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One Piece Swimsuit Bookends

22 Oct
Bathing Beauty. 8.25”, gray metal. Circa 1922.  Inscribed, Pat. Applied For 514.

Bathing Beauty. 8.25”, gray metal. Circa 1922. Inscribed, Pat. Applied For 514.

One Piece Swimsuit:  At the time of the  first World War, women’s beachwear concealed their bodies.  Bloomers to the knees were worn beneath shapeless dresses, and long stockings frequently covered the legs. By about 1920, American society was shocked by the one-piece bathing suit, but in 1921 the first Miss America contest was held in Atlantic City and by 1922 the swimsuits worn by the contestants looked like the one worn by the girl on the bookends.   This newly revealing swimsuit style was captured by these bookends, proudly displayed by a trendy lady.

The Jantzen red diving girl was an enormous advertising success in selling Jantzen swimsuits  The image was that of a girl in a red one-piece swimsuit in the air, diving.  It first appeared in the Jantzen catalogue in 1920, and inspired women to swim and to swim in their revealing swimsuits.  This image was re-imagined by McClelland Barclay and other well-known illustrators for later advertisements but still retained the one piece swimsuit.

Click here to view The history of the swimsuit laid out in a Smithsonian Article from June of 2012.
Click here to read further information about the Jantzen Swimsuit.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Art Deco, Art Styles, Victorian

 

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