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The Power of Glamour

Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion

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eBook published by Simon & Schuster (Simon & Schuster)

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About This Book
In provocative detail with more than one hundred illustrations, critically acclaimed author Virginia Postrel separates glamour from glitz, revealing what qualities make a person, an object, a setting, or an experience glamorous.

What is it that creates that pleasurable pang of desire—the feeling of “if only”? If only I could wear those clothes, belong to that group, drive that car, live in that house, be (or be with) that person? Postrel identifies the three essential elements in all forms of glamour and explains how they work to create a distinctive sensation of projection and yearning.

The Power of Glamour is the very first book to explain what glamour really is—not just style or a personal quality but a phenomenon that reveals our inner lives and shapes our decisions, large and small. By embodying the promise of a different and better self in different and better circumstances, glamour stokes ambition and nurtures hope, even as it fosters sometimes-dangerous illusions.

From vacation brochures to military recruiting ads, from the Chrysler Building to the iPad, from political utopias to action heroines, Postrel argues that glamour is a seductive cultural force. Its magic stretches beyond the stereotypical spheres of fashion or film, influencing our decisions about what to buy, where to live, which careers to pursue, where to invest, and how to vote.

The result is myth shattering: a revelatory theory that explains how glamour became a powerful form of nonverbal persuasion, one that taps into our most secret dreams and deepest yearnings to influence our everyday choices.
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In provocative detail with more than one hundred illustrations, critically acclaimed author Virginia Postrel separates glamour from glitz, revealing what qualities make a person, an object, a setting, or an experience glamorous.

What is it that creates that pleasurable pang of desire—the feeling of “if only”? If only I could wear those clothes, belong to that group, drive that car, live in that house, be (or be with) that person? Postrel identifies the three essential elements in all forms of glamour and explains how they work to create a distinctive sensation of projection and yearning.

The Power of Glamour is the very first book to explain what glamour really is—not just style or a personal quality but a phenomenon that reveals our inner lives and shapes our decisions, large and small. By embodying the promise of a different and better self in different and better circumstances, glamour stokes ambition and nurtures hope, even as it fosters sometimes-dangerous illusions.

From vacation brochures to military recruiting ads, from the Chrysler Building to the iPad, from political utopias to action heroines, Postrel argues that glamour is a seductive cultural force. Its magic stretches beyond the stereotypical spheres of fashion or film, influencing our decisions about what to buy, where to live, which careers to pursue, where to invest, and how to vote.

The result is myth shattering: a revelatory theory that explains how glamour became a powerful form of nonverbal persuasion, one that taps into our most secret dreams and deepest yearnings to influence our everyday choices.
Product Details
eBook (288 pages)
Published: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781476718873
Other books byVirginia Postrel
  • The Substance of Style

    The Substance of Style
    Whether it's sleek leather pants, a shiny new Apple computer, or a designer toaster, we make important decisions as consumers every day based on our sensory experience. Sensory appeals are everywhere, and they are intensifying, radically changing how Americans live and work. The twenty-first century has become the age of aesthetics, and whether we realize it or not, this influence has taken over the marketplace, and much more. In this penetrating, keenly observed book, Virginia Postrel makes the argument that appearance counts, that aesthetic value is real. Drawing from fields as diverse as fashion, real estate, politics, design, and economics, Postrel deftly chronicles our culture's aesthetic imperative and argues persuasively that it is a vital component of a healthy, forward-looking society. Intelligent, incisive, and thought-provoking, The Substance of Style is a groundbreaking portrait of the democratization of taste and a brilliant examination of the way we live now.

    The Substance of Style

    The Substance of Style
    How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking...
    Whether it's sleek leather pants, a shiny new Apple computer, or a designer toaster, we make important decisions as consumers every day based on our sensory experience. Sensory appeals are everywhere, and they are intensifying, radically changing how Americans live and work. The twenty-first century has become the age of aesthetics, and whether we realize it or not, this influence has taken over the marketplace, and much more. In this penetrating, keenly observed book, Virginia Postrel makes the argument that appearance counts, that aesthetic value is real. Drawing from fields as diverse as fashion, real estate, politics, design, and economics, Postrel deftly chronicles our culture's aesthetic imperative and argues persuasively that it is a vital component of a healthy, forward-looking society. Intelligent, incisive, and thought-provoking, The Substance of Style is a groundbreaking portrait of the democratization of taste and a brilliant examination of the way we live now.

    The Future and Its Enemies

    The Future and Its Enemies
    The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise,
    Today we have greater wealth, health, opportunity, and choice than at any time in history. Yet a chorus of intellectuals and politicians laments our current condition -- as slaves to technology, coarsened by popular culture, and insecure in the face of economic change. The future, they tell us, is dangerously out of control, and unless we precisely govern the forces of change, we risk disaster. In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel explodes the myths behind these claims. Using examples that range from medicine to fashion, she explores how progress truly occurs and demonstrates that human betterment depends not on conformity to one central vision but on creativity and decentralized, open-ended trial and error. She argues that these two opposing world-views -- "stasis" vs. "dynamism" -- are replacing "left" and "right" to define our cultural and political debate as we enter the next century. In this bold exploration of how civilizations learn, Postrel heralds a fundamental shift in the way we view politics, culture, technology, and society as we face an unknown -- and invigorating -- future.

    Glamour

    Glamour
    Fashion, Industrial Design, Architecture
    As one of the most alluring yet elusive concepts in contemporary style, glamour is an ideal that permeates our visual culture. This lavishly illustrated book radically revises our understanding of glamour in fashion, industrial design, and architecture. The volume traces glamour’s trajectory from its historical middle-class origins to its present-day connotations of affluence and elegance. In doing so, “glamour” is established as a new critical category for design that embraces richly decorative patterns, complex layering, sumptuous materials, and sculptural forms. Following a general introduction on the culture and consumption of glamour, three essays explore the concept as it has evolved in the fields of fashion, design, and architecture. Valerie Steele examines the construction of glamour from nineteenth-century fashion through the golden age of Hollywood and beyond, addressing the creations of Adrian, Christian Dior, Chanel, Gucci, and Versace, among others. Phil Patton discusses the industrial designs of Bentley, Jakob + MacFarlane, Marc Newson, Greg Lynn, and more, linking postwar culture’s fixation on consumer goods to the establishment of class identity and the intricacies of branding and marketing. Joseph Rosa identifies the roots of glamour in projects by postwar architects such as Philip Johnson and Paul Rudolph, exploring their influences on contemporary architects such as Herzog and de Meuron, Bernard Tschumi, and Neil Denari. Presenting a diverse array of striking couture, design objects (from cars to watches), and buildings (both built and unbuilt), this beautiful book is essential for anyone interested in fashion, design, or architecture.

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