They say it’s the little details that often make the largest impression. You hear that a lot in the garment industry, or when it comes to say, food and drink. But it also applies to eyewear. Take, for instance, Italian-based company Vanni, who has perfected these “little details” into a vibrant and unique collection of wonderfully modern, handmade frames.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Vanni frames are designed by an architect. From the curvature of the rim to the extension of the arms, the use of shape, design, and technical qualities are inherent to the Vanni brand. It’s seen in the construction of the frames, with patented spring hinges and fine materials like hypo-allergenic stainless steel. The innovative spirit extends to the way the glasses are re-imagined for today’s fashion-forward consumer: the way a pair of glasses has an upturned brow just so, or the way the arms are dissected on another pair for artistic effect.
The acetates used in the frames are, for the most part, limited-edition and exclusive to the Vanni collection. The acetate is tumbled in wood-chip barrels to smooth and polish the surface, then hand polished to avoid having to add too much oil to the wooden barrels. The result is a pair of glasses that has a subtle sheen, while remaining surprisingly lightweight and durable.
Our favourite collection is the “Flame” collection (seen below), which features an exclusive acetate developed by Vanni, and manufactured by Mazzuccheli – an Italian company that has been in the plastics industry since 1849. The delicate, coloured acetate is built up in layers, then melted by fire (hence the name “Flame”) into a transparent base. The colours spread beautifully, lava lamp-like through the plastic, giving a rich, vibrant quality to the frames.
Pay a visit to the Vanni factories and you’ll discover that all of their frames are truly handmade by artisans – from the welding, to the polishing, and colouring. This explains why different batches may have slight differences, despite having the same model number. In other words, no two pairs will be alike. And perhaps this is the biggest “little detail” of all: that you’ll not only have a pair of handsome, artistically-inclined frames – you’ll be the only one with a pair like that in the world!
notes: Who says sunglasses are reserved for summer? Blogger Sharad Mohan‘s vintage shades look just as cool on the street in the fall, paired with an oversized scarf and patterned sweater. Sharad found these Clubmaster-like frames during a trip to Montreal and promptly added them to his collection of sunglasses.
These vintage specs features a slimmer and more compact shape than similar glasses that have this style. We love the contrast between the rounded black top and the silver rims, not to mention the winged temple. The etched detailing on the arms adds texture and a subtle, yet ornate touch.
notes: Rachel is the second person to own these fun and funky vintage frames, which she bought on Etsy. The first person to own the specs? The seller’s grandmother.
These cat-eye “Marine”-brand frames are the perfect accent to Rachel’s retro and whimsical sense of style, with their triangular rims and brow-line detail. Handmade in the USA, these glasses date back to the late 1940s and early 50s, with art deco-inspired styling and a mix of aluminum and plastic construction. Rachel has always had black glasses and wanted to stay with a classic look while having something that jazzed up her style. This pair definitely fits the look – and fits the bill!
eyewear: Dolce & Gabbana
notes: Rachel gravitated towards these Dolce & Gabbana frames for men because she liked the way they fit her face. The masculine shape of these glasses is slightly boxier, with squared-off rims and a thicker bridge. Yet on Rachel they manage to look soft and feminine. Chalk that up to this fiery, “Red Havana” colour, which is D&G’s take on the traditional tortoiseshell. The red and gold undertones compliment Rachel’s skin tone beautifully, and work with her hair colour as well. These acetate frames are made in Italy and feature a metallic Dolce & Gabbana logo on the arms.
notes: Rod Andrade is a local artist from Toronto, and we snapped him while he was selling some of his silk-screened wood pieces at the Queen West Art Crawl in Trinity Bellwoods Park. It’s clear that an artist needs an equally artistic pair of glasses, and these frames fit the bill. We love the bright red and orange tones, reminiscent of a lava lamp or abstract painting. The rectangular shape is a classic silhouette, but the metal accents on the temples add a modern, industrial twist. Between the bold colors and details, this is not an easy pair of glasses to pull off, but Rod does it effortlessly. Oh and that handkerchief scarf and the blue sneakers: a fashionable – and yes, artistic – touch.