Much to do about Missoni

Designer eyewear is usually the first introduction we have to a namesake fashion brand. How connected an optical collection is to the identity or heritage of the label varies. From deeply connected to completely void of brand characteristics, creating styles that are disconnected, showing nothing more than the brand name emblazoned across the temple to identify the brand it represents.

As a purveyor and optical curator of independent eyewear, my standards for designer frames are high. I expect the same quality craftsmanship, unique details and silhouettes, as well as a strong marriage to the brand that can be seen, sans name on the frame, even if it is naturally there.

With these stringent standards in mind I cannot contain my excitement for a new fashion house collection of ophthalmic frames and sunglasses that is as best a representation of the name it carries as any I have some across.

So let me share with you this FIRST LOOK at the new Missoni collection by Safilo.

To best appreciate how well executed and artistically created this optical collection is, let me start by introducing you to the house of Missoni.

Missoni is an Italian luxury fashion house based in Varese, and known for its colorful knitwear designs. The signature Zig Zag motif, is an angular geometric design signature of the label. The abstract visual gives way only to the unabashfull use of color to create the overall textile. 

Missoni MIS 0015/S in color LKS08

What instantly sets these sunglasses apart is the lenses. As an Optician I have a deep appreciation for the important role lenses play in the overall style story of any eyewear, and I have no doubt after seeing these, you will too. Rx lens wearers are going to need to wear contact lenses, because changing the lenses in these sunglasses might just be a sin.

The actual lenses have engraved geometric, linear lines. Creating a tiny dimensional prism shape, that emerges from the lens surface, a connection to the Missoni Zig Zag pattern. The gradient tint of the lens has an ombre effect from dark at the top browline of the frame, to nearly clear along the lower part of the lens. If you look closely, along the sheer portion of the lens is a frosted Missoni signature that follows the curve of the lower frame. 

While you might think that the frame would be second to the focal point of the engraved lenses, that couldn’t be further from reality. No part of this frame has gone without an artistically designed detail to connect it to Missoni’s heritage. 

Let’s begin with the frame shape, at first glance an aviator, but without the sag, meaning the longest vertical depth is centered in the lens. A more flattering aviator shape, one that is easier to wear on different face shapes and sizes, and won’t create the illusion of pulling your face down.

The soft curve of the narrow bridge has adjustable nose pads, that have long prongs, and while that might not mean a lot, it will allow for great fitting that will prevent the sunglass from touching your cheeks. Of course any aviator would not be complete without a brow bar, in this case featuring T brackets, rather than a straight connection to the frame.

When we get to the profile take a closer look, I say this because full disclosure I wore this frame from a week before noticing that the rose gold frame was actually parallel tracks, encasing a cobalt blue enamel channel around each lens. The shiny rose gold temple has a kinked angle, another example of how the Missoni Zig Zag motif is showcased in different forms throughout the frame. Along the temple a sheer acetate meets the mental in the middle, almost like a stocking, exposing the rose gold temple beneath and revealing another embossed gold Missoni logo.

It seems only fitting to end this FIRST LOOK at a frame so beautifully and thoughtfully connected to the fashion house it represents with the last little detail on these sunglasses that says so much, with so little. Just the tip of the temple wrapped in the signature Missoni Zig Zag motif. A flourish of color that will catch your eye and peak your interest in what’s more to come from this collection.