When opposites collide, some pretty spectacular things can happen. RIGARDS applies a fascination with the complexities of duality to create a new season edit that still hews closely to the brand’s touchstones – natural materials and innovative craftsmanship. The frames are never exactly as they seem (of course not, this is RIGARDS after all), integrating a surprising array of elements: unconventional flex hinges, hollow-back construction, cleverly placed cut-outs, new yet distressed textures, and perhaps most distinctively, contrasting colors. By embracing the contradictions of rules, the collection has carved for itself an intriguing space between riotous and refined.
There is also a running subtext of essentialism that shows RIGARDS’s proclivity for a more streamlined élan, a direction excellently exemplified by this season’s standout look, RG2002TVA.
Created in tandem with Japanese artisanal brand The Viridi-anne, RG2002TVA comprises of a main frame crafted of angled steel bars. Bound together by tension and equilibrium, the bars curve sinuously along an infinity path and converge into a slender sideways figure 8, pulling off a signature play on the two eternal symbols of balance and propitiousness. Despite its lithe spider-like grace, the frame asserts itself with a sculptural fullness brought forth by the nuances of shadows created in the convex/concave undulations.
The clean aesthetic hides robust details: upwardly extending bars (inspired by insect mandibles) that function as stealthy nose pads and creates the illusion of the frame seemingly floating on the wearer’s face; a unique spring-hinged lens cage (a trademark mechanism); and slightly recessed rims that enhance the perception of depth and three-dimensionality. Each pair is oxidized by hand, yielding subtle individual characteristics as the steel takes the patina finish differently from frame to frame.
The frame comes also with a detachable clip-on sun-lens (crafted using flexible beta-titanium), the perfect addition for the brightest days.
The sum of the two parts adds up to a silhouette that calls to mind the simplified representation of human eyes – as is often depicted in Cubist portraits – paying a small homage to modern abstract masters who saw the virtue in less-is-more.
Accompanying accessory: a link eyewear chain, crafted from hand-weathered copper, lets you suspend your sun-clip in the manner of a necklace, ensuring impeccable style and ease of use and preventing misplacement.