John Rawlings, 1953
Louis Faurer, 1965
William Connors, 1968
Veruschka on a Dock, 1965
Celebrated model Veruschka wears a transparent voile jumpsuit over a red, white, and blue striped bikini by Robert Sloan. Her earrings are by Atelier Nina. She stands on the dock as two small boats, one populated by a male companion, serve as a backdrop while a seemingly endless body of water in Barbados hangs in the distance. Louis Faurer's photograph appeared in the April 1965 Mademoiselle.
Cheryl Tiegs on the Beach, 1968
Willia Connors photographed model Cheryl Tiegs for the May 1968 Glamour. She sits on the beach in a turquoise puckered Arnel knit bikini by Monica for Elon. A beaded belt by American Authentics is slung around her waist. She's accompanied by a man, reading a newspaper and smoking. The interaction between the couple—or lack thereof—and the manner in which Tiegs regards the camera introduces it as a third character in this scene.
Jantzen Bikinis & Surfboards, 1966
Five models show off the latest Jantzen bikinis—high-waist, brief-style bottoms with halter and bandeau tops—in this William Connors photograph, which appeared in the January 1966 Glamour. Lying on colorful surfboards, they're squired by five buff, bronze surfers. The sense of interminable space created by the ocean and the angle from which the shot was taken turn this cheeky fashion moment into a veritable work of art.
Rows of Models in Sunglasses, 1947
Two rows of models lie on their backs with their bodies extended in opposite directions in this Richard Rutledge photograph, which appeared in the July 1947 GL. Each wears a bright, strapless bodice while modeling a different pair of sunglasses—a clever way to present the latest summer trends. The tops are evocative of bathing suit styles, and the slicked-back hairstyles and cheerful expressions lend this work a bright, beachy feeling.
Trying to Snap a Photo, 1941
Toni Frissell captured a woman and child standing on a pier in this photograph, which appeared in the June 15, 1941, Vogue. The woman balances a camera and holds the child's hand, as if preparing him to take a picture—but he's more distracted by the other camera, namely Frissell's. The sand and water nowhere in sight, this work is a clever take on a beach scene as well as a cheeky look into a family ritual.
On the Prow, 1940
Like a heroine of the sea, a beautifully figured model stands on the prow of a ship wearing a long, covered-up jersey of lisle in the reddish hue of a Brittany fisherman's and a scanty black swimsuit from Peck & Peck. Photographed against an expansive sky with very little of the ship, this image stimulates the senses and true sensation of limitlessness. Toni Frissell’s photograph appeared in the July 1, 1940, Vogue.
Strapless Givenchy Swimsuit, 1953
John Rawlings turns to the beach in this photograph, which appeared in the July 1, 1953, Vogue. The blissful model wears a dark brown strapless bathing suit by Givenchy. The mix of chestnut, orange, sand, and turquoise hues make this shot especially vibrant, creating a desire for escapism that this work affords the viewer.
Striped Skirted Bathing Suit, 1940
A model sits on a bench in this Horst P. Horst photograph, which appeared in the June 1, 1940, Vogue. She wears a green and white rayon sharkskin bathing suit with a chevron pattern in the bodice and a vertically striped skirt. Horst's romantic lighting elevates this image from a locker-room portrait to a work of serious art.
Beach Silhouette, 1970
This stunning silhouette by Arnaud De Rosnay first appeared in the September 15, 1970, Vogue. She stands modestly on a beach, legs and arms crossed, with her head in profile to suggest an air of uncertainty. But her erect posture and air of confidence invoke a certain pride. Looking off into the distance, she begs the viewer to consider her. This austere work has an anonymous, almost sculptural quality, which makes it a versatile addition to any space.
Bill Blass Bathing Suit, 1968
Legendary model Veruschka poses on a beach in Brazil in this Franco Rubartelli photograph, which appeared in the January 15, 1968, Vogue. She wears a white nylon bikini by Bill Blass, the top and bottom of which are held together precariously by a series of oversize chain links. Her blissful pose coupled with the far-flung locale make this work particularly exotic.
Working for Vogue for more than a decade in the early postwar years, photographer Clifford Coffin produced some of the magazine's most elegant fashion pictures. In this image, which appeared in the September 1, 1947 issue, Coffin captures graphic, attenuated beauty in a silhouette of a man walking down a pier toward a boat set amid the craggy rocks of the island of Capri.
Love on the Beach, 1970
This beach scene, which appeared in the December 1970 GQ, is a precursor to much of the fashion advertising we see today. Photographer Mark Patiky captures two models cavorting in the surf. She wears the better half of a black bathing suit, while he sports Oleg Cassini for Sea Mark red-on-blue Union Jack–inspired, boxer-style swim trunks with a matching white webbed belt. The aerial view allows the photographer to immortalize this couple in an intimate moment just before they're interrupted by an oncoming wave, which makes this work even more romantic.
Lanvin Beach Ensemble, 1928
Though the cropping of this George Hoyningen-Huené photograph, which appeared in the July 1, 1928, Vogue, might suggest a casual snapshot, the careful chiaroscuro lighting and graphic composition would indicate otherwise. The model wears a polkadot wool jersey bathing suit over navy shorts with a swim cap and striped beach shoes, all designed by Jeanne Lanvin.
Jean Patou Swimwear, 1929
George Hoyningen-Huené captures a model on the brink of a dive in this photograph, which appeared in the July 6, 1929, Vogue. She wears a white belted jersey tunic over black swim trunks by Jean Patou, a signature two-piece style of the era. With her knees bent and her arms parallel to her back, her stance is exactly on target—as is the composition of this spare, classic black-and-white shot.
Hand-in-Hand on the Beach, 1935
Three models hold hands on a beach in this Toni Frissell photograph, which appeared in the May 15, 1935, Vogue. From left: a white one-piece bathing suit with an open back and halter neck; a white braided silk one-piece bathing suit with an open back and halter neck by B.V.D.; and a white ribbed knit one-piece bathing suit with dark straps and belt by B.V.D. Despite the period styles, this work has a sense of timelessness, as it resembles more a portrait of friendship than a fashion moment.
On the Diving Board, 1936
Two models chat on a diving board. One wears a flared, belted tunic with chevron stripes; the other sports a blue denim bathing suit with white jersey shorts. Photographer Toni Frissell captured them at an unusual angle, which gives this work a cinematic quality. The image appeared in the July 1, 1936, Vogue.
Model Agneta Fischer, 1931
In his photograph of model Agneta Fischer wearing a hand-knit bathing suit by Elsa Schiaparelli, George Hoyningen-Huené patently demonstrates his talent for subtle but precise formal composition. The image appeared in the July 1, 1931 Vogue.
Seaside Revelers, 1931
Models in bathing attire were a favorite subject of Vogue regular George Hoyningen-Huené. For this photograph of two seaside revelers, which appeared in the July 1, 1931, Vogue, he combined both his love for graphic, formal lines with a more casual snapshot quality.
George Hoyningen-Huené frames the casual moment of two bathers sharing a cigarette in a formal composition in this image from the July 1, 1928, Vogue. Longtime Elsa Schiaparelli model Bettina Jones wears a two-piece bathing suit with a striped sweater, black flannel shorts, and striped bathing suit—a graphic ensemble by the famed surrealist designer that dovetails neatly with the backdrop.
Boardwalk at Coney Island, 1935
This photograph of a couple sitting under an umbrella on the boardwalk was taken by Lusha Nelson for a feature in the August 1935 Vanity Fair marking Coney Island's 45th year as a summer entertainment spot. Aside from the beach, the neighborhood's many attractions included roller coasters and arcades, freak shows, and custard and hot dog stands, to the delight of millions of visitors each year.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Joan Crawford, 1929
Actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and his wife, actress Joan Crawford, began to see each other seriously while making the film 'Our Modern Maidens.' They were married in 1929 at City Hall in New York. Here, they share a beach chair in Malibu. This photograph, by Edward Steichen, appeared in the February 1932 Vanity Fair.
Legendary lensman Edward Steichen vastly varied his subject matter—from horticulture to naval combat—throughout his lengthy, illustrious career. When he turned his camera on the worlds of fashion and celebrity as chief photographer for Condé Nast from 1923 to 1938, he produced some of the era's freshest and most glamorous portraits and fashion editorial images. Case in point: This image of four models leisurely sitting on a yacht, dressed in fashionably loose-shouldered jackets, skirts, and cloches from the July 15, 1928, Vogue.
Couple on the Beach at Coney Island, 1935
This photograph of a couple lounging on the sand was taken by Lusha Nelson for a feature in the August 1935 Vanity Fair marking Coney Island's 45th year as a summer entertainment spot. Aside from the beach, the neighborhood's many attractions included roller coasters and arcades, freak shows, and custard and hot dog stands, to the delight of millions of visitors each year.
Guests at Lilyan Tashman's Beach House, 1932
Here, a glamorous crowd enjoys a beach party at Lilyan Tashman's Malibu house. From left: Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Lilyan Tashman, Clifton Webb and Kennth McKenna (under parasol), Edmund Lowe (Tashman's husband), Kay Francis (Mrs. McKenna), Ivor Novello, and Joan Crawford (Mrs. Fairbanks). Photograph by Edward Steichen appeared in the January 1932 Vanity Fair.