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Reproduced courtesy Trackerjack Pty Ltd

Watersun maillot swimsuit

Date: 2009
Clothing size: 10
Overall: 615 x 330 mm
Medium: Polyamide, nylon, elastine
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Trackerjack Pty Ltd
Object Copyright: © Trackerjack Pty Ltd
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00046044
Place Manufactured:China

User Terms

    This halterneck maillot swimsuit was designed by Rebecca Graham for Watersun, Australia's oldest privately owned swimwear label. It features multiple fabric segments in charcoal, warm coral, mulberry and ice blue. This swimsuit demonstrates Watersun's focus on glamorous silhouettes in their 2009 collection.
    SignificanceThis Watersun swimsuit is illustrative of swimwear designed by Australia's oldest privately owned swimwear company and represents their most recent collection (2009).
    HistoryDavid Waters, founder of Watersun first began producing swimwear in 1952. Working in a knitting factory during the day, he cut garments at night, selling them through his mother's stall at Melbourne's Victoria Markets. Waters established his company after experimenting with a small swimwear line, which he had trialled successfully at the markets. Watersun, Australia’s oldest privately-owned swimwear and beachwear brand grew into an iconic Australian swimwear label and in 2009 was still operating successfully.

    By 1959 Watersun was exporting to Singapore and Hong Kong, and regularly featured in Vogue during the 1960s. At this time the company also used clever public relations stunts to promote its products. In 1963, when the internationally renowned entertainer Eartha Kitt toured Australia, she was presented with a Watersun Bri-nylon tiger-print swimsuit. She wore the swimsuit during her stay, and encouraged the emerging trend for exotic prints and new fabrics during the 1960s.

    In 2009 Watersun was a subsidiary of Trackerjack Australasia. The company's 2009 range, released by designer Rebecca Graham, focuses on glamorous silhouettes and dynamic separates. Graham's swimwear incorporates crochet trims and a tropical colour palette in patterns that are both solid and floral.

    From the 19th century Australians wore homemade bathing costumes based on overseas pattern books, or ready-made mail order swimwear. Retailers soon provided the latest fashions from British and American companies.

    By the 1930s swimwear was being mass produced by local knitting mills with brand names that reflected the Australian lifestyle- Challenge Racer, Sunkist, Penguin, Golden Fleece, Kookaburra, Top Dog, Seagull and Speedo.

    Australia's relaxed attitude to fashion has enabled swimwear and beachwear to become a focus of the Australian fashion industry. Innovative local brands have gained international recognition. Australian designers blend high-end fashion and performance swimwear with a leisure market that demands the latest fabrics, colours and styles.

    In the early 20th century most swimsuits were produced in wool, in part due to its ability to reveal less of the body when wet. There was early experimentation with developing rib-like knits that were more elastic, followed by the use of Lastex, a rubber yarn that created a garment with less sag and drag. In the 21st century, advances in textile technology have resulted in the development of wool jersey fabrics with a high compression Lycra component. Swimwear designers have also become more groundbreaking with their use of bold prints, minimalist cuts and luxurious fabrics.

    Wool was the most elastic fabric available until the invention of synthetic fibres in 1938. Rib knit technology gave woollen swimming costumes their stretch - the knit stitch provided strength and the purl stitch stretch. The tight rib knit used for jumper cuffs was first used for men's rowing suits in 1913. The elasticity of these woollen rowing suits was the inspiration for the male swimsuit.

    The growing popularity of swimming inspired new fashions, manufacturing techniques and fabric technologies. The linear stretch of elastic enabled manufacturers to mass-produce figure hugging fabrics that provided greater
    movement and improved swimming performance.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Watersun 2009 Capsule Collection

    Web title: Watersun maillot swimsuit

    Assigned title: Watersun maillot swimsuit

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