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Tuesday / May 21.
HomemifashionMIDO 2012: Retro in Kaleidoscopic Colour

MIDO 2012: Retro in Kaleidoscopic Colour

At Mido in Milan during March retro remained the rage – with refreshing bursts of colour. At Mido, over 1,000 suppliers gathered in six massive pavilions to exhibit their wares. Here’s a look at some of the best brands on show…

Organisers of Mido – considered one of the world’s most important eyewear fairs – proclaimed this year’s show to be a huge success with visitor numbers equivalent to 2011 at 42,000 from 40 countries.

Although some visitors felt areas of the fair were a bit “on the quiet side”, by all accounts the trends area was its usual thriving hive of activity. As you’d expect, ic! berlin set the pace, both in terms of its exhibits and its exhibition space with a fabulous 50s styled caravan, laminate tables and a selection of freshly made toasties wrapped in paper to lure visitors to the stand. Orgreen was up there too with generous servings of mojitos day and night. It was party, party, party… oh, with a little bit of business on the side.

Shapes Bigger, Colours Brighter

Jacque Katsieris from the Australian distributor ProOptics, was there and she said the new designs coming through are 70s inspired with big round shapes.

It’s still vintage but now there’s a whole lot more colour

“Everything is going bigger, deeper and rounder – it’s still vintage but now there’s a whole lot more colour whereas last year it was all about earthy tones… so orange, yellow, purple and bright iridescent colours – anything goes. In Europe they’re all wearing eyewear in these colours on the street which is really exciting,” she said.

lan Rasmussen, the creative director of ProDesign in Denmark, described the fashion scene as going through a very diversified moment.

“It’s difficult to define a global trend. But over the past five years some have had a big influence: one of them is the wave of retro. This trend will influence next season, but not in the same way as before. Another important factor will be the influence of sports apparel in terms of materials, shapes and colors. The minimalist trend was very popular for a couple of seasons and we will see it again in the spring/summer 2012 season, but with a more marked play of colors.”

Shapes and colours have varied considerably across Europe according to Mr. Rasmussen, who said, “in Scandinavia they have been VERY big, both wide and very deep. In spring/summer 2012 they will still be deep, but will move towards narrower shapes. In the UK the shapes used to be VERY small, but they will become deeper – thus the two trends will meet!”

Ms. Katsieris said ProDesign’s 3D and milled acetate frames were a stand out, as were the company’s new flat metal eyewear. ic! berlin’s venture into acetates was a highlight, as was Beausoleil’s beautiful classical, collection and the pure design oriented models crafted by Orgreen. “Orgreen’s latest style – Lana – with its rounded shape was superb with amazing colour combinations on the face of matt gold on top and white on the base of the rim or black on top and pale pink along the base,” said Ms. Katsieris.

Coco Song was another standout to launch its new collection at Mido – 12 new eyewear models designed for women – although a third of them could be classified as unisex.

The collection features larger, softer shapes, light colors and classic tones sometimes interrupted by more vivid colours. The much loved influence of the east remains with the inclusion of silk, feathers and dried leaves although compared to the past these details are more discreet. And, for the first time, Coco Song used ostrich feathers for new fantasy designs and semi-precious stones such as jade, coral and turquoise. Divine.

New Technologies

Among the collections was a noticeable shift in manufacturing trends from acetate towards TR90, or ‘Ultim’ as the product is called. This very light and flexible material provides the flexibility to achieve greater colour ranges and finishes. However, Ms. Katsieris cautioned, TR90, requires a cold lens fit which means lens fitters will need to prepare and even upskill.

Ms. Katsieris said some collections featured colourful, textured combinations of metal and acetate and there were many others that have made use of the strength and lightweight of carbon fibre.

Otherwise, Ms. Katsieris said, innovations were few and far between.

“There weren’t many signs of companies spending money on research and development – so while there were a few stand outs at the show, in general, it was really just more of the same.

“The industry – particularly in Europe – is suffering as a result of the sluggish economy – people are still very worried. What we need is for confidence to be reinstated and then we can look forward to seeing some serious investment into new ideas and new technology.”

Mr. Rasmussen agrees that the time has come for something new. “It will be interesting to see what that is. (At ProDesign) we are focusing on functionality and accessible luxury in models with marked edges: retro revisited with new shapes.”