Chronicle Archives: Making Waves

In honor of Throwback Thursday, we’re kicking off a new feature on our blog: From the Archives. Twice a month, we’ll dig deep into the Chronicle Books’ archives and feature long-lost (but not forgotten) gems that deserve admiration, observation…and maybe even a few good-natured chuckles.

If you’re hitting the beach this weekend, seeking relief from what is shaping up to be a very hot summer, don’t forget your swimsuit! And if you need a little inspiration, here’s a look at a true Chronicle classic from our archives. Published in 1989, Making Waves by Lena Lenček and Gideon Bosker features the design and history of the swimsuit.

Making Waves Cover

With beautiful illustrations and photography, this book showcases swimsuit trends through the decades, as well as the changing cultural mores as new designs tended towards more skin and a snugger fit.

For example, these Art Deco-inspired swimsuits from the 1920s highlight sophisticated, European patterns combined with a new slim cut.

Women's Swimsuits, Making Waves

And it’s not just women’s swimsuits that saw some radical transformations; in 1936, men’s topless swimsuits were also a hotly debated topic. The swimsuit below was even designed with a detachable top–although removing that top could lead to arrest for indecent exposure!

Making Waves - Men's Suits

The modern swimsuit has come a long way over the past century, so don’t forget to break yours out and stay cool in style this summer–and keep an eye out for more peeks into the Chronicle Archives on Thursdays to come!

Back Cover, Making Waves

Julia + Irene
The Archivists

Julia Patrick

Assistant Editor in the Entertainment department at Chronicle Books. Part-time archivist, full-time hobbyist, real-life best friends with R2-D2.
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