Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Million Dollar Mermaid

On a Sunday morning it's nice to relax by the lake, (before it reaches 100 degrees), and get some sun in a vintage swimsuit, hat, and my new favorite sunglasses from http://www.polette.com/en/. I adore Polette's sunglasses. They come directly from France and are all so beautifully well made, making you feel glamorous in every outfit. You can find this pair at this link: http://www.polette.com/en/lady/sunglasses/trendy/guepard.html. They are perfect for my vintage taste.

This swimsuit isn't any ordinary swimsuit. It's origin is of 1950's Hollywood. Made famous by Esther Williams, Cole of California was seen everywhere, turning your body into a perfect hourglass shape while you lounge beachside or poolside. West Coast Manchester Knitting Mills is where it all began with the Cole family business. Fred Cole was the son who had made a career of acting in the 20's but soon decided to join his family's company. West Coast began as a men's underwear company, but Fred Cole wanted to take a different approach than that of his relatives. He grew bored with making underwear and decided to create iconic swimsuits that all of Hollywood could appreciate. He partnered with Margit Felligi from 1936-1972 making her head designer of the company. Known for making the use of Lastex, spandex, and nylon the new norm, she changed the way the industry produced swimsuits.

 She is also known for designing all of Esther Williams swimsuits used in her aquatic films, making her the face of the brand in the late 40's/50's. 

“Here’s the perfect suit for real swimmers… the best I’ve ever worn. It will really do something for your form – in or out of the water.” -Esther Williams

Promoting Million Dollar Mermaid in 1952, Esther Williams wears the famous gold lame' suit designed by none other than Margit Felligi of Cole of California. 

Here's a beautifully choreographed scene from Million Dollar Mermaid, featuring Esther herself.

 Cole of California is still running today and now partnered with it's sister company designed by Fred Cole's daughter, Anne Cole.

Here are my lakeside essentials: 1940's hat probably made by a local milliner, Via Spiga heels, vintage wicker bag, black lace parasol, and of course, the chicest glasses from Polette.