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, October 30, 2009

The Adaptable Accessory - The Scarf

With just one square yard of fabric, or sometimes two, you can scheme yourself a whole crop of scarf tricks to gay up a dull wardrobe.

Gay up? Seriously? This article is from a 1946 Womans Day magazine I picked up yesterday. The original price of the magazine, 2 cents. Yup, that's it, 2 cents. But this article caught my eye because of the fun ways that you can re purpose a scarf or a yard or two of fabric. We'll focus on the PLAYSUIT!?! As always, you can click on the images for a larger picture if you need to see more detail.

One scarf held by a ribbon round the throat makes this skin-tight, free action playsuit. Done best in figure hugging rayon jersey.

The playsuit should be worn over a pair of panties. We held the scarf on the diagonal, and folded it with point A hanging down in front. This point is later picked up to form the halter. Holding the scarf at B and B, we tied these ends back at waist. Then we brought point C through the legs and up in back to tie points BB. To form the skirt in back we tied corners D and D together. The we tied a knot in the fabric at point A. Next, wee tied a ribbon round the through low enough to meet point A and twisted the ribbon into a loop in front. We slipped know A through the loop.

So there you have it. One square yard of rayon jersey and you can knot up your own playsuit. No sewing required.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Coca-Cola Girl

Throughout history companies have used swimsuit clad women to promote their brand. One very well know brand to do this successfully has been Coca Cola.

Always youthful, wholesome with a rosy glow these lovely ladies always has a coke in their hands or very near by.

The "Coca-Cola Girl" was the image the company preferred for pitching its potion, from the 1890s to the 1960s. Very rarely did a boy or young man appear in the ads or promotional materials, and after 1930 only in support of the girl.

Some very famous artists have created works of the Coca Cola Girl including N. C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell and Gil Elvgren.

Another artist is Haddon Sundblom who created the Yes Girl Coca Cola billboard and the Coca-Cola Santa. Sundblom was one of Coca-Cola's most prolific artists, painting everything from soda-fountain scenes to bathing beauties. During his peak period in the 1940s, he created at least half of all the Coke billboard art.

Photo shoots would be taken and then the artwork would be created. Interesting to note in these images that the swimsuit is by Jantzen. I wonder if they ever did any collaborative work?

This video shows some of the wonderful artwork created of the Coca Cola Girls over the years, Things really do go better with Coke. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Get the Look

This is one of my favorite photo's, I just adore the look. The hair, the sunglasses, the pose, the swimsuit (of course) and the shoes. Classic 1940s at the seaside.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Beautiful Carole Lombard

Isn't she a pretty young thing? And the lucky gal was fortunate enough to have been married to William Powell and later to Clark Gable. She died suddenly in 1942, quite young at the age of 34, in a plane crash. She established herself in the late 20s as a Hollywood comedian and went on to have a film superb career.

Monday, October 26, 2009

How many divers?

Look closely at this photo. How many divers do you see? Hint: it's more than you think!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wrong Time

These two ads for Rolex caught my eye because of the visuals. Rudi Gernreich, check, cut outs, check. round sunglasses, check.

1968 Rolex Ad

Then there is this one from 2009. Again, love the look but sorry the text just doesn't support this ad. It reads "1927 The swimming of the English Channel. Rolex, for lifes defining moments."

Huh? First the whole swimsuit styling is out of context. Trudy Ederle was the first woman who conquered swimming the English Channel in a scandalous silk swimsuit with rubber swim cap and goggles. She was covered in sheep grease by her trainer Bill Burgess to help her skim through the water.

These were her goggles, now on display at the Smithsonian Institute. So somehow the Rolex ads, while visually appealing, just have it all wrong.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

GlamourScoop - Vintage Swimwear Artist & Collector Jennie Pry

I was contacted by an artist named Jennie Pry this week who creates some stunning artwork of vintage swimwear. She uses the swimsuit as her model and muse and is a fellow vintage swimwear collector. She has had several shows where she displays her art of vintage swimsuits and sometimes includes stories of the women who wore them. You can view more of her work on her website.

Jennie recently finished as an artist in Residence with the Australia maritime museum for the exhibition Exposed the story of swimwear. The exhibition highlights past and present swimwear designers and their work. The exhibition runs through October 25th and will then travel around to various museums in Australia.

"The bathing suits reveal particular moments in time from a past era – stages in individual women’s lives. Through the suits, we are drawn to understand more about the women who wore them, their body shape, their feelings about themselves, how they wanted to expose themselves and we imagine how their lives may have been lived, their intrigues and their hopes and aspirations."

"Just as the colour has faded from the suits and the shape and texture of the fabric has changed, so too has the lives of the women who wore them. Their bodies have altered and aged, their interests changed as their lives moved on. The suits remain the glamorous nostalgic, remnants of former lives."

Fabulous aren't they? Really, someone needs to sponsor me to go to Australia!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Strike a Pose

Beauty on the beach. A lovely ballerina and a gymnast pose at the beach. I really adore these two shots just because they seem a bit out of their element to make the subjects interesting. And wouldn't it be interesting to see these gorgeous gals at the beach dancing and prancing around?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's your Favorite Beach Accessory?

Whats your favorite accessory for the beach? Well besides your swimsuit and tan we might suggest some of the following to help glamorize your beach beautifullness.

The fashionable swim cap.

And don't forget to protect your peeps with sunglasses.

Your cosmetics and grooming supplies.

Flippers, snorkel and mask.

Perhaps a beach poncho.

Fur, yes, fur.

The beach hat, scarf and shoes.

Seaweed is readily available.

Ohh, the matching cover up skirt.

Hair accessories and don't forget the jewelry!

Or the umbrella or parasol.

How about a beach ball?

The beach blanket or towel is a must.

Don't forget about the camera for capturing snaps.

The beach cover up and bag perhaps?

Or the cape!

Or if you're feeling festive cover yourself in playful balloons.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Va-Va-Voom Alix of Miami

Alix of Miami is one of my favorite designers of swimwear. They also made glamourous cocktail dresses. This ad shows a fabulous swimsuit by them, securely satin. Always well made, va-va-voom details and lot's of sex appeal.

1958 Alix of Miami Advert

An illustration of the Alix of Miami plant in Florida.

This is a beautiful example of a Vintage 50's Alix of Miami swimsuit, listed now at Glamoursurf. And it comes with a matching black lace cover up.

We've got this sweet little bombshell dress in or GlamourSavvy shop right now too. Alix of Miami sarong style cocktail dress.

This is one that we sold a while ago. White lace with rhinestone accents on the shelf bust. Pretty no? Always in style and always sexy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tanning as a Fashion Accessory

I really like the juxtaposition of these two photographs from the 1920s. Not only do they make a cultural statement about skin and modesty, they also capture how different parts of the world feel about sun worshiping.

A Japanese woman and her friend are the picture of modesty wading at the beach. Her pale skin is protected by a parasol.

Photo: Kiyoshi Sakamoto, 1928

In the United States though, people in the twenties were beginning to slip out of their clothes and into the sun. Tanned skin had become a fashionable accessory and beach side sunning booths, like this solarium in St. Petersburg Fl., touted the healthful effects of the sun.

Photo: Clifton Adams, 1929

I suppose mostly to this day the two different cultures are somewhat the same in regards to tanning and or sunning. While we might not have solariums like this anymore in the states, people still relish sunning their bodies at the beach and tanning salons have become big business.

But the effects of the sun on the skin have been well documented. If you do go out in the sun, please don't forget to use your sunscreen.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two 40's Turbans to Knit

One of my goals this season is to learn how to knit. When I try to teach myself with a book, things go horribly wrong. Perhaps there is a video out there that would be good for me to gain knowledge from. Somehow I just get all tangled up. And this is what I want to make first. I found the pattern on the V & A website, where you can look at many knitting patterns and download for free. I've included the pattern below, but the website has either word document of pdf, there are also many other 40's patterns to choose from. If anyone has a suggestion for me of a good site or video to view to try and help me make sense out of this pattern I'd love to hear about it.


Materials: 2 ounces of Paton Beehive Fingering, 3-ply; a pair of knitting pins No. 10.
Tension And Measurements: Worked at a tension of 7 sts. to the inch in width, the turban will fit a head measurement of 22 inches, but from these directions a cap of any size can be made, by repeating the sections accordingly. These form the skull-cap, and the bandeau is worked separately and sewn on.
Abbreviations (To Be Read Before Working): K., knit plain; p., purl; st., stitch; s.s., stocking-stitch (k. on right side and p. back).

To Work The Cap
Begin at the centre-front and cast on 40 sts., which determines the depth of the cap. K. 1 row into the back of the sts. * K. 18, turn and k. back ; k. 20, turn and k. back;. k. 22, turn and k. back.
K. 18 rows more in this way, working 2 sts. more on every alternate row, when all 40 sts. will have been worked.
Repeat from * 9 times more, then cast off.

The Bandeau
This is worked in bands in s.s., the first 12 rows having the purl side facing, and the next 8 rows the right side facing. Cast on 240 sts. and k. 1 row into the backs of the sts.
Work 12 rows in s.s., beginning with a p. row.
Work 8 rows, beginning with a k. row and ending with a p. row.
Work 8 rows, beginning with a p. row. Repeat the last 16 rows once more, then 4 rows more on the last band. Cast off loosely.
Note that the 3 rolls with the p. side facing form the right side of the bandeau.

To Make up the Turban
With the same wool sew the cast-on edge to the cast-off edge of the cap, be-ginning at the face edge, then run through the sts. at the centre, and draw up. Place the cap on the head with the seam at centre-front, and pin the centre of the bandeau to the centre-back of cap. Bring an end round each side and twist once at the front; carry the ends back and sew them under the band about level with the ears. Take care to keep the 3 p. rolls uppermost. Stitch the lowest roll loosely to the cap edge, leaving about 2 inches unattached under the front twist. At the back loosely stitch the second k. band to the cap.


Materials: 3 ounces of Patons Beehive Fingering, 2-ply (used double throughout); a pair of knitting pins, No. 10.
Tension And Measurements: Worked at a tension of 7 sts. to the inch in width, the turban will fit a head measurement of 23 inches, but this is easily adjusted to smaller heads by working fewer increase rows and gusset rows, on the cap, and also on .the twisted band. The cap portion . should therefore be fitted before working the straight ends.
Abbreviations (To Be Read Before Working): K., knit plain; p., purl; st., stitch; tog., together; inc., increase (by working into the front and ,back of the same st.); m.s., moss-stitch (k. 1 and p. 1 alternately, and on subsequent rows the sts. are reversed). Directions in brackets are worked the number of times stated after the brackets.

To Work The First Half
Cast on 22 sts. for the centre of the back head part.
1st row: (K.1, p.1) 11 times.
2nd row: P. 1, (k. 1, p. 1) 10 times, inc.
3rd row: Cast on 2 sts., m.s. to end.
4th row: M.s. until 1 st. remains, inc.
Repeat the 3rd and 4th rows twice more, then the 3rd row again. (34 sts.)
Work 11 rows in m.s., increasing 1 st. at the shaped end on every row. (45 sts.)
Now inc, 1 st. at the end (shaped end) of the next 6 alternate rows. (51 sts.)
Work 1 row more. * M.s. 24, turn, m.s. 24 ; m.s., 27, turn, m.s. 27 ; m.s. 30, turn, m.s. 30; m.s. 33, turn, m.s. 33 m.s. 36, turn, m.s. 36; m.s. 39, turn, m.s. 39 ; m.s. 41, turn, m.s. 41 ; m.s. 43, turn, m.s. 43; m.s. 45, turn, m.s. 45; M.S. 47, turn, m.s. 47; m.s. 49, turn, m.s. 49.** Work 2 rows in m.s. on the 51 sts., then work from ** backwards to *. Work 1 row more. ***Work 2 sts. tog. at the beginning (shaped edge) of the next row and following 2 alternate rows. Work 3 rows straight.
Repeat the last 8 rows from *** 5 times more and the first
3 rows again, when 31 sts. will remain.
Work 106 rows straight in m.s., then cast off.
Work a second half exactly the same. These two halves are then ready to be joined together.

To Make Up The Turban
Sew the cast-on edges and the shaped edges together in one line for the centre head seam, then fasten off, leaving the long straight parts free. This makes the cap part of the turban. Join the cast-off ends of the tie part, so that you now have a loop at the other end of the cap.
Press the turban with a hot iron over a damp cloth.

To wear the turban, place the cap part on your head so that the loop end is over the fore-head and the cap fits snugly at the back. Then twist the loop close to the head, and, holding the knot thus made firmly in place, fold the loop back over the head so that it makes a turban effect round the edge of the cap and fits the head comfortably.