Bikinis as a symbol of freedom and transgression: a history of the most iconic piece of clothing of all time
Bikinis: a symbol of summer, days at the beach, suntan… and transgression! That’s right, the history of the bikini is nearly as fascinating as that of the miniskirt, and this garment is still one of the most seductive of all time. But how did the bikini manage to remain the must-have summer item for all these years?
This bathing suit is the bomb!
While there is proof demonstrating the use of a two-piece suit in ancient times,the actual invention of the modern bikini happened in 1946when a French tailor called Louis Réard created a swimsuit which, as he said, would have an explosive and disruptive effect on the public opinion. For this reason he decided to call it bikini, borrowing the name of the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where the USA were conducting nuclear experiments. Hence, it was created to be the bomb!
However, Réard could not find a model who was willing to wear his creation and so he turned to Micheline Bernardini, a stripper from the Casino de Paris. This way the bikini became inextricably bound up with the realm of transgression and seduction.
As we can imagine,this new swimsuit which left little to the imagination was not welcomed favourably by public opinion, so much so that, in addition to receiving quite a lot of criticism,in the 1950s it was banned in a number of countries, among which France, Spain, Italy and the United States. However, in 1953 Brigitte Bardot wore it on the beach in Cannes, making it, this way, popular on the French Riviera. Then, in 1958 she wore it while filming “And God Created Woman”, so this garment made its way to the United States too.
Unique but ever different
Although the bikini is an easily recognisable piece of clothing there are numerous different designs: bandeau top, triangle, Brazilian briefs, halterneck, skirtini, tankini... this swimsuit has been redesigned innumerable times. But what are the trends for 2020?? I have selected a few interesting suggestions for you.
In the last few years we had got used to the comeback of 1950s-style designs, but summer 2020’s protagonists are 1980s-style bikinis: high rise, or better, very high rise bikini bottoms, high-waist, bold colours and geometrical patterns.
This has never been out of style but this year it is a true must-have. A symbol of strength and, why not, transgression, animal prints, the most colourful ones or the tone-on-tone ones, perfectly suit any bikini as well as any personality or body type.
We noticed this last winter: the fluorescent colours from recent years are slowly abandoning us making room for soft pastel shades. Bikinis too, therefore, cannot be excluded from this new trend and turn to the delicate hues of spring.
Ribbons and frills
Romantic and timeless, ribbons and ruffles keep going strong this summer too. Whether they are on the whole swimsuit or on one of the two pieces only, they add an elegant and glamorous touch to beachwear.
A symbol of femininity and freedom of expression
In addition to its variety and practicality, I love the bikini most of all for what it represents.It is a garment which carries with it the desire to stop hiding, to stop being ashamed of your curves and, most of all, the freedom to decide what to do with your own body.. A symbol of a number of protests for freedom of expression and for gender equality,the bikini has played a part in revolutionising the conception of women’s bodies and the history of social norms in the Western World.Sometimes, an object can be the carrier of fundamental values and goals such as, as we said, freedom of expression in all its shapes.
The bikini has been able to revolutionise the image of women the same way only one other item of clothing was able to do a few decades later, the miniskirt. So, every time we wear a bikini let’s not just think of it as a swimsuit which allows us to get a great tan, but also as a true achievement for all women.
I’m happy to have shared the history of such a fascinating and timeless garment with you. I wish you a great summer and a great tan, but always remember to wear the right sunscreen for your skin type and to hydrate with delicate shower gels and body butters! Choose products containing natural ingredients and made with aloe vera, they will soothe your skin if you spend too much time in the sun.