A minimum bikini called "the string" made its first splash in Rio, and now the whole world's wearing it... at least some of the best-looking girls we know. Like these two, on famous Copacabana Beach in their flower-print strings from America. Deep blue-on-black fantasy flowers. By Catalina. About $17. Big bright flowers of green, white and red on black. By Going Places. About $17.
A summery explosion of florals at all price points, this editorial from 1975 is an ideal hot weather wardrobe (whether at home or on vacation). The pretty printed polyester dresses by the likes of Leslie Fay are fun, cheap and pack well, yet they really hold no candle to the designer looks included in this story. In particular, the Hanae Mori chiffon dress is a masterwork of pattern (look for similar designs in the Shrimpton Couture shop), while I would quite gladly wear the hand-painted Adolfo pinafore and blouse out today.
Cotton Cacharel designs from this era (in perfect Liberty flower-print tana lawn) are still highly collectible and rare—primarily because everyone wore their little dresses and skirts until they fell apart. That's why some designers have taken to remaking Cacharel's easy-to-wear shapes in other patterns (look to Lisa Marie Fernandez's designs if you are wanting to purchase a modern version).
As I am packing for a trip right now, I am definitely referring to this editorial for accessories inspiration—the perfectly coordinated scarves, hats and fans really amplify these looks and help elevate even the most simple of cotton ensembles (take the Calvin Klein sundress in the final image as the perfect example).
Denise Hopkins and others photographed in Rio de Janeiro by Rico Puhlmann for Harper's Bazaar, April 1975.
Here comes summer—so stow away your mufflers and turtlenecks and get ready to slip into the prettiest new summer clothes in sensational flower prints. Big bright flowers to tiny sprigs of posies in colors and fabrics that make you feel happy just to be in them...
THE SWING OF PLEATS (left)
White flowers on brilliant red, swinging down a long stretch of sand in Rio's Baraa de Tijuca. An easy button-up pleated skirt with a matching red shirt. We added the zing of a bright green straw hat to show you how well clear strong colors work together, and the practical fun of a lacquered fan. Skirt, in cotton, about $76; shirt, in viscose and acetate, about $42. Both by Cacharel. Don Anderson for Sheer Bro. hat. Temp necklace and bracelets. La Tienda fan.
A MIX OF PRINTS (inset and right)
A flower-print skirt of green and ivory on red with a smaller flower-print top. More flower prints to add to the mix—a bright scarf to wrap the head, another for the umbrella. Skirt, about $110; top, about $80. Both by Saint Laurent-Rive Gauche. Ruza Creations scarf. Martinez necklace. Mespo umbrella.
MASSES OF ROSES (left)
Ankle-length skirt ruffled at the hem, a strip of a bra, and a poncho—all in breezy chiffon printed with clear roses. A wonderful way to dress for evening—in a hot climate. Here, on the boardwalk of Rio's Ipanema Beach. Outfit by Christian Dior New York. About $480.
SPRIGS OF MIMOSA
A two-piece dress in a soft muslin-like fabric, sprigged with tiny flowers of soft mauve and sunny orange. The top is loose and easy, the skirt skims along the bias to below the knee. A very pretty look for day—and even prettier, we think, when you add a straw hat with a new tilt to it: brim down in front, up in back. Dress by Chester Weinberg/N.O.W. Studio Ltd. in polyester and cotton. About $138. Don Marshall hat. Dulken & Derrick flowers Tempo jewelry. Mickey Lyons umbrella.
FRESH WHITE ORGANDIE
A long full-skirted pinafore, hand-painted with nosegays of soft summer flowers, over a matching shirt you tie into a bow at the neck. A very special dress that not every woman can wear—but if you can carry off this fragile feminine look, you could be the most dazzling woman at the party. Keep your accessories to a minimum—we added only small caved rose earrings set with rhinestones and a lacquered fan - and your hair simple and soft. Dress by Adolfo. In silk and rayon. About $695. Earrings, Red Cobra by Frank Giordano. Casa Moneo fan. Herbert Levine sandals.
TRUE-COLOR ROSES (left)
Pink, red and yellow roses, on white chiffon. A light-as-air caftan with a mandarin collar, wide kimono sleeves—and a wonderfully romantic look about it. You could breeze in for dinner in a dress like this, and look very summer-fresh with a flower tucked close to your ear, small flower earrings, the barest evening sandal. Dress by Aremis. In polyester. About $138. Dulken & Derrick flower. Catherine Stein earrings. Casa Moneo fan. Herbert Levine sandals.
JEWEL-TONED FLOWERS (right)
A garden of flowers, in strong yet muted tons of fuchsia, mauve and white on soft stone gray. A sleeveless dress tied at the neck and top-stitched across the shoulder into drifts of chiffon that skim along the body to the floor. By Jean Muir. In silk. About $670. Michael Moraux for Dubaux earrings. Casa Moneo fan.
VIVID STALKS OF IRIS (left)
A long slim chiffon dress with a wide ruffled collar that bares your shoulders, in a vibrant mix of flowers and pattern. The colors are fuchsias, pinks, palest mauves and true iris—beautiful to be in for a summer's evening anywhere. By Hanae Mori. Dress, about $895; matching stole, to order. Dulken & Derrick flower. Herbert Levine sandals.
SWIRLS OF TIGER LILIES (right)
An easy caftan to the floor with a wide sash to wrap above your waist. The tiger-lily print is in brilliant blue, green and orange on white. It's the kind of comfortable-to-be-in dress that works well in any hot weather climate—and for every woman's figure. By Leslie Fay. In Qiana. About $48. California Things scarf. Dulken & Derrick flower. Herbert Levine sandals.
THE BREEZY SMOCK DRESS (left)
Lilac crepe de chine with a field-flower print of lavender, yellow, red and all the pretty flower colors. You can wear it with its matching belt, or leave it free and breezy as we did here. By victor Joris for V & J Designs. About $90. California Things scarf, flower-print crepe de chine. Mickey Lyon umbrella.
THE EASY SHIRTDRESS (right)
Khaki-green cotton printed with small white flowers. A dress to wear every day when you want to look cool and comfortable—just button up to there, wrap and tie the sash—and you're off. By Albert Capraro for Jerry Guttenberg. About $78. Don Marshall hat.
THE SIMPLEST CHEMISE (left)
Blue and red flowers on cool thin ivory silk. A very simple easy chemise that works as well at a resort as it does for summer in the city, By Ungaro. About $310. Don Marshall hat. Dulken & Derrick flowers. California Things scarf. Ungaro necklace of beads and crystal.
THE BAREST SUNDRESS (right)
Sprigs of small white flowers on deep indigo blue. You just slip the ruffled straps over your shoulders, wrap and sash it around your waist—and you've got your new summer sun dress. Terrific. In cotton. By Calvin Klein. About $78. Don Marshall hat. Ray Strauss scarf, Mickey Lyons umbrella. Richard Giglio at Vice Versa fan. David Evins shoes.