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Jantzen Diving Girl logo reproduced courtesy of Skye Group

Women's Jantzen swimsuit

Date: 1960s
Overall: 650 x 390 mm, 0.2 kg
Clothing size: 16
Medium: Nylon, elastomeric.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Jantzen Diving Girl logo Skye Group
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00039388
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    Made in Australia by Miss Jantzen, this nylon swimsuit exemplifies the change from the structured garments of the 1950s to the more comfortable and simplistic designs of the 1960s. The new fabric offered support and shape without the corset-like panels of earlier swimsuits. Featuring a decorative metal buckle at the hip, the swimsuit had a scooped neck and low leg line for modesty.

    SignificanceThis swimsuit is representative of the less structured swimsuit styles that gained popularity during the 1960s. It is also an important example of the use of new textile technologies during the mid 20th century.
    HistoryIn the 1950s and early 1960s swimsuits and sunsuits were often shaped with paneling and built in supports in order to create a curvaceous, ultra-feminine silhouette that emphasised the bust, waistline and hips.

    As the 1960s progressed swimsuits became less structured. Designs became more focused on comfort, while necklines went up and straps became thicker. This change was influenced by new synthetic fabrics that were stretchier and offered greater freedom to the wearer.

    Nylon, developed during World War I by DuPont, USA, was the first in a series of synthetic fabrics used by swimwear manufacturers. It was quick drying and stretched to hug the figure, providing a more self supporting garment than the heavier woollen suits of previous decades.

    In a move away from the 'pin-up girl' marketing of the 1950s that focused on stars from the big screen, the 1960s saw swimsuit makers such as Jantzen and Catalina becoming involved in beauty contest sponsorship. The label 'Miss Jantzen’ emerged around the same time as the 'Miss Jantzen' contests.

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