Friday, 1 May 2015

Red Hot Right Now!

Alfred Kerbs is one of those brands who like to share their inspiration, not just the one behind the product itself but also what inspires the look, I am talking beyond the moodboards and down to the very essence of what makes each one of us unique; genes, and specifically the one that gives 0.6% of the population their unique aesthetic beauty. Red hot hair.

Avant-garde for an eyewear brand is also their advertising campaign. Shot like a fashion editorial, where not all models are wearing sunglasses. More of these, please!

photo ed van der elsken

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Ourhouse of Termite

I blame it on my gannet-like curiosity, I am intrigued by what lead to a compelling design and I appreciate it more when I take a peak behind the curtain. Termite's colour palette this season was so strong I had to know what had influenced it.

The designers looked at Max Bill' geometric paintings and the Bauhaus for inspiration, when designing their latest collection, “OURHOUSE”. Another strong influence came from the sculptor John Chamberlain who worked a mix of texture from compressed metals and plastics.

Like with the best designers the inspiration isn't obvious, you appreciate how it's been transformed, into something contemporary and new.

Termite's code has always been a balance between the ‘industrialised’ and the warm and tactile; mixed materials, metal bolts and hinges with birch wood, so looking at Modernism just made this collection even stronger.

The collection combined tinted crystal acetates as well as marble for an eclectic feel, showing a confident sense of colour and pattern combinations.

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Friday, 6 March 2015

Wind Trace Forgotten

Gentle Monster define their collections as luxury experiments, rich in narrative. The dark hart of this Korean brand's 2015 collection, called 'Wind Trace Forgotten', talks of lost memories, nature's cycle of death and rebirth and forgotten pirate flag motifs.

The hand-embroidery applied to each shield of "Black Bart" and "Black Sam" is inspired by the 17th Century's Golden Age of Piracy and the practice of collecting ensigns as a lucky charm.

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Monday, 16 February 2015


I am into new materials and craft these days, one I came across some time ago is Bois2. Made with recycled wood and acetate, the wood powder comes from timber factories and the frames are completely recyclable.

The inclusions in the material create beautiful patterns and they remind me of these Botanica creations by Formafantasma.

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Monday, 9 February 2015

Graceful Marble

I am addicted to Nowness. Every morning when I switch on my computer I have to watch a new video. You can see famous architects and artists showing you around the intimacy of their homes, Marina Abramović on getting old...and marble quarries (of course!).

This particular video, shows a quarry boss as he guides his men through the extraction process, using a silent language of gesture and sign. He can move gigantic marble blocks using enormous excavators, but his own movements are light, precise and determined.

I see similarities with Mykita / Damir Doma's marble collection, the tension between light and incredibly heavy; these beautiful patterns look like they should way a ton!

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Personal Handwriting

Finding a totally new approach to eyewear design is rare, yet I was not surprised to find it in a Japanese designer; Tokyo's Masahiro Maruyama does just that, with essential simplicity. He creates beautiful incomplete forms, based on the outline of his hand sketches. I bow.

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Monday, 2 February 2015

Retirement Renaissance

This year Selfridges decided to turn their "Bright Young Things" project on its head and showcase "Bright Old Things" instead. The idea was to do away with an outdated idea of age and present 14 men and women who followed a new vocation in later life.

Selfridges collaborated with illustrator and photographer Todd Selby to show and illustrated creative in they'r space. One of them is Robert Roope of Black Eyewear; a former optician, now designer.

Photo - Todd Selby

Robert sees "timeless style in eyewear as styling that embraces the fundamental structures of the face; it is styling that creates resonance and harmony with our face structure . It can be elusive, but we recognise it when we see it. It fits somehow; it belongs to the long history of the face."

Illustration - Todd Selby

Black Eyewear

We see career paths skewed towards the young, fashion brands are poised on celebrating youth yet Celine's recent advertising campaign has possibly made us realise that no one now young will look as cool as 80 year old writer Joan Didion. Old age is cool!

I know who is inspiring my future old age style, who inspires yours?

photo - The Sartorialist

photo - The Sartorialist

gallerist Rossana Orlandi

photo - The Sartorialist

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Surrealist Fashion - Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin -Vogue Paris May 1970

If you are in London and you are into fashion photography, then there is an exhibition you must see. Guy Bourdin: Image maker; from Man Ray’s protégé to artist in his own right, the exhibition covers 40 years of his career.

Bourdin's work took the basic function of the fashion photograph -to sell clothing, beauty and accessories- and made it into something rich and strange, he did this by establishing the idea that the product is secondary to the image.

What I like about his approach is that he preferred to shoot lesser products, like make-up and accessories (the fringes of fashion), to turn this into something rich and strange, he even managed to add hitchcockian suspense to his Charles Jourdan adverts.

Hurry, exhibition ends on the 15th of March!

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Here is how to Res/Rei.

Acetate is one of my favourite materials for eyewear. I keep coming across incredible kaleidoscopic textures, new and vintage, then there are the tortoiseshells, created as an environmentally friendly alternative to real tortoiseshell as our ancestors used to kill tortoiseshells to make frames out of their shells.
I think a lot of people like acetate for it's retro' feel and so many brands have based their whole aesthetic on acetate frames, even more have adopted a simplistic approach to this material; "we'll design a few nice shapes, cut them out, polish them and then assemble them". Not RES/REI. They used their skill, teamed up with the best workshops and the most renown acetate material manufacturer (Mazzucchelli in Varese, of course!). This is how this material is made.

Then RES/REI started experimenting with this material in their workshop, pushing the limits of its versatility by making it super fine, bonding different patterns, milling away the layers... And here are my favourite  experiments.

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Thursday, 8 January 2015

The beauty and strength of harsh environments

The Dolomites, once the Italian Alpine area where most of the eyewear in the world was produced, has now become the source of inspiration for a new breed of independent designers. What they are looking for are not the pretty, bucolic picture of sunny, crisp skies and green pastures. It's the essence of those mighty rocks, vertiginous heights, freezing temperatures, the beauty and strength of these environments that made an impression on brands like Hapter and Ottomila, and most importantly the spirit of exploration that is part of this world.

What inspired me to write this post was Channel 4's art docu on winter (as well as my origin, at the foothills of the Dolomites).

Cold winters and remote mountains are no longer a threat as they did in the past because we live a comfortable life; now we associate cold and snow to après-ski party time, bright colours and snow goggles. Instead Ottomila and Hapter have been looking at our atavistic human need for protection and shelter when designing their very minimal collection; only two or three very sleek styles, with a no frills, no nonsense retro sport look. Both brands manufacture at the foothills of the mighty Dolomites.

Ottomila: limited edition of 8000 numbered copies (Ottomila means 8000 in Italian). Crisp, completely flat, mineral lens. Leather or retro acetate rim sleeves. You must check out their tumbler for times-gone-by alpine looks.

Hapter M02M | Icons  range: a special fusion of surgical steel to high-end in contrasting fabric by Cerruti Woolen Mills 1881. Almost-flat, scratch resistant ZEISS sun lenses. The need to find shelter from nature is most poignant in this recent video.

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