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For decades the holiday destination of choice

for the wealthy, the famous,

members of royal houses,

Hollywood stars and bona fide celebrities

was the French Riviera (Cote d’Azur).

Situated along the Mediterranean coastline of southern France-

it has been the place to see and to be seen for fun and sun.

(image from boat-charters.tv1):

french riviera, map

Map of the French Riviera

destination … Fun in the Sun!

(image from barrysbest.net):

resort, nice france, 1950

Boulevard in Nice, France (1950s)

Yet, the Cote d’Azur

was not always the playgorund of the well-moneyed.

Until the late 19th century,

it was a region little visited and impoverished.

All changed when in 1882, a local paper

published an article declaring what was needed:

“… visitors, more visitors and more visitors.”

(quote from British Airways Highlife Magazine).

A little over a month after the article appeared,

the then unknown fishing village of Nice, Cote d’Azur,

hosted a most illustrious visitor:  the reigning British monarch-

Queen Victoria.

She would return time and time again.

The rest is history

as tourism would blossom into the main revenue-generating source

and the natural beauty of the area would feature in many Hollywood movies.

(image from neonscope.com):

resort wear, grace kelly , 1955, scene from to catch a theif

On the sands of the Cote d’Azur

a scene from the movie:  ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (1955)

American actress Grace Kelly

sports a sun-kissed yellow backless, print dress

with matching head band and statement white framed sunnies

(In 1956, Ms. Kelly would marry Rainier III, Prince of Monaco)

Today the individual towns, among others-

Monaco, Nice, St. Tropez and Cannes (home of the Cannes Film Festival)

are widely known.

The beauty of the area is undeniable:

spectacular beaches, glorious weather, flower-ladden landscape.

Holiday-making in this part of the world

sparked a specific brand of fashion:  resort wear.

The styling lent itself to the lavish, sun drenched, beach and yachting lifestyle.

(image from wearona.com):

resort wear, yachting

Yachting, tres chic

The Fashion and Textile Museum, London

will host a comprehensive exhibition

on the glamourous clothing and styling of resort wear.

From a historical perspective, chronicling resort wear over the last century-

the show features garments specific to the this fashion feel:

bathing costumes, palazzo trousers, boat neck breton tops and more.

(image from thefabuloustimes.com):

resort wear, brigitte bardot

A young Brigitte Bardot

 ’50s and ’60s, actress and fashion model

wears the classic Riviera style

boat necked, striped Breton top

In addition, the exhibition examines modern fabrication of

current resort wear garments for fit and feel.

A modern twist

resort wear,  s / s 2015

by designer, Vera Wang

(images from style.com):

resort, 15, vera wangresort, 15, vera wangresort, 15, vera wang

The show is well-timed to inspire one’s own

retro-look or a modern take on Riviera fashion

for this summer season scene.

RIVIERA STYLE Resort & Swimwear since 1900

22 May – 30 August 2015

The Fashion and Textile Museum, London

For further details, visit:

http://ftmlondon.org/ftm-exhibitions/riviera-style-resort-swimwear-since-1900/