History of the Bikini

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That's it! Guys must have sat up in their chairs! This is the history of the swimsuit which is the most favorite attire which most men like to see.


Ancestors of this type of swimsuit can be found all the way back to the ancient past. In Sicily, mosaics have been found with artwork depicting scantily clad women which most probably resembles bikinis. The mosaics belonged to the Diocletian period from the Greco-Roman era. The 10 women found in these mosaics have been dubbed the "bikini girls". Excavations in Pompeii have also revealed several statues of Venus whose attires closely resemble what can easily pass as this particular swimsuit today.


The bikini, however, has been said to be formally introduced in the year 1907 when an Australian performer was arrested by police on a Boston beach, on the charges of wearing a tight one-piece swimsuit which was improper beach attire. The trend caught up and became fashionable by 1910. Carl Jantzen was the first to come up with a form fitting two-piece swimsuit for Olympic swimming in 1913. By 1930 necklines plunged both ways, sleeves vanished and sides were sliced away. Hollywood immortalized this form of BHin many films. The real glamour came to it when Esther Williams wore costumes as ‘Double Entendre' and ‘Honey Child' in a movie. By 1934, new materials were experimented with like nylon, and even latex. The bikini became more figure hugging. By 1940s, it was a craze to watch Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Esther Williams and Ava Gardner in this swimwear. In Makeupand bikini, they appeared like goddesses, and men really worshipped them. There posters sold like hot cakes!


It was the year 1946 when the modern bikini met the world. It was invented by a car engineer! Louis Reard and Jacques Heim (a fashion designer) were working on a new costume to be worn on the beach. Reard said that his inspiration came from lingerie. He marketed his suit as "smaller than the smallest swimsuit". He named his suit the ‘bikini' because he hoped it would create the same awe and excitement as America's nuclear bomb on Japan. The term bikini comes from the group of islands called ‘Bikini Atoll' where the nuclear bomb was first tested.


There are many variations of this suit like the monokini (topless), tankini (with a tank top), seekini(transparent), hikini etc. One also finds the variant ‘string bikini' to be gaining much widespread popularity than any other version.

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Henrik Holt has 1 articles online

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This article was published on 2010/12/17