Glamour. There's a word we haven't heard for a while. It's been supplanted by “red carpet” and “celebrity” in contemporary consciousness: some time in the past 20 years or so, the former favourite fanzine moniker of “Hollywood glamour” was neatly amputated to just plain “Hollywood”. Similarly, sometime during that process, Hollywood stars simply became less glamorous
Glamour leads me to Antony Price, the great British designer who helped reinvent the term back in the Seventies. Price's glamour was for everyone – man and woman alike. His role as costumier – in the old Hollywood sense of the word – to Roxy Music's epoch-defining visual identity led him to dress not only the band, but their girlfriends, too. And to create indelible images of pure, undiluted glamour – think of Kari-Ann Muller wrapped in satin like a cheesecake Fifties pin-up on their first eponymous album, or Jerry “Ferry” Hall crawling across rocks in a glued-on sea-blue bikini as the ultimate siren.
That glamour, with the help of Price, metamorphosed into glam. Which, of course, is having a very visible moment – David Bowie Is… opened to record crowds at the V&A in London, and Glam! The Performance of Style is on at the Tate Liverpool. Some of it may be questionable – we all knew Gary Glitter was bad, before we realised he was quite so very, very bad – but the best of glam, as modelled by Bolan, Bowie, Ferry et al, stands the test of time.
There's something that feels very right about glamour – and glam – right now. The autumn/winter 2013 collections oozed with it, devoted as they were to artifice, sparkle, high heels and fur. Lots of fur – from Marc Jacobs, to Prada, to Louis Vuitton. And whatever your political stance on that skin-on-skin debate, nothing says glamour quite like fur. Watch any truly glamorous Hollywood film and there'll be some n'er-do-well vixen slinking about in a terribly politically incorrect six-figure sable. Possibly on a tufted-satin chaise-longue, the most glamorous of all furnishings. It's also the campest. And glamour is, really, all about camp. It's tongue-in-cheek chic. And, unlike plain new “Hollywood”, old-school glamour doesn't feel the need to take itself too seriously.
Alexander Fury is editor of Love magazine
- More about:
- Art Rock
- David Bowie
- Roxy Music
- Sea And Ocean
- Styles And Clothes