Seeing the style of Silhouette
I have been wearing spectacles for about 13 years. Having a large, wide, head and a square face, I find that many pairs of glasses look just too small for me. Although back in my Drapers days I became known for my heavy-framed glasses, I was intending to buy a pair of rimless spectacles when I first went to select a pair. My current spex are my fifth pair, but I have been beginning to hanker after a new look. With all that background, I was very pleased to accept the invitation of Austrian luxury eyewear firm Silhouette to join its new Litestyle community as an ambassador. I am flattered that the company regards me as ” a tastemaker”,
The first agreeable task of this role was for me to meet with the charming Angelica Pagnelli, who is one of Silhouette’s top style consultants. We met at the company’s UK head office in west London, where Angelica, who works usually in Milan, conducted a fascinating session to find me some new bins.
I arrived in my Brooks Brothers checked jacket, Falke pink cashmere sweaters, Hilditch & Key shirt, vintage cravat, tweed trousers and suede desert boots, just to give Anjelica an idea of my personal style. As you might expect, she is an observant woman; she wondered why I wasn’t wearing a pochette with an outfit like that. (I’d forgotten to stick one in my breast pocket, that’s why!)
It is slightly disconcerting to be stared at, but Angelica was assessing the dimensions of my head and face. She expertly analysed my skin tone, which was at its greyest winter pallor as it was a freezing cold day. She diplomatically declared that my skin was at the “blue” end of the spectrum.
She held swatches of cloth under my face to decide which tones suited me best. By coincidence, I detest this shade of blue! Worryingly for a man with a favourite orange cashmere sweater, she insisted that orange is not a good colour for me – at least not with my blue-grey winter complexion.She quizzed me on when I wear the spex (virtually all the time is the answer as my eyesight is getting worse and they have varifocal lenses). Once the preliminary discussions were over, we got down to the business of trying on some of Silhouette’s high-tech Litestyle frames, which are incredibly light and are very impressive examples of precision engineering. There is a massive range of lens shapes, sizes, component colours, trim colours etc, so there is a huge number of variables to mix and match.
Although they are a long way from what I usually go for, I found myself liking the rimless styles very much,
but then again the more pronounced frames took my fancy too. Although the horn ones here are too small for my big head, Angelica confidently said that this rounded style, in the correct proportions, would suit me well, offering a balance to my square features. She even persuaded me that a subtle colour could work with my “blue” skin; some of the frames have a fascinating translucent quality.
We finished off the session with a run-through some of the company’s very desirable sunglasses. It is interesting to note how totally different similar lenses look with heavier arms.
Throughout the 40-minute session (which was slightly shorter than it might have been due to my late arrival), Angelica was busy making notes and then she took a series of precise measurements of my head, face and position of my eyes to have the spectacles built precisely to fit me. All in all, this was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. I almost certainly would not have booked a “style consultation” without Silhouette’s invitation. It was a delight to meet and talk with Signorina Pagnelli. The results will be revealed when the spectacles arrive from Austria.
(Thanks to my 15-year-old daughter Genevieve for taking all the photographs).
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