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Women's Paula Stafford broderie anglaise swimsuit

Date: 1950s
Dimensions:
Overall: 460 x 340 mm
Clothing size: 33
Medium: Cotton poplin
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00006147
Place Manufactured:Surfers Paradise

User Terms

    Description
    Queensland designer Paula Stafford produced fashionable and daring swimwear for both men and women from her Surfers Paradise studio in the 1950s. This reversible one piece swimsuit is lined with pink and beige cotton poplin. The broderie anglaise fabric followed the major fashion trend for lace during the 1960s, and its reversible design was a signature of swimsuit designer Paula Stafford. Originally white, at some point the swimsuit has been stained pink by running dye. The design features a boned bodice gathered at the center of the sweet heart bust with a halter neck tie. It has a zipper and an elasticised back and legs.

    Stafford is remembered as one of the first bikini designer/manufacturers in Australia, designing and selling bikinis on Queensland's Gold Coast from as early as 1946. She gradually expanded her business and promoted the bikini in Sydney and Melbourne and later successfully exported to the UK and Asia.
    SignificanceMade at Paula Stafford's Fiesta Tog Shop in Surfers Paradise, this individually tailored swimsuit is representative of women's beachwear fashions created by this renowned Australian designer in the 1950s and 1960s.
    HistoryAustralian Paula Stafford is credited with introducing the French two-piece swimming costume to Queensland and designing the world's first reversible bikini in the late 1940s.

    Stafford's early bikinis were tied at the side or knotted at the front and were daringly brief compared to other swimwear on the Australian market. They challenged dress codes on Queensland and Sydney beaches where the bikini was banned in the late 1940s.

    In the mid 1950s Stafford opened a boutique in Surfers Paradise, the Paula Stafford Fiesta Tog Shop and organised Australia's first bikini fashion parade as part of the Holiday and Travel Exhibition at Sydney's Town Hall. Stafford then began supplying retailers such as David Jones, Myer, Georges and Buckleys as well as exporting to Great Britain, the United States and Hong Kong.

    By the 1970s Stafford employed sixty people in her Gold Coast based business. Her bikinis were sold world wide competing favourably with French designs. Paula Stafford retired in 1985.


    Additional Titles

    Web title: Women's Paula Stafford broderie anglaise swimsuit

    Primary title: WOMEN'S SWIMSUIT, ONE PIECE, BRODERIE ANGLAISE BACKED WITH ORANGE POPLIN, LINED WITH BROWN POPLIN, MADE DURING THE MID 1950s

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