We recently visited award-winning eyewear designer Lucas de Staël’s very first eyewear boutique, which he opened in the Marais district of Paris in January of this year, and we just had to share the experience with you! In collaboration with architect Nicolas Omet, de Staël created a space in the where oak, steel and leather – Staël’s trademark frame material — play off each other and interact with the eyewear on display.
The modular wall on the right features 900 magnets – evoking the design of de Staël’s famous “Le Trinocle” accessory that uses a magnet to allow for different combinations of a binocle, a mirror and a magnifying glass. Arrayed in an industrial monochrome pattern, the magnets allow for an infinite variety of arrangements of the metal shelves that showcase some of the eyewear.
In other portions of the shop, eyeglasses are suspended on netting affixed to a brick wall and seem to be suspended in mid-air (thanks to invisible plastic holders) against a backlit white wall. A plant conservatory adds a natural aura of soft beauty and relaxation to the experience.
Pendant lamps with cow-leather shades, made in de Staël’s workshop, provide soft, focused illumination and are available for sale. Likewise, his sleek oak and steel storage drawer cabinets and “schoolboy chairs” are available for purchase.
Providence Optical has proudly carried de Staël’s Undostrial and LDS lines since their inception. Come try on some of this century’s finest innovation in eyewear!
Situated in the Agordo, Italy, nestled in the Dolomite Mountains and surrounded by fragrant forests, the Blackfin facility continues the legacy established by CEO Nicola Del Din’s mother, when she founded Pramaor eyewear in 1971. Our colleague from OpticMagazine (Russia) had the opportunity to sit down with Del Din at MIDO international eyewear show in Milan a couple of months ago to ask him about his vision for the company and what he’s proudest of.
The company was started in 1971 by the current CEO’s mother and he believes that with the service of the internet they are just where they need to be right now, offering both exceptional customer service and advanced technology with their product. His father sadly passed away in 1998, he took over the company and was forced to change strategy. In 2008 he decided to go with a fresh approach – they now have 47 years production and experience of technology under their belt, which has given them a new approach, new ideas and a completely different mentality. However, they will always continue to be Italian in their design, way of life and production.
In 2012, Del Din made the decision to work solely in titanium and beta-titanium (an alloy created for extraordinary flexibility) which gives their frames a stylish edge as well as being extremely lightweight and durable. Titanium is in fact one of the purest metals available in the industry. It is strong, light-weight (40% less than steel), non-allergenic, durable, biocompatible and non-toxic – all in keeping with the pristine natural surroundings of the Blackfin facility.Meticulous craftsmanship also is part of the formula. Creating a Blackfin frame requires 53 steps, which Del Din refers to not as “processes” but rather as “rites of passage”. That says it all. “Blackfin is a brand that has always invested in research and innovation, our goal being to offer a product of absolute excellence”, said Del Din while receiving prize for Technological Innovation at Silmo (Paris) in 2015. Innovation is a special way to hold lenses in a frame, called Shark-lock. Up until 2010 Blackfin were producing for bigger companies, but the margin was minimal so they had to rethink their process. As usual it wasn’t an easy change but they eventually found their way on a new and exciting road. Their marketing strategy a year ago was “the sky is the limit”, for some limits can be a problem, but Blackfin certainly exceeded those. The brand is all about looking beyond and they are always looking to update their products, as well as continuing to learn. This is why they believe in being different, because they were once alone in this field and wanted to make a change, which was difficult but also achievable.
Blackfin now has a number of distributors in Europe, USA, Canada, Russia, Mexico and Asia and they wont be stopping there. Drop by Providence Optical to see for yourself what makes these frames so standout, with our new range hand picked by our opticians specially for you.
Our natural feeling is that our minds are like a mirror on which light falls – that we simply perceive the world as it is. For a long time, philosophers and scientists thought along similar lines. In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant introduced the idea that there is a stage between what our eyes and ears pick up and what we perceive; that while we depend on sensory data for our knowledge, we make sense of its profusion and confusion by relying on in-built mental categories. But it took scientists science some time scientists to catch up with Kant; in classical physiology up until the twentieth century, visual images fell upon the optic nerve, and that was that. Freud suspected that the function of receiving sensory signals and registering them were separate, though he had no strong evidence for it at the time. We now know that the brain does indeed do a lot of work to make reality comprehensible- that the world as scanned by our eyes is rather different from the world we see. Your brain “serves up a story to you”. In a sense, deception begins the moment you open your eyes. (Ian Leslie “BORN LIARS”)
If you stare at a fixed point in space, like a dot on the wall in front of you, everything to the left of the do is projected to the right half of your brain, and vice versa. each hemisphere receives nerve transmissions from the opposite leg and arm and picks up sound from the opposite ear. Nobody knows why, they just do.
Your eyes don’t have enough neuronal receptors to capture a whole property, so pupils dance frantically around as they try to bring the sharper region of focus to bear every part of the room, a movement known as the saccade. Yet you have the illusion of continuous, coherent vision.
The brain ‘actively creates pictures of the world’. Rather than trying to interpret every new thing it sees as if encountering it for the first time, the brain makes series of working assumptions about what a chair looks like, or a person, and where object going to be, then makes predictions about- best guesses- about what’s before us. It compares its expectations with the new information coming in, checks for mistakes, and revises accordingly. The result is ‘a fantasy that collides with reality’.
Last week, the Sustainable Business Awards, organized by the third time in Singapore chose lens manufacturer Essilor as the award winner in the new category, “UN Sustainable Development Goals” in recognition of its contributions to 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, Essilor received praise for reducing its environmental footprint, caring for its employees’ health and safety, promoting diversity, supporting education and ensuring responsible consumption and production.
To understand why this award is so significant, you have to understand a bit about Singapore and its values. Singapore is the capital of the country with the same name and it lies at the southern tip of a peninsula that juts into the South China Sea just north of the equator. Its tropical location is a big plus, but what makes the city unique is the way its green policies have transformed this densely populated urban local. It could be a typical dirty, crowded big city, but instead, it is graced by parks and gardens that provide a home for exquisite tropical flora. The city has instituted policies to support the environment, including beefing up public transportation, installing systems to catch and use rain water and retrofitting thousands of buildings to meet green standards.
A stunning example of how artistic design and eco-innovation come together in this city is the “Supertree Grove” located within the Gardens by the Bay. The “trees” are playful sculptures that support photovoltaic cells (informally called “solar panels”) and the “grove” is accessible to visitors via an elevated walkway that provides breathtaking views of the park and surrounding area. The energy collected by the cells lights the gardens at night while captured rainwater irrigates the gardens – a veritable beacon of green design.
If that’s not enough to make you fall in love with the city, consider the fact that it is gaining a reputation – second only to Japan – as a “design destination”. This is not serendipity. The city leadership actively promotes design innovation by encouraging enterprise in this sector and sponsoring events like Singapore Design Week and Sustainable Business Awards, Singapore.
In accepting the award, Essilor executives pointed out that they see their mission as addressing the most widespread disability in the world: poor vision. Shockingly, 80% of impaired vision is treatable and yet this remains the greatest disability globally. Essilor’s efforts to address the issue through The Essilor Vision Foundation include vision screening events, donations of lenses and frames, and media campaigns to raise awareness, as well as support to local nonprofits with similar programs.
When you choose which lenses to purchase for your glasses, of course you want crystal-clear vision, but wouldn’t it be great if your purchase also could contribute to protecting the environment and helping people who live below the poverty line? Well, with Essilor, you can have it all!
Providence Optical proudly offers Essilor products to suit all our clients’ vision needs.
About Essilor International :
The world leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs and manufactures a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. Its the most known brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, Xperio®, Foster Grant®. It employs 64,000 people and worldwide, markets its products in more than a 100 countries and has 33 plants, 5 research and development centers (including Essilor Innovation and Technology Center in Singapore), 490 prescriptions laboratories.
On August 23′ 2017 Essilor was named by Forbes as one of 100 of the world’s “Most Innovative Companies” for 2017.Essilor has first earned a spot in this prestigious list in 2010 and has been ranked every year ever since among the world 100 publicly traded companies identified by investors featuring the best innovation potential now and in the future.
The current swirl of controversy over the question of whether access to restrooms and shower facilities should be based on a person’s birth gender or current gender identity brings to the fore a trend that the fashion industry has increasingly embraced over the past few years: gender neutrality. Also called gender fluid, no gender or bi-gender, this trend embraces the concept that a person’s choice of clothing and accessories should be based on what looks good and feels right, not which department displays the apparel.
Back in March 2015, the British retailer Selfridges took a bold step in dismantling its men’s and women’s department for six weeks, replacing both with a unified department it called “Agender” that offered clothing, beauty products and accessories. This mirrors a trend on the catwalks where male and female models wear fashions of their own and the opposite gender, and fashion shows are increasingly combined to display men’s and women’s clothing together and interchangeably.
A Little History
This trend is not as new as it may seem. European women “stole” the fashion of high-heeled shoes from men way back in the 17th century and, at the same time, cut their hair short, wore men’s style hats and added military elements, such as epaulettes, to their outfits as a fashion statement.
Fast forward to the 1920s and we find the “la garconne” look – women’s clothing with a distinctive masculine edge that freed women from the bondage of corsets and layered petticoats. This was women’s liberation on both the physical and psychological levels!
Half a century later, Diane Keaton rocked the grown-up tomboy look in the movie the 1977 film Annie Hall and singer/song writer David Bowie was famous for his androgynous look in the same era. Jean-Paul Gaultier pushed boundaries even farther by releasing a line of men’s skirts in 1985. Calvin Klein grounded the movement with unisex clothing lines in the 1990s.
Japanese or Korean designers innately have sense transgender fashion. Remember Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Gentle Monster…
Not the Same Thing as Unisex
The gender neutral concept is a step forward from unisex. It’s not about a garment or accessory styled for both genders. It’s a shirt, coat, or eyeglass frame that speaks for itself and refuses to be limited by gender. The focus is on the object itself and that breaks down gender barriers.
The eyewear industry was ahead of the rest of the fashion world with its debut of the “geek chic” look nearly a decade ago and the concurrent revival of vintage styles that gave young women “permission” to wear replicas of their grandfathers’ glasses. Since then, sleeker lines, bold colors and revolutionary materials have made gender boundaries irrelevant in eyewear fashion. Wear what looks good on you and expresses your unique fashion sense!
Collection 2016 by students of Rhode Island School of Design Fred Mezidor, Adam Blake and Jacob Valencia:
University of Westminister fashion show 2017:1. Elliot Kinney / 2. Jasper McGilvray / 3. Nicholas Yip / 4. Lloyd Husband
Series of photos FASHION HAS NO FACE, NO GENDER, NO RULES. Photographer Nicholas Kristiansen: “Diversity to me is the concept of being whoever you want, I wanted to use male and female models that you couldn’t identify the gender of make the idea of gender roles less significant”.
Le Trinocle is a unique accessory, joining a binocle, a mirror and a magnifying glass, ready to be combined as you wish, thanks to the included magnets. Handmade in Paris, using genuine cow leather, Le Trinocle is available in 5 colors. Playful, modular and multipurpose, it’s an exceptional piece, redefining what eyewear accessories can be. Combine at will !
Available at Providence Optical as special request.
The box jellyfish has 24 eyes, which are dark brown and grouped into four clusters called rhopalia. Four of the six eyes in each rhopalium are simple light-detecting slits and pits. But the other two are very sophisticated. They have light-focusing lenses and can see images, albeit at a lower resolution.The box jelly fish uses its lower lensed eyes to spot approaching obstacles, like the mangrove roots that it swims among. The upper lensed eyes serve as a free-floating weight at the bottom of the rhopalium that ensures that the upper eye is always looking forward, even if the jellyfish swims upside down. If this eye detects dark patches, the jellyfish senses that it’s swimming beneath the mangrove canopy, where it can find the small crustaceans that it eats. If it sees only bright light, it has strayed into open water, and risks starving. With the help of its eyes, this brainless blob can find food, avoid obstacles, and survive.
The box jellyfish’s eyes are part of an almost endless variation of eyes in the animal kingdom. Some see only in black and white , others perceive the full rainbow and beyond, to forms of light invisible to our eyes. Some can’t even gauge the direction of incoming light; others can spot running prey miles away. The smallest animal eyes, adorning the heads of fairy wasps, are barely bigger than an amoeba; the biggest are the size of dinner plates, and belong to gigantic squid species.
The squid’s eye, like ours, works as a camera does, with a single lens focusing light onto a single retina, full of photo-receptors-cells that absorb photons and convert their energy into an electrical signal.
By contrast, a fly’s compound eye divides incoming light among thousands of separate units, each with its own lens and photoreceptors. Human, fly, and squid eyes are mounted in pairs on their owners’ head. But scallops have rows of eyes along their mantles, sea stars have eyes on the tips of their arms, and the purple sea urchin’s entire body acts as one big eye. There are eyes with bifocal lenses, eyes with mirrors, and eyes that look up, down, and sideways all at the same time.
Eyes are tailored to the needs of their users. A sea star’s eyes – one on the tip of each arm – can’t see color, fine details or fast-moving objects; they would send an eagle crashing into a tree. Then again, a sea star isn’t trying to spot and snag a running rabbit. It merely needs to spot coral reefs. Its eyes can do that; it has no need to evolve anything better. The human eye is reasonably fast, adept at detecting contrast, and surpassed in resolution only by birds of prey. Insect eyes have a much faster temporal resolution, two flies will chase each other at enormous speed and see up to 300 flashes of light a second. We are lucky to see 50″. A dragon-fly’s eye gives it almost complete wraparound vision; our eyes do not.
And the elephant hawk moth has eyes so sensitive that it can still see colors by starlight. In some ways we’re better, but in many ways , we’re worse. There ‘s no eye that does it all better. Our camera eyes have their own problems. For example, our retinas are bizarrely built back to front. That’s why we have a blind spot. There ‘s no benefit to these flaws; they’re just quirks of our evolutionary history. Our brains can fill in the missing details in our blind spots but some problems we can’t avoid. Our retinas can sometimes peel away from the underlying tissue, leading to blindness, that would never happen if the neurons sat behind the photoreceptors, anchoring them in place. This more sensible design exists in the camera eyes of octopuses and squid. An octopus doesn’t have a blind spot. It never gets a detached retina. We do, because evolution doesn’t work to a plan. It meanders mindlessly, improvising as it goes.
Most birds and reptiles see color with four types of cone photoreceptors, each carrying an opsin that’s tuned into a different color. But mammals evolved from a nocturnal ancestor that had lost two of these cones, presumably because color vision is less important at night and because cones are most effective in bright daylight. Most mammals are still saddled with these losses, and see the world through limited palette. Dogs have just two cones, one tuned to blue and the other to red. Marine mammals dispensed the blue cone when they became aquatic. Many whales lost the red cone too. They have only rod photoreceptors-excellent for seeing in the deep ocean darkness but useless for seeing color.
The mantis shrimp’s eyes have three separate regions that focus on the same narrow strip of space, providing depth perception without help from the other eye. They can also see ultraviolet parts of the spectrum that are invisible to us, and polarized light that vibrates in a single plane. And while we have three kinds of color receptors in our retinas, mantis shrimp have 12 each tuned to a different color.
Article by Ed Yong for National Geographic – Published January 14th, 2016.
Eyes: more than what you see
The difference between a freeform (also called digital) and a standard lens is essentially the same as the difference between off-the-rack and tailored clothing. Both start with a product made for the “average person”. But there is no such thing as an average person. So, the item must be adjusted to fit precisely. For an important occasion, like a wedding, we have our clothing adjusted for the optimal fit. This is exactly what freeform lenses do for your eyes. The big difference is that you may wear that fancy tailored outfit only once, while you’ll wear your glasses every day.
Lens Distance — It Varies
If you think about your eye moving behind the lens of your eyeglasses, you’ll realize that the lens is farthest from your eye along the edges and is closest in the middle, where the lens is directly in front of your eye. That variation in distance is unique to each person, depending on the size of your eyes, the shape of your face and how the frame sits on you. The tilt of the frame and its shape also alter the distance between your eye and the lens at different points. A generic lens blank cannot accommodate these variations. This means that you are likely to experience distortion as your eye moves within the frame unless the lens is customized to account for these unique variables.
Progressive lenses present an additional challenge because the lens also has to change in power from the top portion (where you look straight ahead for distance) to the bottom edge of the lens, where the power is higher for your reading prescription. For the most comfortable and sharp vision correction, you need a smooth transition with the cleanest curves and the least amount of peripheral distortion.
Customizing Options — Not All Are Equal
There are a variety of ways to achieve a tailored lens fit. Some, of course, are better than others. They all created of chunky lens blank, but on different equipment. Here’s a quick look:
Titanium is named for the Titans – the race of giant gods that preceded the famous Greek gods of Mount Olympus –a name reflecting this metal’s super-hero strength. Ready to be impressed? Titanium’s melting point is 3020 degrees Fahrenheit and its boiling point is 5949 degrees Fahrenheit. Whoa! That’s one strong metal!
Because of this strength, its resistance to corrosion and because it is inert – meaning it doesn’t react with other substances – titanium is used for everything from spacecraft and missile parts to hip joints and dental implants. You can see why it’s an awesome material for eyeglass frames.
Staying in Shape
Titanium is way stronger than steel, but it’s almost half as light. This means that, unlike other metal frames, titanium frames don’t get bent out of shape (pun intended). They stay comfortable and you don’t have to keep running to the optical office for adjustments (though we are always happy to see you!). Honestly, you can even fall asleep and roll over on top of them and they probably won’t need adjusting. That’s pretty impressive!
Avoiding the Yuck Factor
Metal frames made of other materials are subject to corrosion. Friction as the temples move with your face, combined with perspiration, can provoke a reaction with the copper or nickel in a metal alloy frame, causing a green salt to leach out. This can literally leave a green line on either side of your face. Ewww!
Titanium frames, however, do not corrode, so you never have to worry about looking like you have a tattoo gone bad on your face.
Also, titanium is hypoallergenic and contains no nickel, so you don’t have to worry about allergies or irritation.
Fashion and Function
Modern techniques have brought a new range of beautiful colors to the world of titanium frames. The superior strength of this metal also means that it can be formed into shapes with crisp, clean edges and sleek lines. We think you’ll love the lightweight feel and superior design. They cost a little more than metal alloys, but the comfort and durability are well worth it.
BLACKFIN titanium booth took first prize at optical trade fair in Milan, Italy in 2015.