As promised a few posts ago, we’re picking up where we left off in the Sports Illustrated Vault.  We left you in 1980 with Christie Brinkley in the Seychelles and pick back up in 1981 with another great Christie cover.  Check out 1981 through 2001 and tell us which suits you think are hits and which ones are misses.

Clockwise from top left: Christie Brinkley in Florida, 1981; Elle MacPherson in Thailand, 1982; Carole Alt in Kenya, 1988;  Elsa Benitez, 2001;  Heidi Klum, 1998; Tyra Banks, 1997.

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Is it just us or have you noticed all the stunning pro surfer girls out there?  Seriously.  Crazy gorgeous girls who can keep up with the boys.  We LOVE it. Check out four of the best below.  From top: Bruna Schmitz, photo from here; Erica Hosseini, photo from here; Monycka Byrne Wickey, photo from here; Anastasia Ashley, photo from here.

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We love vintage so of course we flipped over this book that combines some of our absolute favorites: beaches, the South of France and superb swimwear.

It’s called Lartigue’s Riviera and it highlights the amazing photography of Jacques Henri Lartigue, a truly brilliant Frenchman.  The three photos pictured here were all shot in the early 1930s in Cannes and Antibes.  Gorgeous, we think.  Don't you?

P.S. Check out her beach music, lower left.  An entire phonograph on the sand -- too cool.

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The above SI covers provide a fascinating glimpse into the changing face of swimwear.  Sexy, stylish, historic.

We've chosen a few of our favorites -- from 1955 (and a feathery swimming cap) to 1980 (stunning Christie Brinkley). We'll cover more in a future post; we ADORE them.

Which of the above suits would you still wear today?

(clockwise from top left: Betty di Bugnano, 1955; Cozumel, 1964; Cheryl Tiegs in Cancun, 1975; Christie Brinkley in the British Virgin Islands, 1980; Christie Brinkley in the Seychelles, 1979; Puerto Rico, 1969)

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The inspiration for L*SPACE comes in many shapes, forms and places.  It could be a tiny piece of hardware on a Parisian purse, the color of a beach umbrella at a South of France beach club, the way that a screen goddess from the 1960s wore her hair (or for that matter, wore her attitude), the soft turquoise of a tropical sea, a fabulous can’t-get-it-out-of-your-mind song, a hidden beach cove, or the texture of a straw market bag.  The possiblities are endless.

Check out some of my inspirations above from 2011 –– which have all become a part of the 2012 line –– I think the most exciting one yet.  Can’t wait for you to see it!

xo Monica

P.S. #1 from last week's post: Cannes!

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