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A Note on Glamour by Elizabeth Wilson. Fashion History and Culture . Glamour = Gramarye , “occult learning or magic,” 95. “Devils, wizards or jugglers deceive the sight, they are said to cast a glamour over the eye of the spectator,” 96. .

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a note on glamour by elizabeth wilson

A Note on Glamourby Elizabeth Wilson

Fashion History and Culture

slide2

Glamour = Gramarye, “occult learning or magic,” 95.

  • “Devils, wizards or jugglers deceive the sight, they are said to cast a glamour over the eye of the spectator,” 96.
so what does this tell us about the nature of glamour and therefore fashion

“Gothic was the ‘Other’ of the Enlightenment, and expressed the irrational, supernatural and ineffable expelled by reason, deism, and scientific cast of thought of eighteenth-century culture,” Castle 1995, 96.

  • This also sets up the Fin de sièclecultural anxieties widespread at the turn of the Twentieth Century.
So what does this tell us about the nature of glamour and, therefore, fashion?
slide4

The Fin de sièclemovement signaled a similar crisis of civilization and a widespread belief that urban civilization leads to decadence. Fascism was one “massive and total solution” to this degeneration. Opium dens, above.

slide5

Let’s look on pages 96 and 97 to see what was happening politically, industrially and culturally post-French Revolution until World War II. Farewell my Lady – “Why would the people want power?! It’s a burden that we inherit.”

  • Farewell My Queen trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z25Z4MDMkbg
slide6

Force of personality, instead of heredity, became the foundation of power. And force of personality in the case of the Dandy was really fashionable performance, 97.

So why was the dandy the ‘quintessentially glamorous individual? 98. Do you agree or disagree? How does that relate to glamour today?
slide7

George Bryan Brummell, commonly known as "Beau" Brummell, (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840 (aged 61)), was an iconic figure in Regency England, the arbiter of men\'s fashion, and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. He established the mode of dress for men that rejected overly ornate fashions for one of understated, but perfectly fitted and tailored clothing. This look was based on dark coats, full-length trousers rather than knee breeches and stockings, and above all immaculate shirt linen and an elaborately knotted cravat.

glamour or celebrity
Glamour or Celebrity?

Beau Brummell’s downfall; Second-Empire period courtesans spiraled out of control

“whether for greed or promiscuity…One might say that in some sense they prefigure

the celebrity of the late twentieth century,” 98. Lindsay Lohan, above.

slide9

Why is Glamour elitist? Tragic? Artfully concealed? Danger and dangerous fascination? “Neither transparent nor opaque…{but} translucent,” 100.

nan goldin one month after being battered 1984 chibachrome print saatchi gallery london 103
Nan Goldin. One Month after Being Battered. 1984. Chibachromeprint.Saatchi Gallery, London. 103.
the abolition and recurrence of the abject in glamour nan goldin gilles arm 1993 104
The abolition and recurrence of the ‘abject’ in Glamour.Nan Goldin. Gilles Arm. 1993. 104.
slide14

“When I put my hands on your body on your flesh I feel the history of that body. Not just the beginning of its forming in that distant lake but all the way beyond its ending. I feel the warmth and texture and simultaneously I see the flesh unwrap from the layers of fat and disappear. I see the fat disappear from the muscle. I see the muscle disappearing from around the organs and detaching iself from the bones. I see the organs gradually fade into transparency leaving a gleaming skeleton gleaming like ivory that slowly resolves until it becomes dust. I am consumed in the sense of your weight the way your flesh occupies momentary space the fullness of it beneath my palms. I am amazed at how perfectly your body fits to the curves of my hands. If I could attach our blood vessels so we could become each other I would. If I could attach our blood vessels in order to anchor you to the earth to this present time I would. If I could open up your body and slip inside your skin and look out your eyes and forever have my lips fused with yours I would. It makes me weep to feel the history of your flesh beneath my hands in a time of so much loss. It makes me weep to feel the movement of your flesh beneath my palms as you twist and turn over to one side to create a series of gestures to reach up around my neck to draw me nearer. All these memories will be lost in time like tears in the rain. -- David Wojnarowicz

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