Friday, 7 November 2014

Romeo Gigli - A Serene Elegance

Romeo Gigli - original 90s vintage










details from the A/W 1989-90 show








Romeo Gigli was part of that late 80's/early 90's zeitgeist who looked at faraway lands and cultures for inspiration. His father was an antiquarian book dealer and his mother a contessa, after the loss of both his parents he dropped out of university and decided to travel the world, this is where he starts collecting fabrics, objects and ideas from the places he visited, the strongest influence being from the Silk Route, Iran, Morocco and Istanbul.

I remember Gigli's opulent brocades, rich velvets and raw silks, breathtakingly beautiful and executed in calm, graceful dresses and coats. This was back in the mid 90's and I will forever remember his Spring/Summer '98 show as the first one I have ever been to. At the time his career was nearing a sad end and his creations are almost completely forgotten today. You can read an interesting article about this on the Telegraph.

But no brand can hide from the scourers of vintage archives and in the same way Gigli bought back inspiration from his travels, I can see Romeo Gigli's opulent heritage is inspiring fashion today. I recognised those swaths of fabric wrapped around the body, the soft volume at the hip and the serene elegance at The Row's show, this September.

With Modern Vintage I found a range of beautiful pieces, the small shapes, single top bridge and delicate details all remind me of that day at Gigli's 90's show, when I thought his eyewear was the most inspiring in the world.


Benedetta Barzini in Romeo Gigli - photo Paolo Roversi

Romeo Gigli - original 90s vintage









Persian Collection 1994

Romeo Gigli - original 90s vintage

1987 ad - photo Paolo Roversi
Romeo Gigli - original 90s vintage







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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Eyespectacle + 100%Optical

Remember last March's post on the Royal College of Art and 100%Optical's design competition? Well, I am honoured to have been selected as media partner for the next edition of the fair. The event will take place in London in February (I know, it's still a while away!) and I look forward to report back on lots of new and exciting brands, designs and hopefully some more young eyewear enthusiast's design projects...watch this spot!



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Thursday, 25 September 2014

#0000000001 Seeing is believing

Percy Lau has always been interested in the body and how visual perception helps us make sense of the world. Her highly conceptual new accessories collection #0000000001, made of single to triple layered lens, is a study on extensions to the human’s body. It almost looks like these Calder-like kinetic sculptures where designed to condition our movements and how we see the world through them, maybe even make us more aware of our bodies.

If you want to see the real deal, Percy's Paris exhibition opens tomorrow, the 26th of September and runs until the 27th of September.

Tapis Rouge
67 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin
Paris










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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Unbearable Lightness of Being




"I wanted to create something so transparent and light and weightless but at the same time not too nostalgic".

Bora Aksu’s spring summer 2015 collection was a tribute to the delicacy of paper dolls and the grace and power of nineteenth century ballerina Marie Taglioni. The collection's fluid movements of silks, tulles and clear crystal acetate create a sense of lightness and innocence.

These sunglasses from the catwalk show, a collaboration with bespoke eyewear brand Tom Davies are another find from my latest perusals at Somerset House during LFW.


Photo - JEFF BOUDREAU


Photo detail - JEFF BOUDREAU









Photo - JEFF BOUDREAU



Photo - JEFF BOUDREAU

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Industrious Termites





I learned now that whenever I get invited to Termite's new collection presentations I'll be in for a surprise. Despite my best efforts, I can never anticipate what their next move will be. The open minded approach to eyewear showed some striking acetate and (signature) reclaimed laminate birchwood geometric creations. The results are made all the more interesting by Termite's pure experimental design approach, in their new collection you can see the whole journey; material and construction limitations as well as avant-garde design, all laid bare, through the tinted crystal (reclaimed) acetate of the detailing.

Here are some pictures from LFW at Somerset House.











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Thursday, 11 September 2014

Do you loose your sunglasses all the time?

Whenever I tell someone they should invest in a good pair of quality sunglasses I get the same reply "what's the point? I'll end up loosing them anyway...". My opinion is that the market is awash with terrible, cheap sunglasses so people don't look after them and leave them everywhere; they can just buy another pair for a tenner anyway. But I treasure my vintage frames so much (obsessively?) I don't think I ever lost a pair.

So when I saw Pop-Eye's sunglasses I thought, "why do I take myself and my sunglasses so seriously...the solution is to just wear cardboard ones" ;-)

Pop-Eye

Pop-Eye

Pop-Eye

Pop-Eye

Pop-Eye


PopEye are not the only cardboard frames, Papp Up (I know, both brands must have been thinking popcorn, pop art, Popeye when looking for a name...) also do some in a really nifty construction.

I know my friends will ask "what happens when it reins?"



Papp Up 

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Monday, 8 September 2014

Modern Silhouettes

When Silhouette launched the avant-garde Futura in 1974 the impact was huge. There hadn't been anything like it before, they looked like the future had arrived...but the frames where made in (the very traditional material) acetate, so the innovation was in the look, and a very strong one at that! But not the technology.




Fast forward 40 years and today's Futura re-design still makes a strong aesthetic statement but this time materials and craft have caught up with the changes in technology; the frames are made of SPX+, a lightweight, super flexible polyamide...I wonder if they will under my snowboard helmet?




At the same time of writing this post I was musing over Noa Raviv's 3D printed dresses and thought they have so much in common with the Futura, and that's not just the aesthetic. Technology plays a big part in the beauty of both designs.









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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Workshops in kitchens and cow sheds

Piave is a historic company in North East Italy (and one I designed for a long time ago when I lived in Italy). The company started producing eyewear in the 50s in the small town town of Segusino. At the time a lot of the manufacturing happened inside peoples homes; kitchens and cow sheds were converted into workshops to accomodate for the frames handmade production. This is what outsourcing meant at the time.

In the 70s Piave embraced new technology and started making cellulose propionate injection frames, this allowed for beautifully hand-painted or stencilled patterns and decor. The temples have a metal core so they can still be adjusted to fit, comfortably, pretty much anyone.

Sadly Piave no longer exists as a company but luckily a fare amount of the old archive has been salvaged. Find out more at Modern Vintage London, a project very near and dear to me.

80s vintage Piave


80s vintage Piave


80s vintage Piave

80s vintage Piave

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Goodbye Summer...

I have been meaning to post Antonio Lopez' illustrations al Summer but then time went so quickly and now it's almost the end of it. So here is to balmy afternoons, shorts, wide 70s sunglasses, sorbets and bicycle rides...

illustration by Antonio Lopez

sunglasses by Marni



These are my favourite Piave light tinted vintage sunglasses from my latest project, Modern Vintage.

original vintage Piave sunglasses

original vintage Piave sunglasses

original vintage Piave sunglasses

original vintage Piave sunglasses





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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Eyes on Film

still from Hors d'oeuvre 



Check out Monica Menez's highly erotic (and ironic) fashion sorts. I like the vintage glasses. Watch them all here.


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