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Eye examinations are currently available Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Our contact lens clinic is on a Friday.

  • Monday 9am - 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 9am - 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 9am - 5.30pm
  • Thursday 9am - 7pm
  • Friday 9am - 5.30pm
  • Saturday 9.30am - 5pm
  • Sunday CLOSED
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21st September 2023


How can we introduce Cutler and Gross? This iconic British eyewear brand, founded by industry legends Graham Cutler and Tony Gross way back in 1969, has not only established its unique reputation for individual, contemporary eyewear, it has also attracted the most stylish names: when Bryan Ferry wears your designs, there is no-one more chic to hold up your reputation. They have also graced the silver screen and their recent collaboration with the Kingsman franchise produced a dedicated range which has been a huge hit here at Blankstone.

Cutler and Gross does The Hacienda: music and eyewear intertwined

These are frames that don’t need an outlandish logo or branding, just their own pioneering spirit. When Graham and Tony first set up their business they wanted to make stylish eyewear far more attractive and fashion-forward than what was on offer at the time. London was the centre of style, and they aimed to ensure that hand-made bespoke frames were the order of the day. Their first Knightsibridge store set the standard, and since then Cutler and Gross have taken their British-designed, made-in-Italy message through over six decades of style.

Madonna starts the 1990’s in Cutler and Gross

Actor Bill Nighy and his inimitable style, framed by Cutler and Gross for GQ

Musician Alison Goldfrapp lights up Cutler and Gross Summer of Sounds campaign

The Cutler and Gross X The Great Frog: The Reaper Returns

Actor Joe Cole brings in a fresh autumn Cutler and Gross look for The Rake

We caught up with Marie Wilkinson, who has been with the company for 40 years, to talk about all things eyewear. Marie has developed a much-earned first-rate reputation in the industry, and her own personal style aesthetic sets her apart.

Marie you have just celebrated your 40th work anniversary at Cutler and Gross. It must have been an exciting time in 1983 to go and work for such an iconic brand. Can you tell us more about it?

Being the ingenue at the beginning allowed me to learn my craft in a unique atmosphere. Tony Gross taught me the art of styling, Graham Cutler taught me about design, the expert frame-maker George Smith taught me the art of hand making and adjusting frames, and the receptionist, Kay Beck taught me the art of running an optical practice.

In my first week, I helped serve Ava Gardner and Grace Jones swiftly followed by the architect Nicholas Grimshaw and the Liverpool poet Roger McGough which set the tone for the great and good that came to Cutler and Gross for their eye examinations and bespoke frames. The shop was like a gallery; Tony and Graham would accompany the customer and walk them through the collections and along the way refine their commission for a bespoke frame, taking a lens shape from one frame, a size from another, a colour from another and a bridge design from another and then the customer would be measured and George Smith would make the frame and his wife would hand-tint the lenses.

Looking back, what have you enjoyed most about your role, how it has changed over time, and what are you looking forward to?

My roles at Cutler and Gross have been so varied. From being a Pre-registered dispensing optician to a Registered dispensing optician, I have also been the Manager of Cutler and Gross Knightsbridge which was huge fun. I have acted as a Buyer, Eyewear Designer, Head of Design and Style Director

It’s a bit like choosing a favourite child – I have loved each role and the team of people that I have had the privilege to work with and support, equally.

My current role is the stewardship and curation of the Cutler and Gross archive which you can imagine is an immense and fascinating task. A book and exhibition will follow, so watch this space!

Marie sports the Cutler and Gross 0684

Red jacket by Comme de Garcons

Cutler and Gross has been seen on some of culture’s finest faces over the years from Ava Gardner to Madonna as well as Edward Enninful and Bill Nighy – what makes the brand so distinctive and appealing to the great and the good of fashion, style, music, film and art?

I think that, just as like minded people are attracted to each other, the ‘style setters’ recognised in Cutler and Gross the true creatives that they are – the synergy in style and the sincerity of the design and manufacturing process.

When it comes to setting trends, what do you enjoy taking in from the wider fashion landscape when Cutler and Gross are creating new eyewear?

Our Group Creative Director Alessandro has full creative control over the design process, and so takes in everything that is happening in terms of trends, cultural events and fashion collections. Personally, I was inspired first-hand by the designers and creatives who set the trends that came into Cutler and Gross Knightsbridge – insider intel if you like!

We can’t begin to imagine how covetable your eyewear collection must be! Can you remember your first pair of Cutler and Gross frames, and which are your most recent?

To my shame I was a contact lens wearer for the first years at Cutler and Gross, but when the first ready-to-wear collection arrived from a family-owned factory in Italy I adopted the 0194 in black: it’s a bold shallow cat eye with a pair of star pins on the wide lugs. I wore the frame for a photo taken by Brock Elbank to celebrate my 40th anniversary.

Marie wears the Cutler and Gross 0194 with iconic jacket by Workers For Freedom

My most recent frame is the 1400 in 01 which is a luminous layering of coral onto black which inspired my hairdresser to colour my hair to match. The 9797 in A8 limited-edition blue (which is inspired by a frame I designed in 2005) really packs a lot of attitude. And, as I write this, I am wearing the GR02 in INK A5 with computer prescription lenses.

I keep my collection of over 200 personal glasses (in a special cabinet with shallow drawers) in the hallway so I can choose the perfect pair before I leave the flat.

And finally – can you offer us some style tips for this new upcoming season?

There are some new shapes like diamond and extreme cats that are definitely worth trying (the arch of the browline enhances your eyebrow to give your eyes and face a lift much in the same way as eyebrow make-up does.

Round frames are always popular and there is more than one way to wear them; consider the position of the hinge, a high hinge on a round frame is ideal for round, square, diamond and heart-shaped faces. Models like: Aurum 0001, 1390, 1395, 1378, 1384, 1392, 1400, GR04, 9290 are all favourites of mine.

A centrally placed hinge on a round frame looks great for oval, heart and diamond faces. Look to: 9383, GR01, 1396, 1377, 1374 for inspiration.

Thinking outside the box; shapes like the 1393 and GR02 look great on oval, heart and diamond shaped faces and look fresh and contemporary. Never underestimate the allure of rock n roll; The Great Frog frames, especially the Crossbones model, suits all face shapes but has an edge that connects with the wearer and allows them to literally wear their musical taste on their face.

Marie dons the Cutler and Gross The Great Frog Dagger frame with dress by Mother of Pearl

There are very few people we have met in the industry who have the same passion for eyewear, design and a keen sense of what makes people tick. If you were ever undecided on which frame might suit you best, a few moments in Marie’s company would have you walking away suitably attired.

Here’s to her next four decades with Cutler and Gross. We can’t wait to see what they deliver to us next.

With huge thanks to Marie Wilkinson and the team at Cutler and Gross

To view the Blankstone Cutler and Gross range head to:

Additional images courtesy of Cutler and Gross/Marie Wilkinson/GQ/The Rake

40th Anniversary images of Marie Wilkinson courtesy of Brock Elbank

This month’s Blankstone style blog is brought to you by our very own fashion reporter, Nancy-Buckland Kirk.


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