Glamour Factory

A spotlight on the Hollywood portrait…

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Museum all-building spectacular

– past project


NPG logo Part of the National Portrait Gallery Late Shift series of extraordinary events aimed at extending the reach of the exhibitions and opening up the Gallery to new audiences.





We created a large-scale experience to complement Glamour of the Gods. This highly successful exhibition was a celebration of Hollywood studio portraiture from the industry’s ‘Golden Age’.


This project was developed in collaboration with our partner agencies Guerilla Science and The Broken Hearts. We also developed creative partnerships with Illamasqua and Hendrick’s Gin and a media partnership with Jazz FM.



“The partnership with Contemporary Vintage


has been an amazing collaborative experience”


– National Portrait Gallery



Glamour Factory

The event broke all Gallery records, attracting close to 5,000 visitors and resulting in the exhibition selling out, the bar running out and the galleries reaching capacity.


To promote the event we devised an online marketing campaign to create a buzz through Facebook and Twitter. We worked closely with the Gallery to use social media for event-specific marketing and this proved highly successful in engaging a young and fashion-forward audience.


The event attracted excellent media coverage, including BBC News, a half page feature in the Evening Standard, ‘Best things to do this week’ in The Telegraph and a review in the Sunday Times Style magazine. Perhaps most importantly, it stimulated lots of social media comment and provoked dozens of enthusiastic blog articles.



Event format

We brought our unique Contemporary Vintage twist, moving beyond the traditional context of the exhibition to examine how its themes resonate today. Unexpected angles were explored, mixing art with science and mainstream culture with the underground. Along the way we played with moving messages through different media, from the physical to the digital and beyond.


Contemporary Tweet Vintage Tweet For one starry night we transformed the National Portrait Gallery into the ‘NPG Film Studios’. The public were invited to enter the Studio’s Glamour Factory as a budding idol or starlet.


They reported into a range of departments for film star tips and to pick up expert advice on their way to becoming a fully-fledged god or goddess. They looked behind-the-scenes to uncover how the golden age of glamour was manufactured and find out how image continues to be manipulated today.


Our ‘Vintage Twitter Bureau’ played with the space between old and new forms of communication whilst encouraging people to share their most glamourous or most scandalous aspirations…


See TiLE conference article for a post-digital perspective on this event.


For full event programme see Glamour Factory Contract.


For more on the science content see Guerilla Science blog.


For more on the fashion content see Broken Hearts Style Diary.


For makeover area see Illamasqua blog.