For months, my friend has been telling me his unique handmade frames have been designed by Laura Imami. When she isn't travelling the globe launching her eyewear, she is based at Schuller’s (at 33 St John's Wood High St, and also at 44 Lambs Conduit Street in Holborn) looking after her adoring clients.
My friend offered to take me to Laura's recent London eyewear launch at Schuller's boutique optician in St Johns Wood. At the champagne fuelled launch, the pulsating throng including heavy metal musician fans of Laura's were uniformly sporting her iconoclastic designs. Chrissie Hyde is a huge fan, and I also know Tom Ford is an admirer of Imami’s original eyewear.
I loved the sophisticated designs of Laura’s hand-made frames displayed at the launch so much, I rushed home and promptly threw all my ancient and battered National Health frames in the bin.
The following day, I returned to see Laura at Schuller’s and invested in three pairs for Computer, Reading and Vision. She also organised the lenses for my new frames, enthusing that unlike my pre-historic NHS lenses, these would be anti-reflective glasses.
Each pair of Laura Imami’s frames are so irresistible that I found it impossible to choose from her countless designs. Luckily, I left it all to her. She instantly picked out the frames she judged the most suitable for the shape of my face, proving she’s definitely got an eye for Eye Wear.
According to Laura, all her frames are hand-made in a small, beautiful village in Northern Italy. The work is done by master craftsmen with centuries-old tradition of frame making. Using the renowned Mazzucchelli acetate and immaculate 1940s German hinges for durable, sleek and stylish frames, the manufacturing process is overseen by Laura until her designs come to life in their perfect shape.
‘I draw inspiration from everything around me – people, art, music, architecture, nature itself. I am a nocturnal creature and all my designs are born at night. Sometimes I’m accompanied by a specific soundtrack, while at other times I draw in complete silence. It all depends on the mood I’m in, but I’m always excited when I feel the inspiration coming. During that process my designs go through various transformations – they have their own organic flow, their own rhythm, until they come to life,’ she says.
I have never had the need to wear glasses out in public, but when Laura suggested I wear my Fabulous new tortoise shell specs for Vision in the street, everything appeared so much clearer. And not only that. Suddenly, I was visible! Who said that Men don’t Make Passes at Dames in Glasses?!