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Women's Cole of California swimsuit

Date: 1950s
Overall: 590 x 340 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00003385
Place Manufactured:California

User Terms

    This 1950s cotton swimsuit features a bold blue and white geometric pattern, gathered cuff neckline trimmed with a band of shirring, ruched bra detailing and a shirred back. Fully lined with a half skirt for modesty, the swimsuit was made by the American company Cole of California.
    SignificanceThis swimsuit is representative of women's beachwear fashions produced by the American swimwear manufacturer Cole of California 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 blue and white pattern swimming costume with shirred back and a half skirt

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