One of our favourite new eyewear lines comes out of the UK, where craftsmanship and tradition have long been at the forefront of the country’s uniquely British design sensibilities. LARKE Optics takes these age-old production methods and applies a healthy dose of modern flair, resulting in a collection of glasses that is driven by nostalgia, but sartorially progressive at the same time.
Founder Laura Nicholson started the company after deciding that she wanted to explore her love of fashion and eyewear, and the name, LARKE, plays off the idea of “embarking on an adventure.” With a skillful, carefully crafted aesthetic, LARKE frames are handmade in England and celebrate “minimalist form and understated style.” All the hinges are hand-riveted and constructed in-house. There are no logos in sight, save for a subtle “LARKE” engraved on the inside of the temples. Extraneous details are non-existent.
The frames, meantime, are hand-carved from rare Italian acetate, then finished in chic, enduring patterns and colours. We love the “Horn” finish of these “GILL” glasses (above), which reflect in the light like a beautiful abstract painting. The retro-inspired styling of these frames is brought to life with its thick, round lenses and distinctive keyhole bridge.
These “HORNE” frames, meantime, feature a limited-edition cobalt blue “Midnight” colour that is an exclusive for Fall/Winter 2013. The camo-inspired print adds fun and texture to the classic, oversized specs.
A curved triangular acetate frame and delicate keyhole bridge, form the basis for these “Locke” frames (seen below). The soft, romantic, “smoke” color adds to the unique look, at once mod-ish and futuristic.
And we could totally picture ourselves wearing the Alden frames – a strong, angular design that features a wide bridge and dipped brow-line. The square-shaped rims and exaggerated temples add to the sculptural quality of these frames – a new classic in this rich “redwood” print.
The debut LARKE Optics collection consists of seven frames in total, all of which can be customized for prescription lenses and sunglasses. At £275, they don’t come cheap, but these are handmade glasses that you’ll wear for a long time – and wear proudly. After all, British style has endured through the years, and the frames from this London-based brand have an enduring quality that will carry it through the years as well.