THE FOOD STALKER + VIRGINIA POSTREL – THE POWER OF GLAMOUR

Darryl Wilson Hollywood Living Room featured in The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Photo Credit: Grey Crawford. Interior Design by Darryl Wilson.

A LA MODE SYDNEY is honoured to showcase Sandie Ward aka The Food Stalker and her interview with Virginia Postrel, author of The Power of Glamour for The Luxury Marketing Council. Sandie met with Virginal Postrel in Beverly Hills, California, on a warm Spring evening, and the ladies discussed The Power of Glamour and all things glamorous. Virginia explained that the desire for glamour is created “by binding image and desire, glamour gives us pleasure, even as it heightens our yearning, it leads us to feel the life we dream of exists, and to desire it even more”.

We extend our thanks to Sandie Ward aka The Food Stalker for sharing her very glamorous interview with Virgina Postrel on A LA MODE SYDNEY.

‘Glamour allows us to imaginatively inhabit the ideal and, as a result, to believe—at least for a moment—that we can achieve it in real life. It persuades us that the life we long for is almost within our grasp.’ - Virginia Postrel, THE POWER OF GLAMOUR (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Sandie Ward a.k.a The Food Stalker interviews author Virginia Postrel at the launch of her new book The Power of Glamour Photo courtesy of: The Luxury Marketing Council

As contributing Editor for The Luxury Marketing Council, I had the honour of interviewing Virginia Postrel  (pron. PAH-STRELL) at a private residence in Beverly Hills. Postrel is the author of recently released bookThe Power of Glamour: Longing and the art of Visual Persuasion, published by Simon & Schuster. She is also credited with writing The Substance of Style and The Future and Its Enemies. Postrel is a regular columnist for Bloomberg View and speaker whose work spans a broad range of topics, from social science to fashion, concentrating on the intersection of culture and commerce.

The Power of Glamour offers a complete and comprehensive answer to the question “what is glamour?” The book provides a compelling argument about the role that glamour plays in our daily lives. It’s a well articulated argument including lavishly illustrated photos to highlight the author’s points, as well as a short exploration of how glamour works and how it can be instrumental in shaping one’s view of reality.

Model in Silverblue Mink, 1956 featured in The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013)  Photography: Virginia Thoren (copyright) Photo courtesy of: June Bateman Fine Art and The Virginia Thoren Collection at the Pratt Institute Libraries.

‘Even in our wised-up age, we do not want a world bereft of glamour’s magic.’ - Virginia Postrel, THE POWER OF GLAMOUR (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

Virginia defines glamour as nonverbal rhetoric that “leads us to feel that the life we dream of exists, and to desire it even more.” Glamour has, in her view, three essential elements; a promise of escape and transformation, grace and mystery. I found her views brilliantly convincing and knowledge so captivating it gave me an exciting new paradigm with which to view the world. We long for beauty as not just idea or place or artifact, but the human beautiful. Beauty in the flesh, personal. Beauty like us, only better.

Aman-i-Khás tent (Ranthambore National Park, India) lit from inside at dusk featured in The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
Photo Credit: Geoff Lung.

‘Glamour is neither transparent nor opaque. It is translucent. It invites just enough familiarity to engage the imagination, allowing scope for the viewer’s own fantasies.’ - Virginia Postrel, THE POWER OF GLAMOUR (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

For the cover, Virginia chose a 1947 Toni Frissell photo of a woman wearing tennis whites overlooking the hills of Haiti. Just as in a piece of luxurious Louis Vuitton luggage for the discerning traveler, it portrays timeless beauty. Did you know the term glamour began as a Scottish word that literally means a magic spell? Well honey, go ahead and cast your magic spell to transport me back in time that I might sit down with Grace Kelly over a glass of bubbly, sharing secrets for style and glamour. We all recall Audrey Hepburn from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or Marilyn Monroe on the subway grate – those moments captured which leave us breathless. Glamour at it’s finest.

Tennis Girl featured in The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Photo credit: Cover photo by Toni Frissell for Harper’s Bazaar February issue 1947 Photo courtesy of: Toni Frissell Collection, Library of Congress

During the interview, Virginia highlighted the inspirational story of Michaela DePrince. An orphan in Sierra Leone, Michaela found a discarded magazine that contained a picture of a ballerina in her ethereal costume and ballet shoes. The little girl tore the picture out and hid it in her underwear. “It represented freedom, it represented hope, it represented trying to live a little longer,” Michaela recalled later. Adopted by an American couple, she began studying dance, and in 2012 joined the Dance Theatre of Harlem as a ballerina. She was so determined to be like that person in the magazine. A perfect example of the impact an image can have.

 Arch with Pool at Perivolas, on the Greek island of Santorini, Greece featured in The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Photo Credit: Jessica Sample.

‘The longing for escape and transformation is glamour’s emotional core, grace is its central illusion.’ - Virginia Postrel, THE POWER OF GLAMOUR (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

If you have ever wondered why you were mesmerised by that woman on the street in Paris, or why your heart skipped a beat when you saw the image of that sexy sports car racing down the Amalfi Coast in Italy, now you know. We want to be there, to belong there – uplifting ourselves from ordinary to extraordinary. Virginia, in my book YOU are extraordinary. Thanks for putting the “G” back in glamour! A worthwhile, insightful read.

Aston Martin Lightning featured in The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Photo courtesy of: Aston Martin

‘By binding image and desire, glamour gives us pleasure, even as it heightens our yearning. It leads us to feel that the life we dream of exists, and to desire it even more.’ - Virginia Postrel, THE POWER OF GLAMOUR (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

The Power of Glamour by Virginia Postrel (Simon & Schuster, 2013) Photo Credit: Back cover photo by Reinfried Marass.

Copyright 2014 Virginia Postrel. All commercial rights reserved.
Special thanks to Gregg Cobarr of Gregg Cobarr Photography and The Agency for adding an additional element of glamour to the night by allowing Luxury Marketing Council to host the event at one of their Beverly Hills properties.

SANDIE WARD AKA THE FOOD STALKER
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