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Men's reproduction two piece wool knit 1920s style bathing costume

Overall: 725 x 355 mm
Medium: Wool, cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: V00045208
Place Manufactured:Parramatta

User Terms

    This reproduction 1920s style two piece men's bathing costume was made at an unknown date by Jantzen Australia Pty Ltd, possibly for use as a display garment in fashion parades or promotional events.

    The wool knit swimsuit is made up of two pieces. The black and white striped trunks are knee length, trimmed with a thick band of beige ribbed cotton and feature a cotton cord drawstring waist. The tubular black top has white horizontal stripes, short sleeves, a V-neck and a beige ribbed trim around the neck and sleeves. Small slits run vertically from the hem up the side seams, and are connected by wool tabs. Two red Jantzen diving girl logos have been sewn onto the front of the top at each hip. This version of the logo was used by Jantzen from 1948.
    SignificanceThis reproduction two piece 1920s style men's bathing costume was previously owned by Jantzen Australia Pty Ltd and was then used by Chin Yu Williams and David Williams in musical theatrical productions. The Williams' were entertainers and producers on the Australian club circuit. After approaching Jantzen in 1970, the company gave them a series of reproduction costumes, which had most likely been used in fashion parades and window displays. The costumes were then worn by the Williams' in various musical productions around Australia in the 1970s.
    HistoryThe two piece swimsuit was worn by men, women and children in the 1920s. It was a simplification of earlier styles of bathing dress, yet still maintained modesty and decorum by covering the body. Often sleeveless or with short sleeves, the design was innovative in revealing the wearer's ankles and shins.

    It was not uncommon for swimwear manufacturers to make costumes for theatrical and promotional purposes such as fashion parades and window displays. These 'display' garments followed the cut of traditional swimwear designs, but were not made for getting wet.
    Related People
    Maker: Jantzen

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