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Women's Paula Stafford terry towelling bikini

Date: 1960s
Dimensions:
Overall: 145 x 245 mm
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00006146

User Terms

    Description
    Queensland designer Paula Stafford produced fashionable and daring swimwear for both men and women from her Surfers Paradise studio in the 1960s. The top of this terry towelling bikini has a boned bra lined with white cotton, a tie back and halter neck. The fully lined pants have a back zip and button fastening, and elasticised legs and waist.

    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.
    SignificanceThis bikini is representative of Australian women's beachwear fashions made in Surfers Paradise by Paula Stafford in the 1960s. The style reflects developments in Australian and international swimwear design.
    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

    Primary title: WOMEN'S SWIMSUIT,TWO PIECE, TERRY TOWELLING, NAVY AND BLUE STRIPES, LINED WITH WHITE COTTON, BONED BRA, TIE BACK, HALTER NECK, VERTICALLY STRIPED PANTS, BACK ZIP, ELASTICIZED WAIST AND LEGS, MADE DURING THE MID 1950s

    Web title: Women's Paula Stafford terry towelling bikini

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