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Women's reversible bikini

Date: 1960s
Overall: 285 x 710 mm
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00016495

User Terms

    This reversible two piece swimsuit from the 1960s features a halter neck with shoe string straps and bikini briefs tied at the hips. The bikini top is shaped with vertical seams and a narrow band of fabric wrapping around the center of the bust to form a butterfly-style neckline. The swimsuit's hotel key print is typical of the 1950s and 1960s, when decorative arts and fabric designs drew upon iconic images such as playing cards, postcards and keys.
    SignificanceThis bikini is representative of women's beachwear fashions from the 1960s, and reflects developments in Australian and international costume design.
    HistoryThe two piece swimsuit, made famous by movie starlets such as Ava Gardner, emerged during the war time years of the 1940s. Its modest design was a fabric saving necessity. The two piece of this period usually covered the naval, unlike the more daring bikini that gained widespread popularity in the 1960s.

    Designed in 1946, the bikini marked a reaction to the constraints of the heavily structured swimsuits popular in the 1940s and 1950s. It represented freedom and fun. The release of beach movies such as 'Gidget' and 'How to Stuff a Wild Bikini' during this period also played their part in inspiring a following.

    In the 1960s French fashion designers introduced the string bikini. This style was briefer than the bikinis of the 1950s, with string ties at the halter neck and both hips.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: LADIES BIKINI BOTTOM

    Web title: Women's reversible bikini

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