Bikinis have been dated back to 100 A.D. pictured on statues of goddess’s and roman athletes, however the revolution of the “modern bikini” came in 1946. Responsible are two men (not sure if this surprising or not) French engineer Louis Réard and fashion designer Jacques Heim who separately revealed their swimwear creations in Paris, France! The “Bikini” adopted its name from Louis who named his design after “Bikini Atoll”, the Pacific Ocean site famous for hosting the first atomic bomb test on July 1 of the previous year. Take a look at the bikini trends from then and now below.
1930’s: HIGH WAISTED
High waisted bathing suits are worn, exposure of the naval is unacceptable.
The “modern day bikini” which reveals the naval is created by Louis Reard. Made from just 30 inches of fabric it was considered risque and revolutionary.
In the early 1950’s there was an uprising across Europe and the Mediterranean to try to ban bikinis, along with the Miss World pageant. Meanwhile Louis Réard was receiving thousands of letters from fans. He started a world wide campaign claiming it’s not a bikini, “unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.”
Despite these protests, stars like Marlyn Monroe, Esther Williams and Brigitte Bardot were spotted in bikinis continuing the trend.
In 1960, Bryan Hyland releases a hit single: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” Sports Illustrated creates its first Swimsuit Edition and Ursula Andress stars in Mr. No, Sean Connery’s first bond movie, in a sexy white bikini.
Bikini designs become more detailed and creative as the bikini has been fully embraced by society. Trends such as fringe, beading and floral designs take over.
The low waisted bikini is out, it’s all about the high cut to accentuate the length of the leg. Fluro and metallic bikini colors are popular and in 1989 Baywatch debuts, featuring Pamela Anderson.
The high leg trend slowly fades out during the 90’s; the bikini becomes about self expression and what flatters a woman’s body. Thong bikinis, influenced by Brazil are being adopted in American and European culture.
Bikini designs are more detailed and revolutionary than ever, with every design you can think of, from mesh and neoprene to the classic LBB.