Saturday, 12 December 2009

Toll the bell, dig the hole, tend the pyre, but leave the spectacles for me

Toll the bell, dig the hole, tend the pyre, but leave the spectacles for me -
with appologies to Thomas Lynch "Local Heroes"

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been asked “why Dead Men’s Spex?”

I usually give the standard response about being in partnership with the local undertakers and the bit about coffin robbing! This usually amuses and deflects from the real question “why Dead Men’s Spex?”

Truth be known, what initially started as a name to make people look twice has become a philosophy of business.

It stands for the uncomplicated nature of the business, in that; it is honestly where many of our frames come from.

This then hopefully reflects the nature of the path many of us have taken, looking back at the fashions and skills of our forbearers and literally taking on their mantle. We recognise the quality of vintage wares, much of them handmade and tailored in a time when we were the workshop of the World (at this point I’m going to stop as this is when I start to sound like my father ! :oD )

These skills and qualities are amply reflected in the frames made by Algha . A longstanding London based producer of fine rolled gold frames. They are still in production with their Saville Row Collection but it is their early pre-war and wartime frames that are most sought after by many connoisseurs of immaculately engineered fashion. I use the word engineered on purpose as if you take a look at one of their frame illustrations of the 1920’s you could imagine that you were looking at a schematic plan for a bridge or building.

So here we are posting 3 on the blog and already talking philosophy and the nature of life the universe and all the little bits in between. I’m off to do a little grave-digging now, well, a guy’s got to make a living some how ..............


Sunday, 6 December 2009

Vintage NHS Spectacles and not a truss in sight!!

Anyone over the age of thirty and a glasses wearer since childhood is likely to have been made familiar with the NHS 524 spectacle frame. What was once the horror of all children has metamorphosed into a British Fashion Icon.

Helped along initially by Morrissey the NHS 524 has taken its place alongside other 1970’s Icons such as flared trousers, kipper ties, platform shoes and a quick fag behind the bike shed!

Ok, perhaps that pushing it a little ( although the bike shed did have a formative effect on many a person of a certain age and so should probably be given honouree iconic status) but why should this humble spectacle frame succeed where many others have failed? It’s simple, it all about style!

Simple lines, classic design and quality materials will win through every time. The colour choices were limited but classic – Black, Tortoiseshell, Blue and Pink (yes I know that there was Autumn Leaf as well but there has to be an exception to every rule!), it was made in a multitude of sizes, unlike today’s one size fits all culture. Above all else it reminds us of our past, our childhood where summers lasted for ever and curly wurlys were twice as big as today.

Check out these stars who seem to agree and take a look at our latest vintage NHS frames at

From top left: Scarlett Johansson, Johnny Depp, Mark Ronson and the man himself Morrissey

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Looking forward, looking back. The delights of vintage spectacles.

Thank you for looking in on what I hope will be a weekly look at the world of vintage spectacles from the home of vintage eyewear

There are many of you out there who are dressing in the most wonderful period outfits, but, how many of you think about the first thing people see when they look in your face? No I don't mean fear, loathing or the remains of a surreptitiously eaten biscuit around you mouth, I mean your spectacles!

Nothing is going to ruin the illusion of you being the most delicious, lost 1940's model than a modern pair of spex. How many WWII soldiers marched into war wearing Timmy Mallets' cast offs, and would Buddy Holly have been seen dead in a pair of 1980's aviators?

Here we have our friend Miss Fleur de Guerre, part-time pinup girl and full-time Forties enthusiast showing what a difference the correct period eyewear can make.


D. Man