Trends to put a spring in your step
Put your personality in the frame when choosing your new season specs, writes Nicky Collinson
Whether you've a penchant for eye-popping fashion of epic Instagram-worthy proportions or practice the art of the understatement – when it comes to selecting box-fresh frames this season make sure your eyewear expresses the 'true you'.
Your local SPECS network independent opticians will have at least one member of staff dedicated to helping you choose a style that best suits your prescription, face shape and lifestyle – but knowledge is power, as they say. So, let's take a look at some of the key influences in eyewear for spring/summer 2017 to inspire your eye fashion looks and enrich your seasonal wardrobe…
The world's your oyster when it comes to frame materials, and many designers are increasingly employing the art of combining metal with acetate to create fresh, directional looks in both men's and women's eyewear.
Irish fashion and frame designer, Paul Costelloe, reflected this trend at London Fashion Week in February – with social media commentators describing his fashion-forward eyewear as "elegant, classy and wearable".
The new Paul Costelloe range brings together a mix of metal and acetate in strong shades including burgundy, smoky grey and midnight blue. The trend for round shapes and the ever-popular cat-eye are present within the collection, as well as two other hot-right-now trends: the keyhole bridge and brow bar.
"A key trend for the season ahead is a round bottom frame, which comes further down the face without making too much of an overt style statement," says Peter Beaumont of Dunelm Optical, the British company that makes Paul Costelloe frames. "It’s all about delicate detailing: applying the popular trend for a mix of metal and acetate whilst highlighting in-vogue colours."
The focus on mixing acetate and metal materials, with models showcasing retro eye shapes and striking colour combinations, can be seen in the 2017 Humphrey's collection. Humphrey's model 581042 features an extraordinary round eye shape and statement colour blocking on the front, accentuated by sleek metal temples and bridge. This dynamic frame, and others like it, will definitely give your eyewear the 'wow factor'.
Relaxed retro glamour
The London spring/summer 2017 catwalks embraced the lavishness of the 1970s, reinvigorating the modern wardrobe with highly structured fabrics juxtaposed against whimsical retro styling. And what could be more 'now' than adding glamour, shine and sparkle to that retro frame? At one of the UK’s leading frame companies, Eyespace, designers have creatively incorporated retro sparkle into their latest Cocoa Mint collection for women.
The embodiment of 'relaxed glamour', multi-layered acetate model CM9036 offers a dose of 70s opulence through confident applications of shimmer. "Epitomising Great British Design in every sense, this luxurious and highly flattering frame features a highly wearable cat-eye shape and glittering Swarovski-clad temple trims, encased by a stunning double-barred metal end piece," says Nicky Clement, Eyespace marketing manager.
The new Kirk & Kirk Kaleidoscope Quartz-Edition collection features specially commissioned materials that exude glitter and sparkle – offering exuberant, celebratory eyewear that is bold, beautiful and confident. Handmade in France using a unique grade of acrylic, the material allows the frame to have substance, yet be incredibly light to wear and wonderfully comfortable.
Lighter, brighter, rounder
Speaking of lightness, some of the latest eyewear collections to hit the market definitely lean towards thinner plastic styles, in both women's and men's frames. Larger eye shapes seem to be key, but matched with thin rims to give the frame a light, contemporary look as seen in Stepper's stunning new frames.
"Plastic fronts with titanium sides offer great styling potential combined with comfort and a lighter weight," says Alex Davis, Stepper head of brand and marketing. "Here at Stepper we see the retro trend remaining a style influencer – but not by simply creating slavish reproductions. For example, details such as a keyhole bridge will update your eye-style wardrobe, while rounder styles over square shapes are definitely in this season."
In terms of frame colours for men, greens and blues are increasingly abundant – providing some light relief from the fashion staples of black, grey and tortoiseshell. Accents of colour on temples, for example, offer a strong look for the season. Made from the finest Mazzuchelli acetates, featuring traditional rivet hinges and handmade in Italy, the 2017 Claire Goldsmith Legacy collection includes combination model Porter in matt tortoise with a blue front.
And just as striking colour accents are used to give 'boys' toys' such as motorbikes a sleek appearance, vibrant colour combinations and dynamic temple designs have been applied to the French-designed Ad Lib men's collection. Go-faster stripes, if you like.
For women, who are naturally a little more demanding when it comes to eye-fashion, advances in colour technology are allowing for increasingly sophisticated colour variations in frame design. For example, graduated colouring with a 'pearlescent' look, where colour is applied to the back of the frame, and enhanced digital manufacturing processes can deliver more intricate patterning.
Pink reigns supreme in all walks of fashion for 2017 – from clothes and accessories to home interiors – and eyewear is no exception.
Whether it's bubblegum hues on the rims, magenta colour blocking on the temples or rose-tinted lenses, this is a super-hot trend right now and worth considering if you enjoy matching your frames to your fashion (and cushions). Take the Continental Eyewear Cameo frame, Molly in Rose and the Superdry Yumi style as just two cues to 'think pink' this season.
So, select your new season frames with savvy and confidence. Be guided by your dispensing optician on technical details such as fit, form and function – but be bold. Be adventurous. Be yourself – and let your eyewear style do the talking…
Click to find a SPECS network independent optician near you.