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Bikini top

Date: 1960s - 1970s
Dimensions:
Overall: 300 x 730 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00016880

User Terms

    Description
    The combination of exposed flesh and exotic fabric dominated the showy 1970s. It signalled a transition from understated feminine appeal to blatant sexual allure. By the late 1970s there was a growing acceptance of topless and nude bathing. This bikini top is made from a cotton fabric, with under wire bra top with foam padding in cups, adjustable shoulder straps, and an elasticised back strap.
    SignificanceThis swimsuit is a representative example of a two piece design produced during the 1960s and 1970s.
    HistoryThe two piece swimsuit, made famous by starlets such as Ava Gardner, emerged during the war time years of the 1940s. Its modest design was less about a motivation to shock, than fabric saving necessity. The two piece of this period usually covered the navel, unlike the more daring bikini that was to gain widespread popularity in the 1960s.

    In the 1950s and 1960s swimsuits and sunsuits were often shaped with panelling and in-built supports to create a curvaceous, ultra-feminine silhouette that emphasised the bust, waistline and hips. As the 1960s progressed, swimsuits became less structured and designs became more focused on comfort using new synthetic fabrics that were quick drying and stretched to hug the figure.

    By the 1970s the enthusiasm for the bikini had been replaced by a fashion for flattering, strategically designed cut-away one piece styles that combined elements of both the one and two piece swimsuit. With the growing interest in gyms, aerobics and body building in the late 1970s, women began to flaunt new parts of the body. Swimsuit styles began to reveal much more cleavage, buttocks and thigh.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Bikini top

    Assigned title: Bikini top

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