Sunday, July 8, 2012

{Style Inspiration} Pearl Frush Pin-ups

I covered the fashion of Elvgren's pin-ups some months ago, and I thought I'd feature another of my favourite pin-up artists this week, Pearl Frush.

One of the very few prominent female pin-up artists, Pearl opened her studio in the early 1940s, and by 1943 had become one of the Gerlach-Barklow Calendar Company's most important artists. Her popularity continued through the late 40s and early 50s, and in 1955 she was hired by Brown & Bigelow, one of the world's biggest calendar publishers.

Pearl painted her pin-ups as wholesome girls next door, usually in swimwear or fully clothed, and often engaged in outdoor pursuits - she was very active herself and enjoyed a variety of sports. She also endowed her girls with a playful sense of fashion, and pictured them often in pastel shades (in contrast to Elvgren's, who generally wore rich, deep shades, especially red).

Bikini with matching wrap and headscarf - oh my!

A simple stripy T-shirt and rose shorts for sailing.

I'm loving the casual shirt and denim shorts farmgirl chic.

Check out the floral detailing in this little top & shorts playsuit!

Stripe T-shirt, short shorts and high heel pumps - surely what everyone wears for baseball?

Floral bikini and matching wrap skirt? Yes please! Check out the little details on the bra, too.

Red swimsuit and chunky red wooden wedges. Yes.

The Minnie Mouse polka dot swimsuit is great and all, but can we just focus on the shoes for a moment...

Adorable rose pink sundress with gingham trim, worn with matching low wedge slingbacks.

The pin-up classic, peasant blouse and tiered gypsy skirt.


  1. Pearl's work has always been amongst my favourites too, when it comes to classic pinup artists. I adore the fact that most of her girls weren't too scantily clad or overtly provocative (not that I have any moral qualms with such things, I just like seeing pinups in full ensembles, especially when they're as cute - and sartorially inspiring - as Pearl's).

    ♥ Jessica

  2. I love the fashion in old pin-ups! And I love the lighting they often used. So pretty :-D I've got a massive collection of pin-up pics on my computer which I use for drawing inspiration

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's been very interesting - since I love fashion so much^^ I have seen just one picture of her: the Minnie Mouse polka dot bathing suit with those amazing shoes óÒ
    Thanks to you, I know what to google next^^

  4. I had never heard of Pearl Frush before - and I think I prefer her work to Elvgren's :)

  5. It's not my cup of tea usually and I don't like the last picture but the others are very nicely done, attractive without being demeaning as so much of this can be.

  6. so cute! love their little outfits :) wish there was a shop you could just walk in and buy all of them!!!


  7. I'm a big fan of vintage romance comics and early illustrations done by these artists. My favorite artist is Matt Baker. Check out Matt Baker, Flamingo, if you get a chance. He died at a young age in his late 30's of a heart condition but he made a hugh impact to the golden age of comics.

    Also, I'm sure you are aware, there are very few women artists in the illustration industry at this time so this is fascinating about Pearl. I wonder if she is still alive? I'll have to look it up:) There is a lady called Trina Robbins who covers a lot of women's influences in illustration and comics in this period and before. I also have one of her books called "The Brinkley Girls" will amazing illustrations . It's a fascinating time to study. Another illustrator who is still doing illustrations of pin-ups even today is Jay Scott Pike. He made some lovely romance comic covers in the late 50's. If you are interested in any more info about this, just shoot me an email:) Thanks for sharing!


  8. Also, wanted to say "The Brinkley Girls" is an earlier period but just as fascinating:)

  9. What a great post! I love that you delve so deep into the history and not just "heck look, pinup and vintage things!" as so many blogs do. Thanks for another fabulous post!

  10. These are lovely - thanks for sharing. My knowledge of pin-up artists doesn't really stretch beyond Gil Elvgren, I'm ashamed to say, so it's nice to learn about another one. Especially as I sometimes get a bit bored by the fact that seemingly EVERY one of Elvgren's girls has their skirts caught up in whatever feasible way he can think of. There are more creative ways for ladies to be sexy, as seen here. I love the first one especially, and I wouldn't mind having either of the red swimsuits you've included...


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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