What are the key eyewear trends we will be seeing for SS11/12?
There's too many to mention. My favourites though include the D&G Vichy Check 'garden party' styles, Burberry’s amazing folding wayfarers and the perfect January Jones/ Versace collaboration.
What are the influences on these trends? Will we see some synergy between trends in fashion and eyewear?
Yes, we are now seeing eyewear as an extension of fashion ranges, especially with luxury brands. The likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Burberry are all presenting collections in a holistic way.
We are seeing a lot of colour/patterns in this season’s eyewear, which makes a change from the traditional black frames. What are some of the top colours/patterns we’ll be seeing?
D&G have Vichy check styles from their garden party collection. This is a cute and playful execution and is certainly a departure from traditional black and tortoiseshell. Floral prints are also big this year spanning several brands.
D&G Vichy Check
For those who like to wear colour but find it a little daunting in their eyewear, the trend towards graduated frames will help. As the colour gets lighter towards the bottom of the frame, the sunglasses blend into the face more giving a softer execution than a solid colour might.
If it's a more androgynous look you're after blue mirror lenses are forecast to be hot for 2012, but it's a tricky look to execute, you definitely have to own it!
Are there any styles/shapes which stand out for this summer?
Prada led the way this year from a fashion edge perspective with its Swing 2.0 and Minimal Baroque. These are two pieces that have led innovation in both sun and optical and have been seen on fashionistas and celebs everywhere this season.
The key shape this year though is clearly cats-eye. The shape has been talked about for a couple of seasons now without really gaining mainstream adoption, but this year that's set to change. All brands are offering a selection of cat-eye sunglasses in various shapes and executions with the aim to appeal to the whole spectrum of sunglass customers. We expect it to become the new 'oversize' in terms of popularity.
Are there any innovations we’ll be seeing in prescription eyewear?
Always! Chanel will be releasing their tweed story in both sun and optical in 2012. They have been able to serigraph print the exact pattern from the classic Chanel tweed onto the frames.
For me, as someone who works in sunglasses, the most exciting innovation is also the most boring on paper. Advancement in DST (digital surface technology) will allow us to make virtually any shape of sunglasses prescriptable. Many people have been limited in the past with their choice of sun options due to prescription requirements. With this restriction becoming less and less of an issue things are about to get much more fun and fashionable!