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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Louella Ballerino for Jantzen

In our blog post yesterday about this photograph from Louise Dahl Wolfe we asked if anyone could name the designers of both the dress and the bathing suit. The dress is by none other than Claire McCardell. The swimsuit is designed by Louella Ballerino for Jantzen.

In the mid 1940s Louella Ballerino designed beach clothes for Jantzen. A major element of this outstanding collection lay in the custom prints she ordered from Bates Fabrics with inspiration from Hawaii, Africa and Polynesia.


1947 Jantzen Candy Cane ad. Note the addition of the skirt and bustle. Brilliant!

1947 Drumbeat ad for Jantzen.



In the Carte Blanche design, Ballerino paired a bra and top with a wrap around skirt or shorts (not shown).


Louella Ballerino graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in art and art history. After school she married and had two children. She was forced to find work after the stock market crash and took a position at a custom dressmaking house and went to night school to study various aspects of fashion and then began teaching. At the same time, she worked in a shop where she occasionally sold her own designs and in 1938 she went into business for herself.

Her first major success was a peasant dress of rough crewel embroidered with bright wool Tonga figures. Louella was and advocate of the 'peasant look' that was in sharp contrast to the tailored silhouette of the war years. She based her collections on styles and forms of decoration in Dutch, Aztec, Russian, Norwegian, Polish, Mayan, Chinese, Native American and South American costume and textiles. She usually employed boldly patterned materials, such as large scale prints and wide, bright stripes.

Ballerino is shown approving a sea fern pattern by Bates Fabrics in this advertisement from 1946.

Ballerino is credited with adapting the peasant apron and dirndl skirt for streetwear, decades before the craze for peasant dressing came to America in the 1960s. She was also one of the first to design mother-daughter outfits in the postwar years.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More imagery from Louise Dahl Wolfe circa 1947


Another fabulous picture taken by Louise Dahl Wolfe in 1947. We're a big fan of Louise's work here at Glamoursplash. And the subject matter at hand is also of significance. Can you take a guess as to who the designers of both the dress and the swimsuit are? One hint, they are two different designers. Answer comes tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Op Art Swimsuit 1966

F.C. Gundlach Greece, 1966, swimsuit Sinz Vouliagmeni

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glamoursplash GIVEAWAY - Swimsuit Pattern All sizes UNCUT


Tell me 'Why You Need This' for a chance to win a vintage 70s Stretch & Sew 1320 Tank Suit pattern by Ann Person. All sizes included from 30-44. Pattern is uncut. Winner will be chosen on Sunday Oct 2 from all qualifying feedback entries. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you if you haven't set up in your profile! Good Luck!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Louise Brooks and Bradley Swimwear

Advertisers will sometimes use film stars to promote their products. Celebrity endorsement is nothing new. This ad for Bradley swimsuits features Louise Brooks, Dorothy Dwan, Nick Stuart and Dorothy Gulliver. What is interesting though is that Bradley has not tied itself to a single movie studio, this one features Universal, Paramount and FOX. The ad dates to 1928, a time when advertising needed to capture the readers attention with the use of imagery to help promote self worth by being 'fashionable'. With Louise Brooks being the focus of the ad, and with people recognizing her as a big star at this time, I'm sure this ad helped to sell Bradley products. I for one, would have bought the suit she is wearing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

GlamourScoop - Meet Angie of Capricorn Vintage

Recently we got the opportunity to interview Angela of Capricorn Vintage. I beleive I first met Angela on the vintage clothing discussion boards on EBAY. She has many things in common with me, being an artist, a love of vintage swimwear as well as being a fabulous vintage seller.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a nostalgic girl in every way, which is how I got to where I am today. I love all things vintage & antique, old Hollywood glamour, Turner Classic Movies, rhinestones, glitter and sparkle. I was born and raised in Indiana and I love it here! I live here with my husband, 2 step-daughters and 2 kitty cats.

You have a brick and mortar store as well as selling on line. Do you have a preference?

The town that my store is in is pretty small, so I have my regular customers, but vintage is not super popular here. I have had my shop for 3 years. I love my little shop, meeting people in person and getting to see them try things one. But I really enjoy selling online, and I have for 11 years. I get to offer my things to a larger audience and find good homes for them all over the world! It's a lot of work, but I love it.

What type of clientele do you focus on?

I don't have a typical client I am thinking of, just anyone who loves vintage!

Can you describe your process for selecting items for your store?

I like to think of myself as a "vintage personal shopper" for someone I haven't met yet. Online, I am mostly known for 40s and 50s items with a bit of 60s. In my shop, I get to carry 70s & 80s also. If something catches my eye, keeping in mind condition, and I can see a gal rockin' it, I go for it!

You have a virtual swimsuit museum on your website, how did that get started? Are all of the pieces from your collection?

When I created my website (currently in the middle of being stocked!) I had just sold a large portion of my vintage swimsuit collection. I thought it would be a nice place to put pictures of them, for study and collectors. Almost all of the suits in the museum are sold. I do need to photograph my current (smaller) collection, but I am always too busy photographing things for selling! Someday I will.



Do you have a favorite swimwear brand and or era? Why?

I don't really have a favorite brand, but I just LOVE swimsuits from the 40s and 50s. I love 2 piece suits from the 40s with the bra tops and high waisted shorts/skirts. I think the suits from the 50s are my favorite, because they are so glamorous and make an hourglass girl (or any girl!) look amazing. They fit like no other. Really, there are many great modern reproductions of 50s bombshell suits, but you just can't touch the way a real one fits!

What other blogs do you read that you think would be of interest to the vintage community?

I read many, but I do go to retrorenovation.com daily! My house was built in 1947 and is decorated in all 40s and 50s, so I get ideas and love to see everyone else's homes there.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about vintage fashion?
Everyday that I wear a vintage dress, I get compliments, but then the person will say "I wish I could wear things like that!". You can! I also think that many people think that you have to wear head to toe, they don't get that you can mix vintage in with your modern pieces. Think a pretty 40s blouse with nice pants for work, or a beaded cardigan sweater. Start with a rhinestone pin on your modern jacket, and work your way up! Also, I constantly hear customers in my shop say, it's all so tiny! They don't even look, they see one dress & just assume. I have to tell them to really take a look, and try on things. There are all different sizes, and you can find an era that suits your body type and go with it. Remember, most of those prom dresses were worn by 15 and 16 year old girls! They weren't done growing yet! :)



Which designer(s) gives you inspiration?

Gilbert Adrian has always given me inspiration from the first time I saw "The Wizard of Oz" when I was a little girl. Now that I am an adult, and have studied his work, I can enjoy the other beautiful things that he did. I also love Elsa Schiaparelli and am totally enchanted by Bes Ben hats. Modern designers? John Galliano & Alexander McQueen. Can you tell I like fanciful, imaginative, artistic things?

What do you collect?

A lot! Vintage clothing of course! I wear 40s and 50s and have a deep love for the charming cotton house dresses of the era. I LOVE a novelty print, and I wear them often. I don't keep anything that doesn't fit or flatter me. It's not fair! Wonderful vintage dresses need to be out and about on a lovely gal, not just sitting in my closet. I also collect vintage jewelry, especially bracelets. I love thermoset bracelets, those plastic chain necklaces from the 40s, and novelty things. I won't even go into my household items! I love 40s and 50s, and have an obsession with atomic 50s lamps and all things aqua and turquoise.

When you aren't working on your store, how do you spend your time?

It seems like I am always doing something that has to do with vintage clothing, but I love to go to antique stores & flea markets to look for things for my house. I love to be outdoors, I love nature and gardening & my kitties. I spend time with my family and friends. I love going on road trips with my friends! I wish I could do that more often.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Win two Pairs of Maui Jim Sunglasses


Maui Jim is asking you to submit names for some of their new sunglasses. The contest naming is open through this Friday only. You can submit your entries here. What can you win? How about two pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses along with the chance to have your name be part of their product line. Sweet!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bikinis in Advertising

Swimsuit clad models are sometimes used in advertisements to sell products.These two ads for liquor are particularly interesting. I enjoy the way the Budweiser ad used the swimsuits to match the towel graphic, and the tan effect of the Tanqueray ad is quite amusing too. I wonder if the ads would make you buy this product?

1983 Budweiser Advertisement

1990 Tanqueray Advertisement

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Deco Belles


This past weekend, while I was out of town, the Art Deco Society of California held the annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon. One of these years I WILL make this if for nothing else but to see the fabulous Deco Belles perform. I am in love with this picture taken from lisaswehla's photostream on flickr. BRAVO!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We will Never Forget - Pepperdine University Flag Installation



This past week we took a wonderful but short vacation to southern California. On our way to brunch one morning we passed by Pepperdine University and were greeted by this wonderful annual installation of approximately 3000 flags placed on the campus grounds in honor of the victims of 9/11.

A U.S. flag was placed for each American death and foreign country flags were placed for deaths of foreign nationals who fell victim to the attacks. The installation wrapped around a large corner of the campus and seemed to extend forever. It was truly a moving sight to behold and walk through. Let us never forget!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Vacation

Glamoursplash is going of a bit of a vacation. We're hoping to find some excellent vintage swimwear in our travels or at least spend some time on the beach wiggling our toes in the sand. We'll be back within the week, until then, happy days to all!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flying Through the Air with the Greastest of Ease

Three young ladies, left to right, Mary Clark, Pat Clark and Barbara McAlister, train at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1961. The girls train for three to four hours per day in hopes to become the greatest girl diver. Esthetically and physically the seek perfection.


The photos are so fluid and timeless. The young gals look like dancers in the air while preparing for the plunge.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

As seen from the back - Vintage Swimwear 1961

This fabulous image is from 1961 and was used in a deodorant ad of all things. I enjoy the simplistic approach to the styling and the focus being on the back. A modified t-strap, a draped cowl back, and one which comes to point perfection. The solid color only adds to the success of the layout. I'd love to see the front of all of these and how the bust line is treated. I think the pink one is my favorite though. Simple elegance.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Celebration of Curves - Mad Men Style


I really love this photo of the Mad Men cast by Robert Trachtenberg on the cover of the September 2010 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. Of all the beautiful people in this shot I think Elizabeth Moss takes the prize, isn't she stunning? Not to say that January, Don and Christina don't look good, but Elizabeth just has such vamp sex appeal in this photo. I'm not sure who designed that dress she is wearing but the color, fit and style of the bodice do wonders for her figure. She is just so demurely sexy in this coquetting pose without flaunting everything right in your face. A perfect example of how ladies, and the form fitting outfits they wore, were in the 1960s. Kudo's to Janie Bryant for the costume design in this photo, job well done indeed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1961 Straws go High Hat


From 1961, the seasons new play hats for me have one outstanding feature: High Crowns. masculine and gimmick free, they also make most clown around straws dripping with gewgaws that seem old hat. The two versions shown, both in natural colored straw, were made in Jamaica, B.W.I. They are typical of the stovepipe straws that made a hit in Palm Beach last season, are making one now on many of our northern beaches. Even the most conservative men are going for simple straws that simply go high hat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Underwater Performers

I was contacted today by a gentleman named Pete Voggenthaler. Pete has done work on the Le Reve show in Las Vegas training all the performers. He's also worked on Cirque du Soleil's show O. This is a small trailer about his work, pretty interesting job right?