Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cole of California

Cole of California - the ultimate in swimsuit glamour

When my mother was a young blonde carefree teenager she loved to hang out at the beach with her sister and friends all day.  Apart of the obvious sun tan and exposure to UVs, the swimsuit she and all of her friends longed for a Cole of California swimsuit.  It was the icon swimsuit, made famous by the beach movies from Hollywood and the rising craze of surfboard riding.  I've managed to purchase one or two but they are highly collectable and there's a genuine craze for vintage CoC!  All those svelte figures and built in bustieres - those were the days!

Cole of California - Batik print 1960s

Cole of California - 1940s romper suit

Cole of California - silky 1940s two piece
The famous actress Esther Williams (of Million Dollar Mermaid fame) was a famous model for Cole of California.  Other labels like Catalina, Rose Marie of Hollywood and A of Florida also became famous, however Cole of California was the benchmark of swimsuit glamour.

Esther Williams

Esther Williams
Cole of California began collaborating with Hollywood costume designer Margit Fellegi in 1936; signed Esther Williams to represent the company in 1950 and then began producing swimwear for the iconic Christian Dior, 1955.
Catalina swimsuit - 1940s

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