Search the Collection
Advanced Search
Image Not Available

Women's Black Lance swimsuit

Date: 1936-1938
Overall: 650 x 280 mm, 0.207 kg
Display Dimensions: 690 x 300 mm
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dale O'Sullivan
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00009446

User Terms

    This style of one piece swimming costume brought glamour, colour and the suntan to beaches and polls in the 1930s. Its fashionable low-cut back and high-cut leg were ideal for sunbathing but too revealing for some authorities. The modesty skirt was a popular addition by costume designer Peter O'Sullivan. His Black Lance maillot range also featured star-shaped buttons and nautical stripes inspired by navy uniforms.
    SignificanceThis swimsuit is a rare example of 1930s beachwear fashions designed by Peter O'Sullivan and produced by Black Lance in Melbourne.
    HistoryPeter O'Sullivan became the first Australian designer and manufacturer to successfully export to the United States by creating two innovations. He won the world patent for the square belt buckle, known as the 'Superman' buckle, after it was incorporated into Superman's costume and he developed the small skirt across the front of both men's and women's swimsuits known as the 'modesty panel'.

    O'Sullivan's 'modesty panel' became a feature of Australian and international swimwear fashions right up until the 1970s. His Black Lance swimwear range in the 1930s featured low cut backs, fashionable colours and decorative flourishes.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Women's Black Lance swimsuit

    Assigned title: Women's Black Lance swimsuit

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.