Published May 15, 1935
Three models hold hands on a beach in this Toni Frissell photograph, which appeared in the May 15, 1935, Vogue. From left: a white one-piece bathing suit with an open back and halter neck; a white braided silk one-piece bathing suit with an open back and halter neck by B.V.D.; and a white ribbed knit one-piece bathing suit with dark straps and belt by B.V.D. Despite the period styles, this work has a sense of timelessness, as it resembles more a portrait of friendship than a fashion moment.
Pioneering and inventive, Toni Frissell (1907 – 1988) captured an abundance of action with a still camera. Taking photography out of the studio while working for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Frissell shot pioneering fashion photos of models outdoors. She was Sports Illustrated’s first female photographer, and one of the only women in sports photography for several decades. During World War II, Frissell took battlefront photos, utilizing the compelling images to bolster support for women and African-Americans in the military. Creating candid-looking photos with small cameras, Frissell produced 340,000 images in her lifetime.