Several years ago, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London presented an exhibition titled: “What is Luxury?” The exhibit was an influential and intriguing perception about the concepts of luxury, and how culture and communication have evolved into something beyond self-indulgence for a lavish gift or extravagant personalized service.
Nowadays, the image of luxury includes less tangible forms, including time, space, self-care, and wellbeing. Ostentatious displays of opulence are generally seen as over-the-top, while superb quality, authentic craftsmanship, pure, natural materials and artisan creativity supports and empowers luxury today. These emerging attitudes also influence how eyewear designers view luxury frames.
Among those who bring expertise, charm, and poise to luxury eyewear is Danish designer Birgitte Falvin. She captures the elegance of the contemporary Nordic look with her distinguished designs for Falvin Eyewear. Black Diamonds is a superbly crafted frame in lightweight, fine quality titanium with 24-caret gold plating, with glittering little black diamonds. A well-known Danish jeweler, who incorporates traditional techniques for long-lasting beauty and durability, creatively and delicately arranges the valued and rare Wesselton VVS diamond settings.
Anna-Karin Karlsson unites beauty, luxury, and moving beyond barriers to create stunning eyewear. The Swedish designer believes that everything is possible, and explores unique, imaginative, and distinctive concepts for her collection of optical frames and sunglasses. Among her wearers and fans is Madonna (pictured) wearing the Limited Edition Too Handsome, crafted in Japanese titanium with acetate, and then bathed in 24-carat gold.
Natural materials for eyewear – particularly buffalo horn – have been used to create luxurious eyewear since the 15th century. With environmental and ecological concerns, ethically produced Buffalo horn is sought after for smooth and comfortable eyewear. The material is very light, sensuous, and extremely comfortable on the wearer’s face. Manuel Iten at Fassungswerk elegantly crafts eco-friendly buffalo horn from India into sleek, contemporary shapes. The inventive eyewear brand designs and produces all the frames in a charming Swiss village in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland. The latest style from Fassungwerk is Ermine, and the frame features beautiful, natural buffalo color intonations.
For over fifty-five years, Silhouette has created award-winning rimless eyewear that is recognized – and respected – on a global scale. The latest collection from the Austrian company features sparkle and glam that complements the Light Facette Elegance collection. A graceful, elongated cat-eye frame twinkles with Swarovski crystals. In addition, there are two other streamlined shapes: a beautiful almond profile, and a delicate butterfly form.
Ad Lib eyewear marks its 10th anniversary with a special model – Bria. The company name is derived from the Latin phrase ad libitu that in music and drama means, “at one’s pleasure.” Designer Nicolas Berne wanted to create something that really stood out. He said: “During one of my trips to Japan, I learned about the Horitech range of titanium items, which are intended for eye surgery, that have specific and striking coloring. I knew that I wanted to transfer this treatment into an optical frame. This is how BRIA was born.”
The multi-color ionic plating process is retro-futuristic with its gradient colorations. With this treatment, the color variation changes randomly with each frame, because the ionic plating cannot be reproduced identically on each model, providing a one-of-a-kind frame for the wearer.
Beautiful materials, elegant shapes, and colors in luxury eyewear is a tribute to artisan workmanship and design ingenuity – as well as inspiring comfort and pleasure.