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Women's Ivy Hassard swimsuit

Date: 1950s
Overall: 610 x 410 x 20 mm, 0.25 kg
Display Dimensions: 610 x 400 mm
Medium: Cotton, elastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00028054
Related Place:Surfers Paradise,

User Terms

    This woman's bloomer style cotton swimsuit was made in the 1950s by Ivy Hassard, a well known fashion designer from Surfer's Paradise in Queensland. The bold rasberry and pineapple fabric print in pink, brown and green is highlighted with a halter neck, vertical pleating at the bust and two stays sewn into the bodice. A sash backed with brown cotton ties into a bow at the bust. The swimsuit's two side pockets are finished with brown trim. There is a zip at the back and the legs are elasticised.

    The 'bloomer' style swimsuits were first seen in the early 1950s. The new style saw the bust line receiving less emphasis and the hips becoming the focus of attention.The bloomer costumes combined a cute baby doll image with a more sophisticated and flattering line, and remained in fashion until the end of the decade.

    SignificanceThis is a rare, representative example of an Ivy Hassard maillot design from the 1950s, and reflects developments in Australian swimwear fashion.
    HistoryIn the 1950s cotton swimsuits and sunsuits were often shaped and textured with shirring, smocking and contrasting panels to create a curvaceous and ultra feminine silhouette that emphasized the bust, waistline and hips.

    This was the decade when the 'constructed' swimsuit became a garment for opulent display using exaggerated curves and angles. Swimwear designers drew on engineering and corsetry technology, incorporating internal wiring, padding and elastic panels to achieve a sculptured cantilevered bust over a pinched-in 'wasp' waist. This voluptuous look was championed by film sirens Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell, Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe.

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