What do you do when you’ve been immersed in product design and fashion for most of your life and you’re looking to push the envelope of your creativity? If you’re Veronika Wildgruber, you channel your artistic spirit into eyewear!
With a background in interior design, and collaborations with everyone from Ligne Roset to Hermes (where she designs their silk scarves), the German-born Wildgruber has a keen eye for fresh, joyful and unique pieces – attributes that were on full display for her first eyewear collection in 2010. That collection received critical acclaim, with Wildgruber being awarded with the prestigious SILMO d`Or.
Her latest collection is titled “INTERSPACES,” and is characterised by colour and material combinations, changing surfaces and double interpretations. Metal and acetate push and pull in new and novel ways, while the shading of colours and transparency add another interplay of moods and juxtaposition.
We love the “EMPTY,” a circular, cut-out frame made from metal, and released in a beautiful mauve tone. The shape is futuristic yet strangely warm and bookish at the same time. The rich hues add a touch of flair and femininity to the overall look. Wildgruber says she wanted to use metal in an unexpected way. “The empty space is defining the shape,” she says, “and also makes the glasses filigree and lightweight.”
The “MOBY” frame, meantime, features contrasting colours and materials at the temples, offering up a new design that we haven’t seen before. Incorporating retro elements and perhaps paying homage to the cat-eye shape, Wildgruber keeps the silhouette simple, allowing the mix of materials to speak for itself. These are glasses for the strong and sophisticated woman; a modern-day superhero who can act subtle but also isn’t afraid to take control.
Our favourite though, is the “TOPAS.” We literally gasped when we saw the “TOPAS” frame up close. Made from a hand-crafted acetate, the glasses are strong and passionate, with a beautiful swept tortoiseshell paired with a fiery red colour. Thick bars along the brow line are combined with thin circles, creating harmonic contrasts. This is a bold look that’s truly inspired. It’s designed for eyewear enthusiasts who want to wear something that makes a statement not only because of size, but because of its artistic properties as well.
Wildrguber describes her work as “simple and surprising,” two words that are contrasts in and of themselves. With an eye for glamourously cool and edgy styles, we can’t wait to see what Wildgruber brings to the table next.
eyewear: Gentle Monster
notes: Belgian-based interior designer Caroline Van Thillo loves glasses, and when she saw this pair of super round frames from South Korean brand, Gentle Monster, she knew she had to have them. A popular brand in Southeast Asia, Gentle Monster has quickly become a celeb favourite in this part of the world as well, seen on everyone from Emmy Rossum and Kourtney Kardashian, to Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner. Caroline’s pair is dubbed the “Wonka,” and features retro-inspired round lenses, a flat nose bridge and metallic gold trim. The candy blue rim adds a pop of colour, while nose pads – very popular among Asian eyewear brands – helps to keep the frames in place.
notes: Annick’s blush pink Celine sunglasses are at once sophisticated and charming, and call to mind first days of spring, and summers in the park. The acetate frames feature oversized gradient lenses, metallic detailing on the temples, and a slight butterfly shape along the brow line. The thicker bridge adds a touch of whimsy to the otherwise elegant and feminine look.
eyewear: Opening Ceremony
notes: Mosha Lundström Halbert is the Fashion Director at Footwear News, and we caught her wearing some appropriately chic boots with these Opening Ceremony sunglasses in Paris. These oversized frames are OC’s take on the aviator style, with rounded lenses, a rounded bridge and wide, exaggerated arms. The acetate frames are paired with brown tinted lenses and metal accents at the temples.
We love this “Abalone” colour, with sweeping hues of grey, brown and black metallic abalone shell. It’s a luxe and modern take on traditional tortoiseshell, and the perfect way to complete Mosha’s look from the bottom to the top.
eyewear: Yohji Yamamoto
notes: LA met Paris (met Japan) when we spotted Julien Heart, the buyer for Santa Monica women’s boutique Weathervane, heading into the Paris Metro in these Yohji Yamamoto shades. A longtime Yohji fan, Julien has had these glasses for more than 25 years.
The rounded lenses and side “blinders” call to mind vintage Steampunk googles, while the avant-grade styling and stark colour palette is classic Yamamoto. Long-admired for his inventive silhouettes and work with proportion and shape, Yamamoto applies the same principles to these sunglasses, which are at once retro and futuristic, old school yet fashion-forward. These frames are compelling from every angle and prove that good design knows no boundaries.