Two-piece swimsuit with navy blue and white horizontal stripes. Cropped top (.1) has inbuilt underwire bra and metal fastening at back. Shorts (.2) are high-waisted with longer legs. Matching top (.3) has diagonal navy and white stripes and an asymmetrical hem. Sleeveless with round neck. Velcro fastening on shoulder and side seam of shorter side. Labels inside bra and top.
Polish-born designer David Waters first began producing swimwear in 1952. His mother Halina had recently opened a stall at Melbourne Queen Victoria Markets and was looking for swimsuits to sell; unable to find any she liked, she asked David to design something. He began making swimming costumes using his mother's sewing machine, in between his shifts working at a knitting factory. He had soon set up a small business in his parents' home, cutting patterns in one room while a machinist sewed them together in the next. His company, which he named Watersun, would become an iconic Australian swimwear label.
During the early 1960s, Watersun developed its "Unquestionable Bra", an inbuilt moulded bra which was marketed as giving wearers a more natural bustline than other labels. The company was also known for its matching swimwear and beachwear, producing dresses, kaftans, tops and skirts in identical colours and prints to those used for many of its swimsuits. By 1967, the company was reportedly one of Australia's two biggest swimwear manufacturers, with over one hundred employees.
Watersun was sold to Ada Productions in 1984 and was later acquired by Trackerjack Australasia.
This swimsuit is believed to be one of a large quantity of samples, seconds and unsold Ada Productions stock donated to Brighton Historical Society in late 1990 by Brian Samuel, who worked at the company between 1979 and 1990.
Inscriptions & Markings
Label in bra (.1), blue with yellow sunburst logo containing the word “Watersun” in red, above the text: “Unquestionable Bra / MADE IN AUSTRALIA / 34”.
Label in side of bikini top (.1): “BRI NYLON”
Label in back collar of top (.3): blue with yellow sunburst logo containing the word “Watersun” in red, above the text: “34”, with words “Unquestionable Bra” truncated. Appears to be a repurposed bra label.