Pause for reflection before you buy your swimsuit for this summer. If you’re going to be in the picture, you must get your exposure right : make it the most your shape will take. Because this is a narcissistic year. More girl, less swimsuit. Bikinis will be back with us again this summer — and they’ll be barer than ever. But the fabrics, not to be outshone, are glistening wet-look cires, metallic golds and silvers. And as adornments for the bare body, there is simple animal jewellery —snake bracelets, stalking-tiger brooches, that sort of simple thing.
Hair by Didier at Jean-Louis David, Paris.
Photographed by Helmut Newton.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from The Observer Magazine, April 1969.
Officially the most excellent novelty print I ever did see!
Photographed by John Carter.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Petticoat, May 1971
All set to replace the Fiorucci First swimsuit classic is the stars and stripes range from BOY. Perfect for poolside posing (as is anything from BOY these days) these natty one pieces also lend themselves to watery pursuits and are specially made so as not to discolour in chlorine, unlike some designer dip suits. Wear them downt he lido or save them for evening. The lycra tight tops under your strides are just the ticket for stress free strutting ,and boys will no doubt be pleased to see the stars and stripes trunks which, as we all know, are the perfect acessory to wear over the trousers of any pinstripe suit.
Photographed by Sandro Hyams.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from iD magazine, May 1987
Nothing new has happened to swimwear for many summers. Colours and fabrics mark the fashion changes. The shapes stay the same. For a swimsuit is a swimsuit is a swimsuit- be it a one piece, a two piece, a half piece. And the shops are full of them. Lovely little things in super prints and colours. And that`s where the problems begin. They are little, very little indeed. Bikinis especially have got skimpier with every passing permissive year. A year ago a generously endowed size 12 could fit quite neatly into a size 12 swimsuit; today she has to squeeze herself into it and hope that all will stay put when in use. That is to say, if she can get into it at all. And to find a larger size is nigh impossible. The shops have either sold out already or else the buyer never stocked them, since, alas, the majority of today’s fashion- conscious ladies slim themselves down to the smaller sizes. Then there are the others- ‘them’, the unspeakable, unwearable, unsightly “them`, made by the British swimwear manufacturers especially for the fuller figure. And just one look at them is enough to put the fattiest, with good taste, off swimming and beaches for ever. The shapes are okay, for a swimsuit is a swimsuit is a swimsuit, but why couldn”t the manufacturers leave the voluptuous out of the swirls and violets and stretch-nylon crunchy fabrics? Why can`t they just make large swimsuits in plain and simple colours, stripes, dots and nice flower patterns? Meanwhile, until they all realise that the fuller figures sometimes have very good fashionable taste, all that`s left- apart from eating less — is to search among the rails of tiny inviting little bikinis and swimsuits in the hope of finding one that will do up.
Some things never change. I feel like we’re still having the same conversations about clothes now, and wistfully remembering a non-existent time when everyone was catered for and everything was of the highest quality. Still, of the highest quality are these extraordinary illustrations which, frankly, deserve to be framed and hung on a gallery wall…
By Caroline Baker. Drawings by Celestino Valenti.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Nova, July 1972
Mombasa, Kenya. A Beautiful, private beach. Warm, too. Ideal for sunbathing and swimming in the raw. But few of us are that lucky! We have to make do with crowded beaches and need a cover-up – like a one-piece. Difficult to be sexy? Not really, with these beautiful fabrics, beautiful shapes. These pages, shot in Kenya, prove our point. The one-piece does give you lots of man-appeal – and freedom. Beachrobes can be sexy, too. In fact, the ones we found are a definite plus! So check out your wardrobe – and welcome summer. This can be your year to add originality to those busy beaches.
Photographed by Michael Berkofsky.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, June 1973
Photographed at the Porchester Turkish Baths by Jonathan Trapman.
Models: Christina Viera, Susie Juul, Rio and Pamplemousee.
Jewellery by Adrian Mann. Swimwear by Arena.
Scanned by Miss Peelpants from Ritz, No. 31 1979
I have waxed lyrical on the wonders of James Wedge many times before. I’ve even waxed lyrical specifically on the subject of his version of pin-up photography and how it is vastly superior to the current swathe of poorly executed pin-up and burlesque photography. So I need not repeat myself too much. Suffice it to say, this man was looking backwards to a mere twenty/thirty years beforehand, at a time when this was still all generally considered to be rather naff and – also – an affront to the cause of feminism. He was creating images like this, in his darkroom. By hand. By trial and error. No going back if you cock it all up. No ‘vintage’ movement to motivate him. I certainly consider him to be more artist than mere fashion photographer.
Photographed (and hand-painted) by James Wedge. Scanned by Miss Peelpants from 19 Magazine, May 1974.