Vintage streams originating from the ’60s to the early ’80s take unexpected turns in an abundance of angles, curves, clean
detailing, and colored or black smoky lenses. The result is fierce and graphic.
The fun-lovin’ Aussie collective Tsubi breaks through with a line of sunglasses so brilliantly on cue, directional shops like Colette in Paris, Loveless in Tokyo, and Fred Segal in Los Angeles snapped it up in no time — not to mention famous faces including
Orlando Bloom, Kate Moss, and members of Franz Ferdinand. The range, a winning combination of innovative design and top-notch production expertise, comes in a tempting array of colors
and patterns such as smoked copper brass, zebra, and cheetah, and in styles varying from outsized wayfarers and curvy visors
with thin, brushed metal arms to thick, almost cartoonish frames. Manufactured from the best materials and crafted with obsessive
attention to detail, the Tsubi glasses all feature unbreakable lenses because, as designer Graz proudly declares, "We want
to find our frames in vintage stores, still in good shape, in 20 years time — not broken under your bed." They definitely will.
With companies like the forward-thinking Swedish brand Lindberg already offering plenty of minimal, streamlined frames in ultra-light titanium, the resurgence of metal keeps popping up
on fashion’s horizon. For the moment, though, celluloid and plastic are still basking in the limelight. Apropos, the Derome Brenner collection, launched in 2004 by Xavier Derome and Aurelia Brenner after the two accidentally crossed paths in Derome’s eyewear factory, is made exclusively of acetate, a luxurious blend of 70% cotton and 30% plasticizer and colorants that look warm and feel sensual to the touch. Xavier and Aurelia carve the matter into a polymorphous collection that includes prescription and
sunglass frames, as well as necklaces, wristbands, and key rings, all of which intermingle harmoniously. The Derome Brenner
s/s ’06 range exudes a neo-geo, playful spirit — segmented, angular arms are a recurring theme, together with stripes — that
reminds us of the early-’80s Italian new-wave design collective Memphis. On a similar wavelength is the Miu Miu collection, which conducts a Fiorucci-esque vibe through its sassy oval shapes. The Missoni line is geometric, too, but more grown-up, and intensely patterned in the house’s trademark motifs.
Linda Farrow Vintage, meanwhile, continues to build creative collaborations with up-and-coming as well as established designers. Summer 2006 will
see the launch of collections developed in partnership with Sophia Kokosalaki, Luella, Bernhard Willhelm, and Eley Kishimoto. The Kokosalaki line is a knockout, all organic-looking horn done up in futuristic styles that retain a sort of primitive
allure. The Luella and Willhelm lines are more colorful and pop — almost acrylic. For a bold style statement, look no further
than Willhelm’s black and blues frame with a built-in tennis visor. The British company is fast growing: the third Linda Farrow
Gallery just opened at Le Printemps in Paris.
Finally, for those who wear glasses primarily to pull and seduce, the right answer is Tom Ford Eyewear. Slightly vintage in
feel, sleek, and chic, this is stuff for true poolside gigolos, so grab a pair and let the sunny fun roll in!
1-3 Tsubi Sunglasses s/s ’06
Derome Brenner s/s ’06
Bernhard Willhelm for Linda Farrow Vintage s/s ’06
Tom Ford Eyewear