Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sunhat-visors vs. Sunglasses on the catwalk

Since I decided to go hiking on the Isle of Skye I have pretty much missed most of what happened during Fashion Week, so here I am now catching up with all the weird and wonderful creations that graced the catwalks these past few weeks, on both sides of the pond . One of the things that caught my attention were Hussein Chalayan and Peter Jensen's very clever sunhat-visors. I must confess I actually pre-ordered one of Peter Jenses', in black...will I be wearing them instead of sunglasses next summer?

sketch by Eyespectacle





image from www.peterjensen.co.uk




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Friday, 28 September 2012

Vivian Maier: zealously hid from the eyes of others

This is one of those incredible stories that could be made into a mystery film. The protagonist is Vivian Maier, an intensely guarded and private person. Vivian,  was a nanny by day and secretly photographed details of city life, from the ethnics to the destitute to the glamorous in Chicago and the Big Apple in her spare time - what we now call streetstyle photography. The interesting (and mysterious!) thing is that of the 100,000 pictures she took in her lifetime, between the late 50's and the early 90's, most of them never saw the light of day.Vivien Maier died in poverty and her talent unrecognised until her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house in 2007 in Chicago by an unknowing buyer who purchased a locker and it's undisclosed, precious content. The negatives of thousands of films are currently being developed, archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of the wider audience, you can see some pictures here, and this is one of my favourites.

photo by Vivian Maier


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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I've been Framed!

As an eyewear designer you think you have seen it all when it comes to two-circles-and-two-straight-lines, you look at every brand under the sun, vintage and present, from every corner of the real/cyber world. However last week I marveled again in front of a well curated eyewear exhibition as some frames were, in fact, completely new to me! The exhibition is called "Framed! Contemporary Eyewear in Fashion" at London College of Fashion and it's the latest and first of a series of exhibitions entitled "Elements of Fashion"exploring the objects and concepts which fluctuate at the edges of the fashion system (at the edges? you mean everyone lives and breathes eyewear like I do?), the exhibition highlights eyewear's role within fashion and popular culture from high-crafted 50's spectacles to today's weird and wonderful creations. I also found Emily Alton's illustrated eyewear-timeline so rich of anecdotes, here are a couple...

picture by Eyespectacle

picture by Eyespectacle

picture by Eyespectacle


picture by Eyespectacle
And here are the frames I liked most. These frames are called "Turanette" and have a double-tiara design which held hairstyles in place, neat and clever!

picture by Eyespectacle - "Turanette" frames by Tura, circa 1950
picture by Eyespectacle - "Turanette" frames by Tura, circa 1950

picture by Eyespectacle - unknown frames, circa 1950
picture by Eyespectacle - "Futura" frames by Silhouette, circa 1973

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by Silhouette, early 1990s

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by Gianfranco Ferre', early 1990s

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by Paloma Picasso, late 1980s

picture by Eyespectacle - "Butterfly" frames by Oliver Goldsmith, reproduced from a 1960s style

picture by Eyespectacle - frames "Caline" by Theo

picture by Eyespectacle - frames "Bruges Lace" by Theo, 2005

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by JC De Castelbajac, 2009

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by Mercura NYC, 1992

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by JC De Castelbajac, 1986

picture by Eyespectacle - frames by Mercura NYC, 2010

picture by Eyespectacle - frames "Oxford Boobs" by Cyrus Karibu, 2012

picture by Eyespectacle - frames "Tapestry Spectacles" by Chloe' McCormick and NODH 2012

picture by Eyespectacle - frames "Hair Glasses" by Studio Swine, 2012

picture by Eyespectacle - frames "Hairess Blonde" by Emma Montague, 2012

So, if you love eyewear like I do and you live or happen to be in London between now and the 3rd of October you MUST check out London College of Fashion's latest and first of a series of exhibitions entitled "Elements of Fashion".

picture by Eyespectacle
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Monday, 24 September 2012

Cat-eyes, pearls and an orange coat

This is when I wish I had an invisible camera, but I don't, I was feeling a little shy and I generally prefer to ask if I can take a picture when I see someone interesting, so when I got home I had to quickly sketch up the lady that stood in front of me on the crowded train home...orange coat (tick!), blond bob (tick!), giant pearls (tick!) and, to complement this very conservative and severe look (ha!)..a gorgeous pair of Cutler&Gross dark grey cat-eye glasses (double tick!)! So?! London is full of trendy types who don't shy away from colour and accessories with attitude, you may think. Well, this very trendy lady was in fact a mature lady, not a young girl and here is a lesson on style from someone "slightly" older than we would normally expect...

sketch by Eyespectacle


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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Bye bye Summer

I think this is it now, summer has come to an end, so farewell warm sunny days, picnics in the park, sandals, bikinis, sunglasses....well, unless you live in the UK and you have spent most of "Summer" over here, in which case you may only have noticed a quick transition from chilly Spring straight through to chilly Autumn with a loooong monsoon season sandwiched in-between. I have a glass ball and I can see the future so I had given up on the nice weather way back in June and donated most of my beloved summer dresses to my sister when I went to visit her in Italy, so I had very few appropriate clothes to wear on those FOUR days of warm British Summer, still, I enjoyed each one of you balmy days in the sun, it's a shame we have to say good bye now!

sketch by Eyespectacle

These yellow interlaced ear of wheat sunglasses are by Isabel Canovas, accessories designer for Christian Dior in the 80's and for her own label until 1992. The thing that strikes me about her is that she never loaned any of her pieces to anyone, no matter who the celebrity was, this is something that would be considered completly crazy today but her marketing strategy helped her customers know that her creations would never devalue with time...
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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Inspired by...Minnie Mouse sunglasses!

Minnie Mouse has been for many girls the very first style icon, I think this is where my love for red comes from, all those Mikey and Minnie Mouse comic strips I used to read as a child. I like to think that her sense of style still influences many girls today, I was looking at my friend Ha's pictures of her children's birthday party the other day and all the girls where wearing a big smile on their faces and bows on their heads. Here is another treasured piece from my chest of (mini) red drawers, (yep, my favorite brand again!) Tatty Devine's bow sunglasses!

sketch by Eyespectacle


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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

StreetEye....more personality and self-expression

I like these vintage Ray-Ban, yep they are not just about Wayfarers and Aviators. Try with red lipstick!

picture by Eyespectacle

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Monday, 17 September 2012

StreetEye...fluttering eyelashes

This is one of the first people I saw when I went to LFW yesterday. I love her colours, the little boat in her hair and of course her Tatty Devine sunglasses! What I like most though is that this lovely lady sums up everything that I like about fashion: for her it's all about self-expression. This is what fashion should really be about, self expression doesn't need to cost the earth, it's not a luxury but a universal human desire. I am saying this because I notice more and more people going for the strictly-designer-preferably-straight-off-the-catwalk kind of look, particularly during Fashion Week (for the photographers!), of course it's flattering when someone asks you to take your picture but I think it's even more flattering when someone recognizes your unique style...So I sing with all my heart, long live self-expression!!

photo by Eyespectacle


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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Inspired by...Eley Kishimoto sunglasses

A while ago I promised I was going to share the content of my chest of (mini) red drawers! Here is a gem I forgot I had, my Eley Kishimoto for John Lewis, what a surprise when I found them today! They look like a plain black pair of shades (and blue lens!) when the temples are folded, though the shape is all but boring, then when you wear them you notice the polka dots on the side, genius!

sketch by Eyespectacle

picture by Eyespectacle



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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Severe spectacles + bold prints

I left the house today in my favourite all-in-one Liberty print blouse and trousers which looks like an English garden camo. I love bold patterns and I don't think they are just for girls, Ozwald Boateng, tailor extraordinaire, used some strikingly vibrant African/Ankara prints for his SS13 collection, and here are the perfect shades to complement the look on the guy who is brave enough to walk outside his suburban front door in it. These severe shades are from Moscot BLK DNM and I think they create a perfect harmony with bold prints, in the same way that fancy eyewear complement a restrained outfit…

collage by Eyespectacle



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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Lesson #1 from AdR (and Grace Jones): More is More!

I am never for an all-around tame and subdued look, I always like to wear something, even small and not immediately obvious, that is unexpected. A crazy patterned pair of trousers, a bright coloured skirt or hat, yet I like this to be a detail rather than the overall outfit. Showing your identity is a balancing act, I am proud of myself for shaking off the restrictions of a super-coordinated look, the Italian way, and I certainly enjoy dipping my feet in the fountain of creative freedom of expression that is London. Not all Italians are preoccupied about showing their deeply rooted sense of colour and style coordination; take this lady I met last year in Paris, the late Anna Piaggi, or...Anna dello Russo! AdR's overall style may not be my cup of tea but I kind of understand where it comes from and I appreciate the desire to rebel against all those style rules that stand in the way of good humour and inspired imagination, so yes! I am going to embrace the new range of assssessories (say with a strong Italian accent) she designed for H&M and will surely try and get my mitts on one of those animal bangles once they become available here in the UK! Another AdR gem on my shopping list will surely be a pair of those gold, diamante' encrusted crocodile sunnies she is wearing in her video, I think I can already see a pattern to my shopping list, an animal-inspired one, in fact. All this talk of wildlife has bought to mind another feral beauty, Grace Jones whose attitude and untamed style has certainly encouraged many to go ahead and be brave!

collage by Eyespectacle

Anna's video is very funny but I still prefer Grace's sensual take on transgression (and gold eyeshadow!)

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Saturday, 8 September 2012

In the mind's eye...more Yayoi Kusama!

Sorry Yayoi, I couldn't resist... I had to play around with the sneaky snaps I took at the Tate Modern earlier this year!

collage and photos by Eyespectacle


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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Eyeshadow anyone?


Yesterday's Stylist (for non-Londoners, this is the free weekly fashion mag you can pick up outside any tube or train station) decreed the return of the eyeshadow! I am not sure I am going to join the stampede at Boots' make up counters after this news but eyeshadow did make me wonder weather the revival of the eyeshadow is going to inspire us to play around with FC2 (flither category 2) lens,  these are the really light lens that show your eyes (and your eyeshadow!) and that normally come in fun tints outside of the standard range of brown and smoke. Well, I certainly have enjoyed playing around with both the eyeshadow and the FC2 lens...with Photoshop for now! but once I have practiced my arty hand at getting those lovely colours on my eyelids and without looking too much like Cindy Lauper I may also start playing around with the tinted FC2 lens...


collage by Eyespectacle

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Inspired by...statement shades

This is stage #1 of my crusade to convince every person I know to be a bit more adventurous with their eyewear, and it's no mean feat as I can count them on the fingers of my hand the number of people I know that push the boat and embrace unusual colours and shapes...eeerr only two!

Most people show either shock horror or a puzzled face whenever I show interest in a pair of sunnies that are a bit crazy unconventional, for many years I have tried to understand the reasons behind this resistance towards frames with attitude, people seem to find it easier to wear crazy shoes, neon handbags (and let's not talk about the jewellery!), but sunglasses...nop! these have to be as safe as possible. When I was designing eyewear in Italy, in the mid 90's, the one and only rule you needed to follow was... "less is more" and I remember Lucio, my boss at the time, telling me "Sandra, frames-particularly spectacles- need to allow people to express their personality, they can't be the first and surely not the only thing you notice about someone". Lucio has been a very inspiring figure and like all mentors I always wonder "what would Lucio think about this?" whenever I design or see something bold and jazzy. This is why I think a lot about crazy vs. understated when it comes to eyewear. So, how to indulge my love affair with bright colours, patterns and unusual shapes, though making sure that the frames I wear say something about my personality and don't overshadow it?

For some, eyewear is not meant to be a distraction and sometimes less is more (not everyone aspires to be the new Lady Gaga!) but if, like me, you are drawn to bold colours and designs when it comes to your sunglasses, then you should go for it! after all I think that showing your personality is an art everyone should embrace...Right now I am feeling very inspired by all those architectural, frill-free designs at one of my favourite brands, COS (well, for as long as I am in this kind of mood!) but then I want to make the whole look a little less severe and I think a pair of daring sunglasses, like Kenzo's can really make everything look less serious. However, if you are not as brave, I think a smile would complement the look perfectly!

sketch by Eyespectacle


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Monday, 3 September 2012

You are so kawaii!...Lolita fashion at the V&A

As the sun set on a sunny Friday afternoon in London the V&A museum was taken over by Lolitas and the Lolita-admiring (and photographing!) crowd! This was part of the V&A's Loli-POP! event celebrating the related display "Kitty and the Bulldog: Lolita Fashion and the Influence of Britain in Japan". Lolita, like Super-Kawaii (super-cute), is a fashion subculture which originated in Japan in the 70s and is influenced by Anime superhero aesthetics. There are many types of Lolitas: Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita,  Sailor Lolita, Country Lolita...Giant bows, childlike motifs, sometimes a parasol, Rococo, Victorian and Edwardian clothing, bonnets, crinolines and a doll like face are key to the look and they reminded me of my favorite childhood cartoons, like the much loved Holly Hobbie (before it was redesigned in 2006) and starry-eyed Candy. Here are some of my favorite.

photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle

photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
And here is a very sophisticated Lolita, petticoat and bows in place!

photo by Eyespectacle

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Follow the red dotted road...Selfridges&Co in Yayoi Land

Yayoi Kusama has turned a little section of Oxford Street into....an even more hectic kaleidoscope of pattern and colours, inside and outside of Selfridges!

photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle

And here is the poem that connects all the dots...

photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
photo by Eyespectacle
Stars, the earth, I and you: we are both one polka dot...love for ever!
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