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FrontRunners: Golden Eye

William Kissel

Now that jewelers have brought yellow gold back into vogue, eyewear designers are catching yellow fever, too. Richard Morgenthal, owner and head designer of New York City’s Morgenthal-Frederics (888.608.8700, www.morgenthal-fredericsny.com), has injected his itsy-bitsy reading glasses with steroids (top), pumping them up with full-size frames called Royale and Belvedere that are made of solid 18-karat gold. “We always have a sense of whimsy about our collections to make the experience fun and absolutely not medical, so we infuse details here and there,” says Morgenthal. The collection is the latest extension to last fall’s Cigar series, which comes packaged in handcrafted leather cigar cases. At $2,950 a pair, these specs are as dear as a box of fine Cubans.

Newcomer Steven Vaughan (212.217.2477), a former director at George Lucas’ LucasArts and Dream Quest Images, is now focusing his lens on the eyewear field with a debut collection of handmade wire frames plated in 24-karat gold (bottom). Vaughan’s retro designs are created in Italy’s gold capital, Venice, and sell for around $250. 

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