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Thursday, August 8, 2013

More "Pin-Ups" From Dick

(If you sent an e-mail to me in the last week or so and haven't received a reply, it may have gotten caught in my span filter and deleted. Please send it again and I promise I'll reply ASAP.)

 Dick sent us in another load of great stuff, so let's get to it:

This is an update of that 1942 "diaper bathing suit" business. In early 1942, Walter Thornton, head of a New York modeling agency, arranged a photo shoot in his office. Several of his models wore swimsuits designed by Thornton himself. One photo, featuring model Ingrid Vallo leaning in front of an umbrella, was widely reproduced in American newspapers. It reportedly elicited a very enthusiastic response from American servicemen who saw it. Not long afterward, an issue of "See" magazine printed six photos in a two-page spread titled "Infantry Favors Diaper Suits."

Here are the pics, along with the original captions. Thanks again, Dick!

"Thornton models Lucille Richards (left), Violet Ensstrom, Jean Goodwin and Ingrid Vallo are amused by motion picture star Buster Crabbe's struggles to fit miniature suit to Baby Bruce."
"Luscious Ingrid Vallo critically inspects Crabbe's handiwork, much to Baby Bruce's discomfiture."
"Proper technique of pinning self into diaper-bathing-suit is demonstrated by Ingrid. Two piece affair consists merely of two cloth squares, three pins."
"Mash notes by the hundred overwhelmed Ingrid when small picture of her appeared in New York newspaper. Instant acclaim of soldiers caused paper to print full-page blow-up in subsequent edition. This is exclusive SEE photo."
"Ingrid makes helpful adjustment to Lucille Richards' suit, for smarter effect." [This picture was also seen in several newspapers]
"She [Ingrid] prepares to go indoors after sunning self on terrace."
I have so far been unable to verify that these things were actually offered for sale to the public. Several years later, Thornton did market a line of swimwear festooned with safety pins (though not as "diaperish" as these). What is this all about? Is this an example of infantilism in fashion? Perhaps it is nothing more than a visual pun on the term "pin-up" (Forties humor - I guess you had to be there).

1 comment:

  1. I recall in my younger days, the junior high library had a Life Magazine book about the '40's and there was definitely a picture of a model in a "diaper" swimsuit. This one didn't use pins, but the back of the "diaper" had two long pieces which tied at the front!