by Gianluca Isaia
"Capa ‘ngignòsa, lenta sciccòsa."by Gianluca Isaia
Creative head, classy glasses.
Watch where you're walking and what you're doing. In Naples, the eyes – that is, 'uòcchie' and even 'maluòcchie' – fill proverbs and old sayings. They are used in myriad expressions that are instantly understood and are found in just as many sophisticated and picturesque linguistic forms. Devious or persuasive, bewitching or evil, playful or frightened: the eyes endlessly invade songs as well. A melting classic song is "Uocchie c'arragiunate" [Eyes that reason]: a local lawyer named Alfredo Falconi Fieni wrote the lyrics and Rodolfo Falvo wrote the music way back in 1904. Everyone sang it, from Murolo to Valentina Stella.
Eyes are an obsession, an omen and an absolute mania of the Neapolitans in a tempestuous whirlwind of sentiments, seduction, understanding, envy – a mainstay of real Neapolitan spirit, the disruptive and subversive power against which one should never let his guard down – threats, magic and sorcery. It's a small step from eyes to eyewear. Forgive me for saying this, but I think we've seen far too much shrewd designer eyewear in all shapes and sizes, large and small. What I wanted to convey with my particular concept of eyewear was precisely that sense of escaping the slavery of "makin' it crazy" at all costs, fleeing from the presumption of an exaggeratedly distinctive and different shape and instead freely playing with a bespoke textile effect. In short, my concept of Isaia eyewear had to immediately refer to the fact that we are a men's sartorial atelier that is original and with absolutely autonomous taste that was far from a pyrotechnical and exhibitionist delirium similar to Elton John in the early years. Let's face it: today, maximum originality seems to exist in normality.
Give me a break! ... At the most, that bizarre and sophisticated element of our eyewear could come from a more or less faithful and thematic combination or – why not? – from the distinctive, dandy-like contrast of plaid and tiny check textures, based on various color palettes, which I chose for the frames, establishing a sort of dialog with the same fabrics for jackets, suits and trousers. I think Wim Wenders, a very clever man, once said that if "life is in color, reality is in black and white." Well, and I hope the iconic German director will forgive my boldness, I'd like to completely overturn his concept of a univocal vision in black and white. I have the propitiatory and perhaps crazy ambition that our eyewear can help enjoy the reality of life in color, even better if it is joyful and vibrant and happy, because from what I know, it seems to be the only life that we’ve been given. I wish this miracle happened every day. Eyewear has become a fundamental accessory. A refrain of Battiato many years ago said that there are those who wear sunglasses to add charisma and symptomatic mystery.
Okay, to get straight to the point, the truth is that besides creating a "face" or a look, as the insiders peremptorily say, eyewear in some way helps us survive and endure a daily performance that is not always easy or simple. Eyewear screens, filters, masks, and even protects you. It channels and conditions the visual field, in good and in bad. In conclusion, regarding an attentive gaze, seeing or, better yet, observing, here's a theme that opens a whole range of additional hermeneutical nuances. And here's another Neapolitan pearl of wisdom: "Con 'n uocchio frije 'o pesce e cu n'ato guarda 'a gatta". "With one eye he fries fish and with the other he watches the cat." At this point, it's up to you to best interpret this message.