Miss A Columnist

Megan Waldrep is a freelance writer based in Carpinteria, CA. See more at: www.meganwaldrep.pressfolios.com

Esther Williams Tribute During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014

“The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it.” This  year at Miami Fashion

Synchronized Swim tribute to Esther Williams at the Raleigh Hotel.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014)

Synchronized Swim tribute to Esther Williams at the Raleigh Hotel. (Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014)

Week, The Raleigh Hotel hosted a synchronized swimming event to pay tribute to the star.  We wanted to spotlight some of Esther’s greatest moments  in hopes that you will get to know her a little better.  Esther did more than just swim. She was a confident, disciplined trailblazer for  all women.

To try and sum up Hollywood star, Esther Williams life in several paragraphs would be a great misfortune for readers who want to know the woman behind the silver screen.  Her autobiography The Million Dollar Mermaid, a title that shares the name with her highest grossing film, is an enlightening and understanding journey through the years of her life – years that deeply contrast the MGM star she came to be.

“Somehow I kept my head above water. I relied on the discipline, character, and strength that I had started to develop as that little girl in her first swimming pool.”

 

 

 

 

 

A scene from The Million Dollar Mermaid.  (Photo Credit: Keri Luna)

A scene from The Million Dollar Mermaid. (Photo Credit: Keri Luna)

On June 6, 2013, at age 91, the world lost a one of the last true stars of the golden age of Hollywood, Esther Williams.

Esther Williams (Photo Credit: Examiner.com)

Esther Williams in, “The Million Dollar Mermaid” (Photo Credit: Examiner.com)

Esther Williams.  (Photo Credit: Gerald Smith/NBCU Photo Bank)

Esther Williams. (Photo Credit: Gerald Smith/NBCU Photo Bank)

 

Prior to her movie success, Esther was a National Champion swimmer, scheduled to compete in the 1940 Olympics.  The Olympics were cancelled due to the start of World War II.

American Swimmer Esther Williams, Member Of The Los Angeles Athletic Club Swim Team, After Winning 100M Freestyle At The American Swimming Championships In Iowa, July 28, 1939. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

American Swimmer Esther Williams, Member Of The Los Angeles Athletic Club Swim Team, After Winning 100M Freestyle At The American Swimming Championships In Iowa, July 28, 1939. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Carrying on her legacy is the notable influence she’s had on American culture through the classic swimwear of the 1940’s and 50’s.  Though beautifully tailored and perfectly fit, the suits she wore in films were made from heavy wool material, some weighing up to forty pounds when wet.

Wool swimsuit circa 1946  (Photo Credit: Nantucket Country)

Wool swimsuit circa 1946 (Photo Credit: Nantucket Country)

Along with Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, Esther Williams was a pioneer for the 2-piece suit, also known as the “Bikini”.  She was also a favorite Pin-up girl throughout World War II.

Esther Williams (Photo Credit: Google images/Esther-Williams.com)

Esther Williams (Photo Credit: Google images/Esther-Williams.com)

 

Mrs. Williams started her own collection, Esther Williams Swimwear.  The collections recreate iconic styles with the benefits of modern fabrics.  Using soft foam cups and no wires, all pieces are made to order and made in the U.S.A.

Solid classic styles by Esther Williams Swimwear

Swimsuits by Esther Williams Swimwear

Her influential swimwear is celebrated to this day.  Taylor Swift wore an Esther Williams Swimwear 2-piece during her summer with the Kennedy family.

Taylor Swift in the 2-piece Classic Sheath by Esther Williams Swimwear with Connor Kennedy.  (Photo Credit: Us Weekly)

Taylor Swift in the 2-piece Classic Sheath by Esther Williams Swimwear with Connor Kennedy. (Photo Credit: Us Weekly)

Burlesque show girl, Dita Von Teese is a fan of Esther Williams’ Old Hollywood glamour.  She is pictured in a bright blue suit, resembling an Esther Williams design.

Dita Von Teese  (Photo Credit: Pinupgirl.com)

Dita Von Teese (Photo Credit: Pinupgirl.com)

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine wears a 2-piece suit, similar to styles of the 1940’s.

(Photo Credit: US Magazine)

(Singer Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.  Photo Credit: US Magazine)

Selena Gomez is a bathing beauty in a retro inspired suit.

Selena Gomez (Photo Credit: MTV.com)

Selena Gomez (Photo Credit: MTV.com)

Become inspired by Esther’s life through her autobiography, The Million Dollar Mermaid and learn how this American girl became one of our brightest starts in Hollywood history.

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