SWIM

photo Shayne Laverdiere

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Less than 4 days left until the official start of Summer

Are you in the swim yet??

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Have you noticed that bathing caps are feeling very au courant ?

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Alex Katz

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Every once and a while I hear of something new or, in this case, something old feeling very new again and think

Genius! WHY didn’t I think of that?!

Exactly my thought when I first read about the “AquaLilies”

“Aqualillies is America’s hottest water ballet entertainment company, reinventing the classic art form for the new millennium.”

“Our goal is to inspire people with beauty, grace, and spectacle, bringing to life the magic of the universe through synchronized swimming and dance.”

Check them out here;

AquaLilies video 

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Aqualillies

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Deirdre

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Alysha

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The Aqualillies have even received the stamp of approval from the original Queen of  Water Nymphs herself,

Esther Williams  (now 91)

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Esther Williams

Who didn’t love to watch these movies on a rainy Saturday afternoon ??

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The Aqua Lillies in action

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Picasso’s “The Bathers” (1918)

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A fun summer read

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The shade any self respecting mermaid will be wearing in the pool this summer

Dior’s “St. Tropez”

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A Lily in action

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True Confessions; 

I can’t dive. Never learned. Never will.

Just thinking about it sets my nasal passages afire.

But just in case you’re more aquatically inclined than moi (which would pretty much be any and all of you)

the Aqualillies are holding auditions as well as classes right now.

What are you waiting for?

 Hurry up and get your swim on!

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41 Comments

  1. Yeah….like you are going to see me in a bathing suit ! Not !!!!
    Diving ? Don’t make me laugh…………Maybe off a sinking boat….. fully clothed !

  2. Great photos and inspiration. More than the best…Dior polish, Picasso, Alex Katz, and your blog. Best love, Lynn

  3. I can’t dive either. Nor do I have any desire to do so. I can barely swim under the water for any length of time (like those lap swimmers do).

  4. “Oh, the WATER, ohhhh, the water…hope it don’t rain all day” Van Morrison, “It Stoned Me”. Sorry, but all those pic’s brought that song to mind. Such beautiful swimmers, sigh. I won’t be putting a suit on anytime soon but still very inspiring. I’m getting my hopes up for warmer weather here! Thanks, Slim for a beautiful, summery post.

  5. Slim,
    Very inspirational, as usual, for all of those darling 24-34 year old lovelies.
    Ah well, I guess I’ll go back to getting my exercise by trekking up the road on a power walk. 🙂
    Karen

  6. I love those first two images…
    when we were young all pools required females to wear bathing caps. Mother had one with petals like that second image. I remember how tight they felt, like girdles for the scalp!

    Esther Williams’ classic Chris Craft was here in the harbour a couple of summers ago and we were delighted to be invited on board for a tour.

    I bought 2 swimsuits from Land’s End…
    they really know what flatters the female form, even the more amply curvy hourglass ones like mine.

    Bring on summer!

  7. When I saw a magazine article on the Aqualillies, I wanted so badly to go to LA where my daughter is at UCLA and do their mother/daughter class on Mother’s Day! Didn’t make it, but DID get a cap at http://www.headcovers.com/t/swim-caps/swim-caps/169/169/ – they have fun, vintage looking caps. Now I’m buying them to stick in summer b-day presents for my friends. Just the thing to get one in the summer spirit. Red lipstick is a must. In fact, the lillies use Maybelline “Red Revival”!

    • I thought of doing this post after seeing an adorable girl buying the cutest bathing cap in a shop on Lexington Ave. in NY. I overheard her saying to the salesperson that she was buying it for her girlfriend who was going on her honeymoon. She was terribly chic in a fun way and I thought-well, bathing caps MUST be back in style!

  8. LMAO! And I thought our high school Aqua Show was the penultimate! Next thing ya’ know, those Olympic upstarts are ‘aqua showing’ everywhere on Earth. What is the World coming to? Aqualillies? You GO! GIRLS!
    Sign me jealous!
    Chris

  9. Definately brings back memories – watching Esther Williams. Yes I did learn to dive, but I don’t remember ever wearing a cap, but it sure makes sense actually to protect your hair. I remember my mom wearing one. I like them actually. I never wear a bathing suit in Vancouver just in case someone sees me, but I do wear one when we go to Mexico, go figure.

    • Just a heads up on swim caps back in the day….they were required wearing in public pools and it was to protect the pool’s filters etc from all the long hair!

  10. Slim, one of your most exquisite BLOGs yet! The photos of faces in the water blow my mind, and I WANT that Picasso. You have such the artist’s eye. Did you study art in school? (Love your French phrases, also.) You seem a person who truly relishes being alive — hurrah!!!

  11. Oh, I LOVE this post! (Just as I love the phrase au courant.)

    Have you seen The Raleigh’s baroque pool in Miami, where Esther did her movies? It’s incredibly beautiful. I think Karl L. staged a resort collection for Chanel there last year? (Tip: Even if you stay in a cheaper hotel, you can use The Raleigh’s pool and beach equipment for a fee of $25.)

    Also, I saw the most beautiful ‘pool’ clutch purse in Kate Spade’s Flatiron store last week. The clasp is a swimming pool ladder. Just exquisite.

    And yes – I’ve bought a hot pink bathing cap! (I pretended it was for a photo shoot, but it was so cute I had to keep it.) Retro bathing suits are coming back too.

    Let’s embrace the glamour!

    Janelle McCulloch | Library of Design

  12. This brought back so many memories…….I was on the swim team and performed water ballet for all my teenage years. I idolized Ester Williams. Can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen her movies. Thank you Slim for making me feel very young again. Was she just beautiful? Oh my. Great blog…………….

  13. Esther Williams was my heroine in my teens. I was a certified Red Cross swim teacher at one of our pools in town and I would pretend with my friends to be like her in her movies. We were always trying the acrobatics under water and of course we had the bathing caps with all the flowers on them. This post really brings back some wonderful summer memories of those days at the pool….junior high and high school!! Thanks for the great photos (I pinned some on Pinterest ) Thanks again!!

  14. As a senior in high school I had to take synchronized swimming in P.E., what a hoot.
    The sinuses take a beating!!!

  15. The picture of the lady climbing the boat ladder brought back memories. I grew up in Minnesota on a lake called Medicine Lake. My dad built a pontoon boat and every day in the summer we would go out to the middle and swim for an hour or so. On hot days dad would take us out up to three times. Now I’m like the sisters that don’t swim. I don’t have wash and wear hair, so I skip the swimming in deference to my ‘do. Thanks for the memory!

  16. I still swim with my head above the water so who am I to comment other than just to say thank you for this shot of pure glamour! Woke me up this morning quicker than my espresso…Merci pour tout, Slim…

  17. Love the white halter neck twopiece. As a child I was always fascinated by bathing caps that were made of some type of synthetic hair, always blonde and curly. A 1960s memory. very late 60s ! .Have a great summer

  18. I love the swim cap in the first photo – never had one like that when I was a kid – but I remember my mother had one with pink and white rubber flower petals that I just knew she was the prettiest thing in. I’d love to see this new/old water ballet troupe. Swimming without plugging my nose or keeping my face above water have never been an ability of mine.

  19. One of my favorite posts on one of my favorite subjects. Even though I just learned how to dive this summer, I still get the willies before I do it. It stings if you don’t straighten your body out while diving. The secret to not inhaling all the chlorine is to tuck your chin toward your chest and outstretch your arms behind your head. I’m too chicken to do it off the diving board. Only from the side of the pool.

    Hi Gwennie!

  20. OMG-I can “see” my mom now, pushing her hair underneath the bathing cap with all the white petals framing her face. We lived on a bayou so we swam all the time…never had the guts to dive-too scared! Ha, won’t be trying out for the Aqualillies! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  21. Slim, Wonderful post. It brings back so many things. First, the swim caps. My grandmother had a collection of the most gorgeous ones with flowers, ruffles and more. As a child, we got to choose which one she wore when she swam with us and I just loved it.

    Secondly, my mother was a water ballet person (now synchro) and star of all her high school water shows in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a young girl she had us always doing dives and dolphin flips under the pool. We of course watched every Esther Williams movie on Saturday afternoons too. I actually got to meet Esther and get her autograph at the Nordstrom store in Palo Alto when she was selling her beautiful suits about 15 years ago. She was charming and lovely. Her biography, “MIllion Dollar Mermaid,” is also a great read and one of my favorites.

    Loved this unique and fun!

    xo
    Kim

  22. What a cool post! I was sent over here by Barb, The Empty Nest Mom, since I wrote about a swimming pool today, and my first swim in more than five years.

    Love these pics! (Am a big Alex Katz fan… and I would’ve loved to include a David Hockney swimming pool at my site if I could’ve found time to find one I could properly attribute.)

    There’s another terrific artist, Sharon Shaprio (http://sharonshapiro.com) who is fascinated by the late 60s and 70s, and the California scene including pools, women bathers, women in general (in all our ambiguous roles). You might enjoy her work.

    Delighted to have found you. (And now smiling at the fact that I was part of “synchronized swimming” back in high school… Does anyone remember that?)

    Pass the flowered bathing cap…

  23. Slim, after reading this great post, I have to tell you that you simply must see the Swedish movie “The swimsuit issue” (you can get it on Netflix), FUNNY and adorable!!!

  24. I want to be a water lilly, oh, sorry I mean aqualilly…too lazy, though! swimsuits? I finally broke down and bought a $15 cheapy at walmart(all black for slenderization!)

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  26. Sorry to rain on this parade, but my personal experience, as a young girl with long hair, growing up in California, was something quite different when it came to bathing caps. I was forced to wear them in mandatory swim class at school and the ones we were issued were so skin tight, that, inevitably, once I pulled and stretched it over the large expanse of my pinned-up hair, I always ended up painfully pulling out a bunch of hair when I pulled off the cap after the swim. And it never kept my hair dry or chlorine-free. My girlfriends had much the same experience. We hated them. So much better to be at the beach with long hair freely streaming in the wind a la Brigitte Bardot!

  27. Just discovered your site– love the gorgeous, happy pics. I just so happen to have signed up for my first Aqualillies class at the Annenberg Beach House a few days ago, and now am that much more inspired!

Would love to hear from you!