Glasses with fine-jewellery flamboyance

Francis de Lara’s glittering gem-set eyewear fuses fashion pizzazz with perfect bespoke fit

Francis de Lara Three Serpents glasses, price on request
Francis de Lara Three Serpents glasses, price on request

“These glasses are fun,” says London-based fashion photographer John-Paul Pietrus of his dazzling range of Francis de Lara bespoke eyewear. With more than 20 years in the industry, working with models such as Erin O’Connor, Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigová, Pietrus has fused his fashion experience with his love of fine jewellery to create bejewelled glasses (from £15,000) that are handmade in Florence in an array of precious stones and materials. Each pair takes at least 250 hours to make, with new-world wizardry – photogrammetry and facial-mapping technology are used to produce a 3D-printed bust of the client’s face – ensuring a bespoke fit.

The white-gold-plated silver snakes of the Three Serpents glasses have gem-set eyes and pavé-sapphire scales
The white-gold-plated silver snakes of the Three Serpents glasses have gem-set eyes and pavé-sapphire scales
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The process of designing the Three Serpents glasses involved studying the movement of snakes
The process of designing the Three Serpents glasses involved studying the movement of snakes

“I wanted to measure the client without any physical contact, as opposed to traditional casting methods,” Pietrus says of his process, which enables him to work around the client’s schedule. “We meet and I take between 70 and 100 photos of the client’s face. This can be done in pretty much any environment. It’s like a couture fitting, but without the client having constantly to be there.” The resulting 3D-printed bust is then used to create the frames.

Francis de Lara Ruby Teardrop glasses, price on request
Francis de Lara Ruby Teardrop glasses, price on request
The Ruby Teardrop glasses have an undulating triangular shape with a texture like grosgrain ribbon and a pear-shaped Mozambique ruby set onto one side
The Ruby Teardrop glasses have an undulating triangular shape with a texture like grosgrain ribbon and a pear-shaped Mozambique ruby set onto one side
Each pair of glasses takes at least 250 hours to make
Each pair of glasses takes at least 250 hours to make

Next comes a heavy dose of Renaissance-style flamboyance, with clients choosing one of Pietrus’s bold designs as a starting point. His Ruby Teardrop glasses, for example, pair an undulating triangular shape with a texture like grosgrain ribbon and a pear-shaped Mozambique ruby set onto one side, while Three Serpents combines ebony wood with white-gold-plated silver snakes complete with gem-set eyes and pavé-sapphire scales. Another design, Eve, is coolly asymmetric and based around the theme of forbidden fruit, featuring a gold-leaf-trimmed tourmaline apple. Myriad combinations of gems and materials are possible and all will be ethically sourced. Delivery takes about four months.

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