Saturday, 27 October 2012

Nostalgia by the Seaside: Atlantic City 1968

                                    Romantic Fashions in Atlantic City

Atlantic City, that granddaddy of all shore resorts, is a place of warmth and whimsy, of sun-bleached boardwalks and grand if slightly tatty architecture, where a hotel may take the shape of an elephant, and the ghosts of vacationers past - Diamond Jim Brady was one - stalk the verandas. Atlantic City is also the natural setting for this season's nostalgic fashions. Updatings by designers, ranging from Elder master Norman Norell to the off-beat young, recall a time when every lady bore a parasol. And though unabashedly romantic, the styles are fresh as the salt beeeze, saved from being saccharine by a sense of simplicity and, ocasionally, humor.

Baring a lot of modern back is a frilly play outfit ($25) by Jeannemarie Volk. The top, which is derived from a pinafore, ties over a pair of bikini pants. A don't go near the water suit, it is in spirit and intent a complete contrast to the classic maillot.

Perched on the penthouse balcony of the Shelburne Hotel above the boardwalk, model wears an organdy outfit ($125) by Adolfo, who also made her hat and belt.

Behind the linen dress above ($495 from John Moore) stands a two-storey high elephant, once a honeymoon hotel.

Girls holding parasol-like umbrellas are wearing matching striped raincoats ($250) by Donald Brooks. Water resistant curls are wigs made of Dynel by Reid Meredith ($26).

                     Bikini cover - up copied from 1910 motoring duster is by Gayle Kirkpatrick ($159).

                            Straw-hatted girl in a vest-topped midi dress, from Geoffrey Beene ($190).

Midi-length dress with a look of old thrift-shop authenticity comes from the New York shop, Etcetera ($69).

  Juggler stands in front of Steel Pier's mystery ride and wears fancy sleeved mini, Betsey Johnson ($34).

Romper-suited model wields life-size blow-ups of Atlantic City's first paid lifeguards, who took up their posts in 1892. The play suit (Doodles, $18) is modest but it shows a lot more skin than these two ever saw. (Until 1907 ladies had to wear stockings on the beach).

On the roof of the Steel Pier, ruffled lace dress by Kasper-Joan Leslie ($150) is worn with a flower-laden hat from Emme.

                                                            PHOTO CREDITS
     All images scanned by Sweet Jane from LIFE Magazine May 1968, photographed by Richard Davis.


  1. Wow, and a few images to die for! Especially the 1st and "Straw-hatted girl in a vest-topped midi dress".


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