February 20, 2012 06:00 PM

Will Hart/NBC

Debra Messing has always been defined in part by her bright red hair, but for
, the actress selected a subtle accessory to help her character stand out: glasses by Sama eyewear.

“For this project, Debra actually wanted to use frames as a key prop to define the character,” Sama co-designer and head of production Ross Vance tells PEOPLE. “She decided from the first reading of the script that Julia [Houston, her character] had a look defined by glasses and wanted to see her face framed the right way to give off a specific look to match.”

To find the perfect frames, Messing (above, with costar Christian Borle) took photos while wearing a variety of styles, eventually selecting the solid Chelsea and Arte 2 spectacles (available at ilori stores and Destination Sama boutiques) in several different colors. “The eyewear helps her character project sophistication and fashion forwardness, but also a smart and vulnerable side,” Vance adds.

Before working with Messing on Smash, Sama created the actress’s personal eyewear wardrobe, plus frames for her roles in The Women and Starter Wife. Tell us: What do you think of Messing’s Smash spectacles?


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