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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Tribute to Esther Williams - Swim Style Icon

A pioneering style icon passed away this month and left a legacy of  Hollywood glamour.  Esther Williams' elaborate swim fantasies on screen set a new standard for pin-up style and made swimwear looks a new genre of must-have fashion for decades to come.

Ms. Williams career was ground-breaking because she came to fame for her athleticism.  Being sporty was not considered feminine and not something movie starlets usually brought to the screen.  She showed such grace and beauty with her skills that the movie studio build a 250K pool just so they could choreography huge numbers to showcase her talent.

Ironically, becoming a movie star was only Esther's back-up plan. Her film career only came to be because  her original Olympic dreams were dashed with World War II.  She did however, win three national gold medals.

After the peak of her screen stardom of the 1940's and 1950's, she created a fantastic second career for herself by designing herself into a fashion empire.  She took what she learned in building a glamorous pin-up image and channeled it into a retro-styled swimwear brand.

The swimwear collection has vintage silhouettes, including a lot of construction to accentuate the curves.  Bold colors or tongue-in-cheek prints like cherries, polka dots and stripes are a part of the mix as well.  The label is still going strong today and is more relevant than ever with today's love of neo-burlesque and retro-styled fashionistas.

I can't wait to check out next season's styles of the Esther Williams collection this summer at WWD Magic in Las Vegas.  It's a city with a lot of statement pools where a cheeky gal can strut her stuff!

Photos from Associated Press, Modcloth, NY Times, MGM

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