The Bikini Has A History All Itís Own
May 25th, 2017
The modern bikini is said to have been created and designed by the French engineer and inventor, Louis Reard and a fashion designer Jacques Heim in 1946. It was introduced in Paris at a fashion show on July 25, 1946. Named after the nuclear weapon test site, Bikini Atoll, where nuclear tests had been done in the days preceding itís introduction, the idea and name were based upon the belief that the introduction of the new swimwear would cause as great a reaction in the fashion industry as the nuclear device itself. This would be an understatement in the overall history of the swimsuit industry.
Famous Moments In Swimsuit History
The bikini took America by storm, appearing in movies, song lyrics, posters and beaches in a relatively short time following its European debut in 1946. Brigitte Bardotís 1957 appearance in a bikini in the movie, And God Created Woman, created an instant retail demand in the American swimwear market.
The 1960 popular song, ďItsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot BikiniĒ was a direct reflection of how widespread this swimsuit style was becoming in the popular American marketplace. After the songs popular release, women across American began to take an interest in buying a bikini of their own.
However, it wasnít until the 1962 ďBond GirlĒ Ursula Andress appeared in a white bikini, walking out of the ocean, onto the beach, in Dr. No that sales hit their high point across the United States and earned the public acceptance overall. This universal acceptance was immediately noticed when Disneyís star, Annette Funicello, appeared opposite Frankie Avalon in Beach Party wearing a bikini.
The Bikini Becomes An Icon In American Pop Culture
The marketing ability of the bikini has provided the foundation for many successful television shows in the American pop culture. Shows such as Baywatch were based entirely upon male and female actors dressed in swimwear during the show, with the plot of each segment based upon a situation that allowed for the constant wearing of swimwear. It was quite obvious that the plot of the show was secondary to the models that were onscreen clad only in different swimsuits.
Movie bikini icons such as the 1966 One Million Years B.C., showing Raquel Welch in a prehistoric cave girl fashioned costume and Carrie Fisher in a two minute segment in the 1983 release of Return of The Jedi clad in a Gold Bikini are legendary in American pop culture.