The limited edition glasses by Álvaro Siza for Vava Eyewear

The Portuguese architect designed a capsule collection in pure architectonic style, mixing 30s glamour and intellectual rigor.

Álvaro Siza Vieira, capsule collection for Vava Eyewear

It must be confessed. When thinking about a pair of glasses designed by a random architect, first thing that comes to mind is certainly not something a restful model. More the absolute innovative design guaranteed by the big name. Professionals that operates on grand scales, studying convective motions, choosing day by day coating materials: the minimum to ask them is an accessory that makes passersby turn their heads. After all, we are already drowning in mass market. Like in the 60s, when Hans Hollein launched his own cult glasses, the capsule collection designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira for Vava is, first and foremost, and apart from helping short-sighted people or being a sun screen, a stylistic statement. The way this is obtained is by an historical reference.

Taking a look at the promotional images that André Brito shot using Álvaro’s Santa Maria church as a backdrop, in Portugal, is pretty clear that the styling draws inspiration from the Modern Movement: it’s as if that famous couple sitting on a diving board, and portrayed from their backs by Hoyningen-Huene, turned their bodies in front of the camera to show a pair of minimal glasses with rounded shape lenses. Undoubtedly, very close to the style when this picture was shot: year 1930. But also far from it. Beacuse like Hollein for Siza: “All is architecture”. And when it comes the time to design a frame, this is usually an architectural construction, rational but articulated. A style that gives the glasses the typical style of a model used by scholars. So when passerby turns their heads is for that unqualified intellectuals air. Neverthesess chic. Talking about fake news.

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