Lost in the Closet: Jantzen Swimsuit and the Cult of the Mermaid

Amber Butchart: Fashion Historian

Jantzen centenary, from Americana Classic Vintage

Though my swimming has earned me a goodly fortune I am still looking for my chest of gold in a cool dripping sea cave, though a professional mermaid for the movies, I still wait to see my first real one sitting on a damp grey rock combing her long green hair.   –   Annette Kellerman

Due to the 7 years I spent working as the Buyer for vintage clothing chain Beyond Retro I have amassed what some might consider to be a reasonably extensive wardrobe. Because of the proliferation of clothes in my bedroom (necessitating a custom-made bed to store them all under), it often occurs that in the search to find an outfit each day I stumble across a forgotten gem languishing at the back of my wardrobe/bed. Such was the case recently when I pulled out one of my favourite possessions, a 1920s…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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