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Women's Ivy Hassard one piece swimsuit

Date: 1950s
Dimensions:
Overall: 600 x 385 x 10 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Cotton, elastic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00028075
Place Manufactured:Surfers Paradise

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    Description
    This Australian made swimsuit was designed by Queensland fashion retailer Ivy Hassard in the 1950s. Hassard opened what is believed to be the Gold Coast's first retail outlet for women's fashion at Surfers Paradise in 1946, selling her own designs and organising fashion parades for the region.

    This one piece cotton swimsuit has narrow halter neck straps with a cuffed sweet heart neckline, decorative bias binding, vertical pleating and above the bust and boning to the waist with bloomer style pants.

    SignificanceThis is a rare example of a swimsuit designed by Queensland fashion retailer Ivy Hassard in the 1950s. Hassard was a famous aviatrix in the 1930s and opened what is believed to be the Gold Coast's first retail outlet for women's fashion at Surfers Paradise in 1946.
    HistoryIn the 1950s the swimsuit became a garment for opulent display. Exaggerated angles and curves were created with shirring, smocking, panelling and built-in supports to create a curvaceous, ultra-feminine silhouette that emphasised the bust, waistline and hips.

    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.

    By the late 1950s the bustline of the swimsuit began to receive less emphasis, and the hips became the focus of attention with exaggerated bloomer-style bottoms. These swimsuits combined a cute baby doll image with a more sophisticated line, and remained in fashion until the end of the decade.

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