The Editor welcomes a New Year and a New Theme
After a Disappointing end to 2015, we start the first month of the New Year with an upbeat Theme. But what exactly is Glamour? Well, it is certainly not to be confused with November’s theme subject, Romance.
Both may be ethereal but, unlike Romance, Glamour is strictly a fleeting thing. Even the Glamorous only experience it for short periods. It is the accoutrements that give the appearance of Glamour. Individually, naked, we are not Glamorous, which is ironic bearing in mind the traditional euphemistic use of the word to describe a niche of the British publishing industry. This reminds us that there is always something not quite respectable lurking beneath the veneer of Glamour.
Glamour is, of course, different things for different ages but, for many of my generation, it is not The Queen, flawless in her youth, riding in a glass carriage at her Coronation, it is more likely Miss Diana Dors standing beside a pastel Ford Zodiac convertible in a mink coat and bathing suit.
So, what was ever glamorous about the motor car? I would propose that the most glamorous period for the motor car was from the mid 1920s to the start of the Second World War, with a revival lasting from the 1950s until the end of the 1960s. The car of today may still be many things, but it is not glamorous. It is too efficient and too competent for that.
A glamorous car has to suggest infinite possibilities. What these are, you probably have no idea and, in keeping with all ideas of Glamour, in the end the car is probably incapable of delivering on its promise. Like the fashion model walking in impossibly high heels, in order to appear glamorous it is necessary to experience some degree of discomfort. The T150 Talbot-Lago cars bodied by various coachbuilders just before the War must be some of the most glamorous cars ever, but they were also lightly disguised racers. Noisy, firm-riding and poorly ventilated, you paid hard for the envious stares as you drove along the Corniches of the Cote D’Azur.
In fact, does glamour exist at all any more? Surely it requires a degree of mystery that, in the world of Hello magazine, no longer exists. We know too much about everyone. It also requires a degree of self-sacrifice and discomfort that we are now too sybaritic and self-gratifying to deal with. What, then, you may ask is a Lamborghini Aventador? I would return again to the world of top shelf publications and say that such cars no longer suggest Glamour, they are just Pornography. I don’t judge, just comment.
As usual, my Authors will doubtless disagree with me.