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HomemifashionSILMO 2010 Review

SILMO 2010 Review

As you know mivision presents cutting edge reports on trends that make a difference to your business. To this end we sought the perspective of a unique writer with experience as both a design consultant and optical industry professional to review the latest collections at this year’s Silmo.

With an expert eye on colour trends and design Kylie Liddell presents everything you need to know on fashion eyewear trends for the coming year.

The weather in Paris was less than perfect but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of over 33,000 visitors and almost 1,000 exhibitors at this year’s fair, held just 20 minutes from the centre of Paris, at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre.

Transport strikes on the opening day and weekend work on the rail line linking Paris to the venue posed a few difficulties for some but the conference organisers, as is their want, rose to the occasion and increased the shuttle bus service to minimise inconvenience.

A more positive global economic climate was apparent with large numbers of orders reportedly being placed

Silmo is renowned for showcasing new products, promoting innovation, creativity and technological progress across the entire optical industry – from frames and sunglasses to lenses, contact lenses, machines and equipment, accessories and visual impairment materials.

Once again the fair delivered on its reputation.

Silmo always raises the bar and, as I stepped into the first hall of this years show I couldn’t wait to, not only seek out the latest trends but talk to some of the designers about their new initiatives.

Silmo TV

For those on the floor of the trade show, Silmo TV, a dedicated trade show television channel, broadcast a series of animated debates throughout the conference which focused on the operational side of an optometry practice. Topics included the development of the optometrist’s role, managing a store, creating product offerings and new services.

The Village

As part of Silmo’s ongoing commitment to innovation, the Village bridges the gap between budding creators and manufacturers. Here, young designers (students and professionals) from all over the world, were given the opportunity to display their eyewear design talent.

Inspiration Forum

Silmo’s Décryptage (inspiration) area presented the most significant emerging trends beyond the optical sector and showcased a small, specialised selection of frames, sunglasses and lenses considered relevant in terms of style or materials to the themes of:


Frames within the opportunity theme were made from luxurious, ecological yet robust and aesthetic materials including wood, paper and metals. Colours were fresh, strong and spontaneous and there was an emphasis on creative high quality recycling.


Frames that fell within the theme of charm were designed around simplicity. Modest, fragile yet imposing, attention to detail was second to none.

Colours within the charm range were sensual and earthy. Tanned skin tones blended with pastel tints to create an air of nostalgia. Discrete jewels decorated frames with delicate, miniature patterning.


The odyssey theme was all about technology. Merging organic movements with mechanical structures, these specs featured rippling contours and fluid form. Cold, faded colours were brought to life with futuristic elegance. Frames within the odessey theme were manufactured from natural materials. Geometric patterns, decorations and perforations using organic shapes were all present.


The offbeat theme was, as you’d expect, well and truly off beat. In an exploration of creativity and innovation, frames featured bold, clashing colours, disconcerting textures, extravagant and unexpected shapes. Escapism, exhibitionism, neo-exoticism, inspired imitation, and strange fantasy… just the beginning!

Collection Trends

Many of the collections at this year’s show emphasise retro-inspired frames with rounder, softer shapes. Almond-shaped lenses create doe-like eyes, while frames comprised a subtle mix of coloured acetate and surgical steel. Textured natural and biodegradable materials, the wood-look and organic-boho-chic is definitely in.

Colours are evolving more slowly and colour trends appear to be lasting longer. There is no ‘new’ or ‘old’ as such, more a slow waxing and waning of favourites. Most evident is a dichotomy between those seeking cheerful optimistic bright colours and those wanting to play it safe with dark hues and neutrals. That said, even the most neutral frames include strong splashes of intense accent colours. Mainstays include black, charcoal, earthy neutral tones and tortoise shell. For the more adventurous male, apple green, ruby and tropical blue are hot this summer. For women, sunglasses remain big and bold but not quite as large as seen in previous seasons. Beautiful shades of orange, plum, crimson, aniseed green and turquoise combine with transparency and cut-outs for a little joie de vivre.

New Generation

Complemented by the new initiatives implemented at this year’s show, Silmo 2010 certainly lived up to its ‘new generation’ promise. A more positive global economic climate was apparent with large numbers of orders reportedly being placed and visitor numbers up by four per cent on last year. While the number of French professionals attending this year’s event was slightly down, this was made up by a significant increase in the number of international delegates.

As I bid au revoir to Paris, my mind was filled with an array of colours, striking designs and a desire to purchase some beautiful new sunglasses – after all, summer is just around the corner!

Next year’s Silmo is on from Thursday 29 September to Sunday 2 October 2011. For more information on Silmo 2011 go to www.silmo.fr

Kylie Liddell is a freelance design consultant who has worked as a professional in the optical industry for over five years. Kylie graduated from the esteemed International School of Colour and Design with a Certificate IV in Design (Highly Commended) and a Diploma in Colour Design.

Brands on Show at Silmo

Christian Lacroix

The new exquisitely elegant Christian Lacroix optical and sunglass collection was definitely a favourite with its distinct shapes, opulent materials and meticulous proportions incorporating precious metal intertwined with raw acetate, the subtle shimmering of crystals and the distinguished cross synonymous with the Lacroix brand.

Anne et Valentin

Boutique design team Anne et Valentin continues to impress with the merging of coloured acetates and pastel tinted metals in a variety of chic, sophisticated shapes to successfully deliver the unexpected. In addition, Anne et Valentin’s latest men’s range encompasses distinguished colours such as black and charcoal with an accent of bright colour at the temples for an individual, contemporary look. Inspiration for Anne et Valentin

designs is often gleaned from nature, with work commencing two years in advance of delivering a new range. Anne et Valentin is no slave to fashion, rather a stunning, easy to wear range of frames that inspires the imagination and captures the wearer’s individuality.

ic! berlin

Hip and happening company and former Silmo award winner, ic! berlin again made its presence felt at the conference with its urban-themed trade stand complete with picnic benches and food caravan that attracted visitors like bees to honey. This German brand is known for its offbeat nuances, sheet metal glasses and patented screw less hinge system. Their new KIX eyewear collection comprises six limited edition, prescription glasses and sunglasses that are modern edgy and so lightweight you forget they’re on your face.

Kirk Originals

Known for its dare-to-be-different credo, Kirk Originals showcased its Kinetic Range. Inspired by technology and movement, the collection features thick angular frames with four lenticular panel designs that bring animation and depth to the sides of each model on classic backdrops of white, aubergine, black and tortoise. This range is also available in the sunglass version, the Kinetic Solaire Collection. Kirk Originals’ Saturn collection is a range of seven beautifully bright acetate frames featuring an outer surface of coloured crystals and an interior of shiny glitter – these glasses are big on personality!

Andy Wolf Eyewear

Another out-of-the-box company and relative newcomer to the optical industry is Andy Wolf Eyewear. Handmade in Austria, Andy Wolf prides itself on style and quality with a distinct vintage look and contemporary feel. With the launch of the first Andy Wolf female collection, Homage to Bettie, the emphasis is on timeless elegance inspired by the 1950s, in particular Bettie Page, a popular pin-up girl of the time. According to Katharina Plattner, owner and manager of Andy Wolf, Bettie’s guiding principle ‘burlesque instead of cheap striptease’ turned her into an icon and her sensuousness and timeless chic has been the inspiration behind the five models in the new collection. A little left of the middle, the Andy Wolf trade stand was in fact a kitchen complete with trays of cupcakes and posters of tattoo models promoting the new Bettie Collection.

Yves Cogan

In keeping with the trend for high tech details and modern designs, Yves Cogan’s latest Power Collection explores the balance of metal architecture with inspiration taken from automobile and jewellery design and incorporating carbon fibre.


Classic style is timeless and the latest sunglass collection from Danish eyewear company Lindberg is proof. Having supplied eyewear to The Royal Danish Court on several occasions since 1975, Lindberg is renowned for high quality refined rimless designs and titanium craftsmanship which epitomise the basic values of comfort, function and design. New models feature combinations of natural colours, surface finishes and a new range of lens shapes. These include a small selection of larger shapes in which the edges have a subtle sense of movement, stemming from the contrasting use of colour reminiscent of the 1980s.

Etnia Barcelona

Etnia Barcelona deserves a special mention for its eye-catching trade stand which was in the guise of a library and attracted many a photographer. Surrounded by towers of books, the Etnia stand exuded a colourful upbeat vibe and attracted both curious onlookers and serious buyers across all four days.


Rolf Spectacles’ stand out product was this year’s Silmo d’Or award-winning Giulia frame. Surprisingly lightweight, this wooden frame is dominated by black and red-brown stripes which give it a natural authenticity as do its buffalo horn temple tips. Rolf’s primary market is the Nordic region where larger, deeper frames work well with broader faces.


Similarly, the inspiration for Boucheron’s Silmo d’Or award winning Arabesque frame in the Sunglass Category was found in nature. Featuring laminated brown tanganika wood, subtle precious stones and metal patterning on the temple arms, the Arabesque successfully embodies the trend towards robust materials, nostalgic sophistication and subtle decoration.