“Satan’s dance party” or glamour in Yerevan
You don’t have to be golden to shine.
It has long been proven that not only cities, clothes and people, but language also follows the rules and games of fashion. You don’t believe me? I’m not trying to convince you or prove anything, especially since I came to realize a long time ago that convincing the opposite against one’s will has turned into something like a fantasy. “Creative, party, boutique, fashion, elite, VIP, club, OK, cool, make-up, glamour”-I tried to count how many times I hear these words in a day and then I realized that there is no use in counting because I’m going to forget it anyway. But we definitely use these words more than, for example, “hello, I love you, I miss you” or “thank you”. Do you still think that fashion has nothing to do with language? Well, I won’t use all words in the world of fashion, but simply the phenomenon “glamour”. Why only that? Well, it’s because glamour has not only turned into the most glamorous part of our daily lives, but has gone on the big screens, is shown in advertisements, in films, heard on the radio and printed not only in illustrated and glamour magazines, but in black and white newspapers as well. Glamour has occupied its special, unyielding place and position in the already rich Armenian vocabulary. According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “glamour” comes from English, meaning a magical influence that forces people to see things under a shining light. But even dictionaries leave the general description of the phenomenon incomplete. “What is glamour?” There is no definite answer to this question. It contains “shades” of romanticism, charm, feminism, ether, brilliance and value, but it still doesn’t complete the picture called “glamour”. The more modern the word “glamour” is, the deeper and old “glamour” is as a phenomenon. The word emerged from the very first moment society was broken down into layers. The doors to evening parties with men wearing wigs and elegant women have always been open only to the elite. At the time, this phenomenon was called a different name. It was transmitted genetically and it was practically impossible to be in a circle of glamour, if your fathers and grandfathers had not obtained the “invitations” for the “glamour party”. Marlen Ditrich, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor are considered to be the ones who signaled the entrance of glamour and Hollywood was “anointed” as the homeland of glamour. Dazzling blondes of Hollywood and half-naked brunettes that remind you of vamp women dressed in evening gowns that blind you and perfect shine become the dream and “objects” of duplication of millions. To begin with, glamour is a very feminine concept and it is composed of charm, uniqueness and shine. A real glamorous character is created step-by-step. First, you have to be aware of all fashion trends, have a stylish hairstyle, walk in high heels (which is hard enough to keep balance, much less walk) and carry designer-label purses and precious stones. Elegance must start from the lighter and end up near the car. World-famous designers believe that the sentence “It’s better to have a little, but expensive” is the slogan of glamour. If you add a little drop of feminism in that and “glamour” is ready to be “served”. “Glamour”, that is, perfect, brilliant, unreachable, elegant, expensive and eventually, “glamorous” people about whom we can say all kinds of things. But life goes on and somebody else can replace the “top” glamorous person at any second. From the outset, this womanly phenomenon of dazzling and being unreachable has already turned into a lifestyle and is integrative both for men and women. We Armenians wouldn’t forgive ourselves, if we suddenly fell behind the rest of the world (and why should we fall behind?). Glamorous evenings slowly became a part of our daily lives as well with the emergence of glamorous clothes, the increasing number of glamour stores, cafes, clubs and other places for leisure. The boys of “32 Atam” Club give their own definition of glamour. “Glamour is when the dog and its owner wear the same clothes.” Those who we think should be more glamorous have a totally different opinion about glamour in Armenia. “We need a huge amount of money and inaccessibility. How do you picture inaccessibility in Yerevan where you can meet glamorous characters in cafes or cursing in traffic?” says Avet Barseghyan. Felix Khachatryan is sure that there are glamorous characters in Yerevan as well, but they simply never set the goal of appearing in the public eye. They have their own atmosphere. Host Archie says glamour not only refers to the person, but his or her lifestyle. “A person’s intellect, education and literacy must pave the path for a person’s glamorous appearance.” Female show-business stars don’t like to talk about glamour that much and perhaps that is because they are glamorous. One wears glamorous clothes, for instance, Arminka; the other, like Nazeni Hovhannisyan; another, Hasmik Karapetyan with her subtleness and the fourth is like Shushan Petrosyan who is a great professional. Whether we want it or not or however we call the phenomenon which is radicalizing quickly in Armenia, it still exists. You simply don’t know, but everything couldn’t have been beautiful and in proportion, according to the “rules” of glamour. With the fear of having a different understanding of glamour and falling behind the dazzling celebration, many youth began to “shine” on the streets and at universities of Yerevan in the afternoons with their make-up and clothes, while others started surprising the people around them with their dazzling, expensive cars and cell-phones. But what happens in clubs is what the great classic writer would call “Satan’s dance party”. As for me, to avoid being misunderstood, I will simply say that we Armenians like to get into the extremes. P.S. There are even legends in Scotland that glamour was the pagan magic of their ancestors. Glamour helped the magicians give average people immortality, eternal beauty and happiness. The Scottish believe that glamour is a small, magical lantern that casts a mysterious violet light on items we are familiar with and forces us to look at them differently. Perhaps we must wait with patience. Perhaps the magical light of the magician’s lantern will cast a light on the reality in Armenia with the magic that is glamour itself. Lilit Grigoryan