Truly Iconic Swimsuits


Back in October, I wrote a post as a rebuttal of sorts to yahoo.com and their list of “the most iconic dresses of all time”. To this day, it is still one of my more popular posts. As spring is just around the corner, and soon it will be bathing suit weather, I thought I would do a follow-up to my Truly iconic dresses post and explore what I consider to be the most iconic swimsuits of all time. To be on this list, each swimsuit must be recognizable and spark a memory to be considered iconic.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here they are.

ursula andress in the james bond film doctor no

Ursula Andress in the first James Bond movie, Dr. No

This was a bikini so iconic that it spawned a sequel.

Halle-Berry-Die-Another-Day-Bond-orange-bikini

Halle Berry in Die Another Day

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Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC. Need I say more?

grablewhite

Betty Grable’s famous Pin Up kept more than just the morale up during WWII

farrahred

Hair, teeth and nipples made Farrah Fawcett a triple threat in the 70s

tiegspink

Not to be outdone, Cheryl Tiegs gave us this other decade defining moment of the 1970s

annette-funicello-frankie-avalon

Fans of the Mickey Mouse club had their dreams come true when Annette sported this two piece number.

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Marilyn Monroe proved that you don’t have to put on a bikini if you want to know How to Marry a Millionaire

GoldieOverboard4

Goldie Hawn before she went Overboard in this high cut, thong backed, one piece.

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Famous Pin Up, Bettie Page goes wild on the beach.

I found it to be rather eye-opening as I was collecting the images above that the majority of these women are curvy to say the least. Perhaps we should be re-thinking our definition what is sexy when it comes to the female form.

As a feminist and therefore equal opportunity exploiter, I would be remiss if I didn’t include some famous moments in male swimwear too.

From Here To Eternity

Burt Lancaster had all the girls swooning in From Here to Eternity.

Miles-OKeefe-Tarzan-Loincloth

Miles O’Keefe may not have been the most famous Tarzan, but he sure did that loincloth justice.

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Speaking of loincloths, who can forget Christopher Atkins splashing around in the Blue Lagoon?

And then there’s this…

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Sacha Baron Cohen, as Borat in possibly the most iconic swimsuit of them all!

Truly iconic dresses


Today the folks at Yahoo posted their list of the 25 most iconic dresses of all time Like most lists, I agreed with some of the choices and disagreed with others. Many of the dresses they featured don’t meet the criteria that I would use to define iconic. For me, an iconic dress is one that you could see on a mannequin and immediately recognize not only the dress, but know who wore it.

Some of the choices I take issue with are Catherine Deneuve in Belle De Jour (too plain), Barbra Streisand at the 1969 Oscars (it’s not a dress), Olivia Newton-John’s dress from Grease (wouldn’t recognize it outside of the movie), Jennifer Grey’s Dirty Dancing dress (wouldn’t recognize it outside of the movie), Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct dress (too plain) and Michelle Williams’ Oscar dress (even after seeing it on the list, I didn’t remember it).

I thought I would post my own list of what I think are the 20 most iconic dresses. In no particular order…

Vivien Leigh in a dress made from the curtains in Gone With the Wind

This dress was so iconic that even a spoof of it became iconic.

Carol Burnett in a dress made from the curtains (complete with curtain rod)

Judy Garland as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

Jackie Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat

Marilyn Monroe singing Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Dorothy Lamour in her sarong dress, prompting men everywhere to say her sarong was so right.

Cher in her Bob Mackie designed Half Breed dress. The perfect marriage of designer and muse.

Jean Harlow in a white, silk halter, making the slip dress famous.

Julie Andrews from the opening scene of The Sound of Music.

Rita Hayworth in Gilda.

Twiggy in a Mary Quant A-line mini dress, defining the Mod fashions of the 1960′s.

Elizabeth Hurley in her career launching Versace safety-pin dress.

Cyndi Lauper having fun in the dress that helped make her famous.

Sara Jessica Parker in this stunning Vivienne Westwood wedding gown from the first Sex and the City movie

Julia Roberts winning the Oscar in style.

Perhaps the most iconic dress of all time, Marilyn Monroe’s white, pleated halter dress from the Seven Year Itch.

Tina Turner’s gold fringed Proud Mary mini dress.

Love it or hate it, you will never forget Lady Gaga’s meat dress.

Although she wore more glamorous dresses in the film, this blue satin number from Gypsy on Natalie Wood stood out and defined the character. “Mama, I’m a pretty girl.”

Proving that even men can wear iconic dresses, Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.

The colour was the only thing close to being Like a Virgin in this dress on Madonna.

And last, but most certainly not least…

Mary Tyler Moore in a green cut-out dress designed by a hooker in, perhaps, one of the funniest episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Every single one of these dresses are dresses I would instantly recognize without anyone in them. They were moment defining, which is what makes them iconic to me.

Pink Parasol. Pretentious or practical?


The cast of Fashion Police

I admit it. Watching the Fashion Police on Friday nights is a guilty pleasure. For me it’s a mindless distraction from all of the things that get me ranting on a daily basis. Last Friday, they put up a photo of the lovely and pale Anne Hathaway, walking down the street in New York, in the sun, holding a pink umbrella.

The photo that started all the fuss.

The cast then proceeded to rip apart her outfit, as is their usual modus operandi. Kelly Osbourne said that she was trying to look like Audrey Hepburn (apparently this is some kind of sin in Kelly’s eyes), George was defending the outfit, saying it was a great daytime ensemble. Then Joan jumped into the fray and said that her umbrella was pretentious. Then Ms. Joan Rivers, a woman who should know all about the importance of caring for your skin, actually said, “It’s just the sun, it can’t kill you.”

As someone who has had melanoma cancer, I beg to differ. I wish I had understood that tanning beds were dangerous when I was in my early twenties, but at that time everyone touted them as being far safer than sun exposure. My aunt died of melanoma cancer from too much actual sun exposure. The sun can kill you. Now I don’t leave the house, even in the dead of winter without sun block and sunglasses. On sunny days I have no issue with carrying an umbrella (hats just make my head sweat). It’s practical. Not only does it keep the UV rays off of my skin, but I stay cooler in my portable shade.

In the case of Anne Hathaway, as she has recently had her hair shorn, it’s a smart move. You can’t put sunscreen on your head (unless you’re bald) and when your hair is very short, scalp burn is a real possibility. I applaud Ms. Hathaway for being smart enough to take care of her skin. While pink is not necessarily my choice in an umbrella colour, it is a cute way of staying cancer free.

WOW The world of wearable art



Lady Curiosity- one of the 2010 winners

You wouldn’t wear any of these creations to the grocery store, but whoever said art was practical? Every year in Wellington, New Zealand holds an exhibition of artists from all over the world who create wearable art. Held in September, this exhibit and competition is a two hour long, live theatrical show and it’s unbelievable what some of these artists come up with.

Lady of the Wood- one of the 2009 winners

The above creation was entirely made of wood, right down to the wood shavings used for her hair. What strikes me most about this piece is the fit of the bodice and the sleeves. The level of creativity is astounding.

WOW began in 1987 in the rural town of Nelson as a promotion for their local art gallery. It was the idea of Dame Susie Moncrieff to use the live theatrical show format and from there the show expanded each and every year. Now WOW enjoys international acclaim.

Hide in my Bone Shadow- one of the 2011 winners

New Zealand has long held a place on my bucket list and it seems, with each passing year, it moves up a spot. As a huge Tolkien fan, I have long wanted to visit Hobbittown.

Hobbittown

I am also enamoured with big cats must go and see the famous Lion Man.

The Lion Man- Craig Busch

As both an art lover and a bit of a fashionista, and having only recently heard of the World of Wearable Art Show, I have yet another reason to want to travel to New Zealand. As I mentioned earlier, artists world wide exhibit and compete each year and one of last year’s winners even comes from my own home country.

Skin, Marjolein Dallinga, Canada- one of the 2011 winners

 If you would like more information about WOW, the World of Wearable Art, or to view more of these amazing creations, go to their website  or take a look at some video footage of the show on their YouTube page.

Confession: I like men in drag


 Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine

The other night, I watched the movie Velvet Goldmine again and it got me thinking about how much I like an androgynous man.  Velvet Goldmine hearkens back to the days of Glam Rock and features hot men like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale in make up. Ironically, Eddie Izzard is one of the few stars in the movie not wearing make up.

I began to notice men in the 1970′s, when rock stars like David Bowie, Marc Bolan and the New York Dolls were popular. It was the days of men with long hair, glitter eye shadow and tarty lipstick wearing flashy clothes and it made a big impression on me. These men with their blatant gender bending were so much sexier than the average Jock type to me. They were rebelling against the traditional male uniform. They were bravely flouting convention in an in your face way that was hard for me to resist. You see, I also have a rebellious spirit and a keen fashion sense and I related to these men, who I saw as so much more manly than the Jocks or the Suits. These men were breaking new ground, they were leaders. They were the new Alpha Male in all of their peacock feathered splendor.

 

Marc Bolan of T Rex

The New York Dolls

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

Then there was Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror pictures show licking his shiny red lips with a naughty, mischievous glint in his eye and singing “Give yourself over to absolute pleasure”. It didn’t matter that he was into both women and men, in fact that was a large part of the lure for me. He was unabashedly crashing through sexual boundaries.

 

Tim Curry in the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Since those days there have been very few examples of in your face male androgyny. In the 1980′s, Prince filled that role. At once, both masculine, feminine and oozing sex from every pore, Prince was my fantasy in those days.

 

Prince, from the Lovesexy Album cover

In the 1990′s Marilyn Manson took androgyny to a much darker and more Gothic place with his flawlessly painted face and very masculine voice. he merged male and female into one hot package.

 

Marilyn Manson

Currently, the most famous example is the aforementioned Eddie Izzard who has been quoted as saying, “Women wear what they want and so do I”. That attitude is irresistible to me.

 

Eddie Izzard, in all his glory.

Androgyny isn’t just dressing in drag. It’s a mindset. It’s a lifestyle. It’s sexy as hell.

The good old days


The other night, I was really looking forward to watching a movie I remembered very fondly as being one of my favourites from my teen years, Little Darlings. I remember watching this movie multiple times in the theatre and just loving it. So I settled in and started watching. What was I thinking? Were the hormones that coursed through my veins making me insane? This movie was one of the worst pieces of schlock. I couldn’t even sit through the first 30 minutes before turning it off. Then I remembered a truism I had conveniently forgotten. Just because you remember it, doesn’t mean it was good.

People have this annoying habit of looking back in time and only remembering what they liked about an era. For instance, Americans are always hearkening back to the 1950′s as the time when America was perfect. From the fashion, to the music and the cars, the 1950′s were the good old days. I’ll give you the fashion, clothes were beautiful and flattering then, but undergarments, weren’t so cute… or comfortable. Men had to wear suspenders to hold up their black dress socks.

And women were wearing foundation garments like this.

Then there was the music. The beginning of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, so much good music. But the 1950′s were also the decade that gave us novelty songs like How Much is that Doggy in the Window? and Purple People Eater and spoken word songs like What is a Wife? and Big Bad John.

The cars of the 1950′s were some of the most stylish and impressive in the history of cars, the Thunderbird, Cadillac and Chevy’s of that era are considered American classics. But then there’s this.

Sure the 1950′s were a good time in American History if you were a white man. The American dream was within your reach. If you were a woman you had this kind of existence.

If you were black, America looked more like this.

And the above image is a kind example. I could have shown a lynching.

So what is the point of all of this, you ask? When looking back, take off the rose-coloured glasses and understand…

JUST BECAUSE YOU REMEMBER IT DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS GOOD.

Fashion to die for


A few of years ago I stopped wearing a bra. I have a history of fibrocystic breast disease (I get large fluid filled cysts that must be drained with a big needle) and I had undergone a lumpectomy to remove a cancerous tumor. While fervently searching the internet for any bit of a hint as to what I might be doing to cause these conditions, I came across a very interesting study regarding a link between wearing a bra and breast cysts/cancer. http://www.breastnotes.com/bc/bc-causes-singer-bracancer.htm As a massage therapist, I am very familiar with human anatomy and this made a lot of sense to me. I was one of those women who wore my bra all day, then slept in it as well, never allowing my lymphatic system to do its job.

Before you think it was easy for me to just stop wearing a bra, let me tell you that I have quite large breasts and sagging was a concern, admittedly a vain one, but a concern nonetheless. I was also worried about worsening the back pain I had suffered from by having to bear the weight of my breasts without help from a bra. These concerns, it turns out, were entirely unfounded. Yes, I now sag a tad more than I used to, but not nearly as much as I had feared and likely not more than I would have just by aging. My back pain has lessened. All those little muscles that were being “helped along” by my bra, were now forced to work and became stronger. Even my posture is better.

Since I have been braless, I have had exactly two cysts drained (once each), as opposed to 3 to 5 cysts twice a year and no recurrence of breast cancer. I never changed my diet or my exercise regimen. I did quit smoking, but that was the only other change I made to my lifestyle. I will wear a bra occasionally, but never for more than a few hours at a time and never an underwire bra. After a week or so of feeling oddly naked without a bra, undershirts, or soft cotton tank tops have become far more comfortable than I ever imagined and I don’t have those horrible divots, caused by bra straps, in my shoulders anymore.

It seems those feminists of the 1960′s knew what they were doing when they burned their bras, even though they may not have known it was the healthy thing to do. Breast binding with a bra is no more healthy for your breasts than foot binding is for your feet.

I encourage you to try going without a bra for a month and see how it changes your life. If you are a man, I hope that you pass this on to the women in your life.

There is no need for women to be a slave to a fashion item that can kill them.