Local eyewear artisan and connoisseur, Peter Coombs, celebrated thirty years of eyewear design just last week, hosting a remarkable time-capsule and intimate showcase of his latest pieces at their retail partner Adelaide City Optometrist.
Looking back at on his life, the passion started in 1985 when Peter studied engineering and metal-smithing at university. Spending most of his time lounging about by the beach back in the early years, Peter wanted to interweave his studies somehow, which is the general idea that led him to developing his first pair of glasses frames. From there, Peter finished his degree and continued making a few other frames, alongside experimenting with and crafting quality jewellery pieces.
It was when Peter set off for the glamorous and oh-so bodacious Hollywood that he realised he was crafting something truly unique – something that people had never seen before. Not only were the frame designs a first in the eyes of Hollywood, but the processes and techniques Peter used with metal were ones that had never been experienced before by many in the eyewear industry.
Thinking differently to a regular frame-maker, Peter used his engineering and jewellery-making background to create interesting, original styles, with a focus on developing impressive nosepieces. To this day, Peter still falls back on the ideology that he is not creating products in search of people who can spend the money for a quality piece, rather, he pushes to find customers who have the vision to understand what he does for a living is primarly about design.
“When you think about what we are doing here in the eyewear industry, it is the only field where fashion meets medicine,” Peter Coombs explains, “And it’s a beautiful idea.”
“I think of Peter Coombs eyewear as ‘Jewellery for the Face’.”
Peter has developed many award-winning glasses and his philosophy for design has seen notable celebrities take interest in his work, with Elton John purchasing an extensive 25 pairs of his frames. Peter has even had a pair travel in a space shuttle 5 million miles around the Earth, which can be found on display in the Town Hall at present!
A successful thirty years forward, Peter has his latest range 4 O’CLOCK available for purchase online here and in store at Adelaide City Optometrist on Hutt Street in the Adelaide CBD. The designs themselves are inherently modern, each being creatively named after a liquor with the ‘Champagne’ design being our favourite.
Guests had fun playing dressups with the broad selection of Peter Coombs frames on the day, some worth thousands of dollars and some originals; you can view the gallery taken by Claudio Raschella Photography above.
We can expect to see more from Peter Coombs eyewear in the near future as Peter confesses he is currently working on a brand new range, allowing for no cheeky sneak-peeks or hints for what to expect. So I guess we can predict it will be something grand!
All images: Claudio Raschella Photography