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Que Faire?

05 Oct

All the discerning eyes of our  industry  are focused on Paris at the moment.  The SILMO World Optical Fair is held there in October.   It is the benchmark trade show at which new styles are released.  While we anticipate the innovations to come, let’s reflect  upon one of the highlights of  the past year- the Nouvelle Vague collection produced by Frederic Beausoleil.

We were honored to host Frederic in Toronto and he imparted valued insight in regards to the production of Haute Lunetterie.   In styling the  elegant collection the designer drew inspiration from the films produced in France by the directors of the ‘French New Wave’, popular between 1958-1964.

Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo featured in Jean-Luc Godard’s A Bout de Souffle, 1960

Truffaut, Chabrol, Godard, et al. executed radical editing techniques with hand held footage.  The vibrant realism they captured with direct sound equipment and film sensitive to natural light produced a raw depiction of Paris and the exuberance of  it’s youth culture.  Inspirational, indeed.

Yves Montaud and Jane Fonda in Godard’s Tout va B!en, 1972

Link to Godard’s Made in U.S.A. featuring Marianne Faithful, 1966

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What We See

04 Oct


“What we see depends mainly on what we look for”.

John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury

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The cyclical nature of fashion trends is responsible for a resurgence in the deeper shapes and larger scale of some eyewear arriving at our stores.  These new proportions may not exceed, but are reminiscent of those typified in the 1980’s when hair was big and shoulders were amply padded.

Carol Pope in Mugler c.1980 Photo by Jorge Zontal, cofounder of the artistic collective General Idea

Celebrated vocalist Carol Pope has confirmed her patronage of Josephson Opticians  during the era of excess.  I believe she, like Mrs. Josephson, appreciated the stylings of the most avant garde designers of the time to the same degree.  Carol wore garments created by Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler, and literally sang their praises in the song  ‘Fashion Victim’.  Mrs. J. collected their eyewear – rare runway pieces produced in collaboration with vanguard optician Alain Mikli.

Montana creations, including ‘Cle de Sol’ c.1982 produced by Alain Mikli

Many of the pieces from Mrs. Josephson’s vintage collection are on view at our flagship location.  Carol’s music is on heavy rotation there, too.  As ‘Rough Trade’ (1974-1988) she and collaborator Kevan Staples released some audacious tunes.  When you visit us you may hear Inga Rumpf’s cover of ‘Grade B Movie’, Dusty Springfield’s rendition of ‘Soft Core’ or James Cavaluzzo’s remix of ‘All Touch’.

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Exquisite Visuals

06 Sep

Xavier Dolan

English Canadians  will have an opportunity to view  Xavier Dolan’s  latest film this September at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Programmer Steve Gravestock suggests that “Laurence Anyways emerges as possibly the most audacious and searing meditation on love and sexuality ever made in this country”.  There may not be a dry eye in the house when this is screened.

Laurence Anyways Trailer

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“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream”.
Vincent Van Gogh
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Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim

New York socialite Peggy Guggenheim was instrumental in the promotion of International Modernism.  Within a decade she amassed an impressive collection of Surrealist, Kinetic and Abstract Expressionist art.  Her circle of influence included the likes of Man Ray, Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp.  In 1949 the whole kit and caboodle was relocated to  the city of Venice.

Peggy throws a party at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal

Peggy may have gotten a charge out of these pieces of contemporary eyerwear which evoke some of the irrevrence and whimsy associated with her own personal style and tastes.  They are produced by Anne et Valentin, Face a Face and Alain Mikli.

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The Beats

28 Aug

“Poets are damned… but see with the eyes of angels.”
Allen Ginsberg

James Franco portraying Allen Ginsberg in the film Howl

   Allen Ginsberg was a seminal figure of the literary renaissance of 1950’s America.  The style of dress he and other reputed ‘bohenian hedonists’ of the Beat Generation adopted likely had  less to do with choice and more to do with  making due with what was on hand. 

  The iconic eyewear of that era is popular again.  Contemparry versions of the classics are masterfully crafted by Sama, Chrome Hearts and Linda Farrow.


Allen Ginsberg


  A film adaptation of of the 1951 novel On The Road by Jack Kerouac will screen this September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

On The Road Trailer

Ti Jean Louis Kirouac, son of Leo-Alcide Keroack and Gabrielle-Ange Levesque of Saint-Hubert-de-Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec

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Steven Patrick Morrissey

Morrissey charmed the despondent youth of the 1980’s.  The mordant humour of his lyrics  for  songs by the Smiths made light of  unrequited love and alienation.

If you emulated Morrissey’s style then, you can recreate the awkward appearance of your adolescence, now, with the assistance of  COPPE SID Cosmopolitan Eyewear.  Agonize over which shape may suite you best, then write a love letter you’ll never send and cry yourself to sleep.

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David Bowie photographed by Helmut Newtown, 1982

The Thin White Duke  is pictured above in a frame that’s lean.  To varying degrees, the styles shown below also support the adage ‘less is more’.   They are designed by Willems Wonderglasses, Robert Marc and Phillip Lim.

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Someone In The Dark

15 Aug

“There is no better  way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to someone in the dark.”
Helen Keller


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