Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Varazze, the beach

Unused and undated.

Varazze is on the Italian Riviera, between Genoa and Savona.  It's a place with an interesting history - it started off as an offshoot of a Roman military post, then was fought over by various factions, once even becoming part of the Kingson of Sardinia.

By the time of this postcard, it looks as though the tourist industry was already becoming important.  I'm hazarding a guess that this would be after the 1860s but before 1890s.  The costumes are all long sleeved.  I can see at least one belted waistline (about 1880) but the skirts are all below the knee.  There are a couple of older style one-piece costumes and the colours all appear to be dark.

Does anyone have a better knowledge of swimwear fashion history?

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  1. @Mike, I find it interesting, I must admit. :)

  2. Wow - I feel so fortunate when I have cards from the first years of the twentieth century!
    I find your discussion of the hints from the clothing styles to be quite interesting.
    Someone who does a lot of this kind of image analysis - in case you're not aware - is footNote Maven at her blog - Shades of the Departed.
    Evelyn in Montreal

  3. I have just been reading on the BBC website that French officials have banned a Muslim woman from swimming in a "Burkini" - a swimsuit that covers her entire body. Have things come full circle then? The women pictured in your marvellous postcard were also covered from head to toe on the Italian Riviera in the late 1800s!

  4. I would say later than the 1860s, but I'm loving the fashion on a postcard. Don't get to see that often.

  5. Thanks for your input on this.

    @Evelyn, I must go and visit Footnote Maven - sounds very interesting.

    @Blogaire, I read that one too. It's quite an odd thought, isn't it?

    @Alison, I'm beginning to think that the card was bought in the 1920s, or shortly before, but had an older photo on it. I may be entirely wrong, i's pure supposition, but it was among others that were definitely bought at the end of WWI.

  6. Hello,
    Since you are a former participant in the Festival, I wanted to let you know that I have just published the Call for Submissions for the next Festival of Postcards (Quadrupeds)
    Hope you can take part,
    Evelyn in Montreal


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