Spring and Magritte: New Beginnings


Magritte demonstrates that, contrary to our assumption, maybe day and night can co-exist.

It’s sometimes hard to believe spring is here with these cold temperatures and the continuing threat of snow, but we are oh, so ready to put winter behind us.  Spring is a time of renewal, and as new life springs up from the earth, we start to feel new possibilities. Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte (1898-1967) challenged people to let go of assumptions and consider not what is, but what could be.  His paintings, some of which are currently on display in a special exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, depict ordinary objects and normal people arranged in ways that seem impossible.  But are they?  Maybe Magritte is really telling us to rethink what is possible.

Street view of our display

Dress shoes of Magritte’s period give our mannequins the ability to take a stroll in style. Who needs legs anyway?

Inspired by the MOMA exhibition, we’ve created a new window display that we think Magritte would approve of.  It features a sky backdrop found in many of Magritte’s paintings and men in the Magritte style – complete with suit, period dress shoes and bowler hat.  We chose Arnold Schwarzenegger’s visage as the face of the men.  In a twist reminiscent of Magritte’s style, we pulled apart the pieces of the men and put them near each other, but not quite together.  What does it symbolize?  Well, that’s in the eye of the beholder.  Surrealism is all about what the image means to you.

Faster Smarter and Now More Fashionable: Google Glass Could Be the Next Step in the Information Technology Revolution

Remember when you decided it took too long to fire up the laptop, so you got a smart phone and started doing most of your day-to-day communicating on the go?  Email just wasn’t fast enough, so you went to instant messaging.  And then Facebook wasn’t quick enough, so you had to add Twitter to your life.

Well, let’s face it; the smart phone is becoming annoyingly slow too.  Let’s say that you see something happening and you want to get a picture or a video.  You have to dig the phone out of your pocket, purse or briefcase, turn it on and select the photo app.  By then, the event you were trying to capture is over.  Bummer!

Or, you’re driving in heavy traffic and you suddenly remember something you need to take care of.  You’re afraid you’ll forget.  You need to write it down or record a memo.  Where is that stupid phone?  It’s dangerous to use it while driving, but you don’t want to risk forgetting to do this thing.  Argh!

Enter the newest smart technology that doesn’t need to be hunted down or turned on — a device that’s always at your beck and call, just waiting for you to tell it what to do next and streaming information to you on the go:  Google Glass.

Early versions of the product, which you may have seen in TV ads, made the wearer look like a malevolent warrior from a Sci Fi movie – not the sort of image you’d want to project if you value your business contacts or if you want to make new friends.


Thankfully, Google has seen the light and its geeks have sought the assistance of fashion experts to create a new line of eyewear with the Google Glass computer built into the frame. To compensate for the added weight of the computer, designers used über- lightweight titanium for the frames.  The design puts the computer screen just above your field of vision when you’re looking straight ahead so that it doesn’t interfere with your normal vision, yet  you only need to glance to the upper right when you want it.  You can control the computer with either voice commands, or, if you want privacy in a crowd, touch commands along the right temple of the eyeglass frame.

Watch the video to see how it feels!!

Is this just a fad or is it the next step in the information technology revolution?  It’s too early to tell, but here’s an interesting indicator:  Medical Doctors Carl Spitzer and Craig Rosenberg have teamed up to launch Healium, a company that develops software for the Google Glass device that can be used by EMT squads, in emergency rooms, or during surgery.  Making a medical professional’s use of technology hands free is huge.  It saves precious time, which could save lives. In the same context, Rhode Island Hospital’s Emergency Department announced that it will use Google Glass technology to stream live images of a patient’s medical condition to a consulting specialist located elsewhere. It’s the first in the nation to test Google Glass on medical conditions, see the link below:


Want to see what it looks like?   We have samples available to try on and explore.  They can be fitted with your prescription in a variety of lens styles, including single-vision, sunglass or progressives.  Frames and lenses are even eligible for subsidies through the VSP insurance program.  Come explore with us!

How to choose Eyewear for 2014?

When people look at your face, the focal point – the first thing they see – is your eyewear.  It literally projects your image outward.  Don’t play it safe by hiding behind conservative (a polite word for “boring”) glasses.  Look for frames that make you smile when you open the case or pick them up from the dresser in the morning.  If you find eyewear that really expresses your inner self, you will exude an air of confidence and you’ll make those around you smile too.

Here are some style tips to help you make the right choice (or choices!)

What Works for Hue?

Don’t be afraid of color.  Both metal and plastic eyeglass frames come in a wide array of hues.  The key is to pick a color as an accent, not as something to blend with your wardrobe.  Matchy-matchy is a big no-no for 2014.  (Think 1980s bright red lipstick with bright red blouse — gack!) Accent colors are more interesting and can work with a whole wardrobe palette.


Get in Shape!

Like color, the shape of your eyeglass frame has to work with your face.  In general, you will look best in a frame that is the opposite shape as your face.  For example, if your face is very round, square or rectangular frames will provide geometric balance.  Similarly, if your face is very long and rectangular, don’t accentuate the length with glasses that have a huge up and down dimension.  Look for rectangular frames – ones that are wider than they are tall – to break up the long line of your face.  Or, soften the sharp angles of your jawline with frames that have rounded contours.


Color of the Year – We Have It



Pantone – the ultimate authority on color trends and matches for everything from printing ink to watches – has announced its Color of the Year for 2014:  Radiant Orchid.  It’s a sophisticated blend of fuchsia, purple and pink that changes hues depending on its surroundings.  Infused with the magical quality associated with purple, this color blend color sparks with energy and evokes a feeling of joy and well-being.

If you’re wondering how it looks in eyewear, feast your eyes on some samples from our collection:


2014 offers variety of interpretation on classic shapes like cat, Panto and rectangular. Skinny frames, made of light weight materials are so in








Few good reasons to discover …. Garrett Leight

If you have not heard from it yet, you will probably heard from it soon! Garrett Leight California Optical is a pretty new optical company, created in 2010.  GLCO is the abbreviation commonly used for the brand. There is no brand more buzz-worthy lately! It is fueled by a group of young, passionate purveyors of eyewear, dedicated to creating classic design by combining perfect craftmanship with timeless aesthetics.

Garrett Leight, the son of Oliver Peoples founder Larry Leight, has branched out to create a namesake brand of his own. GLCO is laid back, sophisticated, and inspired by his California surroundings. There is a timeless aesthetic to the entire collection. It’s not over complicated, just perfectly executed classic 20th century American styles with a modern twist. Having come from an optical background gives Leight the unique ability to pay attention to the subtle details which makes any frame just that much better: such as the fit, proportion, and comfort. Each frame also boasts some great technical features.

“Our glasses are kind of for the people that have their own original style, and don’t always like to be noticed… they kind of just have this originality. I’m attracted on a design level to certain characters or iconic people from certain periods of time: we made the Arthur Miller frame, I love Greta Garbo, and Grace Kelly, and [iconic] characters like that. Allen Ginsberg, Charles Bukowski… certain people that wore glasses that I’m attracted to, and keep kind of designing frames based on styles they wore. The brand is nothing flashy, and everybody always remarks on the fact there are no logos. I think most people seek out the brand themselves, which is how we envisioned it.” G.Leight

The Venezia is a timeless unisex shape with clean lines and a nice comfortable fit. Its rich with intricate antiqued metal details and combines “Blonde Tortoise Fade” acetate with transparent temples revealing a beautiful underlying filigree design.

Dudley is inspired by the enigmatic writer of generations past. All of the greats have worn this shape from Charles Bukowski to Woody Allen to Allen Ginsberg to Arthur Miller. Made from cured Japanese acetate and custom GLCO hardware, the Dudley is a classic frame with great proportions that works well on both men and women alike.

Dillon is the epitome of the all-American girl’s feminine style. With subtle retro cat eye, this frame is featured in beautiful acetate colors with classic GLCO details like our custom 5-barrel bi-color hinge, and custom engraved core wire.

Dear Santa: Please Bring Me the Latest Electronic Gadgets … and Protection from Them!

Have you asked Santa for a new smartphone, laptop or the latest lightweight tablet?  Are you hoping a new big-screen television or maybe a handheld e-book reader will appear under your tree?  These devices are wonderful entertainment, a great means to stay connected to family and friends, and they can be educational.  Some of them are even must-haves in today’s educational system.  But the scary thing is, they emit significant amounts of blue light, which carries a variety of health hazards. 

The white light that we know and love as daylight is really a sort of packet containing light in all the colors of the visible spectrum, including blue light.  During the day, blue light is a good thing because it helps you to remain alert and lifts your mood.  At night, however, it can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates body rhythms and helps you to get a good night’s rest.  Preliminary research at Harvard Medical School indicates that reduced levels of melatonin may be a contributing factor in certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  And, if you’re having trouble sleeping due to exposure to blue light, Harvard researchers say you have a higher risk of depression, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Digital Eyestrain

As we increase our use of electronic media, our eyes are struggling to cope.  Children and adults alike experience symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, itchy eyes, and neck or back pain.  In fact, digital eyestrain has surpassed carpal tunnel syndrome as the leading cause of computer-related maladies in the United States.


Why Is Blue so Bad? 

The study finds red light least harmful, while blue light is worst.

Of all the colors in the light spectrum, blue causes the most problems for a couple of reasons.  First, because it is the shortest of the light waves, it bounces around more, which causes haze and glare and makes images on your screen look blurry and hard to read.  Secondly, blue light is high energy and this means it causes more damage to your retina than any other color of light.   In fact, this high-energy light is a major contributing factor to age-related macular degeneration.

Don’t Throw Away Your Electronics

From Essilor statement: “We are able to determine the precise toxic wavelenths in the blue-violet spectrum.”

The good news is, vision technology is keeping pace with the changes in digital technology.  Crizal Prevencia, for example, blocks the harmful short rays of blue light (as known as “bad blue light”) while letting in some longer wave, or “good,” blue light so that it doesn’t alter your color perception.  You get protection from damaging rays and a clearer screen image all in one.  And yes, of course, you can get it here at Providence Optical.

Made in Italy 2.0 – Sleek and Innovative

Sleek, thin and made of high quality materials — Italia Independent delivers it all.

The I-Velvet line looks and feels like real velvet, but it’s a lot more durable.

Some of the world’s most covetable goods are “Made in Italy.” Italy has long been famous for exquisite leather accessories, high fashion, and craftsmanship. And our most recent addition is no exception. A little known fact is that Italy is renowned among eyeglass manufacturers for high quality and artistically dramatic plastics.  And now, Italy is home to an amazing and innovative eyeglass manufacturer: Italia Independent, which has declared that its mission is to raise the image of Italian manufacturing techniques to “Made in Italy 2.0.”  Perhaps not surprisingly, the company was created by Lapo Elkann, grandson of Fiat’s founder — after he rescued granddad’s auto company from the brink of extinction.

It doesn’t get any thinner than this!

If you want high fashion, but you don’t like chunky frames, this new brand of eyewear may be exactly what you’re looking for. Italia Independent – or II as the company likes to call itself – specializes in sleek, lightweight designs with materials that you won’t be able to stop touching.  The I-Velvet line, for example, has a special UV LUX® treatment that feels just like velvet, but it’s not fragile.  It’s scratchproof and fade resistant.  I-Thin Metal eyewear products are super light and have a rubber matte coating that gives them a soft touch.  If you want glasses that are barely there, yet still stylish, you might just fall in love with II’s I-Thin line, which features frames only 1.6 mm in width,  in both metal and plastic, with a wide range of transparent and opaque color options.

II sunwear is available in regular or prescription lenses.

We’re pleased to offer a broad selection of II’s products.  Come touch them for yourself and fall in love.

Falling for Paris

Our models, Simon and Caroline, in front of the fantasy forest library backdrop. Simon is wearing Lee Allen Eyewear glasses and Caroline is wearing Augusto Valentini.

Everyone loves the excitement of fall – the start of the football season, the launch of the new theater year and, of course, the release of the newest fashions.  In the midst of this swirl of new beginnings, we traveled to Paris to attend the annual Silmo exhibition, where the latest eyewear fashions are unveiled.  While we were there, we decided to take advantage of the locale to do a photo shoot to capture the excitement of travel and designer elegance into our photo spreads.

The venue was the exquisite Hotel Seven, ideally located in the city’s 5th arrondissement, next to the Latin Quarter and a short walk from the renowned rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest streets in Paris which is known for its shops and many lively restaurants. This hotel features fantasy rooms created by high-end designers. Paul-Bertrand Mathieu designed the ON/OFF Suite that we used for the photo shoot. He loves working with lights to create shifting and subtly surrealistic worlds. For the Seven, he created – two worlds in which emotion and technology get together perfectly.

The “On/Off Suite”.  Using transparent screens and special lighting, Mathieu created an illusion that lets you move from an elegant and somber library setting complete with books and desk, to a fantasy forest that features hidden “wonder objects.”

« My initial idea was to create a modern illusion. A fleeting moment when all of a sudden, everything moves, changes, nothing is like it was a moment ago. I had to make two decors in one. On the front side, an elegant and sober decor with books, a boudoir-bedroom, a desk… And on the other side, a fantasy world with an imaginary forest, wonder objects. When you switch the lights on or off, the glass on the walls becomes opaque or transparent : a second decor is then hiding or appearing. Proverbs and citations about illusions are also hidden everywhere. »

Caroline, in Seraphin, and Simon, in Augusto Valentini, wander in the fantasy forest.

We dressed up our models – acclaimed theater actor and actress Simon Oldani and Caroline Frossard – in “night on the town attire” and gave them glasses in sophisticated, innovative styles that are equally perfect for the office or an evening out.

Simon Oldani was born in Geneva, Switzerland. After a childhood spent in Evian (France), he began acting in community centers and at the Geneva Theater High School. From 2010 to 2013, he played in «Le Gros, la Vache et le Mainate». The play has been a national success and got recognition by art critics. He also loves modelling, he made a lookbook for the Fittz brand in Netherlands, then for a european campaign for a french Gin Brand «Gin Vine». He made some parutions in Vanity Faire, Vogue and Esquire which will give him the strenght to carry on this way, mixing acting and modelling.

At the end of two hectic, but fun-filled days, we came away with a collection of photos we really love.  It was an experience we’ll never forget.  After all, who doesn’t love Paris in the fall?

Photography by Greg Alexander                                                                                          Art Director: Sébastien Vienne                                                                                     Models: Simon Oldani & Caroline Frossard                                                                        Hair & Make-up by François Laly                                                                                 Special thanks to Hôtel Seven Paris

Lunetiers du Jura: International Eyewear Design Competition

Launched in 1997, the Lunetiers du Jura International Eyewear Design Competition is an incubator of creativity. Constantly searching for new identities and innovative ideas for their eyewear, the French Association of Jura Eyewear Manufacturers has made this competition the birthplace for frames of tomorrow.
The theme of 2013 competition: «1-100 ans », eyewear for babies and elderly people. This year, 221 projects were examined, 15 projects were selected, and finally 3 projects were awarded! Projects were prototyped by eyewear manufacturers. The 2 winning designs are by Edouard FABRE, Mathieu BRIAND & Nicolas PATRIX from ENSAD – Paris, for the frame “MIRETTES” and Marine DAVAINE from ESAD – Reims for “PRESBYS”.

Mirettes, by Edouard FABRE, Mathieu BRIAND & Nicolas PATRIX from ENSAD – Paris. Prototype produced by eyewear manufacturer OXIBIS Group

“ We were not all born with glasses on our noses. Yet as children we have all circled our fingers in front of our eyes to invent ourselves a pair…” The story of this project was born from that simple gesture that all children make. The construction of a Bézier curve based on the lines described by circling fingers formed the ideal drawing of our frame, each point corresponding to an anchor point.

Presbys, by Marine Davaine, France. Prototype produced by eyewear manufacturer MOREL.


The aim of Presbys is to provide a reworked version of both reading glasses for women and the “loss prevention” cord. These glasses are only used occasionally so an object should be created that women can wear all day long. Thanks to magnets placed in the acetate frame, it is very easy to fold it and unfold.


Tree Hugger or Fashion Maven? Fortunately, You Don’t Have to Choose

The words “Fall” and “Fashion” are synonymous, so we know you’re working hard on your new look for the season that’s just about to start.  If you want to look sophisticated with an intellectual flair, you can’t go wrong with Lunettes Kollektion’s unisex eyeglass frames.  Better yet, you can be trendy and eco-conscious at the same time.  How is that possible?  Lunettes Kollektion frames are made from cellulose acetate, a sleek plastic-like substance based on wood and plant fibers.  And their frames are not made in a big, pollution-emitting factory.  They are hand assembled in small, family-run factories in Germany and Italy, where the pride and attention to detail of handcraftsmanship also mean a minimal carbon footprint.

Miele (“honey”) is one of Lunettes Kollektion’s trendy colors, shown here in the “Je ne sais quoi” model

If you’re thinking that eco-friendly has to mean drab or somber colors, think again.  Lunettes Kollektion offers sophisticated color choices like frosted lemon, olive amber, rouge (red), miele (honey), framboise (a pale raspberry), petrol (a smoky blue), champagne and crystal, in addition to classics like black and tortoise.

Lunettes Kollektion’s “Bon Vivant” combines the hot trend of round glasses with a double bridge suggestive of an aviator frame.

Round and modified round eyeglass frames are making a strong statement this fall, while popular “geek chic” hornrims continue their long run in popularity with new, softer, more rounded profiles.  Lunettes Kollektion offers an exciting array of both, along with other fashion-forward designs like cat eyes and plastic aviators.

Adding to the excitement, British fashion designer James Long, a fan of Lunettes Kollektion’s clever modern aesthetic, collaborated with the eyewear brand in the creation of a new line to complement his own SS14 menswear collection for this fall.

Whether you need ophthalmic (clear) or sun lenses, Lunettes Kollektion has something that’s just right to top off your new look for fall. Come see our fabulous new collection.

– Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week  SS2014, NYC. A lot of people from the fashion world attended it and we got a snap shoot of one of them wearing Lunettes Kollektion, available here at Providence Optical.


In a Back to School “Frame” of Mind

Of course you want your kids to go back to school in style, but you also want them to be comfortable and able to perform well.  In between frantic trips to the shopping center for clothes, notebooks and other supplies, make the time for an updated eye exam and new eyeglasses to ensure that your child isn’t squinting to see the whiteboard or struggling to read the textbook.

OGI Kids Collection. Available in different colors.

In our “Fashion meets Function” back-to-school event, we’re featuring children’s frame from OGI and Swiss Flex – two leading manufacturers of children’s frames that are the most resilient in the industry.  For your soccer star, choose an OGI “spinner” frame that twists in all different directions to absorb the bumps and shocks of the game – and off the court play too.  Or, for your sophisticated little scholar, select a lightweight, trendy Swiss Flex frame to cultivate that intellectual look.  If your child wants to grow up to be just like you, try out OGI’s new “Mommy and Me” or “Daddy and I” lines, which offer the same model in adult and children’s sizes.

Our special back-to-school package is $215 and includes an OGI or Swiss Flex frame, shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and anti-reflective coating that hardens lenses to resist scratches and eliminates glare from overhead fluorescent lights in the classroom or the glaring sun on the soccer field.

Daddy and I collection

And to reward parents who are paying all those back-to-school bills, we’re giving you 20% off on your own complete pair of eyeglasses.

And yes, you can do all the family’s eye exams here too.  We accept most insurances. From September 3rd to October 3rd, the price without insurance will be $60 for adults and $40 for children. Contact lens exam not included.

Hurry in to take advantage of this limited time offer – and go to the head of the class!