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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Framed! Eyewear exhibition

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of an exhibition at the London College of Fashion. Titled “Framed! Contemporary Eyewear in Fashion”. It seeks to chart the progress of eyewear from its beginnings as a purely functional item to the modern-day artisans creating works of art that just happen to be working spectacles and sunglasses. The editorial lean is very much to the avant-garde of eyewear and features almost 200 notable examples of 20th and 21st century eyewear designs. ; I spoke to curators Gemma Williams and Leanne Wierzba a few months ago about my own thoughts on eyewear and was proud to see some of my suggestions feature prominently. Brands such as C.W. Dixey and Sons and Oliver Peoples are represented and rightly so too as names that are at the beginning and present day of the history of fashion eyewear. There are plenty of very famous examples of spectacles such as this Anglo American “Look” from 1986. ; Old friend Lawrence Jenkin (of Anglo American) was in attendance and was instrumental in not only supplying the majority of the exhibits but was also the designer of many of them too! As a lover of eyewear, it was exciting to see so many designs that I have only seen in photographs till now and a little strange to see frames that I used to sell way back at the beginning of my career. I was lucky enough to begin work in this field at the now legendary Angela Campbell Opticians in Manchester where brands such as these were our stock in trade. ; It is not just a history lesson though. By the end of the exhibition, you are presented by the very latest in design. Some more recent additions to the optical landscape are shown and most exciting, one-off pieces by recent graduates of fashion and design. Including the arresting piece below by Emma Montague, recent graduate of the Royal College of Art. I throughly recommend this exhibition if you are a fan of fashion, design or most definitely eyewear. It runs from today till the 3rd of November at the Fashion Space Gallery, 1st Floor, London College of Fashion, 20 John Princes St. London W1G 0BJ www.fashionspacegallery.com ;

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Monday, September 3, 2012

New Framers, now in stock.

One of my favourite brands that I discovered in the last few years is Berlin brand Framers. We have just taken delivery of some new models in advance of the Paris show at the end of the month. These should keep us going for a little while!

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

New cases in store

Yesterday I received my eagerly anticipated cases from local craftsperson, Ali Reader. Ali makes all sorts of soft accessories using a variety of materials. Shoulder bags, make-up bags, coin purses etc. and I suggested to her that she might like to try spectacle cases and further to that, I would be very interested in having them in the store if she did.

Thankfully she had a go and now we have these lovely things in store. Made from plastic laminated oil cloth for protection and durability in seven different, carefully chosen patterns. She likes to accent her work with vintage fabrics here and there and in the this case, they are to be found on the inside of the closing flap.

They have a magnetic catch to keep them closed and are velvet lined to keep your glasses in tip-top condition. Not only that but they are proudly hand-made by Ali in her studio in London. Another product of British design I am happy to champion in the store.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to us!

Happy Birthday to us! Today is our second birthday. Another reason to party tomorrow as if one was needed. In the last year we have added 5 new collections and we added facilities to do eye testing and contact lenses. Not bad for a years work. Whatever will happen next?

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Michel Henau, back in stock!

After what seems to have been an eternity, Michel Henau are now back in stock. I have old favourites and some hot new designs in store. If you have what you consider to be a wide head, you should make a special effort as they have some frames in very wide fittings. They have come in handy over the years.

Designer Mark has created some of the best frames I have seen over the years and the new pieces do not disappoint.

From cutting edge modern designs…

To Marc’s interpretation of classic frames.

 

Check out their website or come in to see the collection. www.michelhenau.com

 

 

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Handmade in England, a rarity these days…

A while back I was very lucky to be contacted by one half of Fan Optics asking for some advice. They were in the early stages of development of their line and wanted some information which I was only too happy to pass on. I stayed in contact with them as I was very excited to see what they would come up with. I had a feeling it would be interesting.

Fan Optics are; Sarah Coburn, a graphic designer working mostly in fashion communication and Guillaume Furminger, a product and brand designer working for a global design agency. Inspired by hand crafted design with a focus on fashion, their combined talents in fashion and products led them to eyewear as a collaboration.

They sought to combine classic design and authentic production methods with a modern slant. Each piece is something they wanted to wear themselves and combines the colour palettes of their favourite artists and photographers.

Their desire for authenticity and workmanship meant that Europe was the only place they could manufacture. Not only that, but they were determined to have them manufactured in England. It seems only right, what with model names like Colby, Brock and Vala. Names steeped in Old English history.

They have insisted on using the best Italian acetate and German engineered fittings to couple with English craftmanship so they could create a unique and fine collection of spectacles.

We have every shape here and will have them as sunglasses later featuring Zeiss lenses. Come and see them soon.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A trio of American classics for Independence Day!

Happy Independence day to all our American customers and there are quite a lot of you. To celebrate American independence, I would like to present to you this trio of classic American frames.

 

On the left is the Shuron Ronsir. Seen in may places but most notably on the face of Kevin Costner in J.F.K. and in the television series, Mad Men. In the middle, The Randolph Engineering Aviator. Standard issue to American Airforce pilots since 1971 and more recently, as supplied by us to Johnny Depp via the film Dark Shadows. Finally on the right, the Oliver Peoples O’Malley. Not seen since 1988 and now re-issued in extremely limited numbers. Want to see it elsewhere? Have a look at Christian Bale in “American Psycho” and you can get a good look.

What a way to end this celebration of American independence.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Sale Now On!

The summer may not have sizzled so far but our sale will.

All sales frames will be priced at an amazing £100.

There will be plenty of choice but when they are gone, they are gone.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Zut Alors! New Struktur

Last week I had a visit from wunderkind designer Hugh Poillerat of Struktur, all the way from Paris. He was feeling pretty enthusiastic. His first time in London about four years and carrying with him a bag full of brand new frames. Not only new designs but a new manufacturer too.

Needless to say I was very impressed. His design style has evolved. It has matured and mellowed but still retains that air of the avant garde, of the slightly dangerous.

The quality has only improved with the new manufacturer. While many designers of his age think that mass producing in China and selling in bulk to Urban Outfitters is a sign of real success, Hugh sees the maintaining of hand crafted frames a real reason to be proud of his work.

He still likes to show his frivoluos side sometimes though. Sometimes he can’t help but be playful in his design. Owner wanted for the frame below. Shrinking violets need not apply.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Michel Henau in Monocle Magazine.

If you have not seen the latest issue of Monocle magazine, you will not have seen the beautiful photo shoot from Istanbul featuring Michel Henau spectacles and sunglasses.

I suggest you pick up a copy, not just to see the Michel Henau but I can also recommend Monocle magazine as a great read.

For more info on Michel Henau go to http://www.michelhenau.com/

For info on Monocle Magazine go to http://www.monocle.com/

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