Introducing Etnia Barcelona Vintage Collection: An homage to the counterculture

etniaEtnia Barcelona Vintage Collection is a tribute to independent culture. The Vintage collection is composed of 15 sun and prescription models that incorporate metal and original acetates from the seventies (recovered from the Mazzucchelli factories), into which they inject their own signature: colour. Etnia’s Barcelona’s Vintage collection blends classic style with the spirit of the brand, always with exquisite attention to every detail.

The collection is made up of 15 colours inspired by the history of eyeglasses for the base of the frame. Dark colours like brown, glass or honey are combined to imitate tortoise shells. Colours known internationally as “havanas”, “tortoise” or “carey”. These dark colours are combined with acetates and metals that the Etnia Barcelona design team has created for the insides of the frames, giving us a glimpse of dozens of ethnic patterns in textures like stripes, herringbones and horns.

Vintage acetates meets ethnic acetates.

Etnia Barcelona wanted to combine a classic look with the spirit of the brand. The Vintage collection displays their ethnic identity on the inside of the frame. This collection was designed to create a vital connection with the person wearing the glasses. This connection is based on the acetates that Etnia Barcelona has designed to dress up the inner surface of the temples. A dozen ethnic colours were designed based on herringbones, stripes and horn textures. The lamination created by Etnia Barcelona makes it possible to glimpse the interior colour of the frame on the temple tips.

bloc of acetate

Ethnic patterns

montauk-derd

Unisex panthos frame. The Etnia Barcelona Vintage collection is characterised by its recovered acetates, shapes and colour combinations that recall our past. Coloured pins and daring textures on the tips make the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top quality vintage lenses.

etnia lenses

High-definition, photochromatic, flat, polarised and anti-reflective lenses make up the range of this Vintage collection.

The Vintage collection uses mineral lenses also created in the seventies, always by Barberini. By selecting more than 17 types of lenses that fit the vintage aesthetic while at the same time providing maximum eye protection thanks to their special properties.

Details.

Etnia designing work.

The Etnia Barcelona Vintage collection is full of details. The metal core of the frames was designed with Art Nouveau motifs by the brand’s design team. This metal temple rod can be glimpsed inside the acetate and is the core that structures the frame and connects with the hinge that joins the front to the temple. This decoration of the metal rods was engraved with a laser to achieve high precision in the lines of the motif.

Vintage-inspired shapes reworked.

Dematteis living in Brera

Dematteis living in Brera

We have reworked forms based on vintage trends and styles to create a collection that fuses the brand’s spirit with old-school style.

The Vintage collection is inspired by cultural and intellectual movements, and everything that ventures off the well-worn path to create a culture of independence.

And so, when it came time to name the models in this collection, we looked for places impregnated with culture and creativity. It’s an homage to these neighbourhoods and their inhabitants.

Each model takes its name from a historic neighborhood in a major world city, known for the cultural movements that started there and defined each of them.

Redefining “Made in America”

IEM-Independent Eyewear Manufacturing

Entrance to State Optical eyewear manufacturing facilities, Chicago area, Illinois, USA

Since everyone is welcome to visit State Optical’s facilities to see eyewear manufacturing, we decided to visit the factory, located in suburb of Chicago, in July 2016. It was an incredible experience. We love the building’s picturesque location and its modern interior design, which includes an upcoming interior basketball court.

Skilled workers,or craftsmen wear t-shirts with the logo IEM—Independent Eyewear Manufacturing. Craftsmen in training, however, don’t have the right to wear the shirt. They have to earn it. Jason and Marc do the training and it takes about six months for a typical craftsman to come up to full speed. Why? Because over 50% of State’s acetate frame production is done by hand and it takes an average of 70 different steps to make a basic acetate frame.

Jason and Onega

Jason Stanley of IEM and Onega Astaltsova at State Optical eyewear manufacturing, USA Jason Stanley was a judge for America’s finest optical store contest in 2016, holding by professional eyewear publication. Onega was a judge for the same contest in 2015.

IEM uses a total of 60 pieces of equipment and 42 of them are brand new. Of all of these, the team is the most proud of the state-of-the-art factory Computer Numerically Controlled, or CNC machine, which cuts the front of the frames. It is one of the most high tech eyewear manufacturing pieces of equipment in the world. Only two such machines exist and both are at IEM facilities. One of them has been named “MASON” after Marc and Jason. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment.

Watch the video, there Scott shares the dream about making things in America:

 

Read full story on State Optical in our May 2016 blog.

“Mr.Leight” : new capsule collection by father-son duo Larry and Garrett Leight

Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight pose for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.  Larry Leight has left Oliver Peoples after 30 years to join his son Garrett's company, Garrett Leight California Optical (Photo:Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight pose for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.
Larry Leight has left Oliver Peoples after 30 years to join his son Garrett’s company, Garrett Leight California Optical (Photo:Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

The father-son duo Larry and Garrett Leight will launch a new capsule collection.

Here is an article by Mellissa Magsaysay for Los Angeles Times on June 18′ 2016:

On a May afternoon at eyewear design guru Larry Leight’s Santa Monica home, Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and his son, Garrett, founder of Garrett Leight California Optical, took a break from actual work to consider how they each created successful eyewear labels that have captured the cool, in-the-know crowd of their respective generations.

“I didn’t really realize what he did for a living until I went to work for him,” says Garrett, 32. “I saw that not only did he design eyewear, but he really led that team, that environment and that company – and that’s when I was like, ‘Wow, now I really know what he does.’”

Aside from similarities such as profession, stature and surname, father and son finish each other’s thoughts and have a similar magnetism for attracting a cult-like following of loyal fans and talented employees. Together, they have joined forces to create a capsule collection of luxury eyewear called Mr. Leight.

Eyewear wasn’t always the clear choice for Garrett as a profession.

In 2006, however, the younger Leight (the family name is pronounced “light”), who was focused on tennis and studied journalism, went to work at Oliver Peoples at the suggestion of his father to gain work experience. Garrett eventually left Oliver Peoples, and went into business for himself.

“I think he was absorbing and gathering all these things that formulated his desire to do something different,” says Larry, 65. “He felt that there was a better way to do things that inspired him to see different areas of the business that he felt he could do differently or better.”

In November 2009, Garrett opened A. Kinney Court on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a lifestyle concept store in Venice with opticians, eyewear, footwear, apparel, books and music.

Garrett soon became inspired to create his own collection and created his namesake business in 2011.

“I felt most comfortable in doing what my dad was doing,” says Garrett. “Being an entrepreneur wasn’t really a word that I understood before that time, but I think I just wanted to be a leader and wanted to build my own culture and environment. It was also being around great people that inspire you. That’s what I loved about Oliver Peoples.”

Today, Garrett Leight California Optical eyewear is available through about 800 wholesale accounts worldwide as well as four stand-alone GLCO stores. The eyewear has framed the famous faces of January Jones, Kristen Stewart, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kendall Jenner and spawned collaborations with Clare Vivier, Want Les Essentiels and Mark McNairy.

“You have to kind of pinch yourself,” says Larry about Garrett’s success. “The similar thing between us is, ‘How the hell did he come along and grab that young cult of today?’”

Harding GLCO

Harding GLCO

Hampton GLCO

Hampton GLCO

Cabrillo GLCO

Cabrillo GLCO

In 2006, Larry sold Oliver Peoples to Oakley, and the following year, Italian eyewear brand Luxottica acquired California-based Oakley. Larry retained his creative role until his departure at the end of 2015.

Larry says he spent months after leaving Oliver Peoples trying to decided what he’d do next. “I realized that even if I didn’t know Garrett, his is the company I want to work for,” he says.

Inspired by his son’s business and brand, the veteran eyewear designer and accessory brand icon was brought on earlier this year as a design consultant at GLCO and to collaborate on the Mr. Leight collection.

“Mr. Leight is a name I’ve had in my pocket for a while,” says Garrett. “And I always dreamed that maybe we’d have the opportunity to do something together and that name would obviously make sense.”

While in the design phase, the Mr. Leight collection will have frames made in Japan with a starting cost of $700, and, going forward, the eyewear will skirt traditional fashion cycles.

“It’s more limited, exclusive and still simple and beautiful,” says Larry about the concept for Mr. Leight, which is set to bow in Spring 2017. “It’s more technical, and there are more moving parts to some of the frames – but not gimmicky.”

In his new role, Larry lends his decades of design experience to Garrett and his team, and he defers to Garrett’s strength for sales and marketing for building a strong brand.

Sunglasses by Father Larry Leight, founder of Oliver Peoples, and son Garrett Leight (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)
Using their design and production prowess, the Leights’ team also has their sights set on making Mr. Leight a design house with the idea of collaborating with select like-minded brands to consult with and create eyewear for those brands.

“For sure we have that same entrepreneurial spirit,” the father says of the son. “We’re taking this exciting journey [with Mr. Leight], and it’s different, fresh and desirable.”

An exciting collaborative journey that, because it bears the name they both share, has the potential to pay a humorous dividend next time someone addresses Garrett as “Mr. Leight.” He could respond that he’s Garrett – Mr. Leight is his dad, and their brand.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Garrett and Larry Leight

 

Garrett Leight California Optical collection is available at Providence Optical. Watch our exclusive interview with Garrett in Munich.

Highway Overpass Meets Contemporary Necklace: A New Line of Eyewear Is Born

Ludwig

Contemporary Jewelry:  Sleek, modern, textured, bold, eye-catching, innovative, whimsical.

Road Architecture:  Strong, functional, textured, utilitarian, monochromatic, plain, sometimes ugly.

What do the two have in common?  Look closely.  It’s all about texture.  And  Jacqueline Lung found an incredibly innovative way to bring these two media together.

The Steinar frame is made of steel and real concrete, yet it's light enough to wear.  Photo by Patrick Han.

Lung’s Steinar frame is made of real concrete, yet it’s light enough to wear. Photo by Patrick Han (cargocollective.com/patrickhan).

The Ludwig frame celebrates industrial I-beams as both structure and decor.  Photo by Patrick Han (cargocollective.com/patrickhan).

The Ludwig frame celebrates industrial I-beams as both structure and decor. Photo by Patrick Han.

It all started in Lung’s freshman year at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), when she fell in love with metalworking, particularly fine details, which add texture to smooth metallic surfaces.  Lung initially worked on jewelry and tableware designs.  And then something strange and wonderful happened:  She discovered eyewear as the nexus of jewelry and function – an accessory that serves a necessity and also conveys the personality of the wearer.  Lung explains:

I believe that … eyewear acts as a symbol of a persona … The relationship between eyewear and its wearer is symbiotic. On one hand the wearer desires the personality of the materials embodied in the eyewear, and on the other hand, the personality of the materials calls for activation by the wearer.

For her RISD Degree Project, Lung took a bold step.  She decided to incorporate boring industrial materials — such as steel, concrete and even duct tape — into her eyewear designs to elevate their status and challenge eyeglass wearers to think about these materials in a new way.  In her handmade line of eyewear, Industrial Spectacles, Lung brings out the hidden beauty in these materials.  Says Lung:

Gunta, 2016. Polycabonate, duct tape

Shiny, ugly duct tape transforms into a soft, velvety, grey textile. Concrete presents itself as delicate graphic elements, rather than as massive spacious structures in which we reside. Parts of screws that are normally hidden below the surface are displayed, remaining functional while destabilizing the expectation of how they could be used. The hidden character of these materials are given agency as they rise to the surface and become accessible in the format of eyewear.

Each frame in Lung’s new collection bears a name that reflects its featured material.

Archytas playfully showcases screws as a design element. Photo by Patrick Han

Archytas playfully showcases screws as a design element. Photo by Patrick Han

– Archytas: named after Archytas of Tarentum, an ancient Greek mathematician who is often credited as the inventor of screws

– Steinar: a Scandinavian name that combines “stone” and “warrior, referencing concrete and  its origins

– Ludwig: named after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, paying homage to his extensive use of I beams in architecture as both structural and decorative elements

Akira blends steel and  duct tape into sleek shape with velvety texture.  Photo by Patrick Han.

Akira blends steel and duct tape into sleek shape with velvety texture. Photo by Patrick Han.

– Akira: named after Akira Yoshizawa, a Japanese origami master, reflecting the foldable structure created by steel and duct tape in this piece

– Gunta: named after Gunta Stölzl, who was a Bauhaus weaving master, in reference to the duct tape weave structure.

Lung’s Archytas spectacles with mirror sun lenses are available at RISD Works store and  at www.jacquelinelung.com
Dare to see yourself – and these materials – differently!

Archytas

Archytas, 2016. Steel

OpticMag, June 2016 Jackie Lung

Special feature in “ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine” (OPTICmag), Moscow, Russia JUNE 2016 Публикация в журнале “ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine”, июнь 2016

Meet new members of edCFDA (Eyewear Designers of The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc)

Javits Center, NYC

Eyewear show at Javits Center, NYC. April 2016

In 2014, the CFDA launched the Eyewear Designers of the CFDA (edCFDA), a working group within the CFDA. Created by 12 CFDA Member eyewear designers, the group’s aim is to inspire, empower, and promote awareness of eyewear design and the vitality of the optical industry through promotion, education, mentoring and collaborative initiatives.

In April 2016 new members,designers Patty Perreira (BARTON PERREIRA), Blake Kuwahara (BLAKE KUWAHARA), Christian Roth (CHRISTIAN ROTH), Daniel Silberman (ILLESTEVA), Gai Gherardi (L.A. EYEWORKS), Shane Baum (LEISURE SOCIETY), Jeff Press (MORGENTHAL FREDERICS), Robert Marc (ROBERT MARC), and Selima Salaun (SELIMA OPTIQUE), presented new eyewear designs at International Vision Expo in New York during the first ever Eyewear Showcase.

Selima Salaun (SELIMA OPTIQUE)

Selima Salaun (SELIMA OPTIQUE)

Emily Teel, a regular contributor to Edible Philly and Foobooz, the food bloger for Philadelphia Magazine, has a soft spot for all things gastronomical, she is also a devoted eyewear aficionado. She had an opportunity to interview two NYC-based designers – Selima Salaun and Robert Marc about their favorite palces to go out.

Selima Salaun

eb: When you do go out, is there a neighborhood that you like to stay in?


ss: I try to take [clients] to the new, hip places. Like, for instance, The Standard [Hotel in the Meatpacking District]. It looks like a “Barbarella” setup.

eb: For the folks who are not as lucky to be able to dine with you, where would you suggest?

ss: I adore Daniel Boulud; his food is amazing. DBGB is much cheaper than his places uptown, and if you go see a show at Lincoln Center, just across the street is Boulud Sud. I also love Mercer Kitchen, Locanda Verde, and Momofuku.

Robert Marc

rm: … I think the West Village has so many small, chic, fabulous places to have a great dinner. It’s just a charming, wonderful part of the city with cobblestone streets, townhouses, [and] small, quaint restaurants.



eb: Are there places that you really love there?

rm: Sant Ambroeus. Great little place. And I Sodi. Both are small Italian restaurants, so I’d recommend reservations. Another great place is En, a fantastic Japanese restaurant. It is very glamorous, big, fun, and really wonderful.



eb: Any New York “must-visit” spots for you?


rm: Right now? The High Line and the new Whitney Museum of Art. Absolutely spectacular. Because the show is later this year, the weather is going to be nicer. Which is great, [because] the High Line starts at 34th Street and 12th Avenue, really right next to the Javits Center, so you can walk down the High Line all the way to the Whitney at the other end.

Robert Mark & Charlotte Labyt

Robert Marc (ROBERT MARC EYEWEAR) & Charlotte Labyt

Gai Gerardi (L.A.EYEWORKS)

Gai Gerardi (L.A.EYEWORKS)

Patty Perreira (BARTON PERREIRA)

Patty Perreira (BARTON PERREIRA)

Blake Kuwahara (BLAKE KUWAHARA) & Onega Astaltsova

Blake Kuwahara (BLAKE KUWAHARA) & Onega Astaltsova

Opti Munich 2016 – Highlights from the vision show

Opti Munich is an annual trade show in the eyewear industry. For the first time this year, we choose to attend this show. A total of 576 exhibitors from 37 countries were present and visitors from 81 countries. This year’s exhibition highlights ranges from a new lens technology for safe driving to the glasses frames made out from pepper or chili and dill to the work of art frames made of paper.

The focus was on quality, creative spirit and incomparably family-like atmosphere. Opti triggers new trends, as the trade fair is flexible in meeting the needs of the market, and setting off new impulses.

Kinto Eyewear – Belgian indépendant Eyewear since 1978. Specialized in petite faces and known for repairable spring hinges.

Thomsen Eyewear – Danish brand, original and contemporary frames made in titanium with classical shape with a bit of color.

748fd254-1335-4d9b-a159-36b8bdcae8eaBarriqule – Born in 2014 in Italy from the idea of Lorenzo Del Tufo. Unisex glasses and sunglasses collections characterized by cellulose acetate fronts and temples in oak recycled from exhausted barrels. Barriqule video

 

 

Paul Hueman – Korean eyewear company specialized in the Asian Fit.

Projekt Samsem – Founded in 2015 in Berlin, the focus of PROJEKT SAMSEN is to create timeless and remarkable goods for everyday life. 3D printed glasses with innovative hinge,
PROJEKT SAMSEN combines new ideas and technologies with timeless aesthetics and values.

All these lines will be soon available at Providence Optical and also in addition new products from existing lines Garrett Leight, Etnia, Lunettes Kollektion, Woow, Dutz Eyewear and Intrigue.

 

 

Benchmarks: Eyewear Decor

Our aviator eyeglasses mirror was mentioned in the article of November-December 2015 edition of INVISION by CORRIE PELC

ART SMART

Eyewear-inspired elements create just the right professional atmosphere
Art can be a tricky thing. What one person loves, another may not. And it’s always very personal — you can tell a lot about someone by the art hanging in his home.

The same is true for your business. The artwork and decor you choose for your eyecare practice or optical shop will be a direct reflection of who you are, the sort of clientele you want to attract and the type of atmosphere you are trying to create.
The six examples here all show how art can be used to make a business more memorable and reflect what the owner wants the business to be. People with artistic skills may decide to go the DIY route and create their own office decor, while others may look to the work of outsiders. Whichever way you go, aim for a look that speaks to both the uniqueness and professionalism of your businesses.

Onega Astaltsova, an artist who is also managing optician of Providence Optical in Providence, RI, says good art will help elevate your business. “As ECPs, we have a professional obligation and the art has to be professional too,” she explains. “You still need to follow the rules of business and not just your personal taste. Good art will help you look professional.”

Need some more inspiration for your space? You’ll find lots of good resources online. TheOpticalVisionSite.com and Pinterest are great resources for decorating ideas, as are Facebook groups such as Opticians on Facebook. You might also work with a local artist, gallery owner or art consultant to help you find or create the look you seek.

DSC_0340

MIRROR, MIRROR
Providence Optical, Providence, RI

➤ With a background in art, it’s no wonder why Onega Astaltsova decided to design an eyewear wall mirror for Providence Optical. Astaltsova says she chose a metal aviator-shaped frame design for the mirror to complement the shop’s large selection of vintage frames. She created a hand drawing of the frame she wanted to depict, then transformed that into a vector computer rendering from which polycarbonate and PVC plastic parts were cut and put together. The finished product is set off by large quotations from literature that help reinforce the idea of Providence Optical as a place that celebrates all the arts.

Etnia Barcelona

Etnia BarcelonaIn ultimate essence an eyewear frame is all about its composed materials, the build of said ingredients and the tech prowess of those materials in active structure. And the whole of that product/object is then in complete coordination to fit on a person’s face and function in securing a lens properly in relationship to that person’s eyes. 

Etnia Barcelona is leading the way with its unique approach to eyewear, making them a worldwide driving force in the optical industry. They are an independent brand of eyewear who has created a wide range of colors, collections and designs for everyone who wants to express him- or herself beyond the cannons imposed by momentary and passing fashion and trends.They are pioneers in the study and application of color resulting in truly unique color combinations and vibrant tortoiseshells that stand apart from the rest. Their designs and overall aesthetic is heavily influenced by fashion and art, both classic and modern, thus offering a wide array of styles for today’s customer.

The eyewear brand Etnia Barcelona was an idea born from the mind of David Pellicer, a man who spent his childhood around sunglasses. He grew up playing in his grandparent’s sunglasses factory in Barcelona, Spain and he grew increasingly interested in how they were made. David Pellicer is carrying on a family legacy that goes back 3 generations, bringing with him vast knowledge of the industry and a passion for glasses.

 

Pioneers of Colour

etniabarcelona_080_03

CEO David Pellicer’s entire eyewear oeuvre is a work of color artistry in and of itself.  The Etnia brand spends as much time inventing the colors of new frames and lenses as they do on the crafting of the frames themselves. In fact, Etnia Barcelona is one of the only eyewear manufacturers to have created some unique five hundred colors patented by them. Etnia’s unique colors and acetates are produced by master artisans Mazzucchelli in Italy, who use only the finest, 100% organic cottons to blend acetates which are then aged for twelve weeks, resulting in the highest quality material possible.

They conducts colour studies twice a year to incorporate new tones into the latest designs, and inspirational moods are generated to imbue the newest collections with life and richness. This dedication has established the company has a true pioneer in the study and application of colour.

Thinking of the Environment

They are also passionate about incorporating sustainable materials into their creations. All Etnia Barcelona glasses are produced using 100% natural acetate. Not to mention, all of their eyewear is made from natural organic compounds, which means they are recyclable and biodegradable.

Etnia means comfortable fit for all ethnicities

etniabarcelona_080_13 Launched 2003 in Barcelona, Spain, Pellicer’s goal in creating Etnia Barcelona was to bring unique colors, the height of technological innovation, a supreme level of wearing comfort, and an avant garde sense of artistry to the world. He also brings an exclusive knowledge of facial anatomy to the table, which makes his frames some of the best fitting, most comfortable glasses in the world. As Pellicer explains, “Comfort and design are the strong points of Etnia Barcelona glasses. Our exhaustive knowledge of facial features is transferred to each piece, thereby producing some of the most comfortable eyewear in the world.” The goal is to create a product that works for many face types, which came from the name “Etnia”. Every pair of Etnia Barcelona is the final assembled product of many smaller pieces of carefully crafted perfection. Likewise, Etnia’s unique hinge mechanism, which allows the glasses to fit fluidly to any face, are made and polished by the manufacturing giants, Comtec.

Etnia is establishing itself by always producing colorful and trendy models at accessible prices.

 

Hello Fall!

Now that cooler temperatures finally have arrived, we can turn our attention to fall fashion.  If you’re ready to update your look, here’s a quick look at what is trending in the Land of Eyewear this fall:

Updated Neutral Base Tones

Neutral base eyewear

Earthy neutrals have dominated the fall fashion scene for a while, but we’re seeing a new twist on the palette this year.  Warm, rich, earth tones are more complex this season, yet they provide a comfortable base for designers’ use of bold color statements.  The juxtaposition of classic and bold creates a dynamic, compelling look.

Pantone colors

Pantone’s latest color trends offers a sneak peek of the coming season. One of the new key neutrals is Desert Sage, a cool and soothing greenish-gray.  It is timeless, unobtrusive and has a visual interest in its own right, yet it pairs well with many others colors. Similar in tone is Dried Herb, an olive green resembling the hue one might see in a safari suit or military uniform. With the popularity of gray tones still at the forefront, it’s no surprise that Stormy Weather is also one of the top color choices this season. Oak Buff, a mellow golden-yellow, is a brighter neutral that gives off a warm, sunny feeling. Marsala, on the other hand, was a top pick in the spring and has returned to bring its reddish brown hue into fall fashion lineup.

Bold, Bright Accent Colors

Bolder and brighter colors have entered the scene to add some visual pop in combination with a neutral base. Examples include:

Pantone colors 2

  • Cadmium Orange, a warm but dramatic orange
  • Cashmere Rose, a softer pink hue
  • Amethyst Orchid, more in the purple hue – a beautiful shade that is both vibrant and enigmatic
  • Biscay Bay, a cool teal with undertones of both blue and green that evoke evokes thoughts of soothing tropical waters.
  • Reflecting Pond, a more serious and contemplative shade that is reminiscent of deep, dark waters.

Unisex Color Combinations

Unisex frame shapes have been around for a while, but this fall we’re seeing the evolution of a more gender-neutral color palette. Distinctly “masculine” or “feminine” colors have given way to color combinations that are bold, yet appropriate for both genders.  We are seeing a truly unisex color palette.

Classic Black

The timeless quality of black has secured it an enduring place in the palette of eyewear colors.  It remains a style stronghold, though it is losing ground to a range of bright colors.

Patterns

Geometric/bold frames

Geometric, bold and colorful frames, Conservatoire International de Lunettes.

Dazzling shades are popping up in a growing trend of prints and patterns. The clothing industry inspired this decorative movement, peppering glasses with floral motifs, geometric designs, stripes and ethnic prints.

Shapes: An Eye for renewal

The vintage wave is still rolling and is taking us to new places.  Modern, updated butterfly shapes (inspired by the cat-eye) are emerging, launching a neo-retro look.

Round frames (they’re back!) are oversized for women, since small round glasses are reserved for men this season. Octagonal glasses – a cousin of the round shape – offer an escape from the rigidity of rectangular frames with more edgy geometric interest than a classic round.  This is a shape to keep your eye on!

Panto eyewear

Vintage panto glasses with polarized lenses. ($117)

The panto is one of the most iconic shapes in the history of glasses design. The term panto comes from the word “pantoscopic”, which literally means “seeing everything” or “wide view”.  These frames are a combination of round and oval shapes with a high hinge.

Here at Providence Optical, we have the latest new designs as well as never-worn, real vintage glasses, with polarized lenses and anti-reflective coating for just $117 – a very affordable option.

Materials: Combinations in View 

The female preference for plastic has taken on a new dimension: metal frames that appear to be plastic! Surface treatments offer very realistic simulations that allow for the bold look of plastic with the lightweight advantage of metal.

DSC_0375

Kicking it up a notch, laser cutting techniques are used to create metal lacework of an exquisite finesse for very refined frames. Taken to the extreme, laser-cut frames appear as light, airy “wires”.

 

Combination of materialsBut why limit yourself to one material?  Increasingly, designers are combining plastic and metal for aesthetic combinations that are original, and where materials blend seamlessly into one another for unprecedented looks.

 

 

Innovative Materials

The quest to find innovative eyewear materials lives on.  Naomed, for example, has released a new line of eyewear made seaweed.  Leather with embedded stainless steel for strength also is on the scene.  Designers also are embedding fabric and paper fibers into plastics for a lighter weight, textured look.

Wood finishing eyewearAt the same time, the use of wood as an eyewear material continues, but is evolving from a chunky appearance to a more sophisticated and elegant silhouette.
This fall’s new trends open up possibilities for a wide range of looks from bold and artsy, to playful, classic or understated.  The look that’s best for you depends on the shape of your face, your coloring and the attitude that you want to project.  Our skilled opticians are ready to offer their expertise in helping you find the combination of style, colors and materials that fit well, feel good and look great.

 

 

 

 

 

Eyeglasses Frames and Hollywood: Guess What They Have in Common

lunettes-kollektion-production-

If you’re a fan of retro eyewear, or if you’re old enough to remember when it was the “new thing,” you know that early plastic eyeglass frames were thick and pretty heavy for the poor nose that had to hold them up. New colors for plastic eyewear emerged in the mid-20th Century, giving birth to the idea that eyewear is a fashion statement rather than a medical necessity. A variety of shapes also emerged in this era, but they were all pretty thick. We’ve come a long way since then to the modern, ultra light plastics that feature flexibility and über thin lines in a wild array of colors. Let’s take a look back to see how we got to where we are today.

 A Volatile Beginning

 SchönbeinThe first composition plastic used for eyeglass frames was celluloid – yup, the same stuff used by Hollywood filmmakers – which was invented way back in 1869. Technically, it was called cellulose nitrate, or nitrocellulose. The word “nitro” isn’t just a coincidence. This stuff was highly flammable. The story goes that German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein (1799-1868 ) used the family kitchen to conduct experiments with a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids. Even great chemists have “oops” moments, so when Schönbein spilled some of the mixture, he used his wife’s apron to wipe it up. The aprons of the day were made of 100 percent cotton, so Schönbein unknowingly mixed cellulose fibers from the apron into his nitrate compound. He hung the soiled apron up to dry above the stove and then he had a second “oops” moment when the apron exploded.

Despite its flammable nature, cellulose nitrate – nicknamed “zyl” by the optical industry – was used for eyeglass frames from the late 19th Century all the way through the mid-20th Century. We finally wised up and found other, less volatile, plastics for eyeglass frames, but cellulose nitrate is still used today in the manufacture of smokeless gunpowder, printing ink, wood varnish, foil and film lacquers, automotive paint, fingernail polish, leather finishes, adhesives and coatings to protect silver and other tarnishable metals. And now you understand why you shouldn’t smoke, light a candle or crank up your space heater in the presence of any of these products.

 The Next Generation

 Acetate framesCelluloid nitrate’s cousin and successor is a compound known as cellulose acetate, or “acetate” for short. This more stable compound comes cellulose, usually derived from wood pulp (birch, eucalyptus) or cotton, treated with acetic anhydride (basically, vinegar minus the water molecules) to make the fibers soft and pliable. In this form, it is used to manufacture cloth. For eyeglasses, cellulose acetate is bound with plasticizer, such as diethyl phthalate, to give it the strength and rigid structure needed to mold frames. While the CDC has issued health warnings about direct exposure to diethyl phthalate, it is so strongly bound into the acetate that it cannot leach out at temperatures below 122 degrees.

Cool New Eyewear Materials – Thinner, Lighter, More Color Options

I_THIN_II_5407 by Italia Independent

The latest eyewear plastics are nylon-based, which makes them stronger and more flexible than cellulose acetate. Because nylon molecules have a strong bond, eyeglass manufactures can use less of it, which means thinner, sleeker and lighter eyewear – up to 72% less weight than cellulose acetate. Nylon also accepts dyes very easily, which means a wider range of colors, including translucent shades that look like frosted glass. The only down side is that they are vulnerable to shrinking when exposed to heat, so don’t leave those designer sunglasses on the dash of your car!

If you really want a pair of glasses that you can abuse, look for frame made of Ultem ® (PolyEtherimide) resin. It’s resistant to heat, UV rays and chemical exposure. Because of these properties, it’s widely used in the medical and chemical industries. Like nylon compounds, it is light-weight and can be molded super thin. You can get temple pieces as narrow as 1.2 mm for that “barely there” look. And, your eyeglass frame could be 50% lighter than a comparable one in metal.