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Hit or miss: Swimwear edition

August 6, 2010

A big sorry first for the extended blogging silence! Things have been busy here- I wish I could say due to holidays and gadding about, but actually mostly due to work. (Pulls face and presses one hand limply to brow, etc, etc…)

Anyway, I thought we’d play a little game of hit or miss with three different vintage bathing suit shots (from three different summer issues of L’Officiel de la Mode magazine). I keep coming back to look at these shots and can’t quite decide whether I love them or loathe them. Was whoever was responsible for the styling of the models a genius, or simply suffering from too much sun?(Either way, some kind of medal for sheer fashion bravery is probably in order…)

The first one, from 1953, is up at the top of this post. I know. I quite like it too, especially with the shades, and the sassy hair. But then I come back to the suit, and that neckline. Why do I keep feeling that the only things missing here are a snap-on collar and cuffs and a pair of bunny ears?

Next, 1961:

The model on the right. The suit (or is it a cover up- I can’t decide?) with its ‘Egyptian’ detailing is all well and good. But the Cleopatra hair- is it a design touch too far? I presume it’s not the model’s actual hair, because it looks peculiarly like plastic. Is it a wig? Or is it some kind of bizarre novelty swimming cap?

Finally, from 1963:

At least that hat will be nice and shady. And might even be perfect for standing drinks on. Or that afternoon game of beach frisbee.

What do we think: hit, or miss?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2010 1:18 pm


  2. August 12, 2010 10:31 am

    All three are certainly intriguing, but I agree with your comments. The first one definitely needs bunny ears. And the oversized sailor hat certainly adds to the drama of the third photo – but if someone actually wore it on the beach it would look absolutely ridiculous!

    The 2nd Egyptian look is my favorite. Even the bizarre swim cap (if that’s what it is). I’ve always loved those colorful novelty swimming caps from the 50’s, early 60’s.

  3. August 13, 2010 1:08 am

    I do love the first one, although I know what you mean about the bunny ears. The other two would be vaguely idiotic in real life, but amusing in a photo shoot!

  4. Beth permalink
    August 16, 2010 3:29 am

    The Egyptian hair is actually a tire tread.

    The sailor hat is a night stand from the Jetsons.

    The model at the top is the Good Witch opposite Elvira as the Bad Witch.

  5. Henry permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:11 pm

    I think it is a hit….just! It is a little risque, but it just works! Love the sailor one, and the top black one (even though it is a major exaggeration of a sweetheart neckline, and maybe showing a little too much bustiness) But, i don’t like the egyptian one…for some reason, i find it quite dull after the other two, even though it is the most decent….! :)


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