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Women's 1968 Australian Olympic team swimsuit

Date: 1968
Dimensions:
Overall: 720 x 370 mm, 0.08 kg
Clothing size: 34
Medium: Bri-nylon, cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Speedo International Ltd
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00019039
Place Manufactured:Australia

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    Description
    This 'wattle' print Speedo swimsuit was based on a design created by Gloria Smythe (Mortimer-Dunn) for the Australian women's Olympic swimming team in 1968. The bri-nylon swimsuit is lined and panelled and features a quarter skirt, wide shoulder straps, a contour back and a high scooped neck. The official competition version of this swimsuit had a cross back, which was a style innovation introduced for the first time at the Olympics in Mexico in 1968.

    Produced as a stock item, this swimsuit demonstrates the influence of Olympic team designs on Speedo's commercial swimwear ranges. The 'wattle' pattern was the first all over print to be used by the Australian swimming team in an international competition.

    SignificanceThis swimsuit is a representative example of the commercial swimwear ranges released by Speedo based upon the official competition swimsuits designed and manufactured for the Australian Olympic swimming team in the 1960s and 1970s.
    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 cumbersome half skirt was replaced with the quarter skirt which gave more shape to the body and was a better fit. By 1972 the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) allowed women to swim skirtless, though it was not until the 1976 Montreal Games that the Australian team design followed this trend.

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