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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Varga Girl

Alberto Vargas was a Peruvian immigrant who created graphic artwork for the Ziegfeld Follies as well as Hollywood Studios. Hi works are mainly done with watercolor and airbrush. It wasn't until his collaboration with Esquire magazine in the summer of 1940 by creating iconic World War II era pin-ups that he became a household name almost as famous as the beauties he captured. He fell in love with the all American girl and marveled at how self assured she was. He made sure to encapsulate this kind of determined quality in his work, a subtle difference from the ever popular but waning Gibson Girl of the previous generation.

George Petty was actually the first pinup artist to be published in Esquire a few years earlier. The publishers grew weary of Petty's diva like success and wanted to replace him with Vargas' impressive artwork. Unfortunately, Vargas was not well versed in business and allowed the publishers to take over his contract. One small detail required Vargas to drop the 's' from his last name. The very first Varga Girl was seen in the Oct. 1940 issue. The accompanying copy read "Every once in a while a new girl is born, fully grown and partially clothed, like Venus fresh risen from the sea." Shortly after came the Varga Girl calendar and the rest they say, is history.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Toni Frissell Swimwear Photography for Vogue

One of Vogue’s first female photographers, Toni Frissell (1907-1988) is considered among the most pioneering artists. Frissell began her career at Vogue as a caption writer, when then editor Carmel Snow, pointed her towards photography. Her work appeared regularly in Vogue from 1931 to 1942 and in Harpers Bazaar from 1941 to 1950.

Where earlier photographers relied upon controlled studio settings and static poses, Frissell placed her subjects in nature and in motion. She is also known for the imaginative angles, both physical and metaphorical, from which she covered her subjects.


Woman and Two Dachshunds, Vogue, 1939

Toni Frissell captured a woman and child standing on a pier in this photograph, which appeared in the June 15, 1941, Vogue. The woman balances a camera and holds the child's hand, as if preparing him to take a picture—but he's more distracted by the other camera, namely Frissell's. The sand and water nowhere in sight, this work is a clever take on a beach scene as well as a cheeky look into a family ritual.

Two models chat on a diving board. One wears a flared, belted tunic with chevron stripes; the other sports a blue denim bathing suit with white jersey shorts. Photographer Toni Frissell captured them at an unusual angle, which gives this work a cinematic quality. The image appeared in the July 1, 1936, Vogue.


Three models hold hands on a beach in this Toni Frissell photograph, which appeared in the May 15, 1935, Vogue. From left: a white one-piece bathing suit with an open back and halter neck; a white braided silk one-piece bathing suit with an open back and halter neck by B.V.D.; and a white ribbed knit one-piece bathing suit with dark straps and belt by B.V.D. Despite the period styles, this work has a sense of timelessness, as it resembles more a portrait of friendship than a fashion moment.


In this Toni Frissell photograph, a model swims with dolphins underwater in a water tank. She wears a striped, crinkled one-piece swimsuit by Brest. The playful image appeared in the January 1, 1939, Vogue.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Vintage Turban - so Parisian Chic!

The turban is a wonderful accessory to add a vintage wardrobe. Choose to wear it with a free throated dress or with your vintage swimsuit. We've been seeing them previewed this Spring on the runways. So Parisian Chic! We're glad they are making a comeback.

From vogue 1953. Nice eyebrows!


Close turban, open at the crown - the folds giving just a nice width. By Hattie Carnegie as seen in Vogue 1953.


The low draped turban, lapping the neck, in a bright pink and red Persian print silk. Wonderful line with a standaway collar. Hattie Carnegie from Vogue 1953.


We've been busy at Glamoursurf listing some of our vintage turbans, hats and swim caps. We'll be listing more over the next week so check back if you don't see something you like today.






Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sears Spring & Summer Beach Fashion from 1938

I pulled out some of my vintage catalogues today. What fun they are to look through. These images are from a Sears Spring & Summer 1938 mail order catalogue. The catalogue itself is about as thick as a modern phonebook and has everything you could ever need for your home or wardrobe. The beach outfits and swimsuits are all on a grand two pages. Go figure?!? There are about a dozen pages just focused on girdles and corset's. I also spent some time gazing at all the hats. But less I digress, onto the swimsuits!

Perfect 1938 model of real high grade. Mast of fast-colored, pre-shrunk cotton twill in a gloriously bright Tropical print. Smart promenade coat flares gracefully from fitted waist. Swim suit has wool jersey lining in matching color. Coat and swimsuit $4.95, the lined swimsuit alone $2.94.

Beach hat: shady coolie hat of natural color imported Italian Rough straw with gay ribbon flower applique. Ribbon chin strap. $1.98


a) Dressmaker style flattering to all figures. Quick fastening, rustless, Talon-zip in front. Fruit of the loom cotton in colorfast batik print. $1.98
b)Shimmering satin Lastex stretches crosswise for figure control. Woven or Rayon, cotton and Lastex. Skirtless style with cotton lined front, deep sun back. $2.98.
c) Expensive looking fancy stitch, cotton lined from waist down. $1.98
d) All wool. Our famous classic 'skirted' suit. Of all worsted wool. Shaped lined bust, moderate sun back. $1.54.


Wear a sheer suit with ease and confidence! Both in flesh colored rubber. $.89



Really, aren't the beach shoes just adorable?



And finally for the men:
g)the top one is a zip-fastened detachable shirt of Zephyr wool. Heavy 2 ply wool worsted trunks $2.98.
h) Famous Catalina quality. Stretchable Lastex makes them fit better, look better. Light weight satin finish rayon, woven with Lastex and cotton. $2.95
j)Athletic cut white Zephyr wool shirt, zip fastened to trunk. all worsted wool $1.98.
k) Good all wool worsted, bar welt stitch. Simulated fly front. Fine belt. $1.00
l) Stretchable Lastex, woven with quick drying rayon and cotton. In corded rib of enduring elasticity. Simulated fly front, built in supporter. $1.98

Enjoy from GlamourSplash!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fashion Inspiration, I'll make it myself

I am completely in ♥LOVE♥ with this silk set from Dolce & Gabbana. I tore the page out of my Elle magazine and have it on my inspiration board. Unfortunately it's a bit out of my price range; Silk bra top, $950, pajama shorts with sash, $1,195, satin sandals with sequin platforms, $1,100, all, Dolce & Gabbana.


The duo is soo retro looking and could easily be worn as a swimsuit in a heartbeat. Although, I'm not sure if you'd want to get this cute frock wet!

Then I see it again. This time as part of the March 2009 edition of Vogue Russia. Nice spread right? Scandinavian model Charlotte Hoyer lounging in a wave of boys, boys boys.


I think perhaps GlamourSplash may get out the sewing machine and see if we can create a look similar to this. Really, I absolutely ♥LOVE♥ it. Thank you Dolce, bravo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Art and the Photograph

Toni Frissell 1950

Three Photographers work we like at Glamoursplash: Toni Frissell, Sarah Moon and Lillian Bassman. All have worked for high end fashion publications such as Harpers Bazzar, Vogue and even Sports Illustrated. These works of art inspire me and I love the way they challenge me to look at something in a completely different way.



Toni Frissell Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida, 1947

Sarah Moon captures images that are somewhat soft focus and impressionistic.

Sarah Moon


Lillian plays with bleach and different chemicals in the darkroom to create some stunning effects

Lillian Bassman Wonders of Water 1959


Reduce what isn't needed, be alert in case the hoped-for unpredictable moment occurs, seek out that gut-satisfying emotion that you've got something special. It doesn't matter if you succeed every time, or every fifth time, or every twenty-fifth time; what matters is looking for it and being open to it when it arrives.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lovely Rita

Rita Hayworth was one of the most famous pin-up girls in the 1940's. She was born in Brooklyn in 1918 as Margarita Carmen Cansino and started her career as a dancer. By the age of 19 she had signed with Columbia Pictures and changed her name to Rita Hayworth. Here we share some of our favorite images of Rita in swimsuits. Isn't she gorgeous?

















Friday, March 20, 2009

Just Like Marilyn

I have apologize for the grainy quality of this photo but I needed to blow it up in size a bit to show that you too, can have a swimsuit just like Marilyn. This particular stunner is from Catalina and is available now over at Glamoursurf.


The straps are completely removable, if you choose to wear it strapless like Marilyn. This vintage Catalina black illusion lace suit won't last long in our shop. Be a bombshell, Just Like Marilyn!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tee Matthews sports Bathing Suit Styles from 1944

In 1944, the ambition of every girl in the balmy Florida city of Winter Haven was to be one of Dick Pope's girls. Dick Pope was a promoter of a tourist fairyland called Cypress Gardens. Every Sunday he turned loose in the gardens about a dozen girls - the prettiest in Winter Haven - dressed in corny Southern-belle fashions. For a fee (55 cents for civilians, 30 cents for men in uniform) visitors could roam at will through the cypress grove, sniff the gardenias and photograph the girls.

Queen of the 1944 season's pack of girls is Tee Matthews. Army photographers from 12 fields have voted her the most photogenic girl in Winter Haven. Bombing-range pilots at Avon field have crowned her Queen of the Range. Tee was 17 and still at high school. When she graduates she plans to try her luck at modeling.

Winter Haven's 'Queen of the Range' shows off bathing suits styles from 1944.

Tee Matthews and Bobbie Chambliss of Winter Haven, Fl. take time out to feed the gulls. Most of their Sundays are spent posing in southern Belle Costumes. I love the treatement of the single shoulder.

Sports clothes are Tees favorite wearing apparel. Here she models a play-and-swim suit with lace edged muslin panties by Cole of California.

In a one strap suit, Tee Mathews is a 1944 beach beauty. One strap-suits were the seasons sensation at southern resorts. This one of Guatemalan cotton was designed by Tina Leser.



In a two-piece suit by Jantzen, Tee likes to swim, dive, sail and water skit. This is her favorite type of suit. No matter how violent the exercise, the trunks and bra top stay in place.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Diaper Swimsuit by Claire McCardell

GlamourSplash uncovered a wonderful photo spread of Tee Mathews modeling the famous Claire McCardell Diaper Swimsuit. The photographs were shot by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine and published in January of 1944.

Tee demonstrates a tricky kind of beach wear. The first photo shows her holding up the suit which looks like a sack cut off at the bottom.


Tee steps into the swimsuit and fastens the drawstring around her neck.


The long back piece of the suit is pulled forward like a baby's diaper and tied snugly around the waist.

The final suit looks like this.


Claire McCardell created simple and fresh American sportswear and made it popular. Claire invented and launched the 'Diaper Swimsuit' in 1942 which was a new form is shape and style for that time. The combination of simplicity and functionality shows off her talent for making clothing and sportswear.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

GlamourSavvy Celebrates Spring with a 25% OFF Sale



Have you visited our sister site GlamourSavvy? GlamourSavvy offers a wonderful selection of vintage clothing from all eras, weather you like vintage 1950's, 1960's Mad Men style, retro 1970's or the 1980's (80' style is back big time this season), GlamourSavvy has it all!



Just a few of the fabulous vintage clothing items now on SALE @ GlamourSavvy.com. We're celebrating Spring by offering our customers 25% OFF all items through the end of March. Just enter code word MARCH at checkout and your discount will apply. We've got a wide selection of vintage items from the 1950's - 1980's including vintage day and evening dresses, suits, separates, outerwear, shoes and accessories for men and women. Plus we combine shipping! Get your Glam on at GlamourSavvy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Don't Worry Baby - Surfing with the Beach Boys

A trip down Memory Lane courtesy of the Beach Boys. Who doesn't remember a warm summer day at the beach complete with surfing, good food and friends, and perhaps a little romance and some dancing too! The twist, the pony, the jerk. It just makes me smile and feel that inner warm glow even though it may still be cold and wet outside right now. Enjoy from Glamoursplash!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shelly Winters as a Bathing Beauty

Shelly Winters (1920-2006) Born Shirley Shrift in St. Louis, the daughter of a garment cutter-salesman-designer and a mother who had aspirations to be an opera singer, Winters grew up mostly in Brooklyn. While still in high school, she took acting lessons and got interested in show business.

Shelly began her career as a model, vaudeville starlet, entertainer and even performed in an Off Broadway play, but acting was her dream and eventually she studied and became an actress for many movies.

Winters was a "role model" for Marilyn Monroe. When, as young actresses, they shared an apartment in Hollywood, it was she who taught Monroe the sexy, lips-apart look for which Monroe became famous, tilt your chin up, cast your eyes down, (or chin down, eyes up), and part your lips slightly.


Here Glamoursplash shares with you some cheesecake Pin Up shots of Shelly Winters in swimwear. Isn't she the cats meow?


Shelly posing in a satin two-piece swimsuit in the 1940's

Shelly in a diaper style two piece swimsuit from the early 1950's

Shelly with surfboard in the 1950's



Shelly in a one piece bathing suit 1951



1952 Shelly Winters in a two piece diaper style swim suit

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Versatile Sarong

Who doesn't recognize this leading lady? Dorothy Lamour began wearing the sarong early on in her acting career. Dorothy's first two films in 1936, "The Stars Can't Be Wrong" and "The Jungle Princess," were where she first wore her trademark sarong. Dorothy Lamour popularized the sarong during WWII and the image of her in a sarong would follow her in her career for quite a while. You can read more about Dorothy Lamour's career with sarongs here.



The definitive beach-wrap is known as the pareo from Tahiti to Hawaii, the lunghee in India, a Surong in the Philippines, in India a similar garment is named Sri and in Africa they call it a Kanga. In ancient times of Rome and Greece it was named a "Toga". Pareo is the Tahitian name for wrap-over skirt (pareu), today it is worn as a beach cover up and can be worn in a multitude of different ways.
By folding, wrapping, twisting and tying the sarong in various forms, a sarong can be worn in many ways. From a wrap-around dress or skirt, to a jacket, scarf or turban. There are around 15 different methods of wearing one. The pareo or sarong also morphs into a beach towel, for lying on the beach or a light sheet to protect you from the sun when resting.



Always comfortable and discreet, its secret lies in the fact that it works for any figure, and is easy to throw on. It can also be worn around the house or used as a long skirt for the evenings. Very few other fashion pieces are so versatile. A sarong permits good air circulation around the legs and is thus far more comfortable to wear than long pants.





We've recently added quite a few Sarongs, beach cover-ups, wrap skirts and even wrap pants to our Glamoursurf site. You can find them here in our new section titled Beach Cover-ups. We've also recently received a slew of vintage swimsuits which we'll be adding to our site over the next few weeks. Be sure to check back often.



Don't forget to to visit our sister site Glamoursavvy.com, we'll be adding fresh new summer vintage in the next couple of weeks. We're offering our blog readers a 25% off discount on all items at Glamoursavvy.com through the end of March. Use coupon code March at checkout and your discount will be automatically applied. Thanks for shopping with us!