous, and reflected many styles and new concepts.

“We were pleased with the show in Stuttgart this year; over 140 shops visited the event in two days – a few less than last year. The good weather during the weekend, and the closure of one important highway were reasons why fewer opticians visited. Nevertheless, the format of this small and elegant show is very well established in the south of Germany.”

 

Patrik Jakobsen and Rainer Pawollek present the new Orgreen collection at Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart
Patrik Jakobsen and Rainer Pawollek present the new Orgreen collection at Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart

From the fashion perspective, co-organiser Dirk Geissmann added: “Fine rimmed metal frames are more and more visible in several collections. Andy Wolf even launched a rimless line! 3D frames in combination with a face scanner are the next big thing. You Mawo from Munich seems to be ahead in the race. Frames crafted in natural materials are still hot, especially if they are fine rimmed like Feb 31st. The Italian brand offers the lightest wood frames with 2mm thickness. Kaleos is a new fresh brand from Barcelona.

Silmo d'Or nominee Von Arkel from Switzerland display their elegant frames
Silmo d’Or nominee Von Arkel from Switzerland display their elegant frames

Geissmann continued: “A new addition to Die Brillenmesse this year was the Think Tank Seminars that brought impact – and visitors – to the show. With Think Tank we want to discuss relevant issues for our market. This includes digital change, new technologies, the process of designing glasses, and more. There are many changes in our industry, and it is important that independent opticians are ready for the future. We had more visitors for the new platform in Zurich – and we will make sure that German opticians hear about Think Tank.”

New chic designs by Martin & Martin in Germany
New chic designs by Martin & Martin in Germany

Wenger concluded: “The dates for 2017 are now established. The next stop for us is Cologne on 6-7 May 2017. We are really looking forward to this show. It will be the third time in the Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany, and we think we will have a breakthrough. Zurich is 15-16 October 2017, and Stuttgart on 28-29 October 2017. We moved both shows back because of the late date of SILMO next year. For us it is crucial that brands can show the autumn news.” www.diebrillenmesse.de JG

Top image left to right: Co-organiser Nathanael Wenger; designer Stefan Flegl Wood & Cotton; designer Adrian Marwitz Adrian Marwitz Eyewear; designer Didier Voirol Metal Art Concept; co-organiser Dirk Geissmann

Photos: All images for Eyestylist by Bruno Kickner – all rights reserved www.kickner.de

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Designer sunglasses at neubau eyewear

Iconic shapes, a beautiful finish and well-defined details which appeal to a young generation – neubau eyewear presents its first sunglasses collection where the benefits of the iconic archival inspiration of its Austrian “mothership” brand Silhouette comes into its own. The collection proposes five individual designs, inspired by contemporary art, fashion and music, and reflecting the current zeitgeist in a refreshing and trendy way.

Diana by neubau eyewear
Diana by neubau eyewear

Their exceptionally high quality styling and comfortable wear makes these frames ideally suited to urban everyday needs. Technical competence meets an acute sense of aesthetics, with interesting architectural details (above, the Diana has a small eye-catching “indent” on either side of the frame front) as one special highlight of the collection. Each frame is coloured by hand, making every single pair of sunglasses a very individual companion.

Heinz by neubau
Heinz by neubau eyewear

Available in stores and online from the end of October. www.neubau-eyewear.com / www.theframeofmind.com CN

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Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart

October sets into motion the holiday spirit with Canadian Thanksgiving, Columbus Day and Halloween. For eyewear fans, it’s time to experience and celebrate fine eyewear at Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart. With its wonderful location – Motor World – where classic car enthusiasts can view spectacular vintage cars, Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart also offers visitors the opportunity to discover unique eyewear in this spacious venue. From Adrian Marwitz to Zen Barcelona, independent designers will present their latest collections. The stellar lineup of exhibitors (see the complete list at www.diebrillenmesse.de) highlights charismatic frames for both optical and sun wear.

Ic! berlin has a striking capsule collection of plotic and plotic-hybrid sunglasses in a smart “weekend blue.” Mountains and blue skies inspired Glacier (above) in 3D-printed design. Sunglasses that provide an outdoor style statement – and protection. www.ic-berlin.de

Vannes by Lafont Paris
Vannes by Lafont Paris

Round shapes have particular cache this season with new interpretations that are chic and alluring. Among Lafont’s new sunglass designs is Vannes, with a richly textured finish on the frame front. www.lafont.com

Andy Wolf in Austria launches a new metal collection
Andy Wolf in Austria launches a new metal collection

Andy Wolf, the Austrian brand, will present their latest innovations in metal eyewear. The frames are handcrafted in a special factory in the Jura region of France. More on Andy Wolf’s new collection at www.andy-wolf.com

Bügel by Wood and Cotton
Bügel by Wood and Cotton

A father and son business has launched in Germany, with Gerhard and Stefan Flegl creating their own label. Wood and Cotton features natural materials, skilfully crafted in the Stuttgart region. Bügel highlights a contemporary shape combined with high tech elements, that includes a splice technique between the wood temple and the acetate end piece. Discover more at www.woodandcotton.de

Note the dates! Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart 15-16 October at Motor World JG