RCA Students Exhibit Experimental Eyewear at London's Inaugural Optical Show

Accessories, Design and Textiles students from the Royal College of Art will exhibit work this weekend at 100% Optical – the first international optical show to be held at London’s Excel Centre.

The work of eight students – Anna Alexander, Parsha Gerayesh-Nejad, Olivia Hanson, Ji Lim, Melanie Lewiston, Sofie van Aelbroeck, Federica Tedeschi and Shivani Chavda – goes on show as the finalists of the 100% Eyewear Design Competition.

The competition, launched last October, attracted interest from students across the College with over 60 entries. The competition has also drawn high-profile industry support, convening experts including Kirk Originals founder Jason Kirk and Prada designer Jesse Stevens as part of the line-up for the judging panel. London manufacturer Algha produced the prototypes on display at the New Designers Gallery at the Excel Centre.

The eight finalists were selected from two categories – ‘high end luxury couture’ and ‘ready to wear’. Finalists demonstrated a ‘vibrant mix of innovative and commercial ideas’, according to the judging panel, with entries covering concept, experimentation and model-making. Ready-to-wear designs range from wire frames to kit glasses and postcard specs while couture pieces include a moulded mask and embroidered eyewear.

Flora McLean, RCA tutor in Fashion Footwear, Millinery and Accessories, and a member of the judging panel, said: ‘Optical design is often overlooked in the fashion world, but eyewear on the runway can bring credibility, seriousness and completeness to a collection. This competition has presented the students with an intense and challenging opportunity to deal with a completely different scale of design.’

The overall winners whose designs will be manufactured will be announced at 3pm on Monday (17 February) at the event.


 100% Optical runs from 16–18 February 2014 at Excel London. For further information, click here