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Jantzen Diving Girl logo reproduced courtesy of Skye Group

Woman's one piece Jantzen swimsuit

Date: 1930s
Overall: 530 x 90 mm
Clothing size: 34
Medium: Machine knitted wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Jantzen Diving Girl logo Skye Group
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00004830
Place Manufactured:Australia

User Terms

    This cable knit wool 'Moulded Fit' swimsuit has shaped breast moulds, and adjustable red and white shoulder straps that cross at the back and are secured with buckles at the front.

    The garment, in Jantzen's 'cardinal red', also features a half skirt, a high cut 'v' neck for modesty, and belt that ties at the waist to emphasise the woman's form. The Jantzen diving girl logo used from 1928 is sewn onto the left corner of the half skirt.

    SignificanceThe woollen swimsuit is a rare example of designs produced during the 1930s by Jantzen.
    HistoryThe 1930s saw both men and women revealing more of the body, which was a trend facilitated by the new craze for sun bathing. The aesthetic for the body was functional, sleek and streamlined. Men finally went topless, wearing swimming trunks and belted wool knit shorts with a half skirt for modesty. Women's swimsuits went backless, and were often accessorised with coloured rubber surf caps to complete the streamlined look of the outfit.

    Knitted one piece close-fitting swimsuits, known as maillots, defined the 1930's fashion for women's swimwear. Their design, often featuring a scooping back, followed the trend of women's evening dresses of the period. The look was simple and elegant, creating soft curves that contoured the body. Attention was drawn to the back by the use of different types of shoulder straps such as halter-necks, cross straps and cutaway straps. The French designer Elsa Schiaparelli patented a backless maillot with a built in bra to promote strap-free tanning.

    The new body shape promoted during this period reflected changes in the political climate of the time, with the growing emancipation of women in the home and at work. Such changes were communicated through swimwear fashion, though it was not until the end of the 1930s that the maillot was generally accepted into public view. Significantly, the incorporation of the half skirt and high neckline in the Jantzen swimsuit ensured a certain amount of modesty for the wearer.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Woman's one piece Jantzen swimsuit

    Web title: Woman's one piece Jantzen swimsuit

    Related People
    Maker: Jantzen

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