Nobody Does It Better

Take James Bond. Add a dashing Daniel Craig. Mix with Tom Ford’s Marko sunglasses. Shake and stir. Skyfall may have dominated the world in a way all of the Bond baddies wish they can, but it’s sales of his TF144 shades that have skyrocketed, especially since the movie was released on DVD. Think an 80-percent surge in sales and online retailers reporting more than 100 pairs flying out of their warehouses every week. If this unisex beaut is sold out everywhere you look, we’re sorry we can’t offer any more quantum of solace – it’s not the first time a blockbuster film has transformed sunglasses into the talk of the fashion scene.

Tom Ford's Marko TF144 on 007.

Tom Ford’s Marko TF144 on 007.

For your eyes only - almost.

For your eyes only – almost.

Going The Distance

We’re really excited about the 2013 rendition of the Mido Optical Fair this weekend, because of the bounty of beautiful and badass goodies that await: Lacoste Eyewear’s 80th anniversary, Police’s “Color Rock” paean to the 1980s, an Ayrton Senna line by Tag Heur and Happiness’ first foray into the optical world, to name a few.

Police's glam rock Colour-Rocks collection fully encapsulates the brand's free-wheeling underground spirit.

Police’s glam rock Colour-Rocks collection fully encapsulates the brand’s free-wheeling underground spirit.

What are you most excited to see unveiled at Mido?

Retrospectacle

A glance at headline-making previews poised to make a splash at Mido this weekend reveals the usual slew of new technology launches (Japanese glasses that prevent facial recognition!), top-class designer collaborations (ic! Berlin’s Ralph Anderl and Lapo Elkann!) and massive celebrations (Essilor’s music x art x culture night at La Scala!).

But with Hally & Son’s 1959-era natural water buffalo horn optical frames and Hapter’s World War II-inspired collection, it’s clear that retro isn’t going anywhere. It may not be anything new in way of style and feel, but brace yourselves for the usual influx of beautifully handcrafted acetate frames evoking old-time Hollywood glamour, discerning British cool, and hipster nerd chic.

At Amsterdam's Brillenmuseum, the allure of Dior clearly withstands the test of fashion phases, and so much more. © Desiree Koh

At Amsterdam’s Brillenmuseum, the allure of Dior clearly withstands the test of fashion phases, and so much more. © Desiree Koh

Away from the sprawling Fiera Milano convention center, independent opticians fixated on antiquity do a different kind of purchasing, eschewing trade shows for junkyards, estate sales, flea markets and any other means to uncover frames that can date back to more than 150 years old. Loot in hand, they lovingly restore these treasures into wearable condition – yes, even daily! – through careful cleaning and repair with a gentle hand.

Based on the premise that glasses of yore were built to last, these antique eyewear pieces have a long way to go yet, and whether you wear one of these or a more modern pair, getting the most mileage out of your frames isn’t hard at all with these care and maintenance tips.

Eye Go Crazy

Would you wear glasses made from real deer jaw bones?

Artist Emma Montague creates sunglasses from real deer mandibles, natural horn and acetate - yes, she has ties to the British Deer Society.

Artist Emma Montague creates sunglasses from real deer mandibles, natural horn and acetate – yes, she has ties to the British Deer Society. © Emma Montague

How about shades from old Irish whiskey barrels?

Shwood's collaboration with Bushmills resulted in this wooden frame collection made from Irish whiskey barrels - and they're already sold out. © Shwood

Shwood’s collaboration with Bushmills resulted in this wooden frame collection made from Irish whiskey barrels – and they’re already sold out. © Shwood

Or you could pierce rivets into your face, and snap on prescription lenses using magnets to keep them on.

James Sooy and Oliver Gibson came up with the other of "pierced glasses," giving new meaning to the misconception that wearing spectacles is a pain. © James Sooy and Oliver Gibson

James Sooy and Oliver Gibson came up with the other of “pierced glasses,” giving new meaning to the misconception that wearing spectacles is a pain. © James Sooy and Oliver Gibson

Or for something more that you never have to replace…

"Matthew G15" got himself a permanent pair of glasses. © Matthew G15

“Matthew G15″ got himself a permanent pair of glasses. © Matthew G15

If all of the above don’t sound like attractive options, here are our suggestions for eyewear made from daring materials that are unique and one-of-a-kind, yet nothing that will make you cringe! And if you do own a crazy, unique, limited edition or special edition eyewear, make sure you take good care of them with these tips.

What’s In Your Glasses?

You say plastic, I say metal. Let’s call the whole thing off?

No, we don’t have to. If you can’t decide which way you’re going to go when choosing a pair of glasses, get dressed up in Dior Homme’s new Blacktie 2.0 and have it all – it’s a patented double layer of the highest quality Japanese acetate around light metal, yet ultra-thin so it’s the ultimate slim shade-y.

Available in four styles, each model cuts a stylish figure inspired by the impeccable craft of Japanese ateliers, enhanced by the ingenuity of its dual-material structure. So, set your sights on having it all – both plastic and metal – in one pair of sunglasses.

Get In Gear

It used to be that contact lenses were the only and de rigeuer solution for anyone who needed vision correction and wanted to be active or do something vigorous outdoors. You wouldn’t be caught dead playing tennis wearing glasses, unless you were the amazing…

... Martina Navratilova...

… Martina Navratilova.

Glasses were for geeks, and geeks didn’t belong on the playing field. But in the last decade, prescription eyewear designed specifically for athletes and sporting lifestyles got better. That is, they got lighter, more impact resistant, comfortable, and focused on innovation so their wearers could focus on performance. Wearing glasses while running or doing burpees felt exactly as seamless as wearing sports shades, and you didn’t have to spend extra on contact lenses or go through the trouble of maintaining them or putting them on. And when Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon did to glasses what Tina Fey did to glasses…

There's nothing wrong with looking smart instead of sporty in baseball!

There’s nothing wrong with looking smart instead of sporty in baseball!

… the stigma of spectacles in sports and glasses in gyms became a thing of the past.

Of course, it helps if you’ve got the right pair on, so as you head back onto cardio machines, strap the TRX back on, get back onto the trails post-holiday season, take a look at our recommendations for active eyewear designed to keep you looking good while working out.