Playful Polka Dots — for Halloween and for Eyewear

Kusama-style dots adorn our decorative pumpkins

Who says pumpkins have to be scary, or even cute?  We’ve decided that pumpkins can be even more – an artistic statement.  So, we’ve decked out our office with polka dotted pumpkins inspired by Japanese avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama.

A life-sized statue of Kusama serves as focal point for one of her sculptures in a Louis Vitton store window display in NYC.

Kusama’s love affair with polka dots is related to a condition she experienced starting in her early childhood, when she had hallucinations involving endless copies of a single image.  These images often took the form of flowers or dots and they were overwhelming.  So, she began to create images from dots – sort of like Picasso did in one of his phases. And this repetition of the single, perfectly round solid circle helped relieve her anxiety.  Her fans find her art unique and playful — so much so, that one of her paintings fetched $5.1 million on auction at Christies – a record for a living female artist.

But Kusama didn’t stop with images on canvas. She moved her art to the next level by taking it into the real world, painting live human models with her playful dots in wild fluorescent colors.

We spotted (okay, pun intended) this young woman sporting Louis Vitton-Kusama sunglasses glasses during New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in September.

What does Kusama have to do with eyewear and pumpkins?  Well, last summer, she partnered with Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs to produce a new line of eyewear – featuring dots, of course.  And, among her many sculptures is a limited edition pumpkin that staggers the line between ugly and beautiful.Our pumpkins are more on the whimsical, playful side.  Come visit them for a treat – no tricks, we promise.





Ready for Halloween??

Looking for a little extra something to jazz up your Halloween costume?  Or maybe inspiration to get you started?  Or, if you’re stuck in a stodgy office where you can’t dress up,  you’d probably like to make some kind of Halloween statement, yet one that’s easily removed when you have to go into a serious meeting.  We have the perfect answer to all of these dilemmas:  one of the knitted eyeglass frames we just received from optician Oksana Sokolova of InSight Eye Optique in Virginia.

Here’s a perfect Halloween statement

Perfect for Halloween complete with spider webbing. And yes, you can see through them.

Or, if you want the Groucho Marks look, try this one

The Groucho look with no effort

If you’re trying for that sweet and innocent look, this will do nicely.

This is just a sampling.  Come on in and see the whole line. They’re all for sale and just in time for the big day!

Will One Pair of Sunglasses Suffice? Maybe, if It’s This Pair

Original drawing of the P 8478 sunglass design.Image courtesy of Eye Zone Magazine, Kuwait

Don’t you hate it when your gray sunglasses are too dark for those cloudy days, but the sunlight filtering through the clouds is painful without some sun protection?  Or how about when you’re out on the water and your brown lenses, which work great for offroad cycling, just don’t give enough protection for the intensity of the bright sun and reflected light?  And then there’s the problem of fashion.  It’s hard to get one pair of sunglasses that works well with all your outfits. Well, Porsche – yes, the fancy car people – came up with an innovative solution way back in 1978:  The P´8478 sunglass frame with interchangeable lenses.  Porsche’s eyewear line, dubbed “Porsche Design” was created in 1972 by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. It was (and still is) manufactured by Carrera.

With the resurgence of interest in 1970s aviator style eyeglass frames, Porsche has decided to relaunch the P´8478 model.  The frame is made of titanium – a super-strong, yet lightweight metal that can take the stress of bending through lens swaps. It features an innovative clip mechanism that makes swapping the lenses a breeze.  Each pair comes with a frame and two sets of high quality polycarbonate lenses with 100% UV-block and superb optics.

You can opt for a gold frame with brown and mirrored blue lens pairs, a titanium-colored frame with mirrored gray gradient and unmirrored green lenses, a gray matt frame with green and mirrored dark orange lenses, or a sleek black matt frame with mirrored olive or unmirrored brown lenses.

Never-worn vintage Porsche Design model 5627 available at Providence Optical


If you love the idea of Porsche eyewear and want an original vintage for your regular (non-sun) glasses, we have on hand one pair of a similar model, the 5627, which dates back to the 1980s.  The frame is semi-rimless with an innovative design featuring a nylon cord that stretches over both lenses – a truly unique feat of engineering that you could only expect from a superior industrial design company like Porsche. This is a never-worn pair in pristine condition, and we offer it for only $187 (compared to $330 by other retailers for the sunglass counterpart).  Come in and try them on for a trip back to the Age of Aquarius.

Close up of innovative nylon cord mechanism for the 5627 model

And the Winner Is…

Providence Optical’s Onega with Lucas de Staël showing off his Silmo d’Or trophy

The fashion-conscious French know that accessories are as important as clothing.  They underscore this point each year in October with the annual Silmo d’Or awards – eyewear equivalent of the Oscars – celebrating the latest innovations in optical fashion and function.  For 2012, Lucas de Staël took first prize in the Optical Frame category for his “Once Upon a Time” collection.  De Staël is known for his use of organic materials, such as wood and leather, and his passion for color.  He blends these with a sleek yet edgy style that gets attention with a delicate ease.

De Staël’s winning optical frame

Perhaps that sense of color is genetic.  De Staël’s grandfather, Nicholas de Staël, enjoyed enormous success as a painter during the 1940s and 1950s.  Inspired by masters such as Matisse, Picasso and Rembrandt, Grandpa de Staël became known for his use of primary colors and other vivid hues – a forerunner of what would become the Field of Color movement in art of the 1960s and a theme echoed in his grandson’s eyewear design.

An example of de Staël’s exciting color options

Providence Optical is pleased to offer eyeglass frames from de Staël’s Undostrial collection – the original line that brought him international recognition.  This innovative design does away with hinges and those annoying little screws that keep falling out.  The frame fronts – available in either brushed silver or black — are cut from Swedish surgical steel, which has extraordinary flexibility and shape memory. The temples (or side pieces) are made of a soft eco-friendly plastic that hugs your head without the pressure and discomfort of a rigid plastic.  The temples come in a wide variety of colors from understated tones of black, white and gray to eye-popping shades of red, orange, pink, purple and electric blue.  If you’re really adventurous, you can even opt for subtle polka dots.  Come on in and try them on just for fun.

World Sight Day

World Sight Day is about protecting one of our most vital senses.

This week marks World Sight Day.  Sponsored by the World Health Organization, this annual celebration aims to draw attention to eye health issues that can cause blindness or reduced vision.  If you think “it can’t happen to me,” consider this:  approximately 285 million people around the globe suffer from some form of vision loss.  Tragically, 80 percent of these cases could have been prevented with early diagnosis and treatment.

You need an eye exam at least once per year.

You may be tempted to think that if you see relatively well right now, you have nothing to worry about and you don’t need an eye exam.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  A comprehensive eye exam can detect problems long before you experience any change in vision.  And early diagnosis means you have a better chance of preventing, or at least slowing, vision loss.

Even if an exam reveals no hint of disease, be wise and protect your eyes.  Good quality sunglasses with UV protection are a must.  If you wear glasses, opt for a UV-blocking lens material like polycarbonate or high index plastic.  Anti-reflective coatings will make you more comfortable and reduce eye strain from computers, overhead lights and car headlights.  If you wear contact lenses, ask your doctor about the newer brands that have UV protection embedded in them.You only get one pair of eyes in a lifetime.  Cherish them.