Vilebrequin is bringing back these cult swimsuits from the 1920s

Vilebrequin is bringing back these cult swimsuits from the 1920s

Yesterday once more

Text: Jolene Khor

Reminiscing the glory days of the French Riviera, Vilebrequin taps into its archives from the 1920s

On the shore of the nude beaches in France or even on the sands closer to home at Tanjong Beach Club, it's hard to imagine a period long gone when men took the sea in swimsuits. Their chests barely bare, their tan lines matching that of the women's. Pared-back in all black — though on occasion, men also donned monochromatic striped varieties — the garment, held up by thin shoulder straps, cut low around the neck and below the arms for ease of movement, was spotted most prominently in south-eastern France. Peak of summer at the tip of the French Riviera in the 1920s and 1930s, fashion at its most experimentative. 

Two men wearing swim suits, photographed at the Villa Noailles of southeastern France in 1931.

While Karl Lagerfeld was no stranger to the fad in his younger days, its influence has since taken a nosedive, exhausted even among the most avant garde of dressers. Baz Luhrmann's turn of 'The Great Gatsby' in 2013 inspired the resuscitation of many a trend from The Golden Age, though the momentum of which left the swimsuit, donned by Leonardo DiCaprio's titular character, untouched. 

In 2018, Vilebrequin is taking matters into their own hands, with the release of Charles and Marylore, for men and women respectively. They've kept Charles close to its originals in terms of design, only replacing silk and jersey used in swim's early days, with elastane and polyamide. As for Marylore, clever cut-outs to reveal sensual points while keeping the essentials under wraps.

Vilebrequin's The French Riviera swimsuits are available online.

Related articles

Buro 24/7 Selection

Leave a comment