Friday, 31 May 2013

Myrtle.. 1920's Bathing Belle....

  Continuing with my love of all things 'Sunny vintage beachwear' (The sun has been a little shy this half term holiday, but its lovely and sunny today) I have furthered my collection with a 1920's Bathing Belle called Myrtle....
Working progress....
Leila Hyams and Myrna Loy. 1920's. I was quite taken with the 'Swim Easy' labels so incorporated it into my own design.

  I have made a tiny change to her 'Pip doll' usual features in that I have given her two little nostrils, this idea was inspired by a beautiful worn and well loved doll I found on etsy recently. I'll be honest in that I'm quite fussy about my taste in dolls - new and vintage. They have to have character and look like they might have a story to tell, then they get my vote!
  And here is the well worn doll I found on Etsy. She was listed as a 30/40's doll. I'm more inclined to think she may be 40's but I'm not sure why?! Maybe its the Carmen Miranda look that sways me. I love her, she is exactly the type of doll that inspires my work. I love her cartoon eyes, nostrils! and handmade quality. She's unique!

1920's Bathing Beauty

Bathing Parade 1925

Laced Beach shoes and black stockings - quite a popular look it seems in the early 1920's. I have given Myrtle a headscarf made with 1940's fabric and added some little circular felt flowers. Her costume is made from felt which I distressed a little by washing and drying it a few times. Her over skirt is made from vintage lace. I love the circular pattern on the lace. Her shawl is a scrap of vintage fabric, although I'm not sure how old is but I love the crochet detail around the bottom. Women often wore fringed style shawls with their bathing costumes to protect their shoulders from the sun.
  I originally designed and intended this bathing flapper to be the second doll sashaying around in beach pyjamas, but since I'm all about The Great Gatsby at the moment I couldn't resist the temptation in giving her a Clara Bow unruly mop of curls and an early 20's beach ensemble. After seeing the fabulous Baz Luhrmann film last week and re-reading the F Scott Fitzgerald's novel over the bank holiday I got to thinking about the vivacious and tragic role of Myrle Wilson. She really is the most important role in the whole book - she intertwines the whole story together. ....In honour of her character I have decided to call this doll Myrtle...
  More snaps - a constant source of reference in creating Myrtle....

Alice White, Bathing Flappers, Clara Bow

  I'm quite smitten with this creation at the moment so will possibly hang on to her a while before listing.
  Next week I shall be listing my Busby Berkeley postcard sets - eagerly awaiting them back from the printers. I will keep you posted on their arrival.
  Have a great weekend! x


  1. you know i'm a fan of the 20's!

    1. Thankyou Clare, I will be in touch next week regards some sketches. Have a great weekend x