Since bikinis and swimsuits are an indispensable parts of our lives, knowing a bit about their origin and beginning would definitely be helpful and not just for knowledge but for some fashion sense as well (you never know when retro swimwear becomes popular again!)
Bikini is perhaps one of the most controversial innovations in the ever-changing face of fashion. No wonder, the teeny-weenie piece of clothing, usually touted as bombshells’ darling, derived its name from an island that is known for nuclear tests (see the connection ;-)).
Bikini Atoll, the island got its two-piece connection courtesy Louis Reard, a French engineer who developed the swimsuit out of competitive rivalry and not a passion for designing swimwear.
Interestingly, the two-piece dates back to the copper age, when it was mostly worn as a sports apparel. The clothing looked much different then as compared to today’s modern bikini. Early 19th century saw the rise of one-piece but the midriff remained inconspicuous. Slowly and steadily, this fashion found a footing in Hollywood and eventually moved to beaches. By 1940’s bathing suits became common on American beaches. However, it was only after Reard, bikini got skimpier making minimal use of fabrics.
Bikini Fashion – Hail to the Minimalists
Finally, the swimsuit became bikini for its mini size and the maximum sensation it created. The name had much to do with the semblance to a furor, an atom bomb creates. Although it was Reard’s competitor Jacques Heim’s design that was first worn on the beaches but the credit for the coinage of the fashion apparel goes to the French engineer.
The popularity of bikini, six decades after is on an upsurge like never before. Nevertheless, it still remains controversial. Bikini has traversed through many decades and has seen a lot of changes from an era when it became a bold statement at beaches to a thing for fashion.
Although the itsy-bitsy has moved from shocks and uproars to admiration and following, it still remains a swimwear piece that you can’t take your eyes off!