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Thursday, August 4, 2011

1965 Margit Fellegi 'Scandal Suit' Swimsuit

The Scandal Swimsuit by Margit Fellegi for Cole of California




Cole of California began working with it's first designer Margit Fellegi in 1936. Margit was a costume design student from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but had already built a reputation for herself as a Hollywood costumer. She went on to work with Cole producing glamorous swimwear for the stars for the next 36 years. Fellegi’s combination of distinct patterns, vibrant colors, and unusual design lines caught the eye of both film stars and the average women.

A couple of Fellegi's better known designs were the Scandal Suit and the Swoon Suit. Today we focus on the Scandal Suit. (If you have an interest in the Swoon Suit you can read about it in our post here.)


Fellegi designed the “scandal suit” collection by Cole of California in 1964. The Scandal Suit collection contained different styles combining mesh and fabric to create peek-a-boo styled swimwear.




The swimsuits had selectively exposed certain areas of the body with cutouts of elastic mesh. Fellegi’s new elastic mesh provided shaping and support while, at the same time, creating a transparent, sexy look. To promote the new suit line, Cole launched an advertising campaign with a provocative photograph of actress Joan MacGowan with supporting text, “Isn’t it time somebody created an absolutely wild scandal for nice girls?”



The Scandal Suit was released to the press in 1964, with runway presentation of models holding mock front page headlines screaming "scandal" in bold print. They dropped the papers on cue, revealing what was, at the time, one of the most overtly sexy and daring swimsuits ever marketed. According to Fellegi, even nice girls would become a bit scandalous once they donned the sliced-up suit.




This was another version of the suit. There were also animal prints as part of this collection.

And to further it's popularity, Little Edie Bouvier Beale wore this as one of her swimsuits as well. You may remember her from the movie Grey Gardens.

1 comment:

puddin said...

Well researched info--thank you!