Thursday, May 13, 2010

LPF Book Club: "Glamour: Women, History, Feminism"

I'm back with another book review! This time, I bring you Glamour: Women, History, Feminism by Carol Dyhouse. The book explores the definition of Glamour throughout the year and what the word meant for women of each era. I think a foundation in fashion history is important for every fashionista!

Here are a few interesting highlights from the book:

1920's Flapper
The "glamorous" woman of the 1920's was often identified as a flapper. She wore clothes inspired by Orientalism, Paul Poiret and Madeline Vionnet. Traditional ideas of feminine curves were abandoned in favor of an androgynous, boyish silhouette. She was marked by a streak of controversy by doing things usually reserved for boys like voting, drinking, and driving a car.

Diamonds, Fur, & Feathers
Diamonds became a status symbol in the late 1930's due to a large marketing campaign by De Beers, emphasizing the link between diamonds and romance.  Marilyn Monroe made diamonds iconic with her "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" performance in Gentleman Prefer Blondes". Furs and Feathers were worn by Hollywood actresses like Greta Garbo, linking glamour with sable coats.

Hollywood Dreams
Hollywood cinema sparked dissatisfaction in women's ordinairy lives. It sparked desire to look like startlets from their silk gowns to the perfect red lips. Cosmetic companies like Max Factor began to thrive and featured actresses like Joan Crawford. Young women everywhere strived for a life of beauty and glamour and a disposable income to match.

Dior's New Look:
1947 brought Dior's groundbreaking New Look collection. Christian Dior almost single handedly redefined the of-the-moment silhouette for women. Gone were boyish figures; women now craved hourglass looks, big bust and hips, with a tiny waist. Dieting became a hot trend,  in order to fit into the dresses; overt feminimity became "in", and independence fell into the shadows.

The late 50's and 1960's brought dramatic change in the sense that fashion and glamour began to gain inspiration from the streets.  Youth became in vogue; British designer Mary Quant popularized beatnik style, and minidresses. Media was in a frenzy over young people's general attitude of defiance, with girls wearing trousers and boys in long hair. London was the root of the "Chelsea Girl" look; in the U.S. Edie Sedwick was its poster girl.

I thought Glamour was a fascinating look at how the definition of glamour has changed over time! What I also thought was interesting is that it seems like women have never been completely satisfied with themselves! They've always had a look that they've idealized. So let's change that girls. Let's be the first generation to be happy with ourselves the way we are!

xoxo, lauren


lisa said...

The lipstick ad amuses me because a moisturizing lipstick formula is STILL a major selling point. Some things never change. :-)

Sherin said...

I read this book and loved it a lot. I really learnt a lot.
I noticed the same thing: women were never happy with themselves.

apparellel said...

Great post! but I agree with you. It's time for women to take hold of the reigns and try something different without a care of what others might think!


Twin XL said...

Looks like such an interesting book - thanks for the review :)

LML said...

looks like a book i'll be adding to my summer reading list!


Gorgeous post!!!

hélène said...

Amazing! This is such a great post Lauren, and the photos are wonderful :) xxx

Cafe Fashionista said...

Great review, Lauren! I will definitely be checking this book out ASAP!! :)

Fashion Court said...

love this post!



Very chic post!

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes said...

Very cool! I love everything about the old days - from fashion to just the simple way of life. And I adore the movies! I actually was just telling my bf I want to throw him a "Roaring 20s" birthday party...he wasn't as excited as I was...must be a girl thing? Have a great weekend! xxSAS

S.Elisabeth said...

This book looks fantastic! I agree!! Let's change it and thrive in our individual happiness of ourselves!

E said...

I must get this!

Sarah M said...

SO ive pretty much memorized like each word of this informative...and not boring! :)

amazing post..i learned so much..and am so happy that shared your knowledge! :)

and yes! cheers to a generation happy with themselves! :)

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