Welcome to Glamoursplash!

A blog with a daily splash of vintage swimwear, vintage fashion, news, designer profiles and all things retro.

We welcome you to shop our on-line boutique Glamoursurf, featuring everything you need from the beach to the bedroom. Glamoursurf specializes in vintage swimwear, vintage lingerie, resort wear, cover ups, swim caps and fun in the sun beach accessories.

Friday, November 28, 2008

David Bailey - Photographer of 1960's Icons

Probably the most famous of the Sixties photographers was David Bailey who started as a photographer with the Daily Express in 1959 working as an assistant to fashion photographer John French. He left to set up his own studio and managed to acquire a contract with Vogue which he used to turn Jean Shrimpton into one of the leading models of the Sixties. David and Jean lived together soon after they met.

His fresh and irreverent approach to fashion photography launched his career photographing most of the key cultural figures from the worlds of pop music, literature and theatre with a simple and dramatic style.
His pictures are black-and-white, minimalist, very graphic with high contrasts between lighter values and darker tones, and shot on a variety of formats.

His first book of portraits, Box of Pin-ups, was published in 1965. He continues to work to this day.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macys Day Parade ~ a Thanksgiving Tradition

Ahh Thanksgiving! One of my personal favorite traditions on Thanksgiving is to wake up and watch the Macy's Day Parade and get my holiday TV time before the men folk take it over for football. The Macys Day Parade began in 1924 and still continues to this day. This parade balloon photo from the 1930's is just one of quite a few which can be found on a wonderful blog; Swapatorium 'A Journey Through Junkland'.

Another one of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving is to cook! This year we are spending it with family so I don't have to dress the turkey. I'm bringing a couple of side dishes and a dessert.
Am I the only one who loves cranberry in this family? It appears so. Well then, make mine homemade! This year I've found a fabulous new cranberry recipe which couldn't be easier or more yummy! And to help make my selection easy, we have a Meyer Lemon tree in our backyard. If you've never tasted one I highly suggest trying one. The lemon is on the sweet side, not puckerific like most lemons and has a wonderful aroma to boot!

Cranberry Pomegranate & Meyer Lemon Relish

3 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pure pomegranate juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh meyer lemon juice
2 Tablespoons grated meyer lemon peel
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Stir everything but the parsley in a large saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer until berries begin to burst, stirring often about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in parsley. Cover and chill until cold.

Wishing you all a safe wonderful gastronomic Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1960's Fashion Rules in the Sky

Fashion takes it's place at 30,000 feet and has a colorful history within the airline industry.

In 1930 Boeing Air Transport hired eight nurses as “stewardesses” to add a sense of safety to concerned passengers. Passengers welcomed the extra service and friendliness of the nurse on board. Back in the 1930's stewardesses wore a nurse-like gray uniform in the cabin and military-style wool suits and caps outdoors. In the 1940's and 1950's, airline hostesses were expected to be feminine but modest. White gloves, girdles, hats, and spectator shoes gave stewardesses an attractive and professional look. Starting in the 1960's fashion ruled the sky. Airlines raced to stay ahead of the competition by hiring artists and fashion designers to create a distinctive image for their flight attendants. The modest suits of earlier years gave way to colorful outfits with hot pants, mini-skirts, and go-go boots.

Flight attendants became marketing icons. Skirts got shorter, and attendants wore go-go boots, hot pants, fake eyelashes and bouffant hairstyles. When airlines flew similar aircraft on similar routes, at comparable prices, the menu and the flight attendant's uniform became a means of differentiation.

In the 1960's, Mary Wells, who worked for advertising company Wells, Rich, and Green had a vision for helping to brand Braniff Airlines. She worked under the assumption that the airlines were all perceived to be the same. She set out to break that mold and launched a campaign for Braniff called "The End of the Plain Plane." The campaign launched a new look for all things Braniff; the planes, the airport lounges, the food, and the 'hostess' uniforms.

The uniforms were critical for helping to establish the breakaway Braniff image. The infamous Emilio Pucci was hired to create a look that brought glamour back to air travel. Bright, bold colors and designs became the mark of friendly service and exciting travel for Braniff.
Pucci's first uniform for the company referenced his own jet-setting, cafe-society clientele and the glamorous, exclusive nature of air travel at the time with a luxurious sportswear wardrobe fashioned out of eye-poppingly bright coral red, hyacinth blue, melon, and grass-green silks and wools. The reversible swing coat even appears to have had hand-stitched lapels. Hostesses could make four outfit changes in a single flight!

In the late 1960's and early 1970's, the costume skewed more sexy than classy with miniskirts and matching tights in far-out psychedelic prints. Incredibly, in the late 1960's, the uniform included full-length fur coats for stewardesses on the Greenland and Iceland routes. The plastic bubble helmet, to protect hairdos on windy tarmacs, was an integral part of the Pucci-designed uniforms but was phased out after 1965 for being impractical.

Other prominent fashion houses that designed for the airlines in the 1960's and 1970's include: Dior for SAS, Balenciaga for Air France, Pierre Cardin for Pakistani Airlines, Pierre Balmain for Singapore Airlines, Hanae Mori for Japan Airlines, Mary Quant for Courtline Aviation, Bill Blass for American Airlines and Valentino and Ralph Lauren for TWA.

In more recent times (since 2003), several airlines have hired fashion designers to help them introduce their image through the airline uniform. Korean Air worked with Italian designer GianFranco Ferre, Kate Spade designed for Song, Christian Lacroix for Air France and Richard Tyler for Delta.

Now sit back, relax, and fasten your seat belts and enjoy a Branniff clip.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ANSWERS to Pop Quiz: 1960's High Fashion and Low

1) Mary Quant
2) Rudi Gernreich
3) Monokini
4) An Uncle Sam Suit
5) Bonnie & Clyde
6) Cleopatra started women wearing 'the Cleopatra look" in everything from jewlery to hairdos.
7) Jackie Kennedy
8) Nehru and Mao
9) Love Beads
10) C, Priscilla of Boston

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pop Quiz 1960's High Fashion and Low

High Fashion and Low, take this 1960's Fashion Quiz. One, two three four - tell the people what we wore.

1) Who was credited with starting the miniskirt craze?

2) What designer made it big with topless bathing suits?

3) What fun name was given to the totally topless swimsuit for women?

4) What kind of outfit did Allen Ginsberg wear in a popular movie poster?

5) Which movie did most to encourage the gangster look - striped double breasted suits, superwide neckties, brown and white shoes?

6) What did an Elizabeth Taylor movie do for the fashion world in 1962?

7) Who sent millners rushing to produce enough pillbox hats to meet the demand?

8) Name two world leaders who had briefly popular jacket styles named for them?

9) When the Indian look came in among the young, beads were worn around the neck. What were they called?

10) Who designed Luci Johnson's bridal gown? (pictured above)

A. Coco Chanel

B. Mary Quant

C. Priscilla of Boston

D. Rheba of Highland Park

E. Vivian Davis Polk

Good luck, answers provided tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Disposable Paper Dresses of 1967

'Disposable' clothing reached its peak around 1966 - 68 but was generally more of a gimmick than a viable alternative. Society was adopting an increasingly 'throw-away' attitude; disposable cutlery, and cigarette lighters were already commonplace. Throw-away clothes, furniture etc. were the next logical step.

In 1966, Scott Paper Company invented the paper dress, intended as a marketing and publicity tool. For one dollar, women could buy the dress and also receive coupons for Scott paper products. It originally came in two designs, a black and white Op Art motif and a red bandanna pattern. Scott advertisers described the paper dress as "created to make you the conversation piece at parties. Smashingly different at dances or perfectly packaged at picnics. Wear it anytime...anywhere. Won't last forever...who cares? Wear it for kicks -- then give it the air." When orders for half a million dresses poured in, the promotion overwhelmed the Scott Company. Six months after it began, company executives abruptly ended the advertising campaign stating they "didn't want to turn into dress manufacturers."

When Scott stepped out of the paper garment industry, others quickly filled the void. By 1967, Mars Manufacturing Company of Asheville was the nation's leading producer of paper dresses, selling 80,000 to 100,000 a week. From its basic A-line shift, the company expanded its line to include bell-bottom jump suits, evening gowns, aprons, men's vests, children's dresses and even swimming trunks.

What began as a mail order business turned into a huge fad. Paper dresses were sold conveniently in drug and grocery stores as well as department stores and boutiques. Consumers often could buy matching paper party decorations right along with the disposable clothes. The disposability of the garments and their expedient purchase implied modernity and leisure. Paper dresses were an attractive alternative since you could shorten them with a pair of scissors and mend them with scotch tape, or throw them away when they got soiled.

Paper dresses were a little more than just paper; they were usually composed of 93% cellulose and 7% nylon (like dry baby wipes), or sometimes made of "Dura-Weve," which was cellulose reinforced with rayon. Although they were indeed more fragile than cloth, they were not likely to rip at the slightest move. Many paper clothes also featured closures of Velcro, making them seem even more "space-age."

One of the most recognizable paper dresses of 1967 was 'The Souper Dress' put out by Campbells in 1967. You could get this dress by sending in labels and a small amount of cash. The inspiration of this dress came from Andy Warhol, but he did not design this dress or have any involvement in its creation.

When paper clothing hit the UK's shores in 1967, even the Beatles got in on the fad and wore paper jackets in public. However, disposable clothes were not really much cheaper to make than ordinary dress production. The rage for paper lasted a short time and by 1974 it was already passé. Fashionable paper clothes died out rather suddenly, as Mod and Pop styles were replaced by the back-to-nature hippie lifestyle and as concerns about pollution, waste and flamability materialized.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rudi Gernreich A Man Before His Time

Rudi Gernreich was a man before his time.

Gernreich’s clothes embody the aspirations and contradictions of his day, especially regarding the role of women as increasingly independent individuals. His knitted fabrics and daringly skimpy cuts emphasized the uniqueness of the individual human body and its movements. Many are reminiscent of a dancer’s practice clothes, not surprising for a designer who worked as a professional dancer and designed his first costumes for dance.

Like many others in the 1960s, Gernreich exploited brilliant new colors and psychedelic patterns sometimes inspired by Op Art and other 1960s trends. Perhaps best known for his swimwear design of the Monokini, the first topless swimsuit, and later the Thong, Gernreich's career was full of 'firsts'.

Here from The Rudi Gernreich Book by Peggy Moffit & William Claxton are a few of Gernreich's firsts.

  • Took inner construction out of bathing suits.
  • Designed first knitted tube dresses.
  • Was the first to use cutouts in clothes.
  • First to use vinyl & plastic in clothes.
  • Introduced androgyny - men's suits & hats, etc. on women.
  • Designed the first see-through clothes.
  • Designed the first soft transparent bra - the "no bra" bra.
  • Invented body clothes based on leotards & tights.
  • Used hardware-zippers, dog leash clasps etc. as decoration.
  • Did the first designer jeans.
  • Designed the first thong bathing suit.
  • First to design men's underwear for women.

Rudi Gernreich Fashions in Basic Black by William Claxton.

Rudi Gernreich launched the No Bra Bra in 1964 at a time when the more structured padded, wired uplift bra was the norm. Gernreich conceived a soft, minimal sheer bra that went along with the often unstructured styles of the time, as well as with the many sheer fabrics and plunging necklines of the sexual revolution in the 1960's. He wanted the woman to be 'free' in clothing and garments in which breasts assumed their natural shape, rather than being molded into an aesthetic ideal. Gernreich produced pared down body-clothes in the 1960's aimed at what seemed to be the new woman of the era, freed of all constraints.

At Glamoursurf, we've recently acquired and listed the infamous 'No Bra' Bra in black from Rudi Gernreich along with some other vintage bras including a circle stitch 50's torpedo bra and some strapless bow bra's. Visit Glamoursurf today for your vintage lingerie!

Also recently acquired at Glamoursurf.com is a mid 50's Rudi Gernreich for Westwood Coral Pink one piece swimsuit. Shown here and on the cover of June 8, 1956 Colliers magazine.

We've also writen an article about Rudi and swimwear here. And if you happen to like what you see sign up for our newsletter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PIERRE CARDIN Designer of the Future

As we continue with our exploration of fashion in the 1960's Pierre Cardin certainly had an influence. He has an avant-garde style. He likes geometric shapes and motifs, and often ignores the female form. He introduced the "bubble dress" in 1954. His unisex fashions were often experimental, and not always practical. Cardin moved into menswear in 1961. He tended to use brightly coloured and patterned garments.

Pierre Cardin took a prominent role in 1960's fashion scene, specifically with his 'Space Age' look.

As space became popular in 1960's television programs like 'Star Trek', 'Barbarella' and '2001: A Space Odyssey' Cardin explored the idea of dressing for the future. In the late 1960's his stark, short tunics, and his use of vinyl, helmets, and goggles launched the Space Age look.

Cardin took the unisex jumpsuit and produced a wardrobe for the future and unveiled his "Cosmocorps" line in 1964. Cardin's embrace of science and technology, together with the notion of progress was expressed in his Space Age Collection, which featured white knitted skin tight catsuits, tabards worn over leggings, tubular dresses, and his growing interest in man made fibres. Some of his fashions were made entirely of metal and plastic. His female models were dressed in shiny vinyl, skin-tight catsuits, high-legged leather boots and even space helmets. Collars, when used, were typically over sized and cut-outs were very revealing. He created his own fabric, Cardine, in 1968, a bonded, uncrushable fiber incorporating raised geometric patterns.

Cardin lives and works in Paris, constantly designing and innovating his many lines of clothing, footwear, perfume and hats. His designs and his commercial success have made him one of the living legends among French fashion designers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Space Age Fashion in the 1960's

Alan Shepard was the first American in space in 1961. In 1963, John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in Apollo XI, were the first men to walk on the moon in 1969. This new frontier began to have an influence on fashion in the 1960's. Space-age silver which was mixed with primary colored prints taken from Pop and Op Art. Novel fashion materials were introduced, including shiny, wet-look PVC, easy-care acrylics and polyesters.

In 1964 Andre Courreges launched the ‘space-age’ look. His success was followed by Paco Rabanne’s 1966 interpretation of the futuristic theme. Rabanne created clothing using plastic, metal and even chain mail. This extreme look caught on commercially in the form of chain link belts, heavy metal necklaces and disk like earrings. Pierre Cardin also created his version of the space age look with stylised visored helmet hats and shift dresses.

Sit back and enjoy this short video featuring space age influences in fashions of the 1960's.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vintage Roadshow

I've joined a group of bloggers who write about Vintage to share with you some links to great vintage articles from the past two weeks. Enjoy!

Couture Allure talks about dressing well on a budget in the 1950's.
Debutante Clothing finds a chic '50s hat she can actually wear.
Freudian Slips Vintage showcases recent vintage finds.
Glamoursplash writes about Twiggy - the 1960's Supermodel and Icon.
iKonic Vintage explores Target's upcoming Designer Collaborations.

Do you blog about vintage too? Consider joining the Vintage Roadshow!

Friday, November 14, 2008

1960's Op Art, Pop Art & Fashion

Art and fashion meet in the 1960's in the form of Op art and Pop art. Pop art and Op art were separate art movements but the public mixed them, much to the annoyance of the founding artists. The term Op-art was first coined by Time magazine. It was typified by the dramatic, trick-optic effects of line and contrasting areas of color.

Op Art was a term coined in 1964. Optically distorted geometric patterns in black and white produced a whole range of movements on a surface. When applied to fabric it created a new bold look in fashion and accessories. Op Arts primary goal was to fool the eye. Bridget Riley’s dazzling black-and-white paintings triggered an ‘op art’ fashion craze in the 1960's. Victor Vasarely was also an influence. Op's greatest moment was the "The Responsive Eye" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1965.

Pop Art was an art movement and style that had its origins in England in the 1950's and made its way to the United States during the 1960's. Pop artists have focused attention upon familiar images of the popular culture such as billboards, comic strips, magazine advertisements, and supermarket products.

The original Pop art fashion movement was both political, in that it challenged the domination of couture and bourgeois status dressing, and an artistic reaction to abstract art and design, with the satirical and ironic use of advertising and of representational everyday objects.

Early Pop Art in Britain was a matter of ideas fueled by American popular culture viewed from afar, while the America artists were inspired by the experiences of living within that culture. Pop Art therefore coincided with the youth and pop music phenomenon of the 1960's, and became very much a part of the image of fashionable, 'swinging' London.

Some freelance designers took their inspiration from sources of contemporary art and graphics like Andy Warhol's Pop Art images.Warhol influenced fashion, and Yves Saint Laurent certainly went down the pop art road with his Mondrian dress and the black and white block sheaths he introduced in the early 1960s.Brightly coloured large-scale geometric repeats were favourites for both dress and furnishing fabrics.

Today Pop art still influences designers and runway couture.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Swinging London's BIBA

Biba began as a tiny boutique in Kensington and grew rapidly to become one of the great symbols of Swinging London in the 1960's.

Barbara Hulanicki was born in Warsaw. Her mother brought her and her sisters to Britain after their father was murdered by terrorists in Palestine. She studied at Art College and became a freelance fashion artist for a variety of magazines.

Barbara Hulanicki started 'Biba' as a mail-order operation in 1964 with her husband Stephen Fitzsimon "Fitz'. They felt that the price of designer goods was far too high for most people and adopted and promoted the 'use for a while, throw away and buy more' marketing philosophy.

Barbara designed her own fabrics, generally using combinations of 'art deco' and 'art nouveau'. The business really took off when the Daily Mirror featured one of their gingham dresses and orders started to pour in.

Hulanicki's ultra modern, affordable and attractive styles made her a cult figure in the fashion business leading, in 1963, to her opening the BIBA boutique in Abingdon Road. Dark wood screens, low lighting and pop music gave the place the air of a discotheque and potential customers were actively encouraged to go inside and try whatever they liked.

The fashion of Biba ranged from mini skirts and dresses to trouser suits, T-shirts, boots and a children’s department at the back of the shop. Barbara also devised new lines in cosmetics which were perfect for that elegantly wasted look; brown lipstick, which was soon followed by shades of blue, green, purple and black with matching eyeshadows and contour powders. Biba also had coloured wigs and boots with ridiculously high heels, all creating styles which were copied throughout the world.

Twiggy in a black sequin tube dress posing at Biba.

The largest store was opened in Kensington High Street in 1969, which had an all-black 1930s style décor. Selling everything with the famous black and gold logo on it; Biba clothes, Biba make-up, Biba toys, etc. It survived until 1973 when it moved to the old Derry & Toms store in Kensington, finally closing it's doors in the mid-seventies. Biba relaunched under new ownership in 2006.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sister Corita Artist and Activist

Sister Corita was the most famous nun of the 1960's and one of the most famous graphic artists in the country, yet she is rarely mentioned in the grand history of graphic design. Corita Kent (1918-1986), also known as Sister Corita, gained international fame for her vibrant serigraphs during the 1960s and 1970s. A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she ran the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College until 1968 when she left the Order and moved to Boston.

During the late Sixties the Church, like the rest of the country, was going through changes which angered, threatened, and tormented many of the faithful. The art of Sister Mary Corita began to infuriate certain conservative church leaders. She was considered dangerous. Once she was accused of being a "guerrilla with a paint brush"; guerrilla meaning an enemy who used familiar images to make blatant statements. It is doubtful if this attack offended the artist. She was a resister, a quiet activist who knew her soul, and did what she could to make the world a better place in which to live.

Sister Corita had been "nuts about words and their shape since she was very young" and during the mid-1960's her work shifted from silkscreened, liturgical images to Pop Art appropriations of consumer-product typography and slogans. Her prints brought together advertising slogans with fragments of song lyrics and magazine covers, and she would often place these appropriated materials against a background of bright color. Corita’s work reflected her spirituality, her commitment to social justice and her hope for peace.

In an age when religion was distinctly conservative and uncool, irrelevant to the ’60s social revolution, she dared to be exuberant and original. She organized parades far removed from the somber processionals of religious tradition; she persuaded cutting-edge thinkers like John Cage and Charles and Ray Eames to visit the convent; and, in doing so, she quickly became the modern face of the Church for the U.S. media.

Her print work was turning graphic design on its head through her predilection for cutting up text, bending it and warping it for her prints. Words appear distorted as if viewed through water, upside down, or pushed into unlikely shapes—far and away more advanced than any of the work her contemporaries were creating. The Boston Gas tank on the Southeast Expressway still bears her famous 150-foot rainbow swash, which is a similar to her design for the 1985 Love Stamp. The Love stamp is the top selling stamp of all time.

This month marks what would have been her 90th birthday. The Corita Art Center is honoring the artist on November 22, 2008, celebrating her work and conducting a documentary project.

Visit the website for more information.