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Monday / May 20.
HomemifashionMust-Have Optical: Fair Styles

Must-Have Optical: Fair Styles

While there was a frame to suit every face at our premier optical fair this year, the new season’s ranges presented at ODMA were dominated by rectangular and retro styles, bright colours and patterns, all with a modern twist. Among the hundreds and hundreds of brands on show we PICKED our own “best of the fair”.

Now, before we get started… no, we didn’t have strict criteria on how we picked this or that frame for our top ‘must-have’ optical styles from the fair.

However, what we did have was an ‘intent’ to visit all of the optical frame exhibitors – and we believe that we’re one of few visitors to ODMA who achieved that… No, you can’t complain to the ODMA board about our list. There will be no correspondence entered into. This is our list of favourite styles and doesn’t have anything to do with the official awards.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s on with the show (sorry, fair)…

Natural flowers and leaves, feathers and animal prints used to provide beautiful flourishes to temples…

One thing frequently mentioned at this year’s fair was that, on the back of the US debt crisis, market meltdown and general economic unrest, consumers are turning away from cheap and cheery bargain basement frames. Instead they’re choosing long-lasting, high-quality frames with more conservative styling.

It is clear that fashion designers and style icons have embraced eyewear in a big way – we’ve seen stars, sporting spectacles, take centre stage on many a red carpet this year. Specs, it seems, have become the ‘must have’ accessory – even for those who don’t require them!

The options are endless. While sunglasses have always been a significant fashion accessory, consumers are now realising their prescription eyewear offers just as much opportunity to express their personal style.

With so many designers using ODMA to showcase their new ranges, several distinct trends were evident as we explored the offerings of more than 120 exhibitors, to bring you some of the best optical frames on show.

Natural Delights

One of the stand-out styles on show was where we saw high-end fashion colliding head-on with consumer demand for a return to ‘natural’ products. This produced a wonderful fusion of raffia, wicker, leather and wood that gracefully accentuated acetate and metal frames, resulting in stunning and unique looks.

Natural flowers and leaves, feathers and animal prints were used to provide beautiful flourishes to temples.

Bright and Bold

Green is a favourite colour for next season- everything from refreshing shades of evergreen, to luscious avocadoand metallic gunmetal colours that border on grey. Elsewhere, eye-popping colours in unexpected combinations add a refreshing surprise element.

Cat Eyes

The resurgence of cat eye glasses is rooted firmly in the Mad Men-inspired revival of the 50s and early 60s fashion that so dominated the catwalks last year, and still continues to inspire for next season’s looks.

This year’s take on cat eye glasses presents the classic style but with wider and softer shaping – think ‘sexy librarian’ rather than ‘Dame Edna’.

Working the Angles

Rectangular frames – particularly for men – are ‘right on trend’ at the moment. For the most part, while women are experimenting with daring patterns and colours, male customers are likely to be opting for neutrals, tortoise, shades of black and brown… maybe with a subtlepattern. Wood options provide a fresh twist on the neutral theme.

Intricate Temples

Ultra fine details are evident in many of this season’s optical frames – particularly those aimed at women aged 35-plus seeking a touch of classic elegance. The artisan’s touch is evident in etched temples and intricate patterns, many feature luxurious elements of Swarovski Crystal.