Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Inner Longings of an Adolescent Girl

As a child, I had stick-straight hair with bangs, freckles, and eyes too big for my face. I wasn’t a wild success in sports and I wasn’t in the inner circle of popularity. I always turned in my homework on time and the teachers liked me.

I try to account for my grown-up interest in fashion; and then I remember that I had to wear a wool plaid uniform for so many years. That restriction was both a saving grace and, for a creative child, a hindrance. Our uniforms leveled the playing field. There was no contest for who had the coolest clothes because we all wore the same thing. So when I hit the open road of high school, with all of its freedoms, I went a little wild. The profusion of colors, textures and patterns rejected all simplicity, and all understanding of a good fit, clean lines, and flattering shapes. But it was the eighties.

Today I stumbled upon a blog called Deep Glamour. The launching entry (August 15) is a thought-provoking essay on what defines glamour. In discussions with friends today, we hit upon the plasticity of glamour, much of that plastic found in wallets. But it’s not just about spending, it’s about spending selectively.

To quote Virginia Postrel, Deep Glamour’s blogger, glamour is much more than clothes.
Glamour is...not a matter of style but of psychology. It is not a physical property but an imaginative quality that creates a specific, emotional response: a mixture of projection, longing, admiration, and aspiration. By binding image and desire, glamour gives us pleasure, even as it heightens our yearning. It is this emotional experience, this pang-filled pleasure, that we hope to recapture once "glamour is back."
Sometimes I wish I could go back to a daily routine wearing a uniform. It would take the guesswork (performed half-awake and in the dark) out of every morning. But this time, do you think Gaspard Yurkievich would design my uniform?

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