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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

1929 Beach Ensemble


Fabulous ad from 1929 featuring a wool jersey swimming suit, a bathing frock and beach pyjamas all for Bonwit Teller. The illustration is just magnificent and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fashionable Beach Swimwear & Cover Ups from 1965

Today we look at 1965 beach fashions of bold color and unusual designs.

Jantzens blazing dune bug stripe and polka dot two piece suit with accompanying cover up.




Jantzens black two piece black nylon midriff creation is called Net Profit.

Two piece hip rider suit by Cole features stunning orange and yellow flowers on a black background. Sleeved Ban-lon jersey outfit also includes a novel fish net coverall.

Coles' orange and yellow swimsuit features a stunning design taken from a Gauguin painting and is accompanied by a coyly seductive pareo, slit to the hip line.


Two piece sweater like swimsuit made of Acrilan off white cable knit with maillot trunks.

Sea B's bridal white lace bikini is paired with a transparent lace jacket which closes in the back.

Jantzens' Net Profit suit is my favorite, how about you?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seaside Fashion - Towels for the Beach

Today we look a beach towels from 1956.

In addition to seaweed and sun soakers, next summers shores will be strewn with oversized towels with far fetched designs. Printed with everything from mummies to mermaids, the towels offer the sunbather a gaudy background and a good excuse for starting up conversations in the sand.

Turkish toweling, a two faced cotton fabric that is woven with loops on both sides, got it's start and it's name over a century ago when it was worn in that country for clothing. It has been used by American designers for occasional robes and beach dresses in solid colors but this seasons newest styles are being made in widely patterned stripes and checks to be worn with the new plain black swimsuits. Most of the towels measure 36" x 72".

Beach Middy - made of heavy striped toweling with loose turtleneck (Betty Metcalf $30) is worn with straw hat with band of flowers.

Imitation Burnoose, made of striped cotton lined with toweling (Helena Rubenstein $70.) can also be spread out on sand as a beach towel.

A Seaside Serape consists of a giant checkerboard pattern which is wrapped around the wearer and secured with straw beach hat.

Strapless dress made of boldly striped terrycloth and cinched with elastic belt (Mary Blair $18.) is worn with standard towel twisted around head.

Identical stripes which appear on cotton bathing suit (Cabana $18) and fringed towel (Wamsutta $10) match up swimmer to her spot in the sun.

So how about you, how do you re-purpose or use your beach towel?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

There's GOLD in Those Panties!!!

This is one of the most beautiful confections I have ever seen and I wanted to share this with you my dear readers, as it must be worth it's weight in GOLD!!! Made from Dupont tricot nylon with 24 kt gold and Chantilly lace the manufacturer (Vanity Fair) advises against dry cleaning.

This Vanity Fair 'Cloth of Gold' panties and bra set is fairly rare and part of the higher end 'Conversation Pieces' line that was introduced in the mid 1950s. The label has the Vanity Fair logo in script which is embroidered in gold.

Then there is the luxury alluring fabric. The fabric consists of Vanity Fair nylon tricot that has been impregnated with 24kt gold. Despite the layer of gold the fabric remains soft, supple and drapable.

This line also consisted of a theatre slip, nightgowns, peignoir sets and these panties and briefs. They were offered in different fabric combinations; either with the all over gold as seen above, or with a base of black or white tricot with the gold applied stencil fashion throughout the Chantilly lace. There were also combinations of gold fabric appliqued or overlaid with Chantilly lace sometimes combined with sheer layers of nylon tricot in black over black or white over pink.

These Vanity Fair 'conversation pieces' were offered in sizes from 32-38 and were priced at $12.95 - $99.95, that's a whopping $105.00 - $805.00 in today's dollar. I'd say those are worth their weight in gold! This set is being offered on EBAY right now, I'll be watching.

UPDATE: Sold for $380.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Bits of Swimwear Evolution 1920s through 1950s


Ok all you vintage swimwear fans, here is a clip that has many decades of raw footage combined together to give to a good feel of the way swimwear has evolved from the 1920s through the early 1950s. There are quite a few interesting tidbits in this piece, one of particular interest to me is that bombshell of a suit above. Seen at about the 2:29 mark. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's an Hermes Swimsuit, and it could be yours!

YES! Not only is it Hermes, but it's from 1938, has a Zodiac pattern and will be up on the auction block this Thursday December 1, 2011 at Christies in South Kensington. The auction titled "Fashion" will feature this Hermes bathing suit; ground printed with Herm├Ęs ZODIAQUE print, with elasticated over skirt at the front, the back with zip closure.

OK, OK, it's not only Hermes up for bid, but also Madame Gres, YSL, Poiret, Fortuny, Ossie Clark....need I go on? THUD!



Detail shot from Christies e-catalogue

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Hunt for the Perfect Christmas Tree

Isn't this gorgeous? It was such a beautiful day on Saturday we decided to take advantage of the sunshine, fresh air and get some exercise.



We started a new tradition this year in the Fierro household of going out to cut down the holiday Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend. Dear daughter was home so we headed out to the Santa Cruz mountains just above Los Gatos.



There were so many types, sizes and shapes of trees. How do you pick just one?

Daughter spotted a few but it was actually my husband who picked out the perfect tree this year.




We got it home and took down some of the decorations. We decided to go with all silver and white lights and bulbs this year. It sure looks pretty and smells so good. Now all we need is to start wraping and making some gifts to put underneath; then the cookie making begins!

We hope you have a joyous and festive holiday season spent with family and friends. From our house to yours, we wish you a Happy December!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holidays are for Sharing

And that's what we'll be doing. We're hoping you enjoy your Thanksgiving day sharing with friends and family. Until next week friends, Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Hood Makes the Swimsuit

This is the photo that got me started on this recent quest, searching for the hood. Isn't she glamourous? That knit confection she's wearing on her head is exactly what I want, and I'd like it attached to a swimsuit please. I know, how impractical, but I love fashion with just a bit of whimsy and with elements that aren't typically expected, and hey, swimwear is my passion.


John Rawlings

So my quest began. I've lots of images of swimcaps, but I've blogged about that previously and today I'm looking for the hood.

John Rawlings

You might find your self coveting the oversize beach hat, which is another look I just adore. Not to mention that you can keep yourself covered with your own portable shade screen. But it's not a hood.


Another option, which has it's own history, is the cover-up. I lend this picture to show how a small beach cape could be worn with a matching cap. A variation on this style also lends itself to wear as a skirt at times. But again, not a hood.


1950 Loomis Dean

But here we go, we're getting closer. A small capelet that forms a hood to be worn over your swimsuit. How cute is that? It looks to be lined in terrycloth and is easily taken off for swimming. Glamourous and practical.



Another option is to bring and wear a small throw or lightweight blanket, multipurpose and bit more relaxed. It serves the purpose.

Josete Walker



Ahh, here we go. Nina Ricci saves the day in 1966. This is it. Right? Right. Except she wasn't the first. Let's go back a bit further.


1966 Nina Ricci


That's right, Claire McCardell brought is the hooded wool knit swimsuit in 1954!


1954 - Claire McCardell Attached hood and high back set off bare arms in one-piece wool knit jersey suit, the hood will not replace a bathing cap but it can be folded into a high turtle neck for swimming.

So who's got one? My circle would be complete!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vintage 1950s Sleeved Swimsuits

I have long admired these sleeved swimsuits from the 1950s. The ones that I have seen are usually made of a knit, most likely a wool or wool blend. This particular piece was created by designer Polly Hornburg in 1954.

Polly Hornburg 1954

The same swimsuit was captured by photographer John Rawlings in 1954. Love the addition of the large brown bow to the suit!

John Rawlings photographer, 1954

So, imagine my surprise when I found this lovely piece. The only label in the piece states Bonwitt Teller, plus a couple of small size tags. I'm attributing this suit to Polly Hornburg, and assuming that she made short sleeve versions as well because it's just so spot on!

1950s Black and Brown Striped Swimsuit @ glamoursurf


The company was created by Polly Trott Hornburg in 1948. A fashion model turned fashion designer, Mrs Hornburg gained a great experience when working as a stylist for an advertising agency in New York. She started her own business out from her kitchen table with the help of her husband who ran an import export business in Bermuda.

Her first collection was a total success, especially the ‘Polly Pants’, a dress pant that caused quite a stir at the time and had a flat front, a back zip, and tapered legs. Polly Hornburg was also the woman who popularised the one piece diving suit, as well as the sheath dress and the dinner skirt.

The company grew slowly and expanded under Polly’s daughter Suzannah. Boutiques were first opened within the most prestigious hotels of the island, then other stores brought always more brands and choice to the residents of Bermuda.

While researching for this post I had to laugh, as my sister Jody, who owns Couture Allure, has a couple of blog posts about Polly, including this image. Thanks sis!!!



1957 Polly Hornburg diving suit

Wnat to see more? You can see another post we did on vintage sleeved swimwear here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Australian Pin-Ups

This is part of the reason I love my *job*, I keep learning. Today I happened to stumble across a book review for Our Girls, Australian Pin-Ups from the 1940s and 1950s. The book came out in 2009 and is now on my wish list.



Meet feisty Adelie Hurley - daughter of famous Antarctic- and war-photographer Frank Hurley - who worked both sides of the lens; read about Dorothy Leckie, at eleven years old surely the youngest Pix cover girl; and see the shot that made Joyce Walter 'Typical Australian' of 1941. Who was Australia's Marilyn Monroe? Did we have our own Lana Turner? Madeleine Hamilton tracks down the swimsuit and glamour models of an earlier era to share their stories. Enriched with first-hand accounts from the models, and letters from their many fans, as well as gorgeous pictures of the girls themselves, OUR GIRLS: AUSSIE PINUPS OF THE 40s AND 50s tells the tale of these women and Australian pin-up art before, during and after World War II.


'Miss Pacific 1952' finalists - Mary Clifton Smith, Judy Worrad and Pamela Jense.

Paula Stafford (right) is widely credited as Australia's first bikini designer. Here she poses with a model in her Surfers Paradise 'Bikini Bar', ca. 1950s

Candice DeVille, of Super Kawaii Mama, interviewed Madeleine Hamilton for her blog and it's a fascinating read.

Our Girls is available at Arcade Publications.

Anyone have a copy to *lend* me? Think I may have to track down Madeleine....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Little Life Glamour

Today's time capsule has been created from images that have appeared in LIFE magazine over the decades. These are from a slide show titled "The sexiest LIFE Photos of all Time". These are some of our favorites.

Nina Leen


Rudi Gernreich Topless Swimsuit 1964


YSL 1968


Jane Fonda 1967


1954


1956 Brigitte Bardot


You can view the slide show here, enjoy!