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Posts tagged ‘swimsuits’

Poolside Peignoir

By , 1 April, 2010, 1 Comment

The lovely Esther Williams wearing a sheer, dreamy peignoir as a swimsuit cover-up at the pool — the outdoor pool. This sure beats terrycloth! So why not bring this beautiful vintage idea back?

Esther Williams, Poolside In A Peignoir

Esther Williams, Poolside In A Peignoir

Whatever You Think Of Fur…

By , 20 July, 2009, No Comment

You have to agree that, vintage or not, it truly is a fashion faux pas (or is it faux paws?) to wear a short fur jacket over your swimsuit on the beach.

Alfred Eisenstaedt Vintage Fashion Photo, 1940

Alfred Eisenstaedt Vintage Fashion Photo, 1940

Aside from looking rather ridiculous, most women could not bear such focus on & scrutiny of their swimsuit covered bottoms.

Photo of a woman wearing fur coat during a cold spell on Miami Beach, Florida, in 1940 taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt. (I wonder how Alfred managed to keep the camera still while taking this photo — my photos would be distorted from laughing! I guess that’s why he’s a professional photographer lol)

Fashion News From 1950

By , 17 July, 2009, No Comment

In the July 31, 1950 issue of Quick magazine (sent to me by Deanna — who has more snippets from Quick here), fashion news: U.S. Fashions Go “Down Under.”

“American designer” fashions, running a gamut from a revealing bathing suit (l.) to a cover-up toga-ensemble (below), will be flown to Australia by Neiman-Marcus, Dallas specialty store, and modeled for the “Aussies” by typical American beauties.

Vintage Fashion News, July, 1950

Vintage Fashion News, July, 1950

Left photo caption reads, “$160 worth of swimsuit, by Cole of California, in fuchsia sequins.” Can you even imagine the decadence of a 160 dollar swimsuit in 1950’s dollars?! With inflation, what is that… like $1000 today? (Makes the prices on buying vintage bathing suits seem like a pittance!)  And certainly sequin-covered swimsuits were as practical as they are today too. *wink*

Cole of California was founded in 1923 by Fred Cole, a former actor at Universal Studios. Cole’s attitude toward swimwear design was not typical for the time; while most companies of the 1920s and 1930s concentrated on designing functional swimwear, Cole was interested in making it fashionable & gamorous.

A brief timeline for the ultra glam Cole of California swimwear company:

1936: Began collaborating with Hollywood costume designer Margit Fellegi.

1950: Signed Esther Williams to a merchandising-design contract; her designs & promotions made Cole of California the most popular and glamorous swim & bathing suits of the time.

1955: Began producing swimwear for Christian Dior.

1960’s: The company was purchased by Kayser-Roth, then sold to Wickes Company; Cole of California remains a recognizable name in swimsuits.

1982: Launched Anne Cole Collection; Anne Cole is the daughter of founder Fred.

1983: Licensing agreement with Adrienne Vittadini, until 1993

1989: Cole of California purchased by Taren Holdings,

1990: Juice junior line debuted.

1993: Cole of California acquired by Authentic Fitness Corp. and combined with Catalina to form Catalina Cole.

1997: Anne Cole introduced the “tankini.”

For more images & info on vintage Cole of California bathing suits, see Glamoursplash; visit here for more on Esther Williams & Cole of California.

The other photo caption reads, “Bonnie Cashin’s ‘on-the-go’ ensemble: suit dress, checked toga.” I find it interesting that the checkered wrap would be called a toga, as it does not look like it could drape and cover the whole body (or even the lower half); it appears designed to ensure visibility of the body — or at least other fashions, like the suit. But it’s interesting to note, especially if you’re searching online and need another keyword to try. *wink*

Cashin apparently made “toga” style fashions as early as 1947 in including toga or cape fashions for Neiman-Marcus into the 1970’s… But I’m no Cashin expert; for more on Bonnie Cashin, visit the Bonnie Cashin Foundation.

Swimsuit Season Woes? Good Golly, It’s Norma Kamali!

By , 25 May, 2009, No Comment

If you’re looking for sexy swimsuits in vintage styles, check out Norma Kamali.

Be a vamp like Theda Bara in gorgeous black mesh — in stunning one piece and two piece styles.

Black Mesh Norma Kamali One-Piece Swimsuit

Black Mesh Norma Kamali One-Piece Swimsuit

Fashion yourself more like Esther Williams? Check out the stunning jersey suits with classic Hollywood style.

Classic Hollywood Glamour By Norma Kamali

Classic Hollywood Glamour By Norma Kamali

Even if you’re not a water baby, you can lounge pool side in vintage style in Norma Kamali cover-ups.

The Ernie Scarf in solid poly jersey can be worn with more sophisticated glamour, ala Gloria Swanson, than any sarong wrap. (Heck, there’s even a turban!)

Swim Jersey Scarf By Norma Kamali

Swim Jersey Scarf By Norma Kamali

If you’re feeling more Hedy Lamarr, how about the Angel Bias Swim Gown with caplet? Printed washable chiffon so pretty you can wear it out on the town (or, as Norma says, as lingerie!)

Pretty Chiffon Swim Gown By Norma Kamali

Pretty Chiffon Swim Gown By Norma Kamali

Not that you must have a swimsuit cover up. If you buy the right swimwear style to suit you…

Norma Kamali also offers a unique Try Before You Buy Service, in which you, with the help of a Personal Shopper, can select styles and sizes you like on the website, have them overnighted to your house where you have 48 hours to decide if the fashions fit & flatter you — as well as work with your wardrobe as you intended.

The ability to try on swimsuits without the ugly harsh florescent store lighting (which turns nearly every skin a pasty-ashen-greenish-bile color) should not be underestimated.

Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties

By , 7 May, 2009, No Comment

Inside the pages of A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen, by Daniel Blum (mine is the 1972 printing), pretty photos of a young Gloria Swanson & Phyllis Haver as pin-up bathing beauties — wouldn’t these outfits make great summer outfits?!

Gloria Swanson In Swimsuit

Gloria Swanson In Swimsuit

Phyllis Haver In Swimsuit

Phyllis Haver In Swimsuit

Mack Sennet's Bathing Beauties, Swanson & Haver

Mack Sennet's Bathing Beauties, Swanson & Haver

From the book:

1917 Mack Sennett bathing beauties were pin-up girls for the doughboys of the First World War. Gloria Swanson, Marie Prevost, Phyllis Haver and Mary Thurman were Sennett bathing girls at this time. Roscoe Arbuckle, now more familiarly known as “Fatty” Arbuckle, left Sennett to make his own comedies at Paramount. With Arbuckle in this setup were two clever acrobatic comedians, Buster Keaton and Al St. John. Before the year was out, Sennett was making his Keystone comedies for Paramount. Charlie Murray, Ben Turpin, Louise Fazenda, Chester Conklin, and Teddy and Pepper, a dog and cat, were now the cheif Keystone comics.

Mack Sennett-Keystone Comedies Poster

Mack Sennett-Keystone Comedies Poster

Chester Conklin With Mack Sennet Bathing Beauties

Chester Conklin With Mack Sennet Bathing Beauties

Film Stars, 1917

Film Stars, 1917

Marie Prevost In Swimsuit

Marie Prevost In Swimsuit

PS Don’t forget to enter my The Get Fab-U-Lush Eyelashes Contest!

“Esther Williams: Beauty Brains — and Busy” 1949

By , 9 April, 2009, No Comment

Beautiful scans of a vintage magazine feature on Esther Williams from the November 21, 1949 issue of Quick magazine, sent to me by Deanna (of Kitsch Slapped and Kitschy Kitschy Coo). Click them to see/read the full pages!

Esther Williams in Quick Magazine, 1949

Esther Williams in Quick Magazine, 1949

Vintage Magazine Article on Esther Williams

Vintage Magazine Article on Esther Williams

If you love Esther’s swimsuits, you can shop for authentic Esther William’s swimsuits at the official site. Esther also endorsed a line of swimming pools, and Deanna’s hubby has put the 1958 “consumer presentation” online for all to see. (Yes, Esther’s in it!)

You can find out more about Esther Williams in her autobiography, The Million Dollar Mermaid, the title of which comes from the 1952 film in which Esther Williams played the role of another real-life beautiful swimming champion turned film star, Annette Kellerman.

Ashely Paige Bathing Beauty

By , 31 March, 2009, No Comment

Speaking of vintage swimsuits… Via A Slip of a Girl, I found this vintage styled knit swimsuit by Ashley Paige, appropriately called Bathing Beauty.

Ashely Paige Bathing Beauty Swimsuit

Ashely Paige Bathing Beauty Swimsuit

Doesn’t it have the same sweet appeal of the authentic vintage swimwear shown on this antique French postcard?

Swimsuit Model On Vintage French Postcard

Swimsuit Model On Vintage French Postcard

Vintage Roadshow Goes Along Swimmingly

By , 23 March, 2009, No Comment

Those of us at Vintage Roadshow have been a little lax in listing our posts, but here’s a quick round-up of those you might have missed:

Glamoursplash discusses swimsuit styles for every body. (Hey, the season’s almost here!)

Debutante Clothing shares some must read vintage fashion blogs. (Lots of new sites to check out!)

Here’s Looking Like You, Kid: When Pyjamas Weren’t The Cat’s Pajamas… Or Were They? (It’s my post, but in case you missed it…)

Glamoursplash uncovers a new grail: Joset Walker. (Swimsuits, cover-ups and other beach-wear — oh my!)

Because the post are so swimsuit oriented, I had to also include this fabulous vintage Catalina swimsuit of black illusion lace and black velvet:

Vintage Catalina Illusion Lace & Velvet Swimsuit

Vintage Catalina Illusion Lace & Velvet Swimsuit

It’s a carbon copy of Marilyn Monroe’s swimsuit! Just remove those straps and, Voila!

1951 Marilyn In Swimsuit Photo

1951 Marilyn In Swimsuit Photo

But Monroe similarity or no, the bestest thing about this vintage bathing suit is the combination of illusion lace and velvet. Illusion lace is generally seen only on lingerie and cocktail dresses, and even then, rarely with velvet.

I love the back of bathing suits like this — it leaves so much more to the imagination.

Marilyn Monroe Posing In Swimsuit

Marilyn Monroe Posing In Swimsuit

You can also buy a poster of Monroe wearing the swimsuit, with the sassy classic, “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it,” quote.

Marilyn "Woman In A Man's World" Poster

Marilyn "Woman In A Man's World" Poster

Other images of Marilyn Monroe from the August 3, 1951 photo shoot via Corbis.