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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Paper Doll Swimwear Fashions of the 1930s - The Women

Recently I came across a book called Thirty from the 30's - Paper dolls for grownups, Costumes of the great stars, by Tom Tierney. What fabulous black and white illustrations from the stars of the 1930s. We scanned some of the swimwear produced there. I think it should prove as a good reference point for what swimwear fashions for women looked like in the 1930s. Enjoy!

Kay Francis - Lets Go Native

Joan Crawford - Dancing Lady

Jeanette MacDonald - Love Me Tonight

Jean Harlow - Goldie

Greta Garbo - Two Faced Woman

Ginger Rogers - Gold Diggers of 1933

Claudette Colbert - Bluebeards Eighth Wife

Carole Lombard - True Confession

Sue May Wong

Anita Louise

Tomorrow we'll take a look at the male film stars in swimwear from the 1930s.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Women on Waves Exhibit at the California Surf Museum

This week my husband and I went down to Southern California to visit the California Surf Museum in Oceanside to see the Women on Waves exhibit. It's a very well done exhibit which focuses on Women & Surfing History. Glamoursurf supplied a number of vintage swimsuits for the exhibit and it was fabulous seeing them on display along with supporting images and placards discussing the history of the sport. Roxy is a major sponsor of the exhibit and purchased the suits Glamoursurf supplied for their archives.

This is an Annette Kellerman labeled swimsuit on the right and a picture of her in the background in the same suit.

Two piece satin lastex swimsuit.

A beaver tail wetsuit.

While we were there we had the opportunity to meet some of the staff, shop in the gift shop and learn a little about how all of this began. While perusing around the gift shop, we found this lovely image created by KILLKOBRA which was created for the museum. Aren't both of these graphics just fabulous? The top image was created on a t-shirt and was also made into gift cards. We purchased the card so I'll be able to hang this in my office once I frame it, but I really really want to wear it. Seriously, I want one on a sweatshirt!!! Pretty please!

And just a small video on the history of surfing in general.

If you have a chance to get to Oceanside before the end of Feb. go and visit the museum. It's a fabulous exhibit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When You Need that 'Poured In' look for Swimwear

You just might want a panty brief from Playtex.



Yes really, a girdle for your swimsuit. And 'As seen on TV'. That's right, turn your swimsuit into a SLIM suit.

The ad copy reads:
For a slim, sleek, whistle provoking figure under bathing suits and all summerwear, try a Playtex panty Brief. Fits like a second skin...makes you look inches slimmer instantly...and goes in and out of water as gaily as your bathing suit. Dries in a wink too! The secrets in the new material, Fabricon...a figure slimming blend of downy soft cotton and stretchy latex.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1935 Jantzen Contentment Swimsuit Ad

This is an advertisement for Jantzen swimsuits which ran in British Vogue in 1935.

Above is the 'Bra Zip' a smart model in new fancy knit with the uppers and trunks in pleasing and contrasting colors. The fastener permits precise adjustment of the brassiere with half skirt in front or skirtless.

Isn't it fabulous? I've seen the Jantzen 1933 'Topper' men's suit that has the top that zips off from the trunks. That was invented for decorum purposes but by 1935 the attitudes about swimwear had changed and most public beaches allowed men without to tan or sun sans tops. I wonder if the woman's swimsuit could have been the companion piece to the 'Topper'? What do you think?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A look at Early 1900s Swimwear

Actually the swimwear would have been called bathing attire or bathing suits in the early 1900's.

Early 1900s - three some at the seashore.

A Welsh Bathing Belle on the beach in Swansea.

Can you imagine frolicking at the sea fully dressed? My how times have changed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I am completely enthralled with this photo by Ben Hassett I found it in the latest issue of Family Circle. From what I've read he seems like a relatively recent photographer paving his way to stardom. You can read a short bio about him here.

Then I found this drop dead image by Ben. LOOK AT THAT SWIMSUIT! It's by Norma Kamali. Black over nude draped swimsuit with just enough coverage in all the right spots to give that exotic languid look. It's called the 'Bill Mio Swimsuit'. Swoon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ahoy Mate

Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful? She could pass for the Jantzen diving girl don't you think? It's Gloria Swanson when she was working for Mack Sennett. I'm not sure who the dog is but she needs her nails clipped.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vintage Swimwear Photo of the Day

I just love this photo; the hair, the suits, but especially the pose of all the gals looking out to sea. Seeing the backs of the swimsuits of the 1920s in this photo is a nice treat. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Claire McCardell Brilliance in Wool Ensembles

Claire McCardell for Townley Frocks circa 1934. Wool.

You have to just sit back and admire the brilliance of this designer. Just another reason why I love her work so much. These pieces and more can be viewed at the NY Met's Work of Art online Collection Database. These are all timeless classics, and they are all wool! A woman before her time in my mind. Which is your favorite? I'm partial to all, but the last set takes it for me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Iconic Artwork of Florenz & Frank Clark for Jantzen

In 1916, the Portland Knitting Company (Jantzen) decided to adopt an advertising program and trademark a name. It was collectively agreed that the name “Jantzen” met every branding requirement, and in 1918 Portland Knitting Company was officially changed to Jantzen Knitting Mills.


Jantzens co-founder J. A. Zehntbauer says: "After weeks of discussion and searching for a name which we could use as a trade-mark, we were unable to agree upon any of the many names which were submitted to us. We were using the brand P. K. at the time, the initials of the Portland Knitting Company... Both the names Zehntbauer and Jantzen were suggested to us by our friends, but neither of us was willing to use our own name because it did not sound right to us... Combinations were also suggested; one I remember was "Jan-Zen" or to be used without the hyphen, "Janzen. " Another was "Portknit". Up to the very last minute no one could decide to use either of the names suggested, so one day shortly previous to the time Mr. Gerber brought over his proposed advertising program, I was in his office to order stationery which needed to be printed at once, as we had waited as long as possible to make a decision on the trademark before printing new stationery. After a short conference I gave him the order to go ahead and print the stationery using the Jantzen trademark on all of it. The name of the company of course was not affected, being Portland Knitting Company making Jantzen trade-marked merchandise."



Enter Florenz & Frank Clark. Florenz and her husband Frank Clark were active illustrators/artists in the 1910's onward. All of these pictured artwork and advertisements were done by Frank Clark.



Frank worked as an independent artist with Jantzens advertising agency for Jantzen swimwear artwork. They collaborated, with Florenz doing sketches at a swimclub of divers practicing for the 1920 Olympics, to come up with the iconic logo Red Diving Girl for Jantzen in 1919. She first made her appearance in advertisements in 1920, wearing a daring red suit, stocking cap and stockings, and first appeared on Jantzen swimming suits in 1923. And so it began, the birth of the 'Red Diving Girl'.

The Jantzen Red Diving Girl has remained on of the most recognizable icons in branding history.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Only Have Eyes For You!

Sue Lyons as Lolita, 1960, Bert Stern

Oh yeah, Happy Valentines Day too!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Arwork Collages of Vivienne Strauss

I came across this artist today in my trolling around the web. and wanted to share her work with you all as I really enjoyed looking through her shop of collage images. These are just a few of her wonderful works. I've always enjoyed collage, I love vintage, I'm a paper collage artist myself and well, she has some fabo vintage swimwear imagery so here we go.

If I look at this piece with my peripheral vision the pinwheel actually moves!!!

Yep, that's a Catalina 2 piece swimsuit there.

An how cute is this one? You can see more of this artists work at her ETSY shop Vivienne Strauss.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Early Japanese Bathing Beauties

It's so fascinating to look at this video. The supporting text reads "Photos of GEISHA and MAIKO Posing as Bathing Beauties During the Meiji and Taisho Eras of Old Japan." The Meiji era extended from September 1868 through July 1912 and the Taisho era spans from July 30, 1912 to December 25, 1926. So if the supporting text is correct these truly are early images of Japanese 'bathing beauties'. Interesting to me is the use of stripes! Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Vintage Beach Themed Hand Towel

Isn't this just the sweetest hand towel you've ever seen? It just happens to be my favorite theme, it's handmade, it's vintage and it's in pristine condition. I found it on one of my shopping days. I'm not sure if I'll frame it or just display it. It's just one of those things that's not for actual use, it's there just to be admired and looked at. How ironic that it's a hand towel and can't be 'touched' so to speak. This will stay as part of my personal collection.

The figure and umbrella were pieced together first, then it was all completely hand stitched and embroidered on top of the base linen towel.

There are no labels, and I'm not sure of the date. But, whomever originally created this did an amazing job! Thank you!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Make your own Beach Tote Blanket

This weekend I found an back issue of ReadyMade magazine from 2008 with a short article on how to use towels you have at home to stitch up a Beach Tote. I am going to try and make one of these as I just cleaned out the linen cabinet and have quite a few old towels that need re-purposing. Enjoy!
Stuff management at the beach is often a sandy challenge. Here’s a solution to keep as much order as possible while minimizing the number of things you need to lug to the shore.

The Inspiration

For this project, use four standard beach towels, each approximately 30" x 58 ½", which make great-size beach bags when folded into thirds. Three of them go into the construction of the bag, while the fourth pulls double duty as a pillow (when folded up in the handy pouch) and a towel you can bring out when it’s time to dry off. Add in a few smartly placed zippers, and this tote can easily (and securely) accommodate all your favorite sunbathing accessories.

Materials and Construction

Start by cutting the pouch towel (in orange and red stripes here) down to about 32". Then fold it up about 14" toward the raw edge, and set two 14" zippers along the top (a few inches below the raw edge) so that they zip outward like a purse. Finish the top piece by sewing up the sides just inside the selvage, and create three pouches by placing two seams up from the bottom to where the finished edge meets the zipper. Set aside the pouch piece and place the blue and turquoise towel on top of the pink and magenta.

Connect the top two thirds of the towels with 20" zippers, recessed an inch in along both sides. Set the base of the zippers at the fold where the top two thirds meet, with the teeth facing outward, so they come together to form an enclosed bag when zipped up. Now, with everything unzipped, flat, and with the blue and turquoise towel face up, connect the sides and bottoms of the long towels together, and attach the pouch piece (zipper side up) between the tops.

Decide which towel you want to be sand-side down (blue and turquoise, in our case) and attach an 11' loop of 1" belt webbing to that side to create a shoulder strap. To make sure the strap will wrap around the bag and hang comfortably from the shoulder, test the length by assembling the bag and pinning the strap in place.

Remember that one side needs to be significantly longer so it can wrap all the way around the bag and meet up at the same spot with the other loop. Once it’s in place, attach it in four spots to the top third of the sand side- down towel. Pack up your sunscreen, iPod, and some light reading, and you’re ready to hit the beach!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Farrah Fawcetts' iconic Swimsuit Donated to the Smithsonian

Betty Grable was one of the first American Pin-Ups.

Then came Farrah.

Farrah Fawcett (born Ferrah Leni Fawcett) February 2, 1947 - June 25, 2009

Everyone remembers this iconic poster that launched in the early 70s and sold a record 12 million copies. The photograph was taken by freelance photographer Bruce McBroom for Pro Arts Inc., Ohio's number one and only Distributor of Youth-Oriented Posters, and was paid $1000. for the assignment. Farrah picked the swimsuit from her personal collection (even though the assignment was for a bikini shoot) to hide a scar on her stomach. This shot was the last one taken and the one that went on to sell millions.

Ryan O'Neal recently donated that bathing suit plus other items belonging to Farrah to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Now that would be something to see!