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Leopard print one piece women's bathing costume

Date: 1950s
Overall: 645 mm
Medium: Velveteen cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00016482

User Terms

    This strapless velveteen cotton leopard print swimsuit was made by Watersun in the 1950s. It features a shirred back and a ruched panelled front with a sweetheart neckline and two stays sewn into the bodice.
    SignificanceThe velveteen Watersun swimsuit reflects a flamboyant era in Australian beachwear fashions where designers experimented with new patterns, prints and textures. Shirred stretch fabrics hugged the body, exaggerating the curves of the breasts and hips, as was the trend in the 1950s.

    HistoryIn the 1950s and early 1960s swimsuits and sunsuits were often shaped with paneling and built-in supports in order to create a curvaceous, ultra-feminine silhouette that emphasised the bust, waistline and hips. Known as a 'constructed' swimsuit they were first developed by a Canadian designer, Rose Marie Reid, in the 1940s.

    Various 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.

    Watersun is Australia’s oldest privately-owned swimwear and beachwear brand, established in 1961. It has continued to thrive on its key belief that swimsuits should be engineered to comply with the specific characteristics of its fabric.

    Watersun's most recent line (2009) by designer Rebecca Graham focuses on glamorous silhouettes and dynamic separates. The swimsuit range incorporates crochet trims and a tropical colour palette in patterns that are both solid and floral.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Women's leopard print Watersun swimsuit

    Assigned title: Leopard print one piece women's bathing costume

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