Got the midwinter blahs? Forget the sunlamps, the saunas and the hot buttered rums. Over the years we have found that the best antidote is the rejuvenating sight of a pretty girl in a swimsuit against a backdrop of sun, sand and surf. Have a look at the story beginning on page 58 and see if that doesn't make your life seem brighter.
The seaside setting in this case is Palmas del Mar, a new resort community still abuilding on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico. The color shots are the handiwork of Photographer Jay Maisel, and the pretty girls in the latest swimwear fashions were conjured up by Jule (pronounced "Julie") Campbell. Together they make what Jule calls her annual "fun-in-the-sun project."
Fun, yes, but work for Jule, who must often stay up until the wee hours making adjustments in next day's costumes—which is to say swimsuits. Jule personally tests some of the 100 or so new suits she brings along, occasionally dashing in and out of the surf to see if the colors run or the design impedes her flutter kick. "There are two kinds of swimsuits," she says, "the beautiful ones for looking at and the functional ones for swimming in. We want suits that combine both qualities."
When Jule looks for models, she usually bypasses Manhattan, home of the willowy, skeletal types so prized by the fashion magazines. Instead, she goes most often to California where she finds an abundance of "wholesome, outdoorsy girls who are—how should I put it?—fuller. The models we use have to be proficient at sports and unafraid of going before the cameras without makeup. They not only have to know how to swim but must enjoy doing things like trying to climb a coconut tree or running down a beach."
They also occasionally have to take their lumps. Once, while shooting on a remote beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui, one of our models ran afoul of a rock in the pounding surf and wound up with her leg in a cast.
The model's day starts at the first blush of dawn. "The light for shooting is best during the early morning hours and in the late afternoon," says Jule. Well, doesn't that leave time for a little relaxing fun in the midday sun? "No," says Jule. "Noon to 3 p.m. is perfect for shooting underwater."
There are other occupational hazards. At Palmas del Mar, for instance, the construction of the resort mysteriously came to a near standstill the very day the models arrived. Jule, aware that the "high-leg" cut of this year's swimsuits would "expose new areas," suggested that the models sunbathe in the nude so that they would be more uniformly tan. To discourage Peeping Toms, she first found a suitable balcony—one not overlooked by any work site—and then went to some trouble to pin bedsheets around the balcony railings. But, as the construction foreman heatedly pointed out a little while later, the balmy ocean breezes would periodically blow the sheets—and the girls' cover—up into the air for a moment, much to the delight of some 300 workmen who were standing vigil on a nearby half-finished building.
Jule herself keeps trim by working out on the trapeze and the rings at a Manhattan gym. She is never wanting for motivation. "If any woman wants to tone up her figure," she says, "I have a surefire method. Just go to the beach and hang around with some of the world's most beautiful women for a couple of weeks and you'd be surprised how quickly you get into shape."