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Artisanal Cat Eye

05 Sep

The  panther is the most recognizable  animal motif associated with the venerated  house of  Cartier.  A pattern based on the the cat’s spotted coat was first incorporated as a design element on a wrist watch in 1914.

Jeanne Toussaint c.1920  Cartier's director of fine jewelry from 1933

Jeanne Toussaint c.1920
Cartier’s director of fine jewelry from 1933

Due to her elegant and independent nature ‘the Panther ‘ was also the nickname of  Jeanne Toussaint, one of the house’s legendary designers .  Under her influence the Cartier jewelers were the first to explore femininity through the metaphor of the panther.  It’s effigy continues to adorn the houses’ sumptuous  jeweler and eyewear.

The most currant appearance of the panther’s head is as a unique decor  found on a new collection of sunglasses now in stock at our stores.

Inspired by a famous ring featuring the same chiseled lines, the injection molded head decors feature 23 hand lacquered black spots and  green eyes.  The meticulously hand polished  and assembled metal frame components are each plated in a palladium layer and finished in either gold or platinum. The rectangular and cat eye shaped  frames are crafted of tortoiseshell, burgundy and black acetate.

  These expressions of the spirit of the panther are sure to charm!


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Illustration of Debbie by Jennifer Orkim Lewis and attributed to August Wren

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The Space Between

22 Jul


Specimen of Lace, William Henry Fox Talbot circa 1839-1845, National gallery of Canada

Specimen of Lace, William Henry Fox Talbot circa 1839-1845, National Gallery of Canada

An  indication of good design is the achievement of a critical balance between form and negative space.  This  rule applies as well to the production of lace as it does to the manufacturing of eyewear.


  l.a. Eyeworks has filled a niche of sorts with a collection that has left things out.  Using state of the art techniques to perforate stainless steel, this innovated company  has created  delicate patterns by combining open space with dense texture.


  Because they  reference a contemporary trend of  using  perforated steel  in industrial design and architecture, these frames are truly of the moment.

Housing Hatert by 24H architecture, photo by Boris Zeisser

Housing Hatert by 24H architecture, photo by Boris Zeisser





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k. d. Lang, C.B.C. photo stills collection c. 1986

Kathryn Dawn Lang, C.B.C. photo stills collection c. 1986

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Birds Of A Feather

29 Jun

This weekend in Toronto a critical mass of the G.B.L.T. community will flock together to express their resolve and assert their solidarity.  The annual Pride festivities  will showcase gender diversity and facilitate uninhibited self expression.

Before strutting like a peacock, consider dawning some ‘gay’ apparel -especially  eyewear as worthy of exposure as you are!



  Adorned  with hand set  embellishments , laminated feathers and patterned silk fabrics, the new specimens from Francis Klein  are proof  of variation within a species.


  Local provocateurs Carol Pope and Kevan Staples , formerly of the group Rough Trade,  have sung the praises of birds of a feather.


photograph by Zorge Zontal c. 1980

Those of a certain vintage who still think ‘Jung’ may appreciate this link to the bands 1976 performance on C.B.C.’s ’90 Minutes Live’ hosted by the late Peter Gzowski.

Link to ’90 Minutes Live’

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Luxury Eyepieces

24 Jun


    The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Western Europe is renowned for it’s vineyards and breweries.  Its production of steel is also note worthy.  But perhaps it’s most prestigious export is the  eyewear brand Gold &Wood founded by Maurice Leonard in 1995.  As the company continues to produce creations imbued with a timeless elegance, it has trademarked the aptly descriptive term luxury “Eyepieces”.


  The masterful craftsmanship and industrial innovation required to produce these exceptional pieces is remarkable.  The lamination of fine veneers of noble materials in raw form is executed with exquisite precision .

Rare woods, such as tanganika and carob, of a controlled provenance are sourced  for use from regions where systematic reforestation is monitored.  Authentic buffalo horn  is procured from farms adhering to ethical standards of harvesting.


   The styling of models currently in our stores reflect a contemporary interpretation of shapes  popularized in the 1950’s.   Those depicted incorporate rose gold, California walnut bur and bubinga (above) and marbled horn and ebony (below).


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Man Ray photographed by Yousuf Karsh, 1965

Man Ray photographed by Yousuf Karsh, 1965

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The Best Vision

24 Jun


The best vision is insight”.

Malcom Forbes

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More Matte

24 Jun

The matted finishes of many frames in our stores are receiving much attention despite their subdued exteriors.  Perhaps because, though lacking in luster, they’re  far from dull!  The sand blasted treatment of an acetate surface creates a smooth texture free of the high polish typically achieved by tumbling a frame in wood or pumice chips.


  It would be hard to conduct a covert operation in these conspicuous items, despite having been inspired by the stealth exteriors of fighter jets and other aeronautical  engineered designs.  Following a trend initiated in 2007 with the release of Lamborghini’s Reventon model automobile, matte finishes have   established a presence in our contemporary aesthetic.


Lamborghini Automobili’s Revonton limited edition model, 2007


      Brands  offering  this sophisticated finish include Gremany’s Lunor and Paul Smith by Oliver Peoples, as shown above.


      The Fiction line by l.a. Eyeworks incorporates matte metal components with ‘frosted’ acetates with great success.



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Matte Metals

06 Jun

Colourist Sahra Lysell has influenced the pallet utilized by Orgreen Eyewear since the brand’s debut in 1997.  She has developed over 400 different hues for the Danish product and established the two-toned application of colour as a signature feature of each collection.

The titanium frames are expertly crafted in Japan, often over a period of six months, and can require up to 100 processes in their construction.  Most colours require over 15 steps in their application alone.

DSC_0096 (2)

  The Airline collection currently available at our stores incorporates modern industrial colours with luxurious gold and palladium.   The matte finishes create a soft and calming effect.  The refined hues of clay, faded blue , grape and vanilla are subtle and sophisticated.

Although Sahra’s colours are often inspired by graffiti culture, the graphic impact of these particular frames  brings to mind the work of Canadian artist Doris McCarthy.

Pre-Cambrian 1968 Doris McCarthy

Pre-Cambrian 1968 Doris McCarthy



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