The clothes on the following pages were designed especially for Sports Illustrated by last year's winner of the first annual American Sportswear Designer Award. Claire McCardell was cited for her creation of beautiful and functional styles which keep pace with the American woman's increasingly active way of life. This year she turns her famous talents to the newest mass phenomenon: backyard pools
This is an article from the April 29, 1957 issue
There are three considerations behind Designer McCardell's backyard fashions: privacy, freedom and hospitality. The photographs on the following pages, made at a spectacular mountaintop pool in Paradise Valley, near Phoenix, Ariz., indicate how perceptively she has met the needs of the pool dweller. For the woman who wants to sun in privacy, Miss McCardell has done cotton suits almost as bare as bikinis. For relaxing beside a pool she has decided on free, easy-to-wear clothes such as beltless dresses cut like a child's and playsuits that are balloon-free until wrapped with a sash. And, since having a pool means more entertaining, she has designed hostess dresses cut as short as bathing suits for daytime and down-to-the-ankle dresses with hostess aprons for the formal evening hours. To give playsuits greater scope she has added gathered wraparound skirts which convert them to street-length sundresses. All of her backyard swimming pool clothes emphasize femininity: the fabrics are dainty florals, colors are soft, silhouettes are graceful and easy to wear. The entire collection of swimming pool playclothes is now available in stores across the country: in the East, Lord & Taylor (New York, Hartford and Bala-Cynwyd); in the Midwest, Marshall Field (Chicago); in the South, Neiman-Marcus (Dallas and Houston), and in the West, I. Magnin (La Jolla, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Seattle).
The glowing girl opposite is Mrs. Blake Brophy, who wears a sheer floral-print cotton sunsuit that has a collar but no back above the waist, bloomer legs but no waistline until wrapped with a sash, and crystal buttons down the front ($25). In the background is the B. J. Leonard free-form pool, blasted out of mountain rock and nestled between a flowering mountain rock garden and a house which overlooks the Paradise Valley golf course below.
This madras-plaid cotton worn by Mary Brophy beside the Leonard pool has all the guileless charm of a child's smock and looks at home even at a neighbor's pool ($36). The dress has matching plaid underpants, can be worn belted at the waist like the green play dress in the background, worn by pool-gazing Susan Shons.
APRONED HOSTESS DRESS
Worn by Mrs. Ed Tovrae as she concentrates on cocktail hour duties, this is one of several to-the-ankle dresses suggested for poolside entertaining. Dress is made of dobby-patterned cotton; matching apron is cotton piqué ($55). Her lavender evening sandals are by Capezio.
This suit bares the back to the waist. Kathi Patterson wears it in backyard privacy to acquire a suntan low enough for bareback evening dresses ($28.50). Cotton print echoes the pattern of the pink granite rock behind the Leonard pool.
A new version of continuing McCardell classic, the Popover is a dress which opens front or back, and wraps and ties to fasten. Mrs. William Turner wears a cropped version in crease-resistant rayon ($30) as she peels an Arizona grapefruit.