With summer around the corner, Plums Lingerie looks to its summer collection having an homage to some pioneering part of beach fashion, the bikini.
Although the bikini arrived at 1946, from two French fashion designers within the French Riviera, and was still being banned as recently as being the 1951 Miss World Contest, it had not been until the 1960s which the bikini became de rigueur about the beaches of the world. The 1960 song ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ and Ursula Andress’ iconic performance as Honey Ryder from the 1962 Bond film, ‘Dr. No’, helped to catapult the 2 main piece swimsuit to iconic status.
In recent generations, we love a more relaxed procedure for the social convention (century previous could have seen angry mob-like reactions to exposed flesh) and along with today’s shape enhancing materials signifies that bikinis are light-weight, comfortable plus an essential item with the beach and poolside.
Pre-1946 – Before the fashion industry
The good the bikini just isn’t as brief because of the garment itself. This story doesn’t begin during the 20th century. Minoan wall paintings and ancient Greek and Roman artifacts st the bikini goes dating back 1600BC.
We can look to the girls of the 19th and early 20th centuries to comprehend the bikini’s modern history. Beachwear was back on the social agenda as being the seaside became a component of people’s lifestyle.
Surprisingly, nudity was the most preferred ‘swimsuit’ of nineteenth-century women, with neither modesty nor icy waters in a position to provoke their inhibitions. However, contemporary society from the time demanded propriety and clothes were put back on. Beachwear fashion became highly conservative, and Seasiders began wearing impractical outfits, oftentimes in the wearer from top to bottom in wool or flannel.
By WWI, woolen ‘tank-suits’ were being worn, that hugged the entire body and enhanced women’s natural curves. A shift towards practicality, style, and freedom had arrived; across Europe, the younger generation begun to bare more in spite of the opposition they encountered.
As WWII approached, the femme of Hollywood became style icons, and fashion became sleeker – beachwear gradually exposed the female form; arms, legs and, specifically, backs.
Post-WWII – The bikini arrives
Few may have predicted that which was to come in 1946 if the bikini, as you may know, it, made its grand and shocking entrance onto Europe’s beachwear scene.
Attempting to capture the spirit of the liberated and optimistic post-war society, Jacques Heim presented what he boasted to get “our planet’s smallest bikini” over the early summer of 1946. Naming it ‘the Atome’ – an experience of the atom, our planet’s smallest known particle, he clearly presented his intentions for his creation. Less than three weeks later, however, French engineer Louis Reard followed in what he called ‘the Bikini’; fiendishly marketed as “smaller versus the smallest bathing suit inside the world”.
Read emerged victorious, boasting a dress-up costume that comprised just 129 square inches of cotton, that may, he emphasized, be pulled by way of a wedding ring. His business initially soared as French women embraced its mischievous nature.
Despite this, the bikini struggled to generate an immediate impact around the world’s beaches. Society was at odds with all the garment. Bans were enforced across Europe, influential commentators persecuted individuals who attempted to pursue the fashion, as well as Hollywood bowed on the conservative justices of ethical watchdogs.
Though people, especially the press, were captured initially from the garment’s sheer provocative nature, most wasn’t ready for this type of explicit display from the female body. Stars like Bridget Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, who used the bikini to be a career prop, kept the bikini inside the spotlight. For some time it remained the home and property of European women from the vanguard of fifties fashion – women inside the upper-classes less vulnerable to public scrutiny.
The 1960s and enduring progression
The swinging sixties marked the turning point with the contestable two-piece. The bikini hit the mainstream to be a sexually liberated and outspoken youth ‘let all of it hang out’. Most importantly, the bikini broke America.
The media played its part, Hollywood particularly, when a spree of beach-themed films emerged during the entire early sixties. The 1962 film Dr. No, during which Honey Ryder (actress Ursula Andress) casually strode outside the water inside a white bikini, was one of a flurry of films which served to cement the bikini’s position in popular culture. The scene has since been declared a defining moment in cinematic history.
The free-loving tide from the sixties proved too strong to quell. By 1967 over 65% of “the young set” had switched towards the bikini, in addition to their mothers were rapidly following suit. Few could act down, a “less is more” attitude prevailed – the bikini had arrived also it was maturing all the time.
Today numerous bikini styles can be purchased; the string bikini, the tankini, the halter bikini, as well as the infamous thong bikini. Spin-off product or service, much like the bikini-wax and diet planning, launched a style culture that took beach-fashion to your next level. Women now take in the summer sun wearing the modern styles, tailored using the modern developments and feel confident about the way they appear.
Swimwear styles came and gone nevertheless the bikini has endured. Its simplicity, ease and flattering glamour transform it into a must-have wardrobe item for summer. With designs, technology, and materials accessible to suit any figure, the bikini is the little black dress September.
Andy Raimbault can be a writer who not simply writes articles for Plums Lingerie but other industries including finance and law.