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Reproduced courtesy of Estate of Jeff Carter

Interior Paula's Bikini Bar

Date: 1957
Mount: 405 x 505 x 6 mm
Overall: 405 x 505 x 6 mm
Sight: 280 x 280 mm
Sheet: 342 x 304 mm
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Estate of Jeff Carter
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00027922
Related Place:Southport,

User Terms

    This black and white photograph by Jeff Carter depicts the interior of Paula Stafford's Tog Shop at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast,Queensland in about 1957. Paula is seen standing to the right, gesturing towards her customer, Kathy Ford to her left.

    Paula Stafford was a pioneer designer and manufacturer and introduced the bikini to Australian beaches, popularising the design. Her 'bar' was an early landmark in the Gold Coast community. Paula's husband Beverley was another early Gold Coast identity. The girl is Kathy Ford who went on to become a successful international model.
    SignificanceThe beach is a popular Australian meeting place - somewhere to look and interact - a place for sport and fun. Jeff Carter photographed Australians at rest and play, capturing the diversity of those who are drawn to the beach.
    HistoryPaula Stafford began creating bikinis for herself in the 1930's, well before the trend took international beaches by storm. She began to produce them commercially from a shop front on the Gold Coast in the late 1940's using scraps of material to overcome the shortages from years of war. As her business grew she began exporting to department stores overseas and throughout Australia, employing dozens of machinists and expanding her range to include leisurewear and menswear. But Stafford is best credited for popularising the bikini in Australia, now a beach staple, and would go on to be awarded the OAM for services to the fashion industry.

    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Interior Paula's Bikini Bar

    Secondary title: Birth of the Bikini

    Related People
    Photographer: Jeff Carter

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