Castanet Events

Babes and Bathers: History of the Swimsuit

Tuesday, August 14     10:00 AM

Okanagan Heritage Museum, 470 Queensway Avenue, Kelowna Locate on the map

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Time to hit the beach!
Bikinis, swim trunks and speedos are a common sight along Okanagan Lake in the summertime. People strut their stuff in swimwear of all different colours, shapes and sizes.

Before swimsuits were invented, men typically swam naked and women wore voluminous, light weight dresses. All that changed in the mid-1800s. The first swimsuits covered the body from neck to ankles. Modesty was de rigueur! As the decades passed, new materials were created and swimsuits became more revealing.

Babes and Bathers explores a century of trends in swimwear. Guest curator, Ivan Sayers, brings an extensive collection of men’s and women’s suits from the late 1800s to the 1980s to the Okanagan Heritage Museum. Ivan is a collector and curator of historical fashion. He grew up in Summerland and has been collecting fashion pieces since age 14.

The exhibition also features a selection of historical beach scenes from around Kelowna. Photographs from the Kelowna Public Archives that spotlight babes and bathers from the 1910s and beyond provide local context for the swimsuits on display.

The exhibition runs from June 8, 2018 to Sept 3, 2018 at the Okanagan Heritage Museum, 470 Queensway Ave, Kelowna, BC.

Other Dates:

  • Wednesday, August 15 10:00 AM
  • Thursday, August 16 10:00 AM