The first swimsuit in this post was designed for Cole of California in 1942 and it was re-christened the "Swoon Suit" since men were supposed to swoon when they saw a woman wearing it.
The design of this acetate satin number was actually influenced by federal government restrictions on rubber consumption during World War II. The swimming suit was indeed designed to fit the figure with adjustable ties and side laces without using elastic.
Apart from swimswear, during the war Cole of California's factories also manufactured parachutes for soldiers and this particular design was pretty popular in a neutral shade dubbed "Parachute White".
Two years later Fellegi came up with this green number that perfectly embodied the American passion for the bathing suit ensemble, that is a combination of bathing suit, skirt, shorts or pants, ideal to wear in different occasions, from the swimming pool to the cocktail party. In this case we have a glazed cotton chintz, cotton and Matletex skirt and bathing suit in emerald green.
The last swimsuit in this post is a classic one piece golden Lamé lastex and cotton design from 1950-51 that still looks desirable even in our times.
Fellegi probably designed it for the promotion of the musical Million Dollar Mermaid directed by Mervyn LeRoy, starring cinema's aquatic icon Esther Williams who became a testimonial of Cole of California in 1950.
The swimsuit perfectly embodies through its metallic golden shade, the glamour, fame and wealth that Hollywood has always represented, while hinting at desire and sex.
Do you feel that these designs do not fit your body shape or your tastes? Well, go "archive shopping" in the LACMA museum or opt for another museum, there are hundreds of gems and hidden treasures just waiting to be (re)discovered in institutions all over the world.
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