Author(s): Joseph Rosa
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.
"... sex appeal plus luxury plus elegance plus romance..." Margaret Farrand Thorp's definition of "glamour" (from America at the Movies, 1939)."
Joseph Rosa is Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and author of Next Generation Architecture; Phil Patton is the author of numerous books on industrial design and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, ID magazine, Wired, and Esquire; Virginia Postrel is author of The Substance of Style; Valerie Steele is director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and author of The Corset: A Cultural History and Fashion Italian Style, both published by Yale University Press; Ruth Keffer is curatorial associate for architecture and design at SFMOMA and a contributor to Surface magazine.