Keystone Girls Venice Parade, June 10th, 1917
Keystone Beauties Victors in Great Bathing Parade at Venice - Movie Capital Admits Keystone Girls Supreme
If pride be sinful, then out guilt is enormous.
We are unable to contemplate the honors and prizes won by the Mack Sennett – Keystone girls at the annual Venice bathing suit parade without visibly swelling. It was a wonderful tribute to the charm and beauty of the Sennett – Keystone girls.
From a field of scores of pretty girls of pretty girls who competed for the prizes, the Sennett – Keystone girls swept off nearly all the honors. All that was left for the others lesser beauties was a lungful of ocean breeze.
Perhaps we should explain what this Venice bathing suit parade is all about.
Venice is a summer resort on the Pacific Coast about sixteen miles from Los Angeles. It is a little summer city built in imitation of the great Venice. Its summer cottages lie along canals that form a network of waterways back from the ocean.
Several years ago, a little wager between two admiring gentlemen grew into a public contest between the girls of Venice as to which had the prettiest bathing suit.
Every year it has been repeated. Every year, the contest has grown keener. Every year the number of pretty girls in the contest has grown larger. Every year, the contest has been more dazzling.
Given originally as a frolic in a summer resort, the contest has grown in scope. Girls now come from far and near. To win this event is to be stamped as a glowing beauty.
So enormous have the crowds become that the original plan of wheeling the girls in beach chairs along the broad esplanade along the ocean front was abandoned this year.
This year they erected a big wooden platform. Each girl’s name was called in her turn and she walked across this platform with 75,000 people oh-ing and ah-ing in admiration of the lady and her bathing suit.
This is the first year that the Sennett – Keystone girls have competed. Competitors against them were society girls, summer resortors, and scores of beautiful girls from other motion picture companies having studios in Southern California. Arrayed against the Sennett – Keystone girls was the flower of screen pulchritude – the selected beauties of the different studios.
Some of the other motion picture girls had the benefit of professional boosting. Some of them had professionally enthusiastic young men from the studios who carried megaphones and implored the crowds to cheer when Miss So and So from the Umpty Studio was announced.
No one asked the crowds to cheer for the Sennett-Keystone girls.
As they climbed the runways and made their modest ways across the platform, 75,000 people cheered and waved their hats. They cheered again to show their approval when the judges handed out prize after prize to the Sennett – Keystone girls.
We like to think that it was not entirely on the ground of their girlish loveliness that the prizes were awarded. We like to think it meant something more than that.
Most of the girls from this studio have been recruited from schools and colleges. Nearly all of them live at home with their families in Loa Angeles.
They are all sweet, and young, and wholesome. Gloriously young and gloriously healthy and genuine. The Keystone girls who walked across the runway that Sunday at Venice were a living challenge to the rotten slanders that are sometimes circulated about motion picture studios. And they looked to be just what they are. And the crowds appreciated the fact and cheered.
Incidentally, it may interest some of the women readers to know what the girls wore. More than one girl will probably get a charming idea for a bathing suit from the costumes worn by the Sennett – Keystone girls on this triumphant occasion.
Mary Thurman, who won the Grand First Prize, wore a silk knit suit of Electric Blue, trimmed with white. It was figure fitting and open at the throat and laced with white bands. A tasseled girdle and panniere pockets heightened the cuteness and individuality of the costume as did a triangular collar with tasseled tip. The costume was furnished by the Venice Bathing Suit Store and was a “practical suit.”
Juanita Hansen, winner of second prize, graced a dazzling costume of gold cloth and gold lace, finished off with a green flop hat and shoes and hosiery to match.
It was fashioned in the new Chemise style, narrow shoulder straps and hanging in loose folds not quite halfway to the knees. The knickers were gold lace in cascade effect, Miss Hansen designed the costume herself with the aid of Bessie Schlank of the Schlank Costume Company of Los Angeles.
Marie Prevost and Maude Wayne captured the third prizes. Marie wore an orange and black Shepherdess Costume with appropriate hat and staff, furnished by the Bernal Dyas Company of Los Angeles and Maude wore a creation of gold with slippers and hosiery to match.