If Cordings Chews My SpecsThere's plenty of life left in my Oliver Peoples Tom Ripley glasses and William Morris Harry Palmer glasses. Bought to last — they're lasting. When I finally leave a pair on my armchair and sit on them or Cordings decides they'd make an excellent dog chew, I'll be looking to replace with a Le Corbusier style of frame next. I'm more of a Mies van der Rohe man when it comes to modernist architecture, for his detail and use of materials — Villa Tugendhat being a fave — but Le Corbusier was matchless in terms of eyewear.
Looking like an ArchitectMany men go for teeny glasses frames in barely there titanium or some such material. It's as if they're ashamed of looking bookish, so they try and mitigate this by introducing a bit of sporty high-tech. Often it's a case of the bigger the swot the sportier the glasses. If you're going to wear glasses, wear glasses. And look bookish. That's the best thing about specs.
Le Corbusier certainly wasn't timid about his ocular adornments. His glasses made him look like he spent his entire waking hours bent over an architect's desk. I'm sure that helped with a contract or two.
What are the ingredients for his style of glasses? The frames need to be made from a thick black acetate or horn. The frame for the lens must be almost round and quite large, with a thick bridge to connect them. The arms must be straight and uniform in thickness with a significant hook for the ears at the end.
The Massada SleeperThe Sleeper frame from Massada of Switzerland is pretty close to the mark. They are made from a hefty chunk of acetate from Mazzucchelli (1849) of Italy.
Mazzucchelli is our kind of business. Formed in 1849 and based in Castiglione Olona, Varese, this sixth-generation family business is a world-leader in the production of acetate and polymer materials, particularly for eyewear. The company began by making combs and buttons in horn, bone and tortoiseshell.
Masada is based in Switzerland, but the frames are made in Japan and Italy. Massada say there is no wrong style for a shape of face. The point being you just need the swagger of Le Corbusier. This is partially true. The Sleeper is available in a choice of colours, but I think you'd like the traditional black we see above.
Le Corbusier on HolidayThe Tabu from Lesca Lunetier (1964) of France is also a fine contender for that coveted position on the bridge of your nose. As you can see from the example below, the style is perfectly adaptable for sunglasses.
Lesca Lunetier also have a style called Corbs, named after the man himself, but I actually think Tabu is closer to the mark. Corbs doesn't have those centred juts at the side of the frame where the arms join. Rather, the arms join the frame at the top.
Le Corbusier really should be swapping his glasses for sunglasses when he's reading on the beach.