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, January 30, 2009

Charles Dana Gibson - The Old Fashioned Girl

Hearst's International Cosmopolitan Magazine from August of 1927.
Color cover by Harrison Fisher depicting a girl wearing a bathing suit holding a Pekingese dog.

Inside spread features "The Old Fashioned Girl" by Charles Dana Gibson.

Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) was a pen and ink artist most well known for his illustrations of beautiful women from the first quarter of the 20th century. His portraits originally appeared in books and magazines.

From the start, Gibson’s interests were in portraying the social set rather than political figures, and his audience enjoyed the manner in which he poked fun at high society characters and their various idiosyncrasies.

Charles Dana Gibson’s period of greatest popularity was between 1900 and 1910, although he was productive well into the 1920’s. His best-known subject was the proverbial ‘Gibson Girl’. She became known as an ideal image of youthful American femininity, the modern woman, athletic, smart, stylish, and desirable and she sold magazines.

I just love these images of ladies in their swimsuits and the way in which the they seem to be sneering at the other. There is just such a nice tension between the old and the new, especially in the fashion of their bathing attire.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Marilyn models Two Piece Swimsuits

We continue with our Marilyn Monroe in swimwear series today focusing on the Two Piece bathing suit. You can see part two of our series of Marilyn in one piece swimsuits here, or read a bit about her start in modeling here.

Which is cuter, Marilyn or the little dog?

Marilyn models the "Temptation" suit by Jantzen.

Marilyn poses in Jantzens "Double Dare" swimsuit in 1947. The Double Dare got it's name because one could see the upper thigh through the two circular portholes.

We love the lace up look of this two piece bathing suit.

Ruffles, so Lolita and playful!

Marilyn also modeled for Catalina. This suit has the Catalina flying fish logo crest.

Above in black and white and below the same suit in color.

I'd love to have this swimsuit in our collection. Perhaps some day, A girl can dream! Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More of Marilyn - One Piece Swimsuits

Seriously, one can never have enough of Marilyn. Her poses, her expressions, her beauty, her makeup, her hair and of course all those cute vintage swimsuits! Here are some more images of Marilyn clad in one piece swimwear styles. For more wonderful pictures you can visit teamsugar.

Yesterday we blogged about the history of Marilyn's modeling career. Tomorrow we'll continue with a look at Marilyn in 2 piece bating suits.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Modeling Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jean Baker, better know as Marilyn Monroe, was a swimsuit model back in her early career. This week at Glamoursplash we'll be sharing a bit of history on Marilyn and some eye candy of her in swimsuits.

Army photographer David Conover was one of the first photographers to take a photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe, then known as Norma Jeane. His work, including some photos of Norma Jeane, appeared regularly in such military magazines as Yank and Stars and Stripes. Norma Jeane was enthusiastic about her new vocation, and even consented to join Conover on picture-taking excursions through Southern California. After the initial Yank magazine photographic session with Conover, Norma Jeane posed for him on other occasions. As his freelance model, she was paid five dollars an hour.

A commercial photographer named Potter Hueth became interested in Norma Jeane on a professional level after Conover showed him some of his photographs. Hueth asked Norma Jeane if she would be willing to work on "spec." That is, he would shoot some photos of her and then tout them to various magazines, but Norma Jeane would not get paid unless the photos were sold.

Some of Potter Hueth's photographs of Marilyn ended up on the desk of Emmeline Snively, head of the Blue Book Model Agency in Los Angeles. Snively sent Norma Jeane a brochure and expressed interest in using her if she was willing to take Blue Book's three-month modeling course. The photo at the left is from 1945 while Norma was at the Blue Book Modeling Agency.

Norma Jeane is wearing a Catalina two piece suit.

In 1946, Norma Jeane's modeling career had taken off, coinciding with the boom in exploitation magazines. Though virtually nonexistent today, these types of publications flooded the market after World War II, particularly after paper rationing ended in 1950. Several types of exploitation magazines appeared on newsstands following the war. Some were devoted to lurid crime stories, others to dimestore romance or Hollywood scandal.

A significant number were aimed at men. Contrary to what might be assumed today, the magazines did not include photographs of nudes but displayed women in bathing suits, negligees, towels, and other scanty but tasteful attire. By modern standards, the layouts are amusing, even innocent.

Because Norma Jeane was not the tall, willowy type best suited for fashion modeling, she began to make her mark in pinup magazines such as Laff, Peek, See, Glamorous Models, Cheesecake, and U.S. Camera. A result of the popularity of the pinup during the war, these inexpensive magazines featured the best in cheesecake photography.

Norma Jeane posed for a number of photographers who sold their work to pinup magazines. One of the best of these photographers was André de Dienes, a fine technician gifted with a sensitive eye that enabled him to work with equal success in color and black and white. De Dienes worked with Norma Jeane from 1945 to 1949, capturing her at the peak of her modeling career. Their last session together was a series of seashore photos shot at Tobey Beach in 1949, when Norma Jeane, by that time Marilyn Monroe, was in New York City to promote one of her early films. These images are from that session.

Marilyn Monroe was a Jantzen model back in the days when she was known as Norma Jean Baker. In 1947 She modeled the Jantzen Double Dare and Temptation suits. The “Double Dare” was a two-piece suit with peek-a-boo cutouts on the hips. She also modeled for Catalina sportswear for advertising and publicity purposes.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vintage Roadshow - Links of the Week

Couture Allure offers a full week look at the style of Jacqueline Kennedy, including her inauguration fashion.

Debutante Clothing strikes a pose in her vintage plaid pencil skirt.

iKonic Vintage does Vintage Cheap But Chic and asks for more Pleats Please.

Freudian Slips Vintage showcases new year vintage dresses.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid shows us how to get those 1950's eyes.

Glamoursplash looks at vintage swimwear in advertising.

If you blog about vintage, consider joining our Vintage Roadshow Group here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fun with text

I found a new program today called Wordle that lets you upload a bunch of random words or select a blog feed or web page that has an ATOM for RSS feed. Once you choose the text you want it to upload it will then generate a word cloud that can be customized in various different configurations, colors and font treatments. I chose my own blog Glamoursplash and these are a few different images that were created for me. Isn't it fun? Give it a try, it's a great way to get some inspiration or waste a few hours, guaranteed!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heavenly Bodies Swimwear fashions from Cole 1952

Well suited 'Heavenly Bodies' swimwear fashions from Cole in 1952.

A brief history of Cole:

West Coast Knitting Mills is launched by Fred Cole in 1923 and changed it's name to Cole of California in 1941. In 1925, Fred Cole, a silent film actor, created a swimsuit line that set the bar for all others to follow. His suits were gorgeous yet modest, comfortable yet classy, and made any woman, regardless of her size, feel great in a swimsuit. Fred Cole’s designs lay claim to many of the “firsts” in swimwear, including the backless and strapless swimsuits, the short overskirt, the boy short, the first true tank suit, and the cover-up skirt. His suits gained such acclaim that super stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rene Russo and Farah Fawcett were photographed in them. Swimming beauty Esther Williams became the official face of the Cole of California advertising campaign. Christian Dior, the world’s most celebrated designer, even paired up with Fred Cole to create his one and only swimwear line in 1955. The company was purchased by Kayser Roth in the early 1960s. In 1982 Anne Cole begins to design a line which launches as the Anne Cole Collection. The company is sold a couple of more times and finally combines with Catalina in 1993 to form Catalina Cole.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vintage Swimwear in Advertising

Swimwear imagery is used to sell a variety of products and industries. We thought it would be fun to start showcasing some of the vintage ads we have that have used swimsuits as the primary visual contained in the ads.

Holiday magazine 1949 - This image was pretty risque for it's time in 1949. It's an artists rendering though which is most likely why you see the navel exposed. Stars and starlets were prohibited from showing the navel or "indecent or undue exposure" because of the Hays code of 1930. You can learn more about that in an article we have written on our site here. All that aside though, Hertz employs a graphic of a beautiful female in a two piece swimsuit we would love to own!

Holiday Magazine 1965 - A new cruise line sports an image of a bikini clad maiden with her top undone for sunning. The ads boast of the 'largest sundecks on the Atlantic' for it's Gala Resort Fleet - the fleet designed for the Sunny Southern Route. The closer of the ad reads ' But for more of everything that makes life sunny, come aboard Italian Line. Pack a bikini. Or are you just looking?"

LIFE Magazine 1945 - Summer "Epidemic" Threatens! Science finds that 7 out of 10 have Athletes Foot...easy new treatment shows excellent results. Ad is for Mennen Quinsana Athletes Foot Powder. Again, just give me that two piece polka dot two piece with the lace up sides.

LIFE magazine 1945 - OK, this one is actually relevant, for Unguentine. Ever heard of that one? When you take more sun than your skin can bear, get prompt relief with soothing, cooling, Unguentine. Sun creams were in use at this time but the benefits of getting out in the sun for health reasons were more widespread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Be the Change!

Welcome Mr President, we salute you! This inauguration of our 44th President Barack Obama has been filled with such talent and creativity from artists I am deeply humbled. A small tribute:

Artist Shepard Fairley has done a series of posters for the Obama presidential campaign. An interview with Shepard on his artwork for Obama can be found here.

To make your own picture inspired by the ones above Paste Magazine has created a tool that lets you be famous too!


You can make a difference!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vintage Beach Headgear

A selection of images and ads showing the various styles and shapes of beach hats over the years.

I love this shot of a line up of lovely ladies, she shadow is especially intriguing.

Rose Marie Reid swimwear silhouette, don't the gloves just make this one pop?

Swim caps of the 1950's were all the rage, they came in various colors, textures and styles.

The large floppy 'Lido' hat.

Straw hats were also a popular choice for keeping the sun rays out.

Another fun ad showing various shapes in head wear styles.

And a kerchief style cap to tie the hair back.

And beach hat fashion from Paris. Who would have thought?

Friday, January 16, 2009

The introduction of the Beach Pyjama

I love this old time home shot video in black and white. It really gives you a sense of the styles of 1931, full one piece suits made of wool. Even the little toddlers are wearing one piece wool suits. Towards the middle there is a young woman wearing what are called beach Pyjamas. This was considered casual beach wear. The music is very fitting for this piece.

In History of 20th Century Fashion, by Elizabeth Ewing she states, "Beach pyjamas, with flaring legs, had been anticipated by slim lounging pyjamas, which Chanel was making in the early 'twenties and which were soon being worn by the fashionable. The beach ones, however, had a life all their own and were worn exclusively on beaches everywhere, usually with backless sun-tops or sleeveless blouses....It was the beginning of a new category of clothes, the start of the 'casuals' which were to have a great vogue in future years."

Bette Davis in a swimsuit, and Joan Blondell in beach pyjamas in the early 1930's. The fabulous costumes are by Warner Brothers genius Orry-Kelly.

For more eye candy on the Beach Pyjama, there is a wonderful blog (in French) located here. While I can't read it because my french is really really rusty, I can certainly enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vintage Roadshow Links of the Week

Debutante Clothing rings in the New Year in 1960s black and white paillettes.

iKonic does her part for the economy with her new weekly feature Vintage Cheap But Chic.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid has lots of leopard print for sex kittens.

Glamoursplash begins a series of posts on swimwear through the ages.

The Vintage Traveler mourns the end of Bill Blass.

If you blog about vintage, consider joining our Vintage Roadshow Group here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

East meets West in Swimwear Styles of 1945

East Coast Suits for 1945 are more dressy and feminine. Made of draped material they hint the beginning of retrogression to ruffles and frills. Many have long detachable skirts. In the picture above the suits are paired to show each with and without the skirt.

California Suits for 1945 are styled for active swimming. Strictly functional, the have no shoulder straps, minimum diaper style pants. These suits are the ultimate development of the skintight knitted suits which first appeared in the early 20's.