Annette Kellerman c1900, Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star in her famous custom swimsuit - designed to allow for serious athletic swimming, unlike conventional women's swimwear of the period (Image: United States Library of Congress)
Swimwear fashion has progressed steadily over the past 100 or so years (if you discount Borat’s mankini). Design has moved from neck-to-knees woolen garments that women were encouraged to bathe in at the beach, to men’s Speedos, to skimpy Brazilian thongs, to Daniel Craig’s James Bond swimmer boxer trunks, to full body racing ‘buoyancy’ suits for Olympians. Who could forget screen sirens Esther Williams, Jane Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe posing in their swimsuits? To celebrate Australia’s contribution to the swimwear industry – in design and materials – a comprehensive exhibition titled "Exposed! The story of swimwear" is traversing that country, appearing at State museums.