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Women's 1972 British Olympic team-inspired swimsuit

Date: 1972
Overall: 680 x 325 mm, 0.07 kg
Clothing size: 16
Medium: Nylon, cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Speedo International Ltd
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00019009
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This one piece women's swimsuit, featuring the 1972 British Olympic swimming team uniform design, was produced in Australia under license from Speedo. The nylon fabric combines an abstracted version of the red, white and blue Union Jack flag on a plain blue background. The swimsuit is fully lined and panelled and has the red Speedo 'arrow' logo on the right hip. Speedo first released commercial ranges of the designs they produced for various national Olympic teams in the 1960s.
    SignificanceProduced as a stock item, this Australian-made swimsuit demonstrates the influence of Olympic team designs on Speedo's commercial swimwear ranges.
    HistoryIn 1955 Speedo introduced nylon into its competitive swimwear designs, and the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne saw the widespread use of the new fabric. From 1957 the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) allowed the modest half skirt of women's swimsuits to be replaced with the quarter skirt.

    The introduction of the quarter panel saw an improvement in women's racing times as their swimsuits became much more streamlined and closer fitting. In 1972 FINA finally allowed women to swim skirtless for the first time.
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