Posted by Nicole in Calendar, Swimwear, Talk

Are you ready for summer? I’m giving my last talk for the year on ladies swimwear, and there’s sure to be lots of inspiration for what to wear on the beach.

Join Nicole Jenkins (award-winning author of Love Vintage, fashion historian and retailer) on a trip through the changing styles, fabrics and construction techniques of 20th century ladies’ swimwear.

What: Talk on the history of ladies swimwear.
When: 6.30 pm Wednesday November 20th
Where: St Kilda library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
Cost: Free but please book by phoning 9209 6655 or on the website so you don’t miss out.
More information at the St Kilda library site.

I’ll be bringing along photos of assorted styles and actual swimsuits, so you can see and touch the different fabrics and see how they were made.

Hope to see you there!

1940s swimsuit

St Clare in elegant 1940s swimsuit, pretty enough to wear as a playsuit or sundress.

vintage swimwear2 475

Posted by Nicole in lingerie, Sale, Swimwear 4 Comments

Hi all,

I’ve extended the webshop sale until the end of this week, so it’s your last chance to grab some treasures at greatly reduced prices.

Also included now are all the Kiss Me Deadly swimwear and the Amelie lingerie set: reduced to clear, as this will be your last chance to purchase these styles through Circa. All are available for trying on at the salon.

You can see some of the styles here – click on the image to see our Kiss Me Deadly department. Limited sizes and stock available.

I’ll also be further reducing vintage clothing during the week – if there’s anything you’re interested in, you can also contact me and make an offer. I love vintage but am currently way over-stocked and so appreciate your help.

Posted by Nicole in 1930s, Swimwear 1 Comment

We’re so fortunate to live in Australia, it’s such a beautiful country and pretty good weather, especially when you consider what much of the world has to deal with. Lots of sunny days, and if you grew up here you probably have lots of beach memories – it’s a big part of our lives.

I spent my first nine years in Sydney and my favourite beach was Balmoral– we went to many beaches, but Balmoral didn’t seem like a beach: more like a park with a pretty strip of sand and rockpools at the end. It seemed like we always got a park close by, and there were always lots of kids to play with and if we were lucky, ice creams.

Mum liked to take us to another beach that seemed far away (Dee Why? Chinaman’s?) and necessitated trudging through the sand for miles (or so it seemed to me), carrying the obligatory beach umbrella, esky and lots of bags. It felt like an expedition and there were never ice creams.

After we moved to Perth, I got to enjoy the beaches there: Cottesloe is my favourite and I visit every time I go West, although my relationship with the beach – and sun, and sand – is more complicated that it was when I was a child. I spent my 18th summer doing my best to get a tan and that was it: I don’t have the right skin to tan evenly, or even at all, so since then it’s hats, parasols and daily sunblock for me – now that I’m older, I’m very glad for it because I’ve retained pale and wrinkle-free skin. So far, so good.

The 1930s was the golden era for beachwear and seaside holidays – here are some pics that I can’t resist sharing: everyone is so beautiful, elegant and yet insouciant. Enjoy!

Herbert Matter 1937

Gotthard Schuh 1930

Andreas Feininger 1936

The last three images I found at Livejournal – click here for the link, but be warned there are a couple of tasteful arty nudes.

Posted by Nicole in Bridal, lingerie, Swimwear

I’m pleased to report that we’ve expanded our Kiss Me Deadly lingerie and swimwear range – KMD has just won Favourite British Designer in the UK Lingerie Awards 2012. Well done to Catherine and her team: very well deserved! We love your vintage inspired lingerie.

Please visit our new Kiss Me Deadly department – all styles are available either online or for fitting in the city salon, in a large range of sizes.

We’ve also replenished our supplies of number one best seller, the Vargas Dress – available now in almost every size – while they last.

Posted by Nicole in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, New in store, Swimwear 1 Comment

How many swimsuits do I need? Probably not as many as I have – possibly the largest collection in Australia, so I’ve decided that I should share them with the world a bit more.

I’ll be keeping some extra special ones of course, but most of them will gradually be appearing in the shop and the webshop…here are some pics from an exhibition and my Wintersun vintage swimwear parade of styles that are either available now, or will be soon.

Dates vary from the ’20s to the ’70s, mens, ladies, one pieces and bikinis. Sizes vary from 6 to 14. Most will be go to the shop first, but there are already some on the webshop.

Photo credit to Jay Nel-McIntosh for the Wintersun shots (the ones with live models) and the mannequin shots are mine.

Posted by Nicole in 1930s, Swimwear 1 Comment

Just a quick one to brighten up your day – some beautiful early ’30s beach belles, complete with high heels and big smiles.

Click on the image to see in full – they’re so adorable in their woollen swimsuits and silk high heel shoes. One of the ladies is even wearing ankle socks! How delightfully impractical – ah, those were the days.

I found this little charmer at the live journal community adski_kafeteri – you can see more nice group shots over here.

Posted by Nicole in Circa event, fashion parade, Swimwear 4 Comments

We had a great time at the Wintersun festival – it was a bit like the best school camp ever: but for grown ups. At our rented apartment, it was Glamour Central as Tim and I shared with the wonderful Candice and Miss Carly of the Lindy Charm School for Girls. Boy do those ladies know how to look fabulous! I’m not used to applying my lipstick before breakfast: good thing I brought spares.

The week was pretty much spent hanging out with gorgeous lovely people wearing vintage clothing, and seeing wonderful ’40s and ’50s style bands, doing lots of walking, admiring amazing cars (more than I’ve ever seen before) and eating and drinking. Dreamy, huh? We were also staying opposite the beach but despite good intentions I didn’t manage to take that long walk along the shore: it served as a beautiful backdrop to all the action.

Soon into the week it was my birthday, so as a treat Candice did my make up and Chrissy from the Lindy Charm School did my hair: the result is my new avatar, I like it so much – of course, now I’m going to have to try harder to have glamourous hair more often, as it makes a big difference.

Highlights were the Circa swimwear parade and the ’50s style Cake Bake – here is a small selection of my pics of the week. Hope it gives you a bit of an idea of how much fun it was, and how much I’m looking forward to the next one.

As always, click on each image to see in full – and if you’d like to see more of my car pics, see Candice’s blog “Super Kawaii Mama” or more of my Cake Bake pics or some pics of the swimwear parade – see my previous post with images from the Goldcoast Bulletin.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped with Circa’s swimwear parade too:
– The wonderful models: Sandy, Nicole, Laura, Candice, Tamara, Beverley, Izzy, Jasmine, Chrissy, Kesenya and Alannah (aged four).
– The gorgeous backstage team: Carly (hair and dressing), Nicole and Jodie (dressing), Ray (music).
– The fabulous Scott Baker for being the best MC and doing improvised Elvis moves when we had a bit of a backstage kerfuffle (can’t wait to see the video).
– The Circa team who repaired and restored and got everything ready: Esther, Victoria, Fiona and Marianne.
– The glamourous ladies of the Lindy Charm School for inviting Circa and helping us get it all together.
– and last but not least: the wonderful Wintersun audience for being there and being a part of it all. Thank you all!

UPDATE: Candice has edited this wonderful video of the swimwear parade – you can see it here!

Posted by Nicole in fashion parade, Swimwear 5 Comments

Our feet have hardly hit the ground since we got here on Monday – there’s been so much preparation for the parade but today the first one was one. Here are some pics by Jay Nel-McIntosh for Goldcoast.com.au. There are lots more too, and a video so stay tuned – as well, I managed to take some shots of the fabulous cars yesterday – which is lucky because today and tomorrow the hoardes have descended and you can hardly get a clear shot for all the crowds!

All pics courtesy Jay Nel-McIntosh – click on each to see in full.

These images are only of a small part of the parade: we had ten models plus adorable Alannah (age 4) and forty swimsuits from the late ’20s to the mid ’70s.

The second swimwear parade is on at 2pm tomorrow at the big stage in Godwin Park – get there early to grab a good position – after today’s success we expect it to be very busy tomorrow!
Official Wintersun site.

Posted by Nicole in fashion parade, Swimwear

I can’t believe that Wintersun starts next Friday! I’m not sure what’s happened to the year – it seemed like just last week that Mistresses Chrissy and Kim from the wonderful Lindy Charm School were inviting Circa to stage a swimwear parade and all of a sudden it’s almost here.

Here are the details about the Vintage parade – it’s on Saturday June 12th and Sunday June 13th. Fittings are being held this week in Melbourne and next week in Coolangatta, and there are plenty of fabulous styles (mens as well as ladies) from the ’20s to the ’70s – although we’ll be focusing on ’40s-’50s – and sizes from 6 to 16. Some of them were recently displayed at the Ballarat Heritage Weekend.

If you’d like to join us on the catwalk, it’s not too late! Please email me asap at

Photo reproduced courtesy The Wintersun Festival Assn Inc or Sun Promotions P/L: aren’t they all adorable?

And speaking of Wintersun, as well as the Circa vintage parades, there will be lots of stalls including the Lindy Charm School will host a vintage clothing stall with lots of great frocks and accessories from the US, plus vintage hair dos, make up and nails, a ’50s style Cake Bake Off competition, more than a 100 bands and performers and around 1500 hot rods, classic and custom cars on show. Good thing it runs for ten days, or you’d never get to fit it all in!

This is going to be big. And, if Wintersun goes well, we’re going to have to start thinking about Greazefest.

Posted by Nicole in Exhibitions, Swimwear 8 Comments

I’ve just got back from Ballarat, from setting up the swimwear exhibition. I’m sure that you’re all going to see it this weekend (it is, after all, free entry) but in case you can’t make it, here are some pics – twenty two of my finest ladies swimsuits from the late 1920s to the 1970s, roughly in chronological order of era.

Here is the info about the exhibition. It’s only on this weekend, at the Trades Hall (24 Camp Street) and there are lots of other fabulous things happening so I encourage you to make the trip, if you’re not fortunate to already live in the fair city.

Regular readers will probably recognise a few swimsuits – some of these were featured on ABC’s Collectors, my book Love Vintage and the fashion parade for Madeleine Hamilton’s book launch for “Our Girls”. I was so thrilled to receive one in particular, it got it’s own post.

Whilst setting up, a photographer from Ballarat Courier newspaper popped by, so I expect there may be some coverage this weekend in the local press. Hurrah! An unexpected photo session and a reminder that carrying red lipstick with you can be a very good thing.

Mannequins provided Mannequin Revolution.

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