My latest article for Cool Hunting.
Italian eyewear brand OXYDO has joined forces with French artist Clémence Seillesfor a super-daring and brightly colored collection of sunglasses. The OXYDO Lab SS16 collection features six styles—simple in shapes but extreme in colors and materials.
“OXYDO was looking to collaborate with a sculpture artist exploring materials… Indeed one aspect of my work is imbued with material research and their process of fabrication,” she tells us. Seilles was so excited about the eyewear brand approaching her that she jumped in her car and drove from Bolzano to Padova right away. She says, “I was really inspired and excited about the brief. I have been interested in designing glasses for some time, producing in the past years small crafted series as wearable sculptures. So from customizing OXYDO lines, we went to develop my own drawings, with Marco [Nicolé, the brand’s in-house designer] who did an amazing job supporting translating the drawings into production.”
With nods to the likes of Ettore Sottsass and Superstudio, the OXYDO Lab collection strongly references architecture. “The radical Italian architects of the ’70s are totally part of my education. Their understanding of design as a creation of situation is a guide for myself,” says Seilles. “Their statement is pretty essential—drawing from primordial simple forms and shifting from convention to surprise with a certain sense of humor.”
“Patterns we find in nature—but developed artificially by industry—were in my head for this OXYDO collection,” Seilles continues, “Imitation of nature with a shift—faking it with an acid eye is also a drive in general in my work. I think we found a good match of acetate patterns and arrangements.”
Also noteworthy is the interesting use of materials and textures. “Materials and surfaces are what you come to play with to translate a poetry in tangible forms. I mix material sources regardless of their origin: printed plastic foils, wood agglomerate, synthetic concrete, re-melted polyethylene, polyurethane resins, foams, marble powder, mixed resins, liquid wood.” It’s the intersection of all these beliefs—regarding inspiration, color, lines, materials and textures—that it’s clear Seilles is both an artist and an industrial designer.
“Glasses are a perfect product for sculptural purposes. The mask—for the sculptor and performance artist that I am—is an unavoidable component. The invitation from OXYDO to collaborate on two industrial collections, was an amazing opportunity for me to confront sculptural composition on a fashion accessory,” Seilles concludes. “In my mind, accessories are to be seen, and glasses are wearable sculptures.”