Clayton Franklin’s superb range of eyewear combines the best of everything in its every aspect – Japanese precision engineering and British design that echoes the restrained style of the first few decades of the 20th century. We think these spectacles, manufactured by the revered Hiero House in Sabae, are among the coolest around.
But we would say that, wouldn’t we? So let’s hear from Professor Christophe Pupille, fashion historian, style commentator and Prédicteur de la Mode at the world-renowned Lycée de Prêt Énsion in Paris.
“Imagine a crossroads,” he told Glasseswebb. “There are four roads. Along one road is travelling aesthetic brilliance, and on the next is a finger on the pulse of modernity, and on the next is precision engineering so precise that it cannot be measured and on the fourth is that elusive je ne sais quoi. And they are all travelling towards this crossroads at high speed and they arrive at the same time and BOUM! there is a big explosion, or explosion grande, as we say in Paris, and these four are mashed together and the result is ... Clayton Franklin eyewear.
“When one puts a pair of Clayton Franklin spectacles on one’s face, on one’s nose, it is a feeling that you have become a complete person, or personne à part entière, as we say in Paris. It is a common cause of distress in the world of fashion that people have the right clothes, the right shoes, the right haircut, but the nagging feeling that something is missing. And the nagging feeling nags away and the nagging only stops when the fashionista completes his or her look with a pair of Clayton Franklin spectacles, or lunettes, as we say in Paris.
“It is Autumn and the boulevards of Paris are carpeted with golden leaves. I am wearing a beautiful checked shirt from Marks et Spéncer, a vintage Harris tweed jacket and burgundy corduroys. I look like a picture, but no-one on the boulevards notices me. Maybe just a quick glance, but unseeing. They walk past, parlez-ing into their iPhones, oblivious of my existence. Then I pull a pair of Clayton Franklin spectacles from my pocket. I put them on my face. Suddenly the glances turn into long, lingering stares. Men and women alike smile in admiration. They cannot take their eyes from me as I stroll along the boulevards, now the complete picture of sophisticated dressing. They want to look at me. They want to be me. They want me.”
Well, you can’t argue with an authority like that, can you? It is the combination, as the professor says, of design and manufacture of the highest quality that makes Clayton Franklin’s eyewear so desirable. But there is more to them than good looks and a superbly comfortable fit. The designs summon up a time when the world had better manners, more understanding, more respect. It is the world of Bertie Wooster, the Golden Age of the Orient Express and tweed. Classic styling is timeless. Or as Professor Pupille would say: classe est intemporelle.