Happy Birthday to the TitsyBitsyTeenyWeeny Bikini!
The ever-striking bikini has been able to adapt itself to changing beach fashion trends with the same fluidity as a gently lapping ocean, and the lure of looking good in one causes legions of women around the world to hit the gym as soon as summer rears its head and gobble diet pills like Pez.
But it's not always been so popular.
During its early years, the bikini was a source of controversy among more prudish onlookers, but with standard-bearers like Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot and magazines like Sports Illustrated flying the flag, it soon became a staple of summer wardrobes everywhere.
The first bikini premiered on July 5, 1946. Its debut came by a pool in Paris, where young Micheline Bernadini, who worked as a dancer at a casino in the city, appeared with only four triangles of fabric covering her body. The idea for the garment came from Louis Réard, a one-time engineer who reinvented himself as a fashion designer. It wasn't long before Réard's creation was being sported by Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe.
In the 1940s and 1950s, most bikinis were cut with the panties in the 'culotte' style, which gave the wearer the appearance of thinner curves
Actress Ursula Andress popularized the bikini by wearing one in the first James Bond film. By the 1960s, the bikini was so ubiquitous that people had all but forgotten the garment owed its name to Bikini Atoll, in the US Pacific island territories, where atomic bomb testing was taking place on the same date the bikini debuted in Paris.
By the 1970s, the bikini had evolved to the point that the 'culotte' cut had vanished and high waists became increasingly in vogue. In the early 1990s, top models like Naomi Campbell appeared on catwalks with minimized versions of the garment, and by the end of the decade variations like the trikini (pictured) had hit the shelves
By the year 2000, the arrival of models like Gisele Bündchen on the scene caused greater pressure for bikini wearers to strive for bronzed, athletic bodies. Bikinis had become much more light and simple in shape, with some variations replacing the bottom part with a thong - usually exclusively worn by the supremely body-confident!
Lingerie giant Victoria's Secret is famed for its dazzling undergarments and bikinis, and its loyal followers wait with bated breath to find out what new creations will be hitting the catwalk each May. The company was founded by Roy Raymond in San Francisco in 1977, after experiencing firsthand the trials and tribulations of buying intimate clothing for his wife. Since then, the most beautiful models on the planet have paraded around in his company's products as Victoria's Secret 'Angels'. One former Angel, Tyra Banks, is pictured above modeling a stunning Victoria's Secret bikini in metallic grey.
And so we get to the present day. This summer the trend is for bikinis with neckline bandeau, mirroring the pin-up look of the 1950s.
It seems as if fashion is becoming more and more recurrent.
Who couldn't picture the great Marilyn Monroe in this?
and some variations.
Then there is the Why-Bother Microkini
It has no fabric, only diamonds. This bikini contains over 150 carats of D Flawless diamonds, including a a 30 carat D Flawless Emerald Cut, 51 carat D Flawless Pear Shape, a pair of 15 carat D Flawless Rounds and a pair of 8 carat D Flawless Pear Shapes all set in platinum.
Absa Lootly Beautiful!! And the bikini ain't bad either.
Happy Bikini Day. Wish I had the bod to wear one.