Deep Glamour Hits the Blogosphere

By Neal Comment

virginia-postrel-headshot.jpgVirginia Postrel (left) has a deal with Free Press to deliver a book about the philosophical underpinnings of glamour, similar to her earlier book The Substance of Style, towards the end of 2009. So, naturally, she’s still working on it, and she’s created a website, Deep Glamour, that serves as a sort of experimental breeding ground for her material. “The blog gives me a way to test out ideas from the book and to apply concepts I’ve developed for that long-term project to topical examples that don’t justify an entire article somewhere,” Postrel explained recently—things like a quick look at the latest sunglasses or the attempts (by both parties) to deflate the Obama mystique. “Another major motivation is to provide an immediate outlet for interviews with people I’d like to talk to about ideas in the book,” she continued. “For a big intellectual synthesis project like this, you simply don’t know going into an interview whether anything will show up in the book—and even if it does, there is a lag of several years and a really successful interview might get a couple of pages. Having an immediate and assured outlet makes doing an interview more worth the subject’s time.”

Postrel isn’t maintaining the site on her own, though: Former FishbowlLA editor Kate Coe is also a regular contributor, marking her return to the blogging scene. Coe first met Postrel through their mutual friend, the late Cathy Seipp, and they later bonded at a gallery exhibition of photographs by George Hurrell for which Postrel had written an essay. “Since I’ve been working in archival film research and producing DVDs of classic films, there was an affinity,” Coe said of their shared interests, which led to her joining Postrel on the blog (along with helping to secure various photo permissions for the book). “I need a partner not only to share the work but to balance my voice and keep me motivated to pay attention to the blog,” Postrel reflected, citing Coe’s extensive knowledge of design, fashion, and movies. “I’d wanted to write more about images and design and film,” Coe added. “Of course, I can’t resist the tart turn of phrase, but Virginia’s astute and assured insights balance out any tendency I have towards snark. Actually, we’re a snark-free site. She’s a complete inspiration, as a writer and as a person. And she has great taste.”

In addition to Coe’s recurring role, several other “guest stars” will appear in the rotation; Forgotten Fashion author Kate Hahn recently contributed a sample chapter, while the co-editors of Go Fug Yourself dropped by for an interview. And down the road, when the book nears publication, the site will be used to promote it, but Postrel says that wasn’t a primary consideration at the beginning—in fact, depending on what that book is ultimately titled, she may create an entirely new site for it.