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Saturday, November 9, 2013
We had a great summer here in the UK. You can’t deny that, but the sun is gone and so is your tan so here are our picks to give you a boost. Warm colours and uplifting shapes are our suggestion and maybe just one that embraces the cold. Continue reading →
Monday, October 14, 2013
Another September, another Silmo. The Paris optical show. If you have read anything I have written before on the subject you will know that it is my favourite show. Consistently it offers the most new brands, the most exciting products and the most beautiful setting for a show. Not the exhibition centre itself, which is at Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, just next to Charles de Gaulle Airport (like a larger version of the N.E.C.) but Paris!
French people I know, including Parisians, are always amazed when I tell them that I find Paris one of the most polite and friendly cities in the world. I never return from Paris without a story of some act of kindness or funny interaction or just an interesting event that I have experienced.
This year I investigated the Canal St. Martin a little more. There are many good bars and restaurants to be found along the canal and in the side streets nearby. In one, I was treated to an impromptu cabaret show by a waiter dressed in an ill-fitting black and white hound’s-tooth sports jacket, an equally ill-fitting white waistcoat that needed a wash several wears ago, black slacks, a black straw fedora, topped off with black and white brogue taps. I said it was impromptu but evidently it was not impromptu for the singer.
What I mean is this bar was not a setting in which I might have expected such entertainment. This is a bar that served drinks in plastic cups, not out of necessity but more I suspect because the aged bar owner serving couldn’t be bothered to wash up. If you saw this place, you would think it a small mercy he didn’t. There are three brands of beer on offer and as I was choosing between them, I was told, “it doesn’t matter. They are all the same anyway.”
As we drank, the waiter treated us to renditions of songs from the “Great American Songbook”. During the instrumental bits, we had a show of what he may have referred to as his “tap dancing” but let’s just say it is unlikely he is the illegitimate child of Roy Castle. His singing style, I thought at the time, was born out of his technique of having to learn the songs phonetically as he couldn’t speak English. However his English was perfectly fine when he was negotiating his tip from some Australian tourists at the next table.
If you would like to subject yourself to this glittering event, head to Chez Adel
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010, Paris. Don’t wear good clothes.
When I did go to the optical fair, there was plenty to see. With 82 brands exhibiting for the first time, there was definitely a lot to get round. Luckily I had given myself three days to do it, a day longer than usual. Much the same as last year, almost everything that was new was wood. If things continue in this vein then pretty soon there will be more wood frame companies than plastic frame companies. For such a niche product, the market is now very crowded.
Many of you have asked for more colour, I can say at this stage that you will get it in spades from two wonderful new Italian producers making very beautiful, fun frames. I also placed an order with a German company who make very old-fashioned frames. Something I think is due resurgence and hopefully something you will love. More on these as the new brands come in though which as always, will be a few months. Don’t forget that we only sell hand-made spectacles and sunglasses so they take a little time to manufacture.
Finally, if you were wondering, yes I did go to Le Relais de L’Entrecote and mighty fine it was too. I went earlier than usual and the service was even more clipped (I didn’t know they had more to give) but great food and St. Germain is always a good place to go.
More on the new products as they arrive, till then, keep an eye on our face book page www.facebook.com/mcclintockeyewear for any day-to-day updates.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Everyone likes second helpings, especially when they are as tasty as these! The remainder of our Mykita have now arrived and they saved the best for last. Look at these beauties and then beat a path to McClintock in Covent Garden for a closer look.
Monday, July 22, 2013
These people have had custom made clip on sunglasses for their specs. When are you going to have yours?
Oliver Peoples O’Malley with Antique gold/Brown Lens combination.
Shuron Freeway with Gold plated clip and brown lens.
If you would like a clip on sunglass made for your frame, send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, July 19, 2013
We have just had a delivery of amazing sunglasses from our old compadre, Kirk Originals. As always, they combine wearable design with double take features such as a glitter coating to the inside of the frame on the Afterglow collection or lenticular panels (moving image) on the Kinetic collection. We have a large selection for you to try on at the store now.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
There once was a Teutonic anti-hero that made a career defining statement. “I’ll be back.” Perhaps making a return is a common Germanic trait as it is also the subject of today’s blog, Mykita.
When I took over the store in Floral St. in 2005, there was a brand in place that blew my mind. It had the most innovative design and construction in a spectacle frame that I had ever seen. The quality of the materials and the finish was incredible and what was especially surprising was that it came from the minds of two young and very fashionable Berliners who were camped out in Mitte, former East Berlin. Hardly the place you would expect to find precision engineering. More likely you’d find graffiti, tattoos and vegan cafés, at least in the early 2000’s that was the case, but this is the amazing thing about Berlin, pretty much anything goes. They have a saying, “Do what you like but don’t expect anyone to notice.”
The two Berliners in question, Moritz Krueger and Philipp Haffmans were joined by Daniel Haffmans and Harald Gottschling to complete the team. Then they set about bringing their vision to the optical world. The product was revolutionary. The frame is chemically etched from a sheet of 0.5mm thick, surgical grade, stainless steel. This was a process known to the designers from their education in industrial design but had not been applied to eyewear until they came up with the idea as part of their final year project at university.
The chemical etching process allows them total precision without the need for laser cutting, the heat of which might buckle or distort the metal. The frames have been designed to work entirely without screws, hinges or welds. This simplicity makes them extremely durable. Lens are fitted to the frame by means of a 0.5mm groove that is cut into the edge of the lens all the way around and then the frame fits into that groove neatly. A retaining clip closes the frame and then the arm is attached to lock the system. A very neat and unique answer to the problem of keeping lenses in spectacles.
The immediate success of Mykita spurred them on to innovate further. As the eyewear market demanded plastic frames, they set their sights on pushing the boundaries of those too. First, they acquired a milling machine from Japan, one of only four in use in the world and the only one outside Japan. This machine is incredibly accurate and gives them the ability to produce very flat forms in the plastic. It gives them a geometric quality that is not often seen in acetate. Acetate is often used to communicate more organic ideas in eyewear design, to use it to communicate a more architectural message is inspired.
All the frames are made in house at Mykita HQ in Berlin and as always with brands featured at McClintock, completely hand made. We have a selection of both the metal and the acetate collections in store now. After a hiatus of six years, it was time we gave these German brillen-meisters a place at the store again.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Our summer sale has started in the Floral Street store. We have loads of frames at bargain prices. For instance;
Rock Optika Brighton. Was £275, now £137.50
Fan Optics Vala. Was £320, now £160
Kirk Originals Seb. Was £269, now £134.50
As always, we can fit lenses too and if you need an eye test, come and see one of our friendly and caring optometrists. To book, email email@example.com or call 02072405055
Thursday, June 20, 2013
This year sees a final, limited release of the iconic “O’Malley” frame from Oliver Peoples. Like last year, there has been a limited production run made in the original factory that crafted Oliver Peoples frames back when this was a new model. I spoke at length about these last year on the blog and the only thing to add this year is that the colour range has been updated. This year, unlike last, we have a jet black to add to the roster. Gone are the amber and the buff and in comes olive tortoise (a little like buffalo horn) and light brown stripe. One colour from last year survives, which is not surprising as it was the first to sell out last year, the chestnut. However, the O’Malley is not the only old name that is making an appearance
A new addition to the “Circa 1987” range (Oliver Peoples vintage collection) this year is one of my all time favourite Oliver Peoples’ frame, the M-4. Originally released in 1990, it went on to be one of the most popular Oliver Peoples of all time. It even spawned a children’s version as part of the short-lived “Ollie Peoples” collection. Highly detailed in embossed metal and with filigree highlights, this Japanese, hand-made frame oozes class and refinement.
In the early nineties, if you were a Hollywood star, the M-4 was “the” pair of spectacles to be seen in, it even made a film appearance on the face of Bruce Willis in Hudson Hawk. Not quite the infamy of the O’Malley’s presence in “American Psycho” but not a bad place in movie history.
My one regret is that the legendary Oliver Peoples clips have not been re-issued alongside the frame. Fear not though, we can sort out a custom-made one for you using our new service. The re-issue is available in two colours. Antique silver and antique gold. These are very limited and I doubt that, when our stock runs out, I will be able to get any more.
So now is the time. Don’t wait another twenty years for these beautiful frames to become available again. The O’Malley and the M-4. Available for a short period only.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Last week we hosted the launch party for our newest collection, that of YMC v McGinn. It is a collaboration between the East End London fashion label and eyewear designer Brian (Bonafide) McGinn. It utilises vintage acetates from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s and that makes each piece a rare and limited edition item.
YMC began in 1995 when Jimmy Collins and Fraser Moss borrowed industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s slogan “You Must Create” to name their new clothing company. Initially inspired by traditional workwear, vintage sportswear and military wear, in the last fifteen years they have evolved into one of prime exponents of British modern clothing. Their ethos mirrors that of Le Corbusier’s in that form must follow function. They produce beautifully tailored, understated clothing full of hidden detail.
Brian McGinn has had a circuitous route to becoming a frame designer. It began with an honours degree in silver and metalsmithing, during which he found a love for wood after using it in a piece of work in his final year. He found wood an immediate medium to work with and after graduating, looked around for a way to develop his woodworking skills. This led him to work for a luthier in Galway, Ireland where he churned out guitars; mandolins and other assorted stringed instruments.
While working with the high quality timbers, he hit upon the idea of making a pair of glasses from them. Though with no knowledge of the manufacturing process or of correct proportions or measurements it still created such a good response from a local optician that he decided to return to art college to do an MA in design. He did this to develop his skills in eyewear design and manufacture. Since completing this course, he has gone from making individual bespoke projects to working with major brands as a designer and design consultant under his pseudonym, Bonafide Mc Ginn.
Brian Mc Ginn at work
Brian was a YMC customer even before coming to London and as soon as he moved here, he made a beeline for their Soho store. When there, on seeing that they liked to stock a few pieces of vintage eyewear, Brian realised that they too had a thing for glasses. This made them top of his list when approaching small independent companies to develop an eyewear line with. He says, “There’s definitely a shared interest in build quality and a wider sense of style, it’s something I’d love to develop further.”
This interest in build quality is what dictated the choice of Jura, France as the manufacturing centre. Brian, as a craftsman himself, has a highly critical eye and has been working with fine tolerances all his life, all of which makes him a difficult customer for the frame factories. Luckily, that same experience means he can create technical drawings and make perfect prototypes that allow the manufacturers to completely understand his vision. This knowledge added to time spent with the production team explaining his ideas means he achieves a quality he believes he can be proud of. “I have to take my hat off to our manufacturers in France for the build quality they’ve attained, I’ve not seen it outside of Japan.”
For more information on the brand, see Brian’s Facebook page.
A relaxed Mc Ginn
Monday, June 3, 2013
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A new service at McClintock, Custom made clip on sunglasses! We can make a clip to fit any frame you bring to us or you can request it at the time of ordering your new frames. They can even be fitted to rimless frames.
There are many options available. A plain rim or an embossed one can both come in a range of painted colours or for an extra cost, you can have them gold or rhodium plated. Lenses come in three different colours in both standard plastic or polycarbonate. We can supply them as polarised for an extra charge and also Zeiss lenses are available if you want premium lenses.
They come in their own small hard case and prices start from £125 for a standard clip and lenses. Delivery takes about two weeks and we do have to send your frames to the manufacturer so that the shape can be copied accurately.
I have had a couple made to try them out and I think they are great. If you are interested, drop us a line or call into the store.