An experienced artisan preps a plexi frame for Ã‰te Lunettes.
Manufacturers take lamination techniques to new creative heights with fabric, feathers and flowers.
At its core, the process of lamination involves bonding two types of acetate to create two or more layers of color and patterns. Today, eyewear designers have added greater complexity to this technique; they use multiple materials-and sometimes more than one frame-to create a textural result for out-of-the ordinary looks. Specialty laminates boost the posh factor in your dispensary and give you the ability to tell a great story about the product which, in turn, can usher in more high-end sales.
Embracing an involved, multi-step process for his collections, Blake Kuwahara uses two separately milled inner and outer frames. “There is a great deal of handwork that goes into each frame. Because of the complexity, it takes two months to complete to ensure that there are no bubbles or seams,” Kuwahara said. Then the process requires another extensive milling process to ensure the front and the temples are properly sculpted, creating a beautifully nuanced look and feel. A perfectly mitered 45° angle to the endpieces is created to hide the break in the endpiece in the corner of the frame where the two pieces are joined. New for fall, the Kahn features an inner rounded acetate frame and outer frame with an angular profile. Another, the Ponti, layers a softer inner cat-eye shape with a more extreme, angular outer frame.
FEATHER AND FLOWERS
The juxtaposition of a soft material floating between hard acetate defines the luxurious look behind the Ã‰té Lunettes collection by Eastern States. “Feathers, which are first cleaned, treated, and dyed, are inserted one by one by hand in between two crystal acetate sheets. These are fused together and then created into the appropriate shape for each frame. This takes time, precision, and skill far beyond that of a typical acetate style,” explains Jason Shyer managing editor. Each laminated sheet is then transformed into an exclusive design. Aston’s purple feathers are visible and combine beautifully with the light blue crystalized acetate base, Bosc has a black-purple coloration to match the purple-green feather combination of the temples, and Murles’ feathers are colored in black with a gray peacock effect applied.
The feminine Secret Garden collection released by OKIA Eyewear was inspired by the beauty of flowers and the enchanting meaning hidden behind them. Using a patented HDA technology and incorporating 3D blocks of high-definition colors and sparkling solid materials, floral decorations are laminated inside the acetate.
CUTTING, GLUING, LAYERING
Ogi Eyewear’s releases from its Evolution and Heritage collections incorporate layering and laminating techniques, which are both aesthetically appealing and affordable, according to Wynn Pratt, marketing spokesperson. Hand-picked acetates are also combined with high-grade stainless steel cut from a single block such as used in the 9222 style. This style layers acetates with decorative metal trim. Style 9223 uses a cutting and gluing technique-all done by hand-to create a contrasting effect.
MIX A LOT
The newest offerings of the FYSH UK collection by WestGroupe includes mixing of materials, finishes and patterns. “Lamination allows us to develop acetate designs that are truly unique to our collections,” said Beverly Suliteanu, VP of product development. “We combine acetate patterns and colors in new and interesting ways that give the ECP an opportunity to build an exciting offering for their customers.” Style F-3565 incorporates metal fibers that are sandwiched between two crystal layers, allowing the filament to appear suspended. The crystal rose gold gives off a shimmery fabric tulle effect, while the crystal black is more subtle with a metal mesh appearance.
Marchon NYC’s latest releases to the Uptown Collection, Yorkville and Inwood, are both modern, feminine styles that feature stainless steel metal fronts in metallic colors paired with custom laminated temples, a chevron pattern that is screen-printed on the core wire creating a pop of color that can be seen through a crystal acetate layer. The lamination process uses precise measurements to layer and maintain consistency throughout production.
Diane F. Drake, LDO, ABOM, FCLSA, is a licensed optician, writer, lecturer and consultant to optical professionals residing in Jackson, GA.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Blake Kuwahara 816.220.7533 • BlakeKuwahara.com • Info@ BlakeKuwahara.com // Eastern States Eyewear 800.645.3710 • ESEyewear.com • CustomerService @EasternStates.com // OGI Eyewear 888.560.1060 • OgiEyewear.com • CSR@OgiFrames.com // Marchon Eyewear 800.645.1300 • Marchon.com • CS@Marchon.com // OKIA Eyewear +852.2371.3889 • Okia.com • Info@Okia.com // WestGroupe 855.455.0042 • WestGroupe.com • Info@WestGroupe.com