Sports Illustrated: Knockouts: Five Decades of Swimsuit Photographyby Steven Hoffman, Frank Deford (Foreword by)
Knockouts celebrates that uniquely American institution, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Here, assembled in one place for the first time is every photo featured in every Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, plus outtakes and previously unpublished pictures. Beginning with the inaugural issue of January 24, 1964, featuring model Babette March, the book showcases the stunning models and exotic locations featured in each year’s issue through five decades. With beautiful color images of models including Elle Macpherson, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks, and Kathy Ireland who launched their careers with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue Knockouts also offers interviews with models, photographers, and art directors and an engaging foreward by Rick Reilly. The book includes more than 300 photographs from such photographers as Walter Looss, Robert Erdmann, Walter Chin, Antoine Verglas, and John Zimmerman.
- Time Home Entertainment, Inc
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 11.75(w) x 11.75(h) x 1.00(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The girls were beautiful, the locations hot, oh yes, nice swimsuits too.
Visually stunning, for with the models involved and the locales they frequent,how could it not be? Let's be honest--many men who read the book will wish they were stranded on an island with the beauties therein, while female readers will harshly appraise their looks in the nearest mirror and wish they could somehow morph into the stunners in the book by joining the local gym or entertaining the latest diet fad. Eye candy for men, more emotionally threatening for women, lovely nonetheless.
I'm not the target audience, have never bought the swimsuit edition. But I found this book visually fascinating, also really interesting from a cultural/historical standpoint. Really well designed, obviously very well photographed. Hoffman and DeFord have juxtaposed images to show how the ideal in fashion design as well as the female body has changed across the decades. Graphically well-executed -- some great play in terms of hard edges, curves, colors, etc. The text is also interesting, great quotes. The title made me think this would be a girly/pin-up/T&A book, but in fact I look at this now as a cultural record, an inspiration in terms of design. And of course, there is the bonus of some fabulously beautiful women. Don't hesitate to get this for someone who is not a 'swimsuit edition type.' A keeper for anyone with a design sensibility. This is a great addition to my library.
Caution: This book contains many images of naked and near-naked female models in sexually provocative poses. If the book were a motion picture, it would be required to carry an ¿R¿ rating. The title of the foreword by Frank Deford says it all: ¿The Bare Facts.¿ Mr. Deford describes the annual swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated as ¿walking a fine line between smoldering sex and suitable taste, lust and love, seduction and salubriousness.¿ That balance is maintained by having women plan the issue, men photograph it, and the models being attractive young women who are ¿sexy and fit.¿ He points out that the more modest Miss America contest has lost its audience while the racier Playboy has too. Yet, the audience for this issue has grown, now reaching approximately 56 million Americans a year and many others outside the U.S. for the magazine¿s foreign editions. At the same time, catalogues for lingerie are doing well, too. The book is mostly devoted to oversized one and two page photographs from the various swimsuit issues, concentrated in the last ten years. These images are reproduced on better paper and in larger sizes so that their color makes them more vibrant than in the original magazine versions. Little peeks at female anatomy become larger as a result, making these images seem more like pulchritude than All-American Girl Next Door. The two page spreads are often awkwardly truncated across the middle of images. To me, the most appealing images were those which emphasized the intelligence and personality of the model as opposed to her physical outline and skin quality. For a lighter touch, there are famous quotations scattered throughout the book, as well as bits and pieces of letters about the swimsuit issues in the past. The photographs are appealing mostly because of two characteristics, the unusually attractive female models who appear in them and the natural beauty of the settings that frames them. These same images taken with women of average appearance in a studio would usually be unremarkable. The appeal of the images to an American audience says a lot about American culture. The images seem ¿out there¿ even though you would see more skin at a typical French beach resort. They seem to appeal to a desire for a more exotic and sensual lifestyle than a typical American ever experiences. I was reminded of the old television show, Fantasy Island, where magical changes in life could happen to any visitor. These images are mostly dreams of what could happen to women on a vacation to a little-known island. That angle helps explain the appeal to the many women who enjoy these images each year, more than twenty million of them. Mr. Deford¿s essay also points out that the feature has grown. Originally, it was just a few pages. In recent years, the special has turned into a complete issue. Presumably, someday there will be a magazine with 52 issues a year comprised just of these bathing beauties. I could not help but think that the most lasting impact of these images is the way that they have helped build the careers of some of the most famous and successful female models, such as Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley and Kathy Ireland. The book will also arouse some nostalgia in you, if you are like me, as you recall what you were doing and how old you were when you first saw these photographs. I suspect this book will be a very popular gift this Christmas for young bachelors who like the annual swimsuit issue. After you finish viewing these images, think about what your idea is of an ideal woman. What are her qualities? How importance is her appearance? How would she grow better with age? What is her personality like? Look for lasting beauty in all forms among those around you! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise