by Barb on July 1, 2011
Earlier this week I attended Chanel’s Prestige eyewear collection preview at their offices on 57th street. Walking into the space on the twelfth floor, you immediately find yourself greeted with the clean aesthetic and luxurious atmosphere that is often associated with the brand. The Prestige collection is one that is released on an annual basis, as opposed to biannual – each collection concentrates on one particular signature of the brand, such as pearls, buttons, or the camellia. With Karl Lagerfeld having a more active contribution to the development of the collection, the chain – which often elicits thoughts of the famed chain handle – was the focus for AW11.
Intertwined with lambskin leather, this particular variation of the chain becomes the stay piece for the temples of the optical and solar frames. A variety of shapes are offered so as to fit into the many facets of the elegant and chic woman’s life; butterflies, cat’s-eyes, oversized film-star square shapes, and for the first time, aviators. Admittedly the aviator is not a shape that is often associated with the Prestige collection because of its more masculine quality; however, the design team has toned down the frames and given it a softer and more refined touch. Acetate models are treated to exclusive colours/patterns (e.g. the “wood grain” effect on one of the frames comes to mind), and shades of silver and pale gold are the predominant tones for the metallic frames.
Short films showcasing the process of the making of the sunglasses can be seen around the room on televisions. Most fascinating is the intricate handwork that is necessary for the temples -the weaving of lambskin amidst the chain is done by hand for each pair. Other promotional materials for this collection include Lagerfeld’s preliminary sketches and the ad campaign featuring German model Claudia Schiffer.
Apart from the libations served, guests were treated to Polaroid shots of themselves wearing their favourite Chanel sunglasses, as well as a goodie bag containing a pair of sunglasses from the upcoming Prestige collection.
Images courtesy of Chanel