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Swimsuit

From the Collection of Brighton Historical Society First Floor Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

Description
Blue and white gingham one-piece swimsuit. Short overskirt. Two rows of white cutwork lace form a frill along neckline and down either side of back straps, which fasten with buttons. Inbuilt bra with label: "Miss Watersun", size T14.
Size
44 x 65 cm
Object Registration
T0481
Keywords
swimwear, watersun, david waters, ada productions, miss watersun, melbourne designers
Historical information
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.
Made By
Miss Watersun
Inscriptions & Markings
Label in bra, blue with yellow sunburst logo containing the words “Miss Watersun” in red, above the text: “T14”
Last updated
18 Oct 2019 at 9:20PM