À Bientôt, Paris!

We’re getting ready to attend Silmo – Mondial de l’Optique in Paris next week, which is the queen of all optical fairs, the most important event on the trade calendar where designers from luxury label to independent across the globe (and with out-of-this-world innovations every year, maybe even in the galaxy!) gather to strut their stuff.

There is always so much to see (pardon the pun) and everything is such a spectacle (oops, I did it again), and it’s always worth the 10-hour days traipsing down aisles, lanes and alleys, catching up with old friends, making new business partners for our stores The Lens Men and The Eye Site, and I always leave wishing I could take home with me most of the eyewear I’ve fallen in love with. You can definitely expect a full daily report on our home base eyeglasses.about.com, as well as on-the-go updates via Facebook and Twitter, so watch tune in to these spaces regularly and often.

In the meantime, because we couldn’t wait, we did some scouting and here’s what we’re thrilled to look out for:

Everybody do the Bellinger Bounce! Image © Bellinger

Leave it to the design-driven Danes to create their own acetate from cotton, acetone and alcohol, so that beautiful blends of color can be swirled and layered to produce these gorgeous plastic frames. Bellinger likens the process to that of old-fashioned candy-making – and that’s how you get eye candy.

Frost’s Burlesque (left) and Lolita (right) sunglasses embody the theatrical elegance the brand is known for. Image © Frost

What’s cool about Frost, a German brand, is that designer Marion Frost teases classical shapes with casual interpretations that add theatrical elegance to her bold pieces. She likens it to eyewear you’ve always wanted, but never knew existed.

There are two sides to every story on the Ginga. Image © Francis Klein

Francis Klein always puts on their best show on home ground – after all, their designs are conceived in the arrondissement that was the heart of the Belle Epoque. With different details on both sides of the same front, we’re reminded that style is multi-faceted, and should explore various aspects of our individual personalities.

Light + stainless steel + outsized x Bernhard Wilheim = Rosi. Image © Mykita

Mykita also has duality on their minds, as the boys from Berlin continue their collaboration with Bernhard Wilheim to introduce Rosi, described as a “schizophrenic sight” where one side represents au naturel and the other, “excessive make-up”.

Simplicity, minimalism and good design are the core of Jacob Kilsgaard and Henrik Bonnelycke’s philosophy. Image © Kilsgaard Eyewear

And finally, these aluminum-acetate combos from Kilsgaard Eyewear will lighten up the upcoming fall and winter seasons and make spirits bright through the shorter days and longer nights.

Oh boy. Where do we start? How about our guides to choosing frames for oval-shaped faces and square-shaped faces? While we never advocate limiting eyewear choices, this might just help you focus in on some choices instead of going crazy!

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Where Gently Used Eyeglasses Go to Retire

South Africa. Gambia. Thailand. Chile. Mexico. India.

The OneSight clinic dispensing glasses in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Image © OneSight

What would be an exotic vacation for many is actually an ongoing mission to provide clear vision to needy people all around the world via hand-delivered primary eye care and eyewear for Luxottica‘s OneSight foundation. Almost every month, teams of ophthalmologists, eye care professionals and trained volunteers travel to a country where thousands of people are in urgent need of vision care and prescription glasses, bringing with them optical equipment for thorough eye examinations and surgery as required. More than two million pairs of spectacles are needed to correct these patients’ eyesight – and that’s where you come in, because many of these are recycled eyeglasses that have been donated.

Yet another happy patient at a OneSight clinic, this time in Kandadestar, India. Image © OneSight

To date, OneSight has completed more than 200 clinics in 37 countries, benefitting more than 3.5 million people. And they’re not the only visionaries working such miracles – Lions Clubs International‘s Recycle For Sight has also helped countless patients see better and thus, find jobs, work or learn better at school. We show you exactly how a pair of eyeglasses goes from your hands to a beneficiary thousands of miles away, and how easy it is to drop off your specs off.

MOSCOT – A True New York Original

Earlier this month, we were very excited to attend MOSCOT‘s first ever trunk show in Singapore, when The Eye Site launched its collection of the New York brand’s deliciously retro frames and sunglasses (disclaimer: yours truly is also marketing manager for The Eye Site, one of the very few boutiques in Singapore where design-driven, high-quality, hand-crafted eyewear from around the world can be found).

Arrays of MOSCOT styles at The Eye Site trunk show in Singapore. Image © Desiree Koh

From a pushcart in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1899 to The Pigeonhole, a cafe known for poetry slams, contemporary art exhibitions and a meeting of curious minds, in Singapore, MOSCOT has come a long way, even as its collections happily remain inspired by its actual styles from the 1930s through 1960s for frames and through 1980s for sunglasses.

MOSCOT fan Aldrina Thirunagaran rocking the Terry. Image © Desiree Koh

And nowhere is MOSCOT more eye-conic than on everlasting images of Buddy Holly, whose trademark glasses were the N.Y.C. institution’s Lemtosh model. That’s why it’s our choice for chic geeks who want to sport evergreen eyeglasses that never go out of style – call it a certificate of authenticity.

As Weezer would sing, with the Lemtosh “I can look like Buddy Holly…” Image © SelectSpecs.com

What other shapes stay with the in crowd even as collections fade out from one fashion season to another? Find out: http://eyeglasses.about.com/od/HotEyewear/tp/How-To-Always-Stay-In-Style-With-Evergreen-Eyeglass-Shapes.htm

Metallica

Lookmatic, one of our top three favorite online opticians, takes flight with its new collection – also its very first foray into metal.

Fasten your seatbelts!

Utilizing innovative flexible materials, showcasing unique colors and flaunting solid construction, it’s no wonder these aviator designs really take off – the style sky’s the limit! Just a flight of fancy? We think not – these are so good-looking, they’re here to stay, the same way we don’t change the channel when Top Gun comes on. Speaking of which, here’s how we’d frame up those jet-setters: