Why a high-waisted bikini isn’t so old-fashioned: a brief history of the bikini

A high-waisted bikini from the 1950s can be considered retro or vintage, but it wasn’t always that way. The modern bikini is a 20th century invention brought about by changing changes in society and fashion. The swimsuit of women in the early 20th century was very different from today. The change accelerated in the middle of the century with the arrival of the bikini that shook the fashion world with the power of the atomic bomb that gave it its name.

Throughout history, swimming and bathing have often been done in the nude. There are examples from the Greek era, such as the murals in Pompeii of the Roman goddess Venus, or other areas from that era, where you will see women wearing what looks like the 1969 high-waisted bathing suit. Then down through the centuries , wearing clothes while swimming. Out of fashion until the 18th century, when women wore bathing suits made from long dresses called “bathrobes” that had weights as part of the hems so that the dresses would not float in water. By 1910, attitudes toward women’s swimsuits were changing and fitted individual swimsuits became popular, but only after Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer and artist, was jailed after wearing a form-fitting one-piece suit. on a Boston beach in 1907. The inclusion of women’s swimming in the Olympics and the changes in fashion it inspired was one reason why women’s swimwear, including high-waisted bathing suits, they became more and more revealing and practical over the years.

In the summer of 1946, two Frenchmen dropped the equivalent of the atomic bomb on the fashion world. Jacques Heim, a Parisian fashion designer, presented in May 1946 a two-piece swimsuit that he announced by hiring writers from the sky to write in the skies of the Mediterranean that “Atom“It was the” smallest swimsuit in the world. “Another Frenchman, Louis RĂ©ard, an automobile engineer who at the time ran his mother’s lingerie boutique in Paris, came up with a slightly modified design and named his creation the bikini. in honor of Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific, where nuclear tests were taking place. Reard announced his creation by having sky writers write about the skies over Paris that the bikini was “smaller than the shortest swimsuit. little”.

Reard named his creation a bikini because he knew it would cause excitement in the worlds of fashion and gossip as explosive as the atomic bomb. He was correct. What she did not predict was that at first no model wanted to wear the bikini, so she got a nude dancer named Micheline Bernardini, who was 19 years old at the time and working at the Casino de Paris, to model her on July 5, 1946. at Piscine Molitor, a public swimming pool, in Paris. This publicity stunt catapulted the bikini to success; Bernardini also did well and received more than 50,000 letters from fans.

In the 1950s, the high-waisted bikini became very popular and was seen on many beaches. In the 1960s, designs began to feature floral motifs. In addition, the rebellious attitudes of those times redesigned the bikini to be more skimp and provocative. This has sparked a revolution in bikini design that created see-through bikinis or even very minimal bikinis. Wearing a bikini became a form of sensual self-expression and became popular culture in movies, magazines, and fashion contests. The bikini as a symbol of fashion was immortalized, setting world records. The most expensive bikini, unfortunately not a high waisted bikini, was manufactured in 1977 by London’s Mappin and Webb in platinum for Miss UK for that year’s Miss World beauty pageant. After it sold for $ 9,500 at auction, it won the Guinness World Record for the most expensive bikini. The bikini is still quite young and has a long time to set more world records.

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