Don’t be fooled by the name: “Conservatoire International de Lunettes”

Alfredo Salazar, Paris-based Mexico-born photographer  in model 404 by Conservatoire International de Lunettes.

As we introduce New Englanders to an amazing and diverse collection that we discovered on a trip to Europe last month, we thought it appropriate to explain a little about the name Conservatoire International de Lunettes, which playfully juxtaposes truth and a little bit of fantasy.

Further seems forever, by Carlotta Cattaneo, an Italian graphic designer. Interpretation of model 107 for Conservatoire International de Lunettes.

Truth:  It really does involve a conservatory  –  not just one creator, but a whole school of artists, philosophers (yes, philosophers!) and entrepreneurs with brilliant minds and incredible talent.  These frames express their varied cultural backgrounds and professional experiences of their creators. Artists from all over the world came with their diverse style and methods to illustrate their personal vision of Conservatoire glasses. They incorporated Conservatoire in  their art works.


To see or not to see by Luca Rossato, an Italian photographer. Model 107 for Conservatoire International de Lunettes.

Truth:  The Conservatoire International de Lunettes collection embraces the classics, like tortoiseshell acetate, and marries it to modern creativity, like transparent layered color inside the frame, or thin metal temples.  The result is classic reinterpreted in a sleek, sophisticated style.



Fiction:  The name Conservatoire International de Lunettes is French, but the company is Italian, based in Milan, fashion mecca and home of the finest optical acetate products in the world.

Visit us to experience the very best of Italian craftsmanship, design, technology and fashion.

Good Ol’ Summertime — Don’t Forget the Shades


Tom Wesselmann, Still Life No. 60, 1973

National Sunglasses Day (June 27) is poised right at the beginning of the beach season for a very important reason:  to remind you that in addition to all the summer-fun essentials like sunscreen, beach towels and your sexy swim suit, you must not forget to procure one or two pairs of good quality sunglasses, which serve dual duty as fashion accessory and essential UV protection.

Fashion Trends

What’s in this summer?  The retro look is really hot.  For her: cat eyes, ovals and the big, square or rounded Jackie O. look.  For him: aviators, round shapes – in plastic, or John Lennon-style metal – and oversized horn rims (think Clark Kent). 

Tortoise continues to please as a classic, but look for interesting variations, such as Havana tortoise, which has yellow tones as the predominant background, or those interesting orangey brown tones reminiscent of the 1960s. 

Bright colors are the hottest new trend –reds, blues and electric greens.  For women, pastels are growing in popularity and they make a nice contrast to your summer bronze.  Two-tone eyewear is a bold new trend, with the front piece in one color and the temples in a contrasting or complementary color. 



Damage from UV rays affects both the delicate skin around your eyes — causing premature wrinkles (Argh!) – and your retina.  In fact, UV damage is a leading cause of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, which is irreversible. 

Here’s the secret:  It’s the lens material and not the tint or polarization that provides UV protection.  Cheap plastic doesn’t block 100% of UV rays and tinting makes the situation worse because it causes your pupils to open wider, which lets in more UV light.  Look for polycarbonate, which is 100% UV-blocking, or lenses with a UV block coating, usually identified by a sticker on the lens. 

Antiglare is another important option.  It keeps light from bouncing all around and making you crazy. 


So Why Buy Polarized? 

Polarized lenses are like mini blinds.  They block light from entering vertically.  In fact, if you take two pairs of polarized sunglasses and hold them at a 90-degree angle to each other (one vertical and the other horizontal), you’ll see that together they completely block out the light.  If you spend a lot of time around the water, polarization is essential for comfort.

This technology tamps down the reflection of the rays and makes you feel cooler and more comfortable.  But, beware:  40% of reflected light comes at you from behind the lens.  How?  Light bounces up under your shades from reflective surfaces, such as water, sand, sidewalks and even snow.  Your polarized lenses don’t have the ability to block light that doesn’t pass through them, so you still need anti-reflective treatment on the back side of the lens to absorb light rays bouncing up at you from below.


The Best Fit

For optimal protection, you need a comfortably snug fit with maximum coverage.  A good trick is to have a friend – or your favorite optician – stand and look at you from the front and the side.  Tilt your head forward so your friend/optician can see the view from above as well as head-on.  If s/he can see your eyes from any angle, so can the sun. 

The temples (earpieces) should ride close to your head, but should not touch your skin until a point just in front of your ear.  This leaves room for your skin to breathe and avoids discomfort when your skin swells slightly from heat and perspiration.


Linda Farrow Projects Sunwear Has Arrived!


Helmet style sunglasses from the Linda Farrow Projects collection provide full coverage and an edgy style statement.


Originally a clothing designer, Linda Farrow was one of the first to treat sunglasses as an important element of a fashion ensemble.  She launched her eyewear collection in 1970 and the line quickly became a must-have among stylish Londoners and the international jet set.  Shapes that she pioneered, such as the wrap-around worn by Yoko Ono in the 1970s, remain in style and in high demand today. 

 After 40 years of cutting-edge design as a soloist, Linda Farrow has moved to a new level through collaboration with leading fashion designers, including Dries Van Noten, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, The Row, Jeremy Scott, Agent Provocateur, Kris Van Assche, Boris Bidjan Saberi and Matthew Williamson.  While others have collaborated with one designer at a time, Linda Farrows’ approach to multiple, simultaneous collaborations has given birth to a collection of breathtaking diversity and creativity, ranging from elegantly feminine to edgy unisex and manly styles.  Dubbed the Linda Farrows Project, or LFP line, this collection incorporates one sunglass style designed by each collaborator.

Providence Optical is pleased to announce the new arrival of a complete line of sunglass eyewear from the Linda Farrows Projects, including all of the designs you see in this posting.  We particularly like this fun Alexander Wang frame with zipper-inspired edging, which can hold a prescription lens. 


These fun Alexander Wang sunglasses can accomodate prescription lenses.


Watch our Facebook page for a full album of the styles that we have on hand. 


Linda Farrow sunglasses based on a Todd Lynn design