“It’s impossible to walk from this book not thinking differently about things.”
That's what Weston Cutter of Corduroy Books said in his review of The Power of Glamour, and it's a theme that comes up again and again in comments about the book. “Reading this book made me look differently at the role glamour has played in my own life,” wrote Leslie Camhi in The New York Times Book Review.
Reading the book gave Kate Bolick an explanationfor why she loves the Vermont Country Store catalog but never wants to visit the real store. It gave Autumn Whitefield-Madrano insight into a beauty puzzle: "If women's magazines make women feel so bad about themselves, why do we continue to buy them?" For Ken Silber it crystallized a unifying theme in what he likes "to write and read about, what sorts of art and design I tend to enjoy."
It might change how you think too. And to celebrate the new year, I'm giving away three signed copies of The Power of Glamour. To enter, post a comment on my blog at vpostrel.com, telling me why you should win one. I'll pick winners on January 10. My decisions are final and they may be arbitrary or random. You do not have to be a U.S. resident to enter.
Posted by Virginia Postrel on January 03, 2014 in
To celebrate their site's launch, Nicole Nelson and Barbara vanBok (interviewed here) of We Are Fragrances are offering a lucky DeepGlamour reader an 8ml bottle of Turkish Embrace, one of their classic perfume blends (valued at $132). That's the big one, on the left. (The small one is the 5 ml bottle.)
Here's how We Are Fragrances describes the scent:
Dare to have a brush with the exotic... Lose yourself in citrus groves under clear skies, hear the laughter and sample the sweets in bright bazaars and dance all night under a sea of stars to the haunting music of the oud and kanun.
Our classic French-style perfume is a blend of essential oils in a base of pure fractionated coconut oil, said to have skin softening properties along with antioxidants.
Creamy, exotic and slightly demure, Turkish Embrace is a woody citrus with a soft and delicious gourmand heart. Zingy top notes of grapefruit, bergamot and orange blossom absolute, dissolve into a sumptuous heart of humid florals, cardamom, and vanilla. Later, the base notes quietly resound with incense, sandalwood, resins and cedar.
Let your mind wander free, refresh your senses and satisfy your sweet-tooth all at once. Being a diva never felt so decadently good!
Best of all, they ship internationally, so this contest is not limited to U.S. readers.
To enter, leave a comment below about your favorite scent (perfume or otherwise). Be sure to include your email address (not for publication) so we can contact you if you win. The deadline to enter is midnight Pacific Time on September 30, and the winner will be selected using Random.org.
To get you in the mood for Makeover Week, beginning Monday, we're happy to offer a giveaway from Global Beauty Care. The winner will receive a gift pack of all three versions of their IntésivEye eye-makeup remover pads: Cucumber Soothing, Oil-Free, and Anti-Wrinkle versions. Each pack includes 30 pads.
Infused with extracts and oils, these thick pads gently remove stubborn eye make-up, eye-liner, eye-shadow and waterproof mascara. They moisturize the skin as they clean and are hypoallergenic and PH-balanced.
Begin the new year with a clean new face. To enter, leave a comment below before midnight Pacific Time on December 31, 2012. The winner will be chosen using Random.org, and the prize will be mailed directly from Lane Communications. Open to U.S. residents only. We reserve the right to delete comments deemed to be spam.
To celebrate Black Friday, our friends at Electra Lang, interviewed in the post below, are offering DG readers a chance to win one of their modern classics: the Darcy shirt, with its flattering Edwardian collar and adjustable length.
Don't worry, you don't have to show up at 6 a.m. and fight the madding crowds. To enter, just leave a comment below before midnight Pacific Time on Friday, December 9.
The winner will be picked using Random.org. Contest open to U.S. residents only. Pattern and color of shirt will depend on availability. DG reserves the right to delete comments deemed to be commercial spam.
Like most of our contests, this one came about through an unsolicited email from a publicist. But it so happens that UPrinting is, in fact, the printer DeepGlamour has used for our business cards, stationery, and hat party posters. Although they do most of their business online, their physical print shop is right around the corner from my house. I've used them for other jobs as well. (For hosting the contest, I'll also receive stickers.)
To enter, leave a comment below about what kind of stickers you'd like to make or share a memory of a sticker you've seen or enjoyed. The winner will be chosen using Random.org.
Deadline for entries is midnight, June 30. Contest limited to U.S. residents 18 years old and above only.
Posted by Virginia Postrel on June 21, 2011 in
Skindinavia makeup finishing sprays set your makeup so it lasts all day, defying the weather, overactive oil glands, and whatever else might conspire to make your skin look less than its best.
For this giveaway, we're pleased to offer the winner a choice of one of three formulations: 10 Years Younger, for drier more mature skin; Moisture Lock, which hydrates the skin; or No More Shine, for oily foreheads and unwanted summer shine.
To enter, post a comment below telling us about someone you think has beautiful skin. We will select a winner using Random.org.
Entry deadline: midnight Pacific Time, June 17. Contest open only to U.S. residents of the 50 states and District of Columbia.
When I went to the 2009 Anime Expo to talk to cosplayers about the appeal of dressing up as anime and manga characters, I was struck by how important posing for photographs is to that appeal. Yet most of the picture-taking at anime conventions happens with lousy lighting and lots of fans in the way—hardly the ideal way to record the costumes on which players lavish so much time and ingenuity.
Fortunately, L.A. photographer Ejen Chuang, whom I met at that same convention, has now given American cosplayers a worthy visual record: a beautifully produced 272-page book called Cosplay in America. The product of a year spent traveling to conventions around the country (and a maxed-out credit card), plus countless hours of selecting and retouching photos, the book features 270 cosplayers.
Naming it the Best Art Book of 2010, Deb Aoki, About.com’s Manga expert, declared that Cosplay in Ameria “captures the spirit of fun, camaraderie and creativity of the North American cosplay community.” Liz Ohanesian of the LA Weekly praised the “slick and beautiful tome,” which “showcases the diversity and creativity within the anime fandom,” later declaring on BoingBoing that “Chuang did what I hope more people will do in the future, portrayed cosplay as art.”
Ejen is still on the convention circuit, selling his book and giving cosplayers a chance to have their latest handiwork immortalized with professional polish. He’ll next be at Anime Los Angeles January 7-9. In between cons—and his regular work as a production stills photographer—he was kind enough to answer some questions about what he's learned from his experience photographing cosplayers. (To see more of his photos, including new shots and web exclusives, check out the CosplayinAmerica Flickr stream.)
See the end of the interview for information on how you can enter our Cosplay in America giveaway and have a chance to win a free copy of Ejen's book.
DG: Your book is called Cosplay in America. What is cosplay and how is it different in America?
EC: Cosplay is short for “costume-play” which is basically dressing up as characters based off anime, manga, and video games, though the term has become mainstream in the past few years and now applies to any source such as films, American cartoons, music icons, even products—I’ve seen a few Nintendo Wiis running around conventions.
From what I gathered (as I’ve never been to an event in Japan), Americans have a very do-it-yourself attitude. While there are shops in Japan to purchase cosplays, that necessarily isn't so here in the States. You almost have to be MacGyver to pull together many disciplines from sewing to prop making. Some make it from scratch, others purchase parts and put it together. It is the process of creating the outfit that is part of the fun and not necessarily just wearing the outfit.
DG: What inspired you to do a book of cosplayer portraits?
EC: I haven’t really seen a book done specifically done about American cosplay and I thought I'll tackle it myself. The culture has been growing for the past 20 years and is definitely getting larger in thanks to conventions and the internet.
DG: What’s the difference between cosplay and dressing up for Halloween?
EC: Cosplay usually refers to a specific character. For example, dressing as Capt. Jack Sparrow is cosplaying. Dressing up as a pirate is just.... dressing up as a pirate! In the broadest sense, you can say that when your father dresses up as Santa during Christmas, he is in fact, cosplaying.
DG: What’s the relationship between photography (whether professional or amateur) and cosplay?
EC: There’s an interesting relationship between the two. Obviously from a photographer’s perspective, the extravaganza of colorful costumes and makeup of the cosplayer is attractive to the lens, while on the cosplayer side, it is a chance to be in the limelight and have their work appreciated.
DG: How do cosplayers decide what characters to portray?
EC: Cosplayers generally portray characters they feel very strongly about. Talking to many, I understand they felt if they were to put that amount of work into a cosplay, they rather pick characters they feel a strong emotional response to. As many cosplayers tend to be in their teens to mid-20s, my thoughts are in addition to having fun, stretch their creative skills and hanging out with friends at cons, cosplay can be a way for them to try out different “personalities” of their source characters wherever if either male or female. Obviously it is easier for women to dress as male characters than males to dress as female characters.
DG: You took more than 1,600 photos. How did you decide on which ones to publish?
EC: In my youth I was into anime but until I embarked on my project, the last convention I visited was Anime Expo in 2000. In the years between then and 2009 when I started the project, I had been out of the scene so perhaps 90 percent of cosplayers I’ve photographed, I don’t know which series they are from. In a way, it is liberating. I have no bias or preconception about any series or character. I could choose based on their personality and pose. I specifically looked for something about that cosplayer that grabs me. From an edited collection of around 1,000 cosplayers, it took six months to narrow it down to the 260 cosplayers in the book.
DG: One of the cosplayers you interviewed called cosplay “a chance to escape that which binds us, holds us down in our everyday lives, and [it] gives us chance to let our imaginary spirits soar high above all that makes us feel weak. We can shed our everyday lives and feel free to express ourselves.” Another one said it’s “just a dorky little hobby where people play dress up.” What would you say is the appeal of cosplay?
EC: For the younger attendees, it is a chance to let loose and have fun, another layer to add to the convention experience. As a teenager, the need to fit in is strong and so in a way, this allows them to join a community.
For those older ones, it is just a release mechanism. Obviously in life we have our jobs, relationships, school and so forth and to take a vacation from that for one weekend is to take a moment out of the worries of bills, and other adult concerns. I spoke to several cosplayers who have graduated college and move to their working life—and use conventions as a chance to meet up with old friends—similar to a reunion.
For others, it is a chance to test out their abilities to create and personalize to their own individual tastes. For example, at one convention in Florida, I noticed a character whose outfit was filled with beads. The original character’s outfit did not include that large amount of beads but because the cosplayer so loved beads, she weaved her passion into it. In the end it still worked—the character is identifiable and the cosplayer has a chance to personalized the work.
DG: You’re still taking photos as you go to conventions to sell your book. Do you have any favorites to share with our readers?
EC: Truthfully, my favorite photos are the ones where I’m interacting with the cosplayer. So many folks have photos of themselves standing next to a cosplayer. For me, I like it if they point their weapon at me, or they are jabbing me, or something of that nature. Here I am at AnimeFest in Texas getting hammered by the gals of Street Fighter.
This was taken at Otakon, the largest anime con on the East Coast where Bender from Futurama chokes me—I didn’t have any beer with me and you know Bender loves beer!
Despite all the work that goes into the book and the tour, it is definitely a life-changing experience! I plan to be at another 20 conventions next year and after that start working on other books related to cosplay but not necessarily about cosplay. Thanks for the interview!
We're happy to offer a free copy of Cosplay in America to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment telling us a character you'd like to dress up as and why. (Don't worry about practical considerations; we won't make you model the costume.) The contest deadline is midnight Pacific Time on January 10, and the winner will be selected using Random.org. Contest open to U.S. residents only.
[All photos copyright Ejen Chuang and used by permission.]
Congratulations to reader EH, who won the Pirri hair care products package. Thanks to all the commenters who shared their "hair ideals," including Ted Koppel, the ladies of Edward Leighton's Pre-Raphaelite paintings, and several versions of "my own hair."
Continuing the hair theme from post below, we're pleased to offer a giveaway of Pirri Elements hair-care products, made possible by DG's friends at KMR Communications.
Developed by the Italian-born, New York-based hair stylists Luigi and Piero Pirri, the Elements line was inspired by the beauty of the Mediterranean “crystal blue” sea, pure air, rich soil, and fiery volcanoes. All products include bergamot, an essential oil best known for its use in perfume, which comes from a citrus fruit native Calabria, Italy, the Pirri brothers' hometown.
Our contest winner will receive all four of the following Pirri Elements products:
Daily Shampoo: Mediterraneo Contains essential ingredients to cleanse the hair while maintaining balance and moisture in all hair types. The product normalizes the hair, scalp and PH balance while keeping the hair looking healthy and shiny. Retail price: $20/12oz.
Daily Conditioner: Earth’s Balance Restores moisture and smoothes the shaft of the hair while helping to combat humidity and static electricity. The product works to coat the hair and protect it from the damaging effect of heat styling. Retail price: $22/12oz
Smooth & Relaxing Serum: Lava Glaze Relaxes the hair for a straight style or reduces frizz for a great natural air-dried look. The combination of Aloe Vera along with other essential products, work to eliminate dead ends and protects hair from the damaging effect of blow drying and UV rays. Retail price: $24/8oz
Detangler & Leave-In Conditioner: Nature’s Breeze Smoothes tangles and mends dry ends while protecting the hair and reducing fly-aways. The product is a must-have before heat styling. Retail price: $22/8oz
To enter, leave a comment below naming your "hair ideal," past or present, real or fictional. The contest ends at midnight Pacific Time on December 20. The winner will be selected using Random.org and the prize package will be shipped directly by KMR. Contest open to U.S. residents only.
Posted by Virginia Postrel on December 10, 2010 in