Brand Spotlight | Tiffany Frames
Perhaps the world’s most loved and recognisable jeweller, Tiffany & Co. launched its own brand of frames, exclusively designed for women, and its one of our most popular ranges.
In the 1830s Charles Lewis Tiffany and John Young had a dream of opening a jewellery store that everyone knew and admired. From small beginnings as a ‘stationery and fancy goods store’ the company became popular with fashionable ladies and first won international recognition at the 1867 Paris World Fair. Tiffany’s introduced the engagement ring as we know it in 1878 and in the same year produced the first catalogue, with a cover in the iconic Tiffany Blue. The brand we all know today has over 200 stores worldwide, known still for its exquisite jewellery and dazzling accessories. Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Lady Gaga are just some of the celebrities who are often seen wearing Tiffany jewellery.
“As a luxury fashion accessory, eyewear seems like a natural addition for us” said Michael J. Kowalski, the Chairman and CEO of Tiffany’s, upon the launch of their optical collection: As you may expect from a jeweller, many of the styles are adorned with gemstone embellishments. As you would certainly expect from Tiffany, their signature blue also features heavily!
The frames are romantic and glamorous – dainty charm symbols such as the lock, key and heart appear frequently and the materials used to decorate the frames include gold, silver, diamonds and other precious gems. There are styles with delicate knotworks in silver running along the arms, little clusters of gems which catch the light, or chunkier styles with a tiny Tiffany & Co. plaque! The frames themselves are mainly made from acetate, which is strong, flexible and hypoallergenic.
With a legacy spanning over 160 years, Tiffany glasses are timeless but never old-fashioned. The bold colours and thoughtful details mark these frames out as something quite special and there’s lots of unusual shapes and colours you won’t find anywhere else – from cats’ eyes to rectangular; from an elegant smoky grey to a feminine and flattering blush pink.
Pop in and browse this most luxurious of collections. We feel sure you’ll be as impressed as we are with the detailing, and of course, any of them can be fitted with exactly the right lens for your needs. We look forward to seeing you.
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A Brief History of Spectacles
Glasses are so ubiquitous these days we don’t often stop to think about how they came about – who, we may wonder, first had the notion that looking through a shaped glass lens could help so many of us to see better?!
Well, while the name of the inventor of spectacles has been lost to history, we do know the Romans experimented with using glass and precious stones to improve their vision. Pliny tells us that “Nero viewed the combats of the gladiators in a smaragdus” or emerald, perhaps used to aid his near-sightedness. We also know that there was a long history of the use of convex lenses in the ancient world. The British Museum contains the Nimrud Lens found in modern day Iraq and dating from 750 BC!
Most scholars agree that the earliest prototype of what we would recognise as spectacles emerged in the 13th century in Italy, when lenses were set in wood or leather frames and held in front of the face, particularly used by monks working on detailed manuscripts. These early types of glasses were soon to become a symbol of learning and wealth and spread throughout Europe. With the invention of the printing press in 1450, books became widely available and with them, of course, the need for reading glasses!
Florence was the epicentre of the spectacle making world for some time but it was the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers formed in Britain in 1629 that first started actively marketing glasses as a reading aid for the common man under the slogan, “A blessing to the aged”!
At this time Spanish manufacturers tried to come up with a way of keeping these wobbly frames that balanced on the nose on the wearer’s face by attaching silk ribbons which would hook around the ears. The Chinese added little weights to counterbalance and stop them falling off, and finally in 1730 Edward Scarlett added two stiff rods to the frames which sat on top of the ears. The hinge was added by James Ayscough some twenty-two years later and voila, our modern foldable spectacles (or scissor spectacles as they were known in the 18th century) were born.
You may have heard that bifocals were invented by Benjamin Franklin, but much like the story of the kite and lightning this may be a myth! He did write to a friend that he was “happy in the invention of double spectacles, which serving for distant objects as well as near ones, make my eyes as useful to me as ever they were,” but he didn’t take credit for it!
By the 20th century the advances in lens manufacture and the range of materials available for frames meant that spectacles became as much a fashion accessory as they were a necessity for many – film stars and pop icons like Marilyn Monroe and Buddy Holly helped to boost the popularity of wearing spectacles for glamour or to create a unique look.
Today, happily, we have a wonderful choice of stylish, easy to wear, effective and affordable spectacles at our fingertips – and nowhere more so than at Patrick & Menzies!
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Get Some Colour in Your Life! Introducing Mattisse
Until fairly recently, spectacle wearers had a fairly limited choice – perhaps silver, gold or bronze coloured frames, in a limited number of styles. In the last twenty years or so plastic frames have given us a few more options – if we’re lucky we might have some red, purple or brown choices. Now, Patrick & Menzies can give you a veritable colour spectrum to choose from! We are proud to announce that we are officially stocking the gorgeous range of frames from Mattisse Eyewear!
Mattisse produce fashion-forward eyewear that gives the wearer the opportunity to express their individual personal style. Their designers travel the world and are inspired by nature (especially butterflies!), geometric design and abstract impressionist artists like Matisse to produce vibrant, pack-a-punch eyewear in a glorious range of stunning colourways, patterns and shapes.
These are no ordinary glasses – hand-painted in Italy, the frames are then put through a state-of-the-art laminate process, which means they are optics-ready and made to last. Peeling and discoloration won’t ever be an issue: And that’s a very good thing, because we are sure you’re going to want to wear them every day!
Indeed, we wouldn’t be surprised if you find choosing just one pair impossible – take a look through the product catalogue and you’ll see the collection offers outstanding colours with contemporary styling, all at an exceptional price-point that gives true value for money.
Mattisse Eyewear is suitable for every age group and they truly have something for everyone; styles that will appeal to men, women and children. There are frames in hand-painted tortoiseshell, delicate butterfly patterns in cyan and turquoise, Mondrian style geometric patterns in primary colours, unusual and stylish frames with leather temples, pastel rainbow stripes and more muted and sombre styles that still stand out from the crowd.
Patrick & Menzies is delighted to be one of very few distributors of this very special range of frames in the UK. Factor in our personalised service and impeccable eye-health credentials and you’ve found a winning combination.
If you enjoy fashion and find currently available eyewear choices uninspiring, then Mattisse Eyewear will be your new favourite brand. If you value customer care that’s second to none and a level of service that’s incomparable, then Patrick & Menzies will be your go-to opticians. Pop into any of our three branches and have a chat with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. They can show you our wide range of frames and help you get some colour into your life!
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