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Women's Cole of California swimsuit

Date: 1950s
Overall: 650 x 415 mm, 0.25 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00003364
Place Manufactured:California

User Terms

    Made in Australia in the 1950s by Cole of California, this floral print 'white collar girl' swimsuit features a shirred back, half skirt and decorative cuffed sweet heart neckline. The design incorporates a structured inbuilt bra and shoulder straps that fasten at the back with plastic buttons.

    SignificanceThe swimsuit is representative of women's beachwear fashions in the 1950s.
    HistoryIn the 1950s and early 1960s swimsuits and sunsuits were often shaped with paneling and built-in supports in order to create a curvaceous, ultra-feminine silhouette that emphasised the bust, waistline and hips. Known as a 'constructed' swimsuit, they were first developed by a Canadian designer, Rose Marie Reid, in the 1940s.

    Various swimwear designers drew on engineering and corsetry technology incorporating internal wiring, padding and elastic panels to achieve a sculptured cantilevered bust over a pinched-in 'wasp' waist. This voluptuous look was championed by film sirens Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell, Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Women's Cole of California swimsuit

    Assigned title: Women's one piece pink and white floral pattern swimming costume with shirred back half skirt

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