notes: We had been in contact with Laura Nicholson for over a year when our paths finally crossed in Paris. We were excited to photograph the creator of Larke Optics, which we first wrote about in November 2013. Laura’s pair of Larke Optics frames is similar to the “Olson” – an oversized acetate frame with chunky rims and distinctive brow-line. The frames stay true to brand’s signature aesthetic: simple, uncluttered style, with a focus on hand-craftsmanship and a hand-polished finish. We hope to be seeing a lot more of Laura – and Larke Optics in the years to come!
eyewear: Stella McCartney
notes: We snapped Azzurra in Paris wearing these dramatic cat-eye sunglasses from Stella McCartney. This “SM4053″ model features an exaggerated shape, with oversized lenses and peaked brows. The cat-eye look is influenced by vintage styles from the 1950s and 60s, yet the exposed screws and metal detailing add a modern, fashion-forward look. These frames are made in Italy with acetate derived from natural sources, combining cellulose (which is renewable and biodegradable) with plasticizers derived from citric acid, a natural substance obtained through sugar fermentation. The eco-friendly process is in line with Stella McCartney’s brand philosophy, offering something that’s as stylish as it is responsible.
eyewear: Eyevan 7285
notes: We photographed Chika wearing these Eyevan 7285 glasses outside of Colette in Paris. These super round frames are entirely handmade in Japan, from initial design to manufacturing, and they were inspired by vintage clip-on sunglasses. This model is “Style 306″ from Eyevan’s collection, and features a tortoiseshell print with “antique gold” detailing. The arms, meantime, are inspired by the ancient technique of “cloisonné” (a type of decorative enamelwork where pieces of metal are inlayed to form a pattern).
A lifelong glasses-wearer, Chika always looks for unique styles when picking out a pair of frames. These ones were more of a traditional shape, but she loved all the little details that made up the overall design.
eyewear: Dzmitry Samal
notes: Irina’s oversized scarf caught our attention at first, but it was her amazing Dzmitry Samal sunglasses that really drew us in. Inspired by computer graphics and 80s nostalgia, these frames feature a pixelated effect that harks back to games like Pac Man and Tetris. Handmade in France, these frames are made from acetate and then painted in a light brown colour, with matching brown lenses. The neutral colour-way helps to tone down the over-the-top silhouette, making these shades easier to wear than you’d think. The look is retro yet futuristic at the same time, sure to inspire lots of fashion flashbacks – and new lookers as well!
Wesley Knight is a self-taught bespoke eyewear designer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Wesley was studying Philosophy through the Liberal Arts program at New College Franklin when he started designing his eponymous eyewear line in 2013. Taking inspiration from old-school, bespoke tailors, the idea was to offer eyewear clients something individually cut and molded to their face shape, needs and personal aesthetic. Oh, and did we mention Knight’s material of choice is water buffalo horn?
We recently spoke with Knight about his influences, design process, and future plans for to take water buffalo horn to the masses…
Describe your collection in five words or less.
Personas personified: timelessly, minimally, beautifully
What did you study in school? Is there any creative overlap that led you to design glasses?
I worked through Euclid’s Elements with hands on construction of his propositions. This trained my eye for proportion, line relationships, and ultimately designing. My designs are influenced by the totality of my education and how I was raised. One does not only create from the eye but also from what is in the heart.
What made you decide to start designing glasses?
I found my curiosity for making glasses after stumbling upon a pair of designer horn-rimmed glasses in GQ and finding a cow horn at the leather store. I thought, “I can make that.”
Does being based in Nashville influence your designs?
Undoubtedly! Nashville is urban and rural, both of which inspire me.
Where do you find inspiration for your frames?
Within nature, the city, and the human body. While in the woods, I am fascinated by the proportional relationship of veins on a leaf or the texture of varying tree barks. In the city, I intentionally absorb interesting or beautiful architecture, car design, and fashion. However, the greatest source of inspiration is my clients. I have the ability to accentuate or diminish features, to make the eyes less tired, or to create a frame that actually fits their face for once. The ability to do this inspires me.
What is the process for working with a client not based in Nashville?
I maintain a face-to-face fitting with all my clients, ultimately the same standards of a relational creation process that bespoke was founded on in the nineteenth century. I am able to connect with my clients for fittings in a city of their convenience.
Are there any other materials you want to work with, or have experimented with?
I love working with horn and precious metals. Currently, metal work inspires me by how it responds to heating, cooling, soldering, and shaping.
What is the price range for a pair of glasses?
$1,800 USD and up, depending on metals.
Tell us about the pair that you’re most proud of.
The most recent pair I made for myself was a culmination of high design and involved craft. I focused more on sculpture work – crafting the temples and face, playing with light and shadow by creating angles and contours with my files.
Do you plan to expand your business with ready to wear frames?
I would love to develop a capsule collection in the near future.
Ready to get your bespoke process started? Fill out a profile and find out more about Wesley Knight Bespoke Eyewear at wesley-knight.com.