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, 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


1956 Brigitte Bardot

You can view the slide show here, enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Marilyn Monday

Another Monday, time for more Marilyn.

I just love it when I can find images that are related, although different, and these fit into that category. Selecting these for you was easy. Can you spot what ties them all together?

Yup, they are all Marilyn, yes, she is simply stunning in swimwear. Some in color, some not...


1951, Catalina Velvet Swimsuit

It's the shoes! She must have liked these as I've seen them on her with either black or white straps. And I *think*they may be clear soles on those platforms. Marilyn really did wear some great shoes!

Happy Monday everyone, hope this Marilyn post helped to kick off your week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Salute to the Veterans Pin-Up Style - Happy Veterans Day

First off, a big thanks to all the veterans and active service men and women out there helping to serve and protect our country!!! Bravo, we salute you!

These image of Marissa Miller were done with Harley Davidson for a poster series a couple of years ago. How appropriate that we share them with you today.

Marissa states
"I’m honored to help the Motor Company salute the brave men and women who work so hard to defend our nation’s freedom. My grandfather is a veteran, and I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet hundreds of service men and women during recent USO tours, so the military holds a special place in my heart. I hope other Americans will join me and Harley-Davidson in saluting these real life heroes during the month of November."

I believe each image was to represent one branch of the service. Great job Marisa, and thanks to Harley Davidson for taking the effort to recognise our Veterans.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

GlamourScoop - Mary Kincaid of Zuburbia

Today we're spending some time with Mary Kincaid of Zuburbia Vintage. Mary devotes herself to the promotion of green vintage by offering her insight as to what's out there in the wide world of vintage. She even crafts a beautiful newsletter that's filled some of the most breathtaking pieces with links to where to find them. Her blog is also a feast for the eyes, and I'll bet you learn a thing or two along the way.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m working on my second life. My first life was B.C. – Before California. I was a traditional wife and mother who was working in corporate America and living in Ohio. My second life is A.D. – After Divorce. I moved to LA to pursue a long-held dream of working in Hollywood as a screenwriter, producer or talent manager. Now that’s out of my system and I’m a solopreneur focused on speaking, writing, training, consulting and building my brand, Zuburbia.

Where/how did your interest in vintage clothing and collectibles begin?

As a petite gal, I’ve always had a challenge finding clothes that fit. Sometime in my twenties I discovered that vintage clothes were cut differently than contemporary clothes and were much more flattering on me. I had a limited budget so I started scouring thrift stores and estate sales for pieces. After a while I started finding great pieces that weren’t my size but that were way too gorgeous to leave behind. So I’d buy the pieces and offer them to my friends or my daughter’s friends. Eventually this stack started growing faster than I could find takers so I resold the items on eBay. When I arrived in California and didn’t have the space to store inventory and take pictures I became a regular consignment supplier for vintage boutiques in Studio City, downtown LA and Beverly Hills. As for my interest in vintage collectibles, I’ve always had an affinity for decorating and beautiful objects of all types. I just love great design!

Project Artisan editorial pic using vintage pieces from Zuburbia

Who are your style icons?

I prefer not to name specific names but here’s what I look for in my style icons. 1) They’re all ladies who I admire for their authentic style even if I’d never dress the way that they do. 2) They dress themselves and don’t rely on stylists. 3) They may have wardrobe disasters on occasion but over time they exhibit a distinct point-of-view. And finally 4) They choose not to wear fur.

What is your personal style like?

I would describe my personal style as classic and polished with a bit of an edge. I tend to look pulled together and have a hard time pulling off that bohemian disheveled look that’s popular here in LA. On a typical workday you’ll generally find me in neat jeans, heels (always heels!), a tee, a fab blazer and funky vintage costume jewelry.

If you had to pick one item out of your closet that you feel gets the most used and/or was the best investment, what would that be and why?

I immediately think of two pieces I acquired this past year. The first is a Paul Smith blazer that is my go-to whenever I don’t want to think about what to wear. It’s just right for so many occasions. Plus it was a next-to-new $14.99 thrift store bargain! The other piece is a fabulous 1960s velvet Pucci bolero that I grabbed on eBay for around $150 and that’s already achieved a very high CPW (that’s Compliments Per Wear).

How do you wear vintage?

I try to incorporate one vintage item into my look whenever I go out and that’s often accomplished with great vintage accessories. I love taking my classic plaid wool pants suit, for instance, and pairing it with my African bone necklace. Or wearing a plain ol’ pair of black trousers with a wicked pair of 1950s stilettos. I’ve also amassed quite an eclectic collection of vintage handbags I can choose from. Other times my one vintage piece is a smashing coat or blazer or blouse in a really unique and interesting fabric or print. I never EVER wear vintage from head-to-toe. And I always try to acquire truly distinctive pieces.

What are your top 5 reasons for buying vintage?

That’s easy: 1) Vintage has great quality and details 2) Vintage is the eco-friendly choice 3) Vintage gives you a totally unique way to express your individual authentic style 4) Buying vintage supports small business owners and 5) Vintage is a great financial value. You generally get more bang for your buck and I’ve also had a much higher return on investment on some vintage pieces than I could ever have achieved investing that money in the stock market.

-Do you tend to gravitate towards any specific designers?

I love’m all! Truly!

What are some of your personal 'holy grails'?

I don’t really have a wish list because I like to stay open to what the Universe might send my way. But if the Universe is reading this, it might want to send me some space age pieces by Pierre Cardin. Or a fabulous Ossie Clark pants suit. Or maybe a Helen Bond Carruthers sweater. But I could go on and on. And don’t even get me started on jewelry!

You find so many beautiful pieces online, how do you restrain yourself from buying all these treasures?

I’m a big believer in quality, not quantity. Plus I understand that we can never really own anything—we only borrow things for a time. After all, none of us can take any of our possessions with us at the end of our lives. But I believe we can each find great joy and satisfaction in admiring beautiful items even if we never own them. I’ve also learned to invest my money only in things that I truly love, that make my heart sing, and that I’ll enjoy--and not grow tired of--for many years to come. These things don’t come around that often and they’re definitely worth the wait.

From Marys personal collection

What are some other sites or blogs that you visit regularly?

I have about 75 blogs on a wide range of topics in my reader at Bloglovin. Surprisingly, I probably spend more time reading about politics, science, history, art, business and spirituality than I do reading about current fashion. I add blogs to Bloglovin all the time and then I can just scan the headlines to see what catches my interest that day. I do read the LA Times and the NYT regularly, including their fashion pieces, and I’m a big fan of NPR. I scan headlines at Huffington Post most days and I read Fast Company, Time and The Hollywood Reporter. I also enjoy Apartment Therapy when I have a chance to visit. These days, though, I get a lot of my info about what’s happening and who’s who and what product or website is launching from PR pitches.

How do you define success?

My definition of success has definitely shifted through the years. It used to be about achieving goals and hitting financial milestones but now it’s more about living life on my terms. It’s become more of a process than a “thing” because as soon as you start to feel successful you realize there’s so much more you can do. I like to compare it to that children’s song about the bear that goes over the mountain and what does he see? Another mountain! So success for me is a moving target. Like many people, I’ve had low points in my life where just getting out of bed felt like a success equivalent to winning a Nobel Prize. But ultimately, for me now, success is determined by how well I’m able to live an authentic life and share my abilities and creativity in a way that inspires and benefits others. It’s about finding peace of mind and discovering and living your purpose on this planet. If you can do that—whatever THAT is for you--then I'd say you’re living successfully.

What has been your greatest lesson learned?

That life never gives you more than you can handle. And that life’s greatest challenges often hold disguised opportunities.

How do you organize your day?

As soon as I open my eyes I grab my notebook and pen and do my Morning Pages as recommended by Julia Cameron. Then I work on my blog. After that I decide on my three big must-do’s for the day, handle email, take next steps on any new projects, check in on website stats and do about 15-20 minutes of social media work. The afternoons are for errands, Pilates class or thrift shopping and a 15-20 minute meditation. Evenings are when I read, watch training webinars, or attend a local class, lecture or event. And I always multi-task by paging through eBay for my Roundup picks when I have TV shows or Netflix movies playing in the background.

What is your single most useful tool for business?

Definitely my iMac. Switching from the PC platform to the Apple platform was really a life-changing decision. When I left corporate America, I seriously missed having access to a tech support department. But with AppleCare, it’s sort of like having my own tech department on speed dial. Plus the Apple products work like a charm so there are very few hardware or software problems to deal with in the first place. Coming in a close second, I have to mention that I’m a big fan of Evernote software for storing and organizing all the ideas I come across on a daily basis.

What has been your most exciting vintage clothing find?

When I was still working at the talent management office, I used to stop at one Goodwill store most days before work. One morning, I discovered a navy wool and leather evening gown by Courreges in mint condition! I still have it as part of my personal collection.

What do you do for fun? Any hobbies?

I was working with a personal coach about a year ago and she asked me this same question. When I answered it, she said, “Most people would call that work!” My down time is spent reading, attending webinars and seminars, or shopping at thrift stores, flea markets, and auctions. I love heading to the Farmer’s Market every weekend and really enjoy cooking (vegetarian, of course!). I also enjoy theater, exhibitions, and movies (which out here in LA often include the added bonus of a Q&A afterward with the filmmaker or actors). And I really want to go walking at Runyon Canyon and the beach more!

What book is on your nightstand right now?

I’m a voracious reader so I constantly have 20- 30 library books checked out of the LAPL on a wide range of topics. I know that seems like a lot but I’m a super fast reader and have even been a spokesperson for a company that teaches speed reading. So right now titles within my reach include Aleph, The Night Circus, Conversations with Martin Scorsese, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Language of Graphic Design, Vintage Jewelry Design, Brandwashing, Willpower, Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment, and Sleeping with the Enemy, Coco Chanel’s Secret War.

You'd laugh if you knew this about me.

I’ve worn the same pair of diamond solitaire earrings every day since my ex-husband gave them to me for Christmas more than a decade ago. They really do go with everything!

Thanks so much for spending some time with us Mary. It has been a pleasure learning a little bit more about you!

You can find Mary on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook too. She also has a guest column on Huffington Post. Go over and sign up for her wonderful jam packed eye candy newsletter, and while you're over there be sure to check out her Round Up of Vintage Lifestyle Home Finds.