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, April 30, 2010

Galveston Vintage Swimwear Contest - Discount Coupon from Glamoursurf

Are you planning on participating at the Galveston Vintage Bathing Beauty Contest? The contest is on May 14-15 in Galveston TX. Last year Secelia won second place wearing one of our vintage swimsuits from Glamoursurf.

Secilia won second place in the 2009 vintage swimsuit competition at Galveston Beach, TX.

This is Liz in a picture from the 2009 Galveston Beach Revue. Liz will be sporting a vintage swimsuit she purchased from Glamoursurf in this years contest. Hope you win Liz! ♥

Glamoursurf is offering a 20% discount for participating ladies and gents from our wide selection of vintage swimwear at Glamoursurf. Just enter coupon code Galveston at checkout and your discount will apply. Offer good through May 15, 2010. Good luck to all who enter. Wishing you the best of luck!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

This Weeks Giveaway - Provide Your Inspiration

I have a fabulous small Hallmark book called 'Whoops" a photographic celebration of clowning around and mishaps providing comic relief to the more serious side of life. A celebration of fun time frolics, as well as those unbelievable candid moments. Each of the photo's has an inspirational comment along side of it.

I will be giving this book away to the one person who comes up with the best/funniest/appropriate quote for one of the following photo's. Use the letter of the photo you are providing your quote to in the comments section along with your quote. Drawing will be held one week from now on May 5, at 6pm PDT. Have fun and good luck!


1930 - A man falls off his water ski board.

The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary. -Thomas Edison


1955 - 3 young boys pull each other off a diving board falling into a lake. Lambert/Hulton archive.

If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them myself. -Confucius


1961 - A submerged car which it drunken owner 'parked' in a swimming pool in Beverly Hills, Ca.

Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius. - Henri Frederic Antiel


1936 - A young girl takes delight in soaking her dad with the water hose.

Ones mind has a way of making itself up in the background, and it suddenly becomes clear what one means to do. -A.C. Benson


1959, Christine Child and Francis Pidgeon on the roof of Piccadilly theatre after rehearsals for "The Crooked Mile".

If something anticipate arrives too late it finds us numb, wrung out from waiting, and we feel-nothing at all. The best things arrive on time. -Dorothy Gilman


1934 - Two women trying to roller skate along the front at Hastings, UK.

Talent is commonly developed at the expense of character. -Ralph Waldo Emerson


1965 - Actress Leslie Allen and actor Alex W. Caird put on a display for the press at Crystal palace, London

Suspense is worse than disappointment. - Robert Burns


1938 - A stunt driver on a motorcycle entertaining the crowd on Brighton Sea Front, UK.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

1940S Swimwear Fashions

Some fabulous 1940s swimwear fashions.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cast Your Vote for your Favorite Vintage Website!

It's that time again for Lulu's voting to begin for your favorite vintage websites. Both of our sites have been included in a wonderful mix of vintage dealers. We'd appreciate you casting a vote for us for either of our sites Glamoursurf or GlamourSavvy, wink wink! Lulu is taking votes for the 2010 People's Choice Top 10, as well as 2010 Lulu's Top 10 through Monday, May 31st. Thank you Lulu!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Was your mom doing this in the 1960s?

A couple of the things my mom used to do in the 60s was to clip coupons and take us thrifting. I learned some very good lessons from her, how to be frugal and still have a sense of style. How to make a dollar stretch. How to get more life out of an outfit by passing it on to my sisters. Of course that meant I got hand me downs too from my older sister Jody and because mom liked to dress us up in matching outfits, it was sometimes not a new wardrobe at all, just another in a larger size that would fit me. Ah well, she liked us all to look the same I guess.

A popular pastime in the 50s and 60s was to enter contests that companies would hold to come up with jingles or to send in product wrappings to get free items for the cost of postage. I came across a Family Circle magazine this weekend from 1968. This is one of the things I would have loved to find in moms closet, a Schiaparelli fur from a magazine sweepstakes. Can you imagine winning one of these lovely fur coats? Swoon.

And another with Peter Max style graphics was 'The Brillo Pillow", an inflatable vinyl pillow. Everyone needs one of these to dress up the living room couch.

Or how about two pop art potholders, Andy Warhol style, or perhaps some mini markers or soup spoons from Campbell's.

We don't see much of this type of advertising anymore, all I usually see are coupons that expire in about 2 weeks. In the olden days I don't think many coupons has expiration dates.

The magazine is filled with many product offerings for lingerie, feminine products, winning casserole recipes and tips on how to clean the house better.

Also included were snaps of models wearing clothes created from patterns. These 6 looks are all based off of one pattern Simplicity 7799, which you could also order by mail.

Advertising, the media, and magazine layouts and marketing have changed a lot in the past 40 years. It's one of the reasons I love old magazines, the styles, the staging and the contests all seemed so creative. And I can still wish Schiaparelli was still around to offer one her her furs!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gilbert Adrian - Master Fashion Designer

Is there a sewer alive who hasn't occasionally longed for a perfect 'movie star' figure, one that would render alterations unnecessary and make every garment look great? Broad shoulders, flat chests, non existent waists, large hips, and heavy calves all seem to be flaws unheard of on the silver screen. But look closely, and you'd see that these figure realities are as familiar to many cinema greats as to the rest of us. Joan Crawford was only 5 ft, 4 in tall, yet had 40 inch shoulders and size 12 hips. Norma Shearer was 5 ft. 2 inches tall, extremely long waisted, and had piano leg calves. Greta Garbo was flat chested and scarcely had a waistline. What all these and many other imperfect screen icons did enjoy however, was a master illusionist: costume designer Gilbert Adrian, better known as simply Adrian.

As head fashion designer for Metro Goldwyn Mayer from 1928 to 1941, Adrian created pure magic with his innovative, luxurious, and cleverly camouflaging garments. From 1941 until a heart attack curtailed his activities in 1951, he extended his magic to consumers by offering ready-to-wear garments under his own label.

A Prodigy

Gilbert Adrian was born Adrian Adolph Greenburg in Naugatuck, Conn. in 1903. An artistic child, he enrolled in New York parsons School of Fine and Applied Art in 1921 but quickly became bored. In an attempt to salvage his academic career, he was sent to Paris the following year, Where a chance meeting with Irving Berlin sent him back to New York to design for a series of musical reviews. his sketches were seen by Rudolph Valentino's wife, and, as a result, Adrian was hired to design the costumes for Valentino's next movie.

Adrian designed for only two of Valentino's films, but he stayed in Hollywood, having caught the attention of Cecil B. DeMille. When DeMille joined MGM in 1928, Adrian became the head costume designer. Adrian was 25 years old.

Hollywood Heyday

Designing costumes for more than 200 films, Adrian worked with numerous film stars. But his association with Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Judy Garland and Greta Garbo helped transform all their names into Hollywood legends.

The cope of Adrian's talent for MGM was impressive. Greta Garbo's wardrobe for Single Standard (1929) capitalized on her relatively androgynous figure and her affection for men's clothes. Suddenly women wearing pants, trench coats and men's silk pajamas was the height of fashion. Joan Crawford's shoulders became, in his hands, one of her most recognizable traits. As Marsha Hunt recalls in her 1993 book The Way We Wore, in doing so, he changed women's silhouettes throughout the Western world.

Adrian was equally comfortable with period films, capturing the essence of any era, while retaining a modern sensibility. Norma Shearer's gowns ford (1938) were among the most elaborate and expensive ever produced by Hollywood, many built around authentic period textiles; in all, Adrian designed 5,000 garments for this film. Nor was fantasy beyond him. HI s Munchkins, wicked witches, flying monkeys, and other characters of The Wizard of Oz (1939) were pure surrealism,, while Judy Garlands blue gingham dress defined American wholesomeness.

But as the 1930s came to a close, it became clear to Adrian that the big-budget films of the decade were being restyled to befit a nation soon to go to war. The film The Two Faced Woman (1941) was the pivotal event; it cost MGM two of their most valuable assets: Adrian designed 14 evening gowns for Greta Garbo, but the studio refused to use them.

Instead, they insisted on low cut gowns that she loathed and permed hair that looked ridiculous. Time magazine responded to Garbo's "new" image by saying it was "almost as shocking as seeing your mother drunk." Garbo's performance was flat, and she walked away from Hollywood, never to make a movie again. Adrian's response was equally unequivocal: "When the glamour ends for Garbo, it also ends for me." Gilbert Adrian quit the studio at the age of 38.

Going Retail

With the opening of Adrian, Ltd., in the fall of 1941, a new chapter started in Adrian's life. Cut off from their usual Parisian sources of inspiration and forced to observe fabric restrictions by World War II, American designers such as Adrian, Normal Norell, and Pauline Trigere were beginning to define the "American Look." Adrian offered a full line of clothing: his ready to wear line carrying the "Adrian Original" label and his couture clothing, "Adrian Custom," sold through his Beverly Hills salon. But it was his imaginative suits that really captured the spirit of the times.

Suit Sorcery

Working often with NY textile designer Pola Stout, Adrian designed many suits that capitalized on the subtle stripes and tiny geometric figures she wove into her wool fabrics (two examples of which are shown in the above images. Adrian's manipulation of stripes, often intricately pieced and always beautifully matched, was legendary.

Such intricate cutting has always has a purpose. The most visually exciting geometric effects often occur when two or more lines intersect at different points. Depending on the position and direction - horizontal, vertical or diagonal - the figure as a whole or certain targeted areas can be lengthened, shortened, made to recede, or appear to be larger.

More Jacket Magic

The brown checked jacket positively vibrates with energy. Technically, the perceived movement created by the checks is called 'autokinetic' or self moving. Four different sizes of the same check are combined in the jacket. The smallest check is reserved for the upper yoke, minimizing broad shoulders. A medium sized check is used for the next level, with a larger check occupying the next two sections. The same fabric stacking is used down the right sleeve. The real pizzazz comes from the giant-sized checked material of the jacket and sleeve. The dramatic slashes move the eye across the body, never allowing it to settle on one particular spot. They pierce the visual lane with staccato gestures. Any figure faults become secondary to the movement created by these inserts.

The Barnyard Dress

Adrian's famous Barnyard Dress plays optical tricks of a different, but related, sort. Rather than relying on stripes or plaids to create visual illusions, the printed pattern itself is the camouflage. This dress would have been perfect for Greta Garbo's square shoulders, flat chest, and poorly defined waistline. The shoulder line is fairly square, but effectively softened with drapery. The broad shoulders help to balance the effects of a thick waistline. One central motif across the entire chest - the farm shed- makes the upper bodice work like a flat canvas. It neither accentuates a big bust nor minimizes a small bust. Rather, the motif draws attention to itself instead of the body.

The hens-and-roosters print on the skirt progresses from tightly packed lines at the waistline to gigantic loose motifs at the hemline. This graduation of size makes the waistline appear smaller. The gigantic print at the hemline balances the width at the shoulder, further emphasizing the waist.


Sadly, Adrian was only able to stay in the retail business for 10 short years. His first heart attack forced him to abandon the frantic pace that the fashion industry demanded. Janey Gaynor, built a luxurious plantation in Brazil, where he was able to recuperate and rest. Lured out of retirement by the chance to design the stage costumes for Camelot, Adrian suffered a fatal heart attack on Sept, 13, 1959.

The optical illusions Adrian created are only a portion of all that distinguishes the work of this designer, who as much as anyone, created and gloried in the spectacular visual excesses of Hollywood's Golden Era. Like all studio designers of that era, Adrian was under explicit directions to create dazzling garments that would give each star as much presence, power, and physical perfections as possible. Translating his discoveries and innovations from film to the real world, Adrian persisted in offering garments that drew attention away from the everyday realities of the human figure, and toward the excitement of the garment itself. Having been intoxicated with such garments on screen for more than a decade, it's no wonder that women welcomed this flamboyance as it became available to them. But in so doing, they allowed Adrian to prove for us all that style, grace and fashion aren't dependent on a 'perfect' body.

Jennifer recently acquired the checked suit shown in our article, send her some vintage love ♥!

Reprinted from May 2001 Threads Magazine by Mary Elliott.

More about Pola Stout

From NY Times obituary 1984:
Mrs. Stout was born in Stry, Poland, and studied fabric design in Vienna.

From 1940 to 1945, she designed for Botany Mills, and in 1946, underwritten by eight manufacturers, she set up her own textile mill in North Philadelphia.

She created fabrics for Edith Head, Dior, Norell and Jo Copeland, among others. Exhibits of her textiles were held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
"Little is known of the fabric designer Pola Stout except that she made exclusive fabrics for Adrian in several collaborations. The process was a combination of either Stout's fabric coming first and a jacket designed to fit the fabric or Stout working out a pattern to fit into the confines of Adrian's idea of a garment. Pola Stout would create the first sample fabric by hand and are primarily but not always monochromatic in subtle color families. The horizontal and vertical lines of Stout's work melded wonderfully to Adrian's simple yet chic design sensibility."

Some of her and Adrian's collaborations are located here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More Gernreich Swimwear

I never tire of looking at Rudi Gernreich swimwear. Today we show you a few more of his brilliant pieces.
Models Lisa Taylor and Jerry Hall in a Helmut Newton photo from 1975. This is Gernreich's Tanga suit.

Another Tanga suit in both womens and mens styles, from 1974. Classic!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Black and White Vacation Ready Vintage Swimsuit

This illustration is for American Airlines from 1953. You do want to visit Acapulco don't you? I know I do. I just love the black and white swimsuit this gal has on. I've got my eye on a similar beauty.

Maybe I'll get it and then try and talk DH into a Mexican vacation this fall when the weather will still be incredibly warm down south.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Australian Retro Style Swimwear Jemma Jube launches at Topshop

Australian swimwear label, Jemma Jube, has teamed up with Topshop with an exclusive limited edition capsule collection for Spring 2010. These cute swimsuits are retro inspired. What's not to love?

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Relaxing Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

DH took the day off work yesterday and DD is on Spring Break so we packed up the car and went south to the lovely Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was an absolutely beautiful day outside and a perfect day to spend strolling around the aquarium.

The otters were the first exhibit we saw. They are always so playful and fun rolling around in the water. There were two of them hamming it up for the crowds.

One of my favorite exhibits was the jellies. There were various tanks filled with the most beautiful displays of jelly fish, all so serene and gliding through the water effortlessly. Some of them were very very small, others seemed to glow in the dark.

Next were the seahorses. Aren't they beautiful?

I don't recall what this fish was called but it looked like plant life, very pre-historic looking.

And then the sea turtles. These two were really interacting with the people. They seemed to want to just want us all to come swim and play with them.

There were many educational and interactive exhibits, this one let you take a pic of yourself with your sustainable choice for the environment.

The touching pools were a big hit with the younger folks. The starfish were all shapes, colors and sizes.

The kelp pool exhibit was huge and at one point a diver was present int he water and answered questions from the crowd. It was huge and took up two full stories of the architecture.

The sand dollars were beautiful and if you watched very closely you could actually see them move.

We really had a fun day. Afterwards we went down town for dinner and saw an antique custom car show. I didn't have my camera with me at this point but we saw some very cool hot rods. I highly reccomend a visit to the aquarium if you get the chance, it's gorgeous.