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The annual SILMO World Optical Fair led us to “la Ville-Lumière” once again this past September.  The distractions of the Supermoon  and our beautiful surroundings  could not divert our focus from the 900 exhibitors from across the globe showcasing the diversity of  products and style trends influencing our purchases.

The hand-made construction and intricate detailing of many of the frames we order restricts the delivery of much of our inventory be several months.  While some back orders still remain in production, the majority of the finds from our adventure have reached our stores.  The wait was well worth it.

In this and subsequent posts I will be highlighting the innovations and  styling techniques introduced by the  designers of brands we revere.  The financial  investment and commitment to  the research and development required  to produce these remarkable objects is substantial. We would like to credit the visionaries before their concepts reach the mainstream!

   Cloisonné is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials.


Two exceptional applications of this decorative lacquering  technique feature prominently on new models produced by Thom Browne and Chrome Hearts Eyewear.


Windsor Rim treatments to the eye-wires of metal frames are once again in vogue.  Applied with leather or acetate trim, like the example from Garrett Leight California Optical, below


…or applied with delicate enamel detailing, as is the case regarding  the Matsuda Eyewear frame, above.

You are invited to view the new releases from these celebrated collections at our Flagship location.

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The View From Paris

22 Oct

This past September I attended  Silmo,  a critical international optical industry trade show held in Paris, France.  The event features innovations in frame design and fabrication.  The most gratifying aspect of  my experience at Silmo was the realization that Josephson Opticians is already a purveyor of  the majority of the industry’s exceptional product.

We have secured and maintained relationships with truly innovative and influential designers and distributors.  I value these relationships more having seen how many concepts and designs are copied to varying degrees of quality. It only makes sense to identify the true innovations and to associate with the companies investing in the research and development advancing the trends in eyewear design.

Anne et Valentin, Bevel, Lindberg, MatsudaMykita and Sama  are examples of the brands leading the industry forward in respect to advancements in fabrication.  Their designers encourage our feedback and assessment of the direction their styles are heading.

Almost a month since making purchases at Silmo, some of the merchandise has already arrived at our shops. Here are  examples of new releases:

13th-century detailing on the doors of  Sainte-Chapelle, Île de la Cité, Paris

Chrome Hearts offers  examples of matte finishes applied to titanium accented by gold vermeil  on sterling silver.  Exceptional detailing with lacquer is evident on the acetate sunglass, below.


20th-century furniture in  the collection of the  Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris


Lindberg featured green as a new colour in the N.O.W. collection’s translucent composite material and matte copper finishes on titanium components of it’s rimless Spirit collection.


Exterior of the home of the late, great, Serge Gainsbourg, Rue de Verneuil, Paris


Thin, refined metals featuring delicate filigree are making a resurgence. Oliver Peoples and Matsuda offer handsome options.


Contemporary fashion exhibited in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Paris


As an alternative to opaque  black, Sama  offers a palette of warm and neutral acetate colours such as vintage rose, matte beige and taupe.

The trend towards thinner acetate fronts combined with metal temples is exemplified by this frame by Oliver Peoples. Shades of grey and crystal acetates remain strong features of many collections.

Alain Mikli offers impactful frames featuring a depth of colour and dimension achieved by laminating contrasting sheets of acetate.  The gravitas associated with a thick, opaque frame seems passé  when one considers the ‘lighter’  appearance of these alternatives.

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Each Autumn we anticipate the innovations in eyewear which are premiered at the SILMO World Optical Fair held in Paris each September. Our buyers frequent this benchmark trade show in order to meet with the actual designers of the prestigious collections we feature in our stores.

Suggestions and opinions offered by our buyers and opticians can effect the conception and production of future styles.  Artisanal manufactures are often receptive of the imput of the technicians who actually dispense their eyewear.  This collaborative measure serves to optimize the fit and function of hand crafted frames and to distinguish them from those which are mass produced to meet the demands of fad and fancy.

One of the most celebrated returns of the past few years has been that of fine marquetry adoring fine metal frames.  The  2013 Matsuda Eyewear Collection, in particular, exceeded our expectations.


James Kisgen, founder and CEO at PM International was instrumental in the relaunch of the brand in 2010.  Great care has been taken to perpetuate the standards established in the production of  classic pieces of the past.  Many  subsequent designs have been influenced by the suggestions solicited from vendors who carried Matsuda’s   previous collections in the 1990’s.

James asked members of the Josephson team to recollect past pieces , motifs and finishes  we felt were particularly strong and well received. We our honored that our opinions are valued and that they may impact designs to come.

Shown here are  models from the current  collection which feature hand lacquered motifs, textured filigree and coined surfaces- all distinguishing details of Matsuda’s craftsmanship.

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