Since Caesar's day, the Riviera has been the world's favorite playground. From St. Tropez to San Remo the sun spills over rocks and lemon trees into a sea so blue that the French have named their coast the Cote d'Azur. That same sun and sea have also made the Riviera the home of the world's most imaginative play clothes. This year at sun-baked Eden Roc, Monte Carlo and Portofino, sun-loving beauties from all over the world are wearing stripes and straws, brief Bikinis for bathing, cover-up shirts and trousers. This report on the Riviera, 1954, is also a preview of American resort clothes, 1955—for the continental influence on American sportswear is greater today than at any time since the 1920s.
Riviera straws and stripes: Gogo Schiaparelli Berenson and her daughters wear straw hats and striped trunks at Eden Roc. Above left: At Portofino, typical male dress-striped basque shirt, linen slacks, espadrilles.
The brief Bikini has become a Riviera classic in the years since the war. Here at Paraggi (Paradise) Beach, near fashionable Portofino, Roman beauty Gioia Tortina, 19, shows off hers while eating an apple in the sun.
Italian designer Emilio Pucci believes that women look beautiful in trousers. Proof: At Eden Roc, Mia d'Acquarone of Rome wears Pucci purple. At Monte Carlo (above), Heidi Beer and daughter Mitzi both wear Pucci pants, tailored shirts.
At Eden Roc, a Dior model, who calls herself "Lucky," wears playful raffia pony tail, straw earrings, fishnet Bikini. Her beach bag is bright red foam rubber.
At Monte Carlo, a sun worshiper's private cabana—a collapsible striped canvas head rest and sunshade.
More Riviera stripes and straws: 10-year-old Ulla Nelson of Sweden dries off in a terry poncho at Monte Carlo. Wet hairdo is typical...none of the girls wear bathing caps.
The blue middy shirt (left) is typical cover-up garb. Shirts are worn out, not in, and a cinched-in waist is rare. Even the Bikini is covered up with straw skirt after bathing.