Monday, January 7, 2013

Dazzle Swimsuits Déja Vu

Dazzle-camouflaged swimsuits at Margate (UK) in 1919

In two earlier posts, we shared World War I-era news stories and photos about the scandalous popularity of women's swimsuits that were prompted by the dazzle designs used on merchant ships back then. Just today, we found yet another one. The news photo above was published in the New York Sun on July 15, 1919, with the following caption—

The camouflage bathing suit has made its appearance in England and has excited attention if not admiration. Three exponents of the "dazzle" idea are pictured here, disporting themselves on the sands at Margate.

In addition, maybe this gives us reason enough to share a little poem about the same subject from just two years earlier. Written by Well Clay and titled "Telephone Trail," it was published in Telephony. Telephone Publishing Corporation, 1917, p. 31—

"Oh, mother, may I go down and swim?"
     "Oh, yes, my darling daughter;
But your bathing suit's so awfully scant
     You must stay in deep water."
"Oh, camouflage will remedy that,"
     The maiden laughed in glee.
"No one will notice my bathing suit
     After it has made them notice me."

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