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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tie Dyeing a Fish Swimsuit

Moving forward with our tie dye techniques for this weeks blog posts, let's get specific with technique.

Mens stretch nylon undershirts make sexy no bra tank suits and are easy to dye. Just add bikini pants and voila! We'll show how the fish pattern is created today using three colors of dye; liquid yellow, aqua and navy blue.

First drip a line of undiluted yellow across the dampened shirt and accordion pleat it.

Add rubber bands to this area to hold the dyed area snugly.

Above the yellow stripe, drip a solution of 1/2 aqua dye + 1/2 water and bind this with rubber bands in one long clump.

Trace one half a fish shape on paper and cut it out for a stencil. Wherever you want a fish, fold the shirt horizontally (keeping the front and back together), place the stencil on the fold and trace the outline with a magic marker.

Now, dip undiluted yellow dye along and inside the outline. Gather the outline in 1/4" accordion pleats enclosing the shape with one continuous gathering up of pleats. The pleated outline is secured with a rubber band. Repeat twice more so there will be fish both fore and aft.

Now, make a dye bath with one package or 1/2 bottle of navy blue dye. After submerging the tank top in cool water, simmer it one hour in the dye bath, stirring occasionally. The last step is a rinse until the water runs clear.

Tomorrow we'll be sharing tie dyeing with a Japanese paper folding technique.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tie Dying Part Two

Let's talk about tie dyeing. As promised from our post yesterday we'll share some of the techniques found in a 1971 article in Look magazine.

Consider your location and the tools you will need. The beach is the perfect place to set up 'shop'.

Pots, bottles for squeezing paint, pattern and backing blocks, C-clamps for gripping blocks to fabric, rubber bands, eyedroppers and magic markers.


Apply color to dampened fabric. If using block, clamp the blocks on the dampened fabric and then submerge the entire suit in cool water, then simmered for at least an hour in a dye bath. The hot dye sets the colors under the blocks or rubber bands and dyes the background at the same time. A dye pot of enamel, pyrex or stainless steel should be large enough to hold the complete bundle with just enough room left for stirring.

Soft water works better that hard water for dying. After it's simmer, the suit with the bands and clams still in place, is rinsed until the water runs clear. If you are doing this on the beach just swish your garment in the ocean. The rinsing is repeated without the bands and blocks, and the suit is laid out in the shade to dry.


Tomorrow we'll give instruction on how to make a fish technique in tie dye. Ta-ta.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tying up the Best Tie-Dyes in Beachwear

This article originally appeared in Look magazine 1971.

Tie-dyeing, an art first recorded in the Orient in the sixth century, is blossoming to new life. The mystery of the patterns emerging from the pot intrigues the most casual blue-jean bleacher, and in the hands of Will and Eileen Richardson, tie dye has become a contemporary art form. The Richardsons, a husband and wife team, run a studio called Up Tied in New York. They work their magic on a dazzling variety of garments.

Their friend and collaborator Halston Frowick, converts Up Tied originals into fashion fantasies for the wealthy and famous - from Jacqueline Onassis to Ali McGraw. The Afro poncho above is from Halston, New York.

The photo above is a mans nylon undershirt and re-purposed military fatigues. Block dying transformed a dancers standard white leotard into Barbara Carrera's on of a kind tank suit (below).


This week we'll be sharing the various techniques used to create these beautiful pieces. Ready to give it a try? Come back tomorrow for more info. In the meantime, source a piece you'd like to use as your canvas.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1940 Poolside Fashion

1940s fashions including poolside wear! Thought you might like this, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Make your own mermaid tail!

Want to be a mermaid, swim like a mermaid? Follow these easy
directions to make a custom mermaid tail to fit your body!


Wayne Thiebaud Swimsuits

Girl with Ice Cream Cone, 1963 Oil on canvas

One of my all time favorite artists is Wayne Theibaud. The San Jose Museum of Art is holding a retrospective of this work called "Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of painting" and I plan to head down to the museum this weekend to catch the show.


Two Kneeling Figures - 1966, oil on canvas

Theibaud, now 89 years old, has had a very extensive career starting out as a cartoonist and worked as an apprentice at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He began painting and exhibiting his work in the 1940s and started his teaching career at a succession of colleges, most notable U.C. Davis where he is still emeritus part time.

Bikini, 1964 Oil on canvas

His figural swimsuit series of the 60s is a favorite of mine and I can't wait to see these close up. From what I understand his family has recently purchased a condominium in Laguna where he has begun to re-explore the beach series in a more abstract way.

Revue Girl, 1963 Oil on canvas

Eight Lipsticks, 1964 Pastel on paper

Thiebauds work is filled with such richness and texture, the paint is actually somewhat impasto. You might be familiar with is deli cases filled with cakes and pies or his pie or cake pictures alone. The frosting on the images looks so good you could actually eat it.


Yellow Dress, 1974 oil & charcoal on paper mounter to rag board

But for me, it's his fashion pics, beach scenes and figural studies that have me enamored. I'm really excited to go see this body of his work as well as to be able to see his newer pieces. I'll have to report back.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Day at The Vintage Fashion Expo

Oh what a fun day. Eileen from Daisy Fairbanks and I headed up to San Francisco yesterday for the last day of the Vintage Fashion Expo. The Expo takes place two times a year in San Francisco, once in March and once in September, and three times in Santa Monica during February, April and October.

The show opened on Sunday at 11:00. We managed to score a free parking spot on the street right across the street from the Concourse Exhibition Center, which is no easy feat in itself in San Francisco but I guess it was our day for good car karma.

The show was quite large with 70+ booths displaying vintage fashion of all forms. Oh what eye candy we saw, and the attendees were also fun to watch as they pranced around in vintage finery or were trying on lovely pieces.

I became enamoured with this burlesque costume and it almost came home with me, but alas, I decided to leave it as it was one of the first pieces I saw that I was interested in since I was particularly focused on finding vintage swimwear and accessories. I told myself to restrain and see what else might be available and I'm glad I did.

We stopped by Donnaland who had quite a large booth presence. I ended up purchased three straw beach bags from her as well as two swim caps. I fell in love with this vintage pin up but she wasn't for sale. She was holding open a large jewelry case and one of the workers told me that she has a hole in the top of her head and asked me if I knew what it might be, I had no idea, perhaps a water bottle of some sort. But whatever, she sure was cute!

At another booth I spied this cute home sewn cotton swimsuit and cover up. I almost brought this set home with me but it was very tiny and short waisted so I decided to leave it, but really loved the colors and the print.

And then we rounded a corner and there was one rack of men's clothing where I found this awesome shirt. All of the menswear was top quality and I knew right away that it had to be Brian of Snappygabs, he always has such fabulous menswear. Isn't this the coolest graphic?

Eileen and I went on to the next booth where she fell in love with this vintage Bonnie Cashin mohair coat at Divine Elegance. Eileen had been cold all day and was only sporting a cute beaded sweater but she really struggled with talking herself out of the coat. Once she tried it on and fastened the toggle closures it never came off. Laura, the owner of the store, gave Eileen a deal she just couldn't pass up. She bought it and wore it the rest of the day. Eileen was very good at restraint, she only purchased this and a cool vintage apron all day.

Next spot we saw was ally n scura, a vintage eyewear booth. Wow, Scott had sooo many beautiful pairs of eyeglass frames for the vintage fashionista. Many of them were new old stock vintage pieces. Really a nice display and his booth was busy!

I thought these sunglasses were really fun.

While I was busy at one booth buying a fabulous 50's bikini, Eileen got sucked into Foxy Couture. This booth had it all, McCardell, Chanel, Pucci, Hermes, you name it. She had top quality items and beautiful couture pieces. We spent lots of time in her space just drooling over her incredible inventory.

Pucci and Chanel.

And two large display cases filled with the most wonderful vintage accessories and handbags. Swoon!

But I think our most fun stop of all was visiting Anna Newman Vintage where we met Anna and Maggie of Denise Brain Vintage. All of us are fellow members of the Vintage Fashion Guild so it was especially nice to meet up with these gals who I've met on line but never in person. Denise caught me looking at her from the booth across the way but she didn't realize who I was until I walked up and handed her my business card from Glamoursurf.

Left to right: Anna, me, Eileen, Maggie

After that we sat down for a quick bite and then came home. It was a lovely day spent with my birthday buddy Eileen, surrounding ourselves in high quality vintage, and coming home with some wonderful new stock that will be up on the site very soon.

I'll be going back in September for the next show for sure. If you love vintage, you really should treat your self to a visit as well. Be sure to bring plenty of cash and a reserve of energy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Deconstructing a Swimwear Shoot

This image is from a 1963 book on techniques of advertising photography. The photograph is for Seltmann chinaware. Once again I find it interesting with the choice of using a swimsuit clad model to be in the shot and I'm not sure exactly why she is there as she doesn't have much to do with the subject matter at hand. And the image itself begs the question, why is her chair buried in the sand, it just looks a bit contrived. And it is! This is a shot which shows the deconstruction of the photo shoot. Interesting no? The staging was done in a studio garden. Note the background surf photograph and the foreground use of a tripod to hold up the chinaware. The book goes on to describe the different lighting and camera techniques used.

I've looked to try and find the finished ad on line to no avail. I must say though that I do like the 60's chinaware, and the swimsuit isn't too bad either!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anne Adams Swimsuit Patterns

These images are from a 1944 booklet of Anne Adams Patterns. I really like the look of all the 'Sunshine Patterns'. The price of these patterns in 1944 was only 16 cents via mail order. You can click on the images for a larger view.

Check out the two piece 'flirtatious bathing suit with sissy trunks', it comes with its own matching companion cape or skirt. And I adore the heart shaped pockets on the overalls.

And as an added bonus are a layout and instructions for making your own apron pattern. Looks fairly easy to me, I may just make one of these up this week.


Don't forget, if you are looking for a vintage swimsuit pattern we have a wide selection at glamoursurf. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sea Glass Treasures

Yesterday the sun was out, dear daughter had the day off from school, so we packed up and headed for the beach. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the beach wasn't crowded at all. There were a few families but we found mostly moms and kids and/or dogs relaxing and playing in the surf and sand. We packed a lunch, sunscreen, towels, beach chairs, water, books, my big floppy hat and a large plastic bag. I always bring a bag with me as I love to comb the shore for treasures. This was yesterdays find. I love beach glass and have collected it from almost every beach we've ever visited.

This is just a small sampling of what we brought home. I'll add the sea glass to our collection and the shells to the jar we keep them in. We found only one half of a sand dollar. And we didn't find any dark blue sea glass, which is my favorite and I always jump around with glee whenever I do find a piece. We did find a lovely shade of light blue pieces though.

Some of these have a natural hole in them and I may get inspired by my sister Barbs jewelry work to make them into some sort of necklace or artwork. But for now, they just bring a smile to my face as I think they are a beautiful free gift from nature.

Friday, March 12, 2010

So you want to be a swimwear designer?

I've often pondered this myself. But I've come to the conclusion that for me, I'll stick with selling vintage swimwear and leave the designing to the experts. There are some wonderful informative articles I've found though that I'd like to share with those of you who are aspiring swimwear designers.

How to become a swimsuit designer.

Facts and figures on being a lingerie and swimsuit designer.

And just for fun, design your own swimsuit.

And if you're already savvy at sewing pop on over to Pattern School for a good dose of articles on selecting swimwear fabric and sewing information.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women on Waves at the California Surf Museum

Women On Waves: Performance, Beach Fashion, and Feminine Mystique in the World of Surfing


California Surf Museum’s 2010 special exhibit, explores many aspects of feminine wave-riding. From the Hawaiian surfing Queens of myth and legend, to the freshly crowned champions of the women’s pro tour, Women on Waves celebrates more than 300 years of women’s performances in surfing. The immense progress women have attained is a testimony to their talent and tenacity — which has been visible nowhere more than in the surf world.

At the same time Women on Waves chronicles the beach fashions women endured or created, the milestones they accomplished and the oft-overlooked influence the feminine mystique has had on surfing. The dance on waves, the natural connection to the sea, and the grace and beauty which is surfing, shares a decidedly feminine aspect.

The connection between women, the beach and fashion is always fascinating — the exhibits compilation of swimwear not only traces the styles and developments in women's attire, but documents the evolution of freedom and achievement attained over the last century as well. This collection of swim and surf apparel includes several world-class collections from around the nation — and tells an amazing story.

Although no exhibition can attain a complete history, the WOW show attempts to document the highlights of women's contributions throughout the sport and culture of wave-riding. For those who seek a comprehensive overview of the surfing experience, this provides one — but from a feminine perspective that will delight both men and women alike.

The California Surf Museum serves as an international repository and resource center for the lifestyle sport of surfing through capturing, preserving and chronicling its art, culture and heritage for the education and enjoyment of future generations.



While we haven't visited the exhibition yet we plan to over the summer. Glamoursurf was lucky enough to have been contacted and was able to supply the surf museum with some of our vintage swimwear. These photo's by Zamora Surf show a couple of the suits we supplied.

There is another fabulous blog post by Carla Rowland about the exhibit here. If you get the chance to go, it sounds like a brilliant exhibit.