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Glamour originally was a term applied to a magical-occult spell that was cast on somebody to make them see something the spell-caster wished them to see, when in fact it was not what it seemed to be. In the late 19th century terminology, a non-magical item used to help create a more attractive appearance gradually became known as 'a glamour'. Today, glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality. Typically, a person, event, location, technology, or product such as a piece of clothing can be glamorous or add glamour.
Virginia Postrel says that for glamour to be successful nearly always requires sprezzatura - an appearance of effortlessness, and to appear distant - transcending the everyday, to be slightly mysterious and somewhat idealised, but not to the extent it is no longer possible to identify with the person. Glamorous things are neither opaque, hiding all, nor transparent showing everything, but translucent, favourably showing things.
The early Hollywood star system in particular specialised in Hollywood glamour where they systematically glamorised their actors and actresses.
"Glamour" originally referred to a magic spell, an illusion said to be cast by witches, particularly associated with witches of Roma ("Gypsy") origin.
Late in the 19th century the common meaning shifted to being applied to ordinary objects and jewellery without connotations of supernatural, merely upon the effect that it has on appearance. This is a sense used in this article and to some extent is the way that it was used by the early Hollywood system.
In modern usage glamour is often confused with style or beauty; but they may be considered to be distinct, although glamour may give the appearance of beauty or present as a personal style.
Many forms of architecture employ glamorous motifs to enhance the appearance of what may be otherwise mundane buildings. The Art Deco style is generally considered to be a glamorous one.
The "Golden Age" of "Hollywood Glamour" was the 1930s and 1940s, following the depression and its aftermath.
Glamour is the result of chiaroscuro, the play of light on the landscape of the face, the use of the surroundings through the composition, through the shaft of the hair and creating mysterious shadows in the eyes. In Hollywood, stars as far apart as Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, Rita Hayworth and Dolores del Rio, own and acquire glamor, technology and willingness to refine the beauty of its own... Are indecipherable magic of the cinema, substance of the dreams of a generation and the admiration of the following meeting", -filmmaker Josef von Sternberg, .
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