Personal Luxuries | The Reconnoisseur

One woman discovers the joy of specs

The spectacles that make a big, bold statement

One woman discovers the joy of specs

April 12 2011
Jenny Dalton

I’ve just purchased my first pair of glasses. And not because I’m short-sighted. Apparently my eyes “don’t work together” late at night when I’m typing away at my computer – everything’s a blur – so my first specs feature prism lenses.

I had my mind set on a lovely pair of oyster-grey, geeky Prada frames, as after all these years I still love the jolie laide aesthetic of Miuccia Prada. But when my partner suggested something a bit more daring, ie “bigger”, I recalled a style profile I’d seen on Anna Laub, designer of a range of retro glasses and sunglasses frames coincidentally called Prism.

Prism glasses are hand-made in north-east Italy from blocks of coloured acetate, rather than cast from a mould, like your average pair of specs. And a great deal of attention is paid to the design of the spectacles. Thus, Anna’s influences include the likes of 1950s and ’60s vintage frames, the Bauhaus architecture of Mexico City, and the clean lines of Scandinavian design.

While I can see all these in my new midnight blue London frames – which are large and roundish and perky – personally the retro shape reminds me of all my favourite 1970s heroines (and heroes), notably Linda Carter, Charlie’s Angels, my mother, and Yves Saint Laurent (picture shows Prism’s Paris frames, similar to the London frames). They’re certainly a statement. And it’s frankly a shame that I’ll never get to wear them anywhere other than in front of my computer.

£205 for the London frames with clear glass.

See also

Glasses