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.

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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.