Annette sewed leggings onto her swimsuit to comply with the law, but she wasn't happy about it
Annette sewed leggings onto her swimsuit to comply with the law, but she wasn’t happy about it

If you’ve never heard of Annette Kellerman, we’re hardly surprised. She’s not exactly the household name. But we, the ladies of Swim Couture, sing the praises of this 20th Century woman who did so much for women’s swimwear!

Born in 1887, Annette Kellerman was already making waves around the world by age 20, when she invented synchronized swimming by performing the first water ballet in a glass tank at the New York Hippodrome. The next year, she was arrested in Boston for attempting to swim on a public beach in a men’s swimsuit – which ended above the knee. Scandalous! In court, Annette insisted that she was simply trying to be practical and that the leggings and heavy bathing dresses required of women at the time were like “swimming in chains.” She also said, “I can’t swim wearing more stuff than you hang on a clothesline.”

To that we say: “You go girl!”

Annette was a professional swimmer, a vaudeville and film star,  a writer, and of course an advocate for the change of women’s swimwear and women’s rights. She even has her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

A thought on how far we’ve come. From THAT to this:

Cabachon One Piece Swimsuit by Badgley Mischka
Cabachon One Piece Swimsuit by Badgley Mischka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hats off to women’s swimwear.

Source: “Annette Kellerman – Australia’s Forgotten Icon” by Kerrie Davies, Marie Claire, February 2, 2007.

mayra

Leave a comment

Categories