Attention Loyal Blog Followers:
As you may have noticed, I have been posting regularly each Friday. However, next week I may be a couple of days late. After all, I do have a regular job to pay the bills you know and that sometimes requires me to be out of pocket for awhile. But don't worry, I will post, just late. And now on to this week's post......
Since autumn is almost over and everyone has the upcoming winter season with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays on their mind, I thought that it would be the perfect time to look back at - Swimsuits! Okay, not too seasonally oriented, but, hey, that is the beauty of your own blog. You can post whatever the heck you feel like at the moment.
In addition to the two Big Book catalogs and the Christmas catalogs that retailers like Sears and JCPenney offered, they would also publish a little summer catalog between the Spring / Summer and Fall / Winter tomes. Although small in size, these guys packed quite a punch for not only did they feature summer fashions, they especially featured swimsuits. It was like having a second edition of the SI Swimsuit issue delivered right to your door - and featuring all your favorite models to boot! (1)
The first photo is titled "Great Moments in Sportswear" with the added tougne-in-check phrase "and proving that the most fascinating sea life isn't always under the sea". They must be referring to the lobster prop (oh, you thought it referred to the models?). This is somewhat unusual because normally there aren't any props in these catalog photos, or even much of a background. This makes sense. They didn't want to divert attention from the clothes they were trying to sell. Actually the lobster, and the scene has a fakey look - like it was done in a studio and the lobster was photoshopped in later. It would be interesting if anyone knows this to be the case.
The best explanation for the origins of this photo is that it was late in the day of a long, hard photo shoot and everyone on the set got a little crazy. Then one of the stage hands had an idea: "Hey, Bob let's take Larry the Lobster from the lunch buffet and scare the girls with it, hee, hee. No wait, they aren't scared, they're excited. I forgot, they're half starved models. Larry is in mortal danger! Run away Larry, ruuunnnn!!!". Kathy definitely has the inside position for the upcoming scrum over this tasty morsel. Colleen is totally out of position and her expression reflects her concern. I would LOVE to see an after photo. I guess "Great Moments in Sportswear" means moments when a poor lobster is ripped to shreds by a gang of hungry models who haven't eaten anything but celery for two weeks prior to a photo shoot!
Yes, I know "Why a lobster?" After all, lobsters don't come out of the water to attack people onshore, except maybe in a really bad SyFy movie (hey that's an idea - This Saturday, A SyFy Original Movie: Mega Lobster vs. Crocosarus). That's why I think this was a spur of the moment shot without alot of forethought put into it (kinda like your average SyFy movie).
Next up is a typical swimsuit photo from the Sears catalogs of that era. You'll notice from the descriptions that they are made with something called Arnel Triacetrate. Not sure what that is - sounds like a preservative used in processed meats or something. They must have thought it was a selling point because they kept mentioning it.
Kathy scans the horizon waiting for her ship to come in. I think that it definitively has already! The suits that she and Karen are wearing don't look at of date at all. The plastic flower on Kathy's suit serves no functional purpose whatsoever except to come off after the second washing.
Meanwhile the suits that Colleen is wearing seem to say "Ahoy mates, come aboard" for they include handy, easy-to-follow directional arro.... Oh wait, those are ANCHORS! I meant to say ANCHORS! Yes, those are ANCHORS for sure! What was I thinking?
Oh, come on, give me a break! Did you REALLY think I wouldn't comment on something like that? I bet every kid back then got it but half the moms didn't. Imagine their shock when they found out: "Don't you think my little Suzy looks great in this new swimsuit?" "Uhhh, Irene, you do realize what those anchors look like?" "No, what?" "Whisper, whisper" "Oh dear! I'm sure my little Suzy doesn't know that" "Uhh, yea, right, sure, whatever you say".
I threw in the next photo to complete the set. It features three members of the K Club in a typical pic from a Sears Catalog of the era.
Once again, the suits are not totally out of date. In fact the one-piece with the cutouts (modeled here by Colleen, sans anchors) is back in style. Maybe there is hope that other early 70s styles will be back soon. That would be so groovey!
Footnotes: (A blog with footnotes, how cool is that!)
(1) As an historical note to loyal Kathy fans, Kathy made an appearance in the 1970 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It was only one photo, but noteworthy. It could be the subject of a future post, but I'm a little hesitant. SI could be one of those outfits that gets all "touchy, feelly" over the copyright thing.