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Message updated 25th June 2023

Friday 30 December 2016

Vintage Season 10 - In a bit of a mesh

The Champion Studios "Flannel G-string" was not their only clothing oddity. They also seem to have invented the mesh G-string. That is to say they adapted an underwear trend of the time - the string vest - dutifully modelled below by Tuck Powell.

 Tuck Powell (Champion) 
In the days when boys always had to wear vests/singlets as underwear, pulling it down and knotting it between the legs like this was my secret, guilty pleasure. I've no idea when the string variant was invented, but in it's 1950's heyday it was promoted as both healthy 'breathing' underwear and an indispensible warm winter layer. I'm not sure it ever acquired the fashion/fetish status suggested in this picture, but it does pop up occasionally clothing film stars of the era and on pulp fiction covers. In those days though, showing your undershirt was considered slovenly and not 'nice' (in the UK at any rate). Which makes it intriguing that Tuck is wearing it here with a Police belt and holster (I wonder if Tuck actually was a cop?). Gay men in the 60's witnessed a late flowering of old string vests approaching retirement and therefore used as building site, labourers garb.  

 Tuck Powell (Champion)

I'm having a bit of an infatuation with Tuck Powell at the moment and his gleaming pecs in this picture give me all the excuse I need! The curve of the string round his buttock is also quite delicious. Even his puppy charms, however, don't make this mesh G-string look attractive (well I can't very well call it a 'String G-String' can I?) You sense it must feel very uncomfortable too, the full underwear  equivalent always had a cotton panel in this area for comfort as well as modesty. Maybe that's the explanation of his exasperated look. (By the way Tuck, better not put that flannel down or someone will probably take it away and make it into a G-string).

 Rod Bauer (Champion)

The mesh string is modelled more successfully by Rod Bauer in another sporty Champion picture, he's using the same lacrosse stick as Rock Granger in part 8. Combining a singlet vest with any slip in this way is sexy, the partial cover-up and the contasting pattern/texture gives a sense of seeing something that was meant to remain out of sight. I'll concede that the titilating holes do add something in this case.

Notice that Rod's vest is pretty much the same colour as the flannel G-strings in the last post but it looks like it's made of ordinay cotton fabric (phew!). I think it shows his upper body off a treat, but then yellow is my favourite colour!

Gary Seegar 

This model's pictures are sometimes attributed to Mel Roberts, sometimes to Champion, but this looks like the same G-string as those worn above. Gary was one of their more grown-up looking models but the mesh garment doesn't really enhance his manhood in this picture. You can see it's neither one thing nor the other, neither covered nor exposed, like a primitive form of pixilation and if Gary looks confused you can't blame him! On the other hand, if you enjoy the mitchmen-esque concept of making models feel uncomfortable this is a great picture.

Rock Granger

Rock doesn't look any happier does he? Not ideal sleepwear I would imagine. It looks as if he's been disturbed by an unexpected visitor. There's a gay fantasy for you. Placing a hirsute, dare I say, manly model like him in this position of (suggested) vulnerabity gives the scenario a special flavour. The garment used here works better, it looks more skimpy with Rock's tackle filling it out well and coupled with the see-through look the look is slightly sleazy and alluring and - to an uninvited guest - exciting and irresistable.

Pictures of men in their beds have an intimate eroticism all their own but are quite unusual. These days I suspect it seems a bit too romantic, too much like 'Playgirl', but in the days of censorship any image like this must have positively reeked of sex and was therefore very risky.

Lonely Sailor by Champion

Unsurprisingly this image is much reproduced but I can't identify who it is (informants welcome!). The Navy cap adds an almost undefinable frisson of adventure. It has been mangled into a non-regulation shape which tells us the wearer has a mind of his own and serves on his own terms. His untrimmed body hair tells the same story. But the eyes are those of a puppy in need of love and protection. His mesh G-string (possibly the cause of his anguish!) is relatively inoffensive and undisturbing, being not especially prominent but the same can not be said of it's contents which can only be described as striking.

Darryl Powers (Champion)
 We saw Darryl topping the last post and here he's showing his 'action man' credentials in scuba gear with spear gun. Although I believe this to be a Champion picture his mesh G-string has a different design to the others we have seen, with a more substantial top hem, possibly to cope with the demands of swimming in water (such a drag!). Normally water swirling round thighs is very erotic but this shot just misses the mark for me. What about his cock? I hear you say. What indeed? Does it not bear a resemblance to our lonely sailor's one above? Is this Champion up to their tricks again implanting substitutes?

Skip Hammer (Champion)
I have to say that looking at this picture with a hyper-critical eye that cock don't particularly look as if it's made of flesh. Just as interesting to many of us is the daring, fluffy, two-tone toilet seat meticulously co-ordinated with the soap dish. Wow!

Ward Randall(?) by Champion

Unfortunately, once the subterfuge is unearthed, poses such as this lose a lot of their appeal. It's like finding out the model isn't gay. However, this picture does usefully illustrate the dangling pocket design we saw in the flannel strings previously.

There's a 2005 book available called 'Champion' (Goliath Press) with lots more images like this. 

I've added this post to my collection of 'men sharing clothes' as an extension of the previous post. It looks like these G-strings ended up in the shower at the end of the shoot, thereby taking all the fun out of making the next model wear it. (click on 'sharing' label below for more) 

More next time
Read this series from Part 1

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