Thrift Store Scandal!

Scandal, as in Scandal Suit, the earth-shattering 1964 design by Margit Fellegi for Cole of California.  At the time, Lycra was still new, and it was the development of new fabrics containing Lycra that enabled Fellegi to make this suit – so bare, yet so covered up.

The Scandal was basicly just a maillot with strategic bits made from a fabric containing Lycra, and cut outs being replaced with a stretchy mesh.  Fellegi worked with fabric makers for months developing both mesh and fabric, and the result was that she was able to “slice up the body any way I want to.”

The first of the Scandal suits were shown to Cole sales representatives in September of 1964.  The show was stunning, and many salesmen declared it would not fly in the more conservative parts of the country.  But Cole was committed, with a huge ad compaign already in the works, an ad campaign centered around the line, “Isn’t it time somebody created an absolutely wild scandal for nice girls?”  This line was uttered by a young lady perched on a brass bed on a beach.  Yes, this was scandalous in 1965!

It was also successful.  The suit was on the cover of the New York Times, and featured in an article in Life magazine.  Imitations soon flooded the market.  It seems as if American women were ready to be a litle daring!

The suit was made in all black, and it was made in the above print and a similar print in black and white with black mesh.

I’ve been looking for one of these for years, and yesterday, I plucked this off the rack of an ultra-conservative group’s thrift store.  Bet they didn’t know the scandalous story behind this one!

Comments:

Posted by Couture Allure:

What a great find! Lucky you!!!!

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 9:41 AM

Posted by Catwalk Creative:

Not for the faint hearted this one! A brilliant find and a very entertaining read.

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 11:45 AM

Posted by Brenda:

Awesome Lizzie! That is both way hot and way cool at the same time. As always, thanks for sharing your great finds!

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 12:32 PM

Posted by glamoursurf:

needs to go shopping with Lizzie! 😉

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 1:47 PM

Posted by Chris Anderson:

I would have screamed if I found that fabulous bathing suit!!! Its great that things sometimes find their rightful owner. NOw are you gonna wear it????

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 2:14 PM

Posted by Joules:

Oooh La Lizzie!
It’s funny that you found it at the very “firm” thrift shop. (That’s my word, for really conservative.)

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 4:00 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Me wear? I really don’t think so!!!

Friday, May 15th 2009 @ 5:29 PM

Posted by MS:

I also want to go shopping with Lizzie!Nice find!

Saturday, May 16th 2009 @ 7:44 AM

Posted by Lucitebox:

I, too, have been looking for one of these for years. I hope there was, at the very least, some Christian rock playing when you found it.

Friday, May 22nd 2009 @ 7:52 AM

5 Comments

Filed under Collecting, Designers, Shopping, Sportswear, Summer Sports

5 responses to “Thrift Store Scandal!

  1. donna

    nice find! luck lady

    Like

  2. Pingback: Currently Reading: Rose Marie Reid, An Extraordinary Life | The Vintage Traveler

  3. Didn’t Litttle Edie Beale of Grey Gardens have a black version similar to this one?
    Now all you need is a copy of the record ‘Scandalous Music For Nice Girls’:
    http://www.amazon.com/Scandalous-Music-for-Nice-Girls/dp/B002NIT1PW

    Like

  4. Pingback: Cole Cuts Newsletter for Cole of California | The Vintage Traveler

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