Getting into the Olympic spiritPosted May 17 2012
A very special front cover of Vogue. The clean and graphic pink background makes it appealing from the outset - but the date of the issue makes it even more impressive. Anton Bruehl photographs a model wearing a black matelassé Simpson bathing suit in June 1937. The image provides the perfect insight into how outdoor leisure activities had suddenly become popular amongst the elite at that time. Vogue introduces the cover as “Symbolic of Summer”, and rightly so at a time when sunbathing had become the latest craze.
During the 1930s, beauty was thought to be very closely connected with health. Consequently many activity clubs were set up, and the number of people taking an interest in outdoor activities and sports increased. Bronzed skin was no longer confined to being a symbol of poverty associated with those who worked as servants or in the fields - sunlight was suddenly considered to be bring good health.
Very much of its time - by looking beyond the cover image we can put the magazine even further into context and get a real sense of the general feeling at that moment. “True beauty is perfect health” says Elizabeth Arden on the double page spread dedicated to her advice for readers on being beautiful - and healthy of course. Both sexes were free to frolic on the beach in their wool and cotton made bathing suits; something that had been unheard of at the turn of the 20s.
Have a look at the swimsuit editorial, and the Elizabeth Arden double page spread.