Luxury Designer Fashion at Boutique 1


  • Recognised for their thick-rimmed frames, Cutler and Gross eyewear are timeless, statement pieces that boast classic lines and a robust quality. In celebration of our exclusive collaboration with Cutler and Gross, The 'Monica' Sunglass designed specifically for Boutique 1, Head of Artistic Direction at Cutler and Gross; Monica Chong, talks about the brand’s success and how the sunglass has become the ultimate accessory.


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  • Where are you when answering these questions? I'm currently enjoying a soya latte at the Bulgari Hotel, situated opposite our Knightsbridge store. In what ways would you say eyewear has evolved since the opening of the first Cutler and Gross opticians in 1969? I’m quoting our Founder and Chairman here, Tony Gross who’s on records for saying; “It’s not just a medical necessity anymore, it's evolved into one of the best fashion accessories. I think this statement still stands true today." Cutler and Gross eyewear has been a runway accessory for many designers over the last decade. Do you have a favourite show in which you collaborated? Giles SS13! There's always a certain cartoonish element to his work, yet the other side is a dark and sensually charged sophistication, which I think is echoed in the SS13 Baitors frames, it’s still a highly sought after frame. Ranked within the 'The 100 best shops in London', what would you say has contributed the most to Cutler and Gross' success? There are three main contributors that make Cutler and Gross stores unique and an ever growing success. The first factor is our internationally recognised handmade product; after all, it all started from its creation. Our frames are made in our own privately owned Cutler and Gross factory based in Cadore, Italy. We never compromise our bespoke quality and ensure each of our classically designed frames goes through a rigorous 42 step process to meet the Cutler and Gross paradigm. The second is that our customers are very important to us. Our clientele range from professionals in a variety of fields, to fashion and film artists. We have nurtured the Cutler and Gross customer and always deliver a discreet and highly-regarded service to all our customers. This in turn has resulted in one long-standing customer introducing us to their next generation and growing our clientele through the years. Once you’ve made your first Cutler and Gross purchase, we recognise you as part of the family. In what ways has your experience in contemporary evening wear enhanced your role as Head of Artistic Direction at Cutler and Gross? One of the ways it helped was being able to apply the fashion seasonal calendar to the production of our Cutler and Gross frames. Another would be providing each


  • collection with an engaging theme and predicting future style and colour trends, while never forgetting the Cutler and Gross ophthalmic roots. We understand you have a strong interest in the 1940's and use this as a source of inspiration. In what ways does this influence your Cutler and Gross designs? The 40’s era is renowned for a string of fashion influencers especially Schiaperelli, She was the first designer to collaborate with surreal artists and be actively involved in The Dada movement. She worked frequently with Dali, Jean Covteau, Leonor Fini and Meret Oppenheim. The Glamour of 40's film also drives my inspirations, and was the first time art truly pushed the boundaries together in bold experimental ways and in an exclusive manner. Why do you think the sunglass has become the ultimate accessory? It’s said that the eyes are considered the windows of our soul and by adding eyewear to your style, the sunglass creates an element of mystery, adds a touch of luxury and also an individual impression. We’ve come a long way; the sunglass now sits as a luxury accessory alongside the most sought after shoes. My first fashion memory is... of my mother, she was a fashion model. My first experience of fashion was watching her walk the runway, from that moment I was obsessed. The biggest moment in my career so far was... Helping Cutler and Gross win the 2009 UK Fashion Export Award, awarded by HRH Anne, Princess Royal. It was also the same year as our 40th anniversary, a major achievement to show how far we'd come. The Cutler and Gross customer is... not such a customer, more a member of an exclusive club, that if you’re in the know, you know. My favourite frame/lens shape is... That’s a tricky one, I favour the Cutler and Gross feline or upswept styles with dark and bold colours. It’s become my trademark look! I feel most creative when... When I'm with likeminded creative's, I get the most ideas, conversation flows naturally, the energy is innate and visually my mind is filled with so many ideas.


  • My guilty pleasure is... Shoes! My latest purchase is a pair Alaia shoes. I'm lucky enough to work in the eyewear industry so I can spend more of my time picking my favourites shoes. My eyewear collection is sorted. When I'm not working at Cutler and Gross my days are... Quite varied – some days I like to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum, or go for afternoon tea at The Wolsley. I love my vintage but also collect everything 40’s, from clothes, jewellery and my favourite – hats! A regular visit to Harvey Nichols has become a home away from home. I am currently working on.... Top secret! My lips are sealed but I can reveal Cutler and Gross will be collaborating with a handmade British company. If you could live in a film for one day, what would it be? I’m mesmerised by Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946). Her wonderful black gown has me convinced I could swap places with her for the day. Who is your biggest eyewear icon? It’s an even choice between Audrey Hepburn and Michael Cane. Audrey in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ has gone down in history for her signature glasses with an air of playful glamour. Michael changed the face of optical in 1965 movie ‘The Ipcrees File’, he made optical sexy and intelligent the perfect traits teamed together. What are your three favourite pairs of sunglasses you have ever created? My favourites are all Cutler and Gross collaborations between our Design Director, Marie Wilkinson and myself. My first pick is the Cutler and Gross 0892 LL – where we took love letters written by Napoleon and printed them into the acetate in nude pink and black letters. The second, I love the Cutler and Gross 1072 PINL which is a pin stripe pattern with a lace pattern overlay; this was a key style for our campaign shots and was so much fun shooting. My new favourite is the Cutler and Gross ‘Monica’ sunglass, its 180 turned lenses depicts the air of mystery and glamour that I think every woman should project.


  • Exclusively designed for Boutique 1, The 'Monica' Sunglass comes with a bold move that deliberately turn lenses 180 degrees.

      The reverse-gradient lens glasses were born for reasons of eyewear glamour, vanity and was created by Chong herself from a desire to personalise her own glasses.

      The ‘Monica’ features the Cutler and Gross and Boutique 1 logos, engraved in gold on the inner temple, alongside Monica Chong’s engraved signature.




Photographer: Fredric Aranda (www.fredericaranda.com)
Recognised for their thick-rimmed frames, Cutler and Gross eyewear are timeless, statement pieces that boast classic lines and a robust quality. Head of Artistic Direction at Cutler and Gross; Monica Chong, talks exclusively to Boutique 1 about the brands success and how the sunglass has become the ultimate accessory.

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