Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bikini – The most famous Baby Boomer turns 60

The most loved bathing suit turns sixty. First presented to the world at a swimming pool in Paris, France, by the mechanical engineer turned fashion designer Louis Re’ard on July 5th, 1946. The first model to show this two-piece wonder was Micheline Bernardine, a dancer from the Casino di Paris.

Named after the group of islands in the Pacific where 60 atomic bombs were tested the bikini proved to be just as volatile as the atomic test explosions in the Marshall Islands. Controversial from its birth, the designer hoped his new design would bring attention to the destructive power of atomic weapons. Although there is no documentation to support this I believe Re’ard designed the bathing suit with political intentions, scandalizing the world, without really believing that, the bikini could be worn by the public.

Scandal and controversy immediately abounded, within weeks of the launch, politicians, religious figures and other moralists condemned the bikini. It was too late, across the world movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, and Brigitte Bardot, not only loved the bathing suit but, flaunted it across the media.

The motion picture industry may have protected the bikini during its first years of life but the bikini has returned the favor. Numerous actresses owe their fame to this ingenuous invention. The Swiss actress, Ursula Andress leaped to the front of the world stage following her role as a Bond Girl in “Bond 007 – License to Kill”, exiting the water in white bikini and knife in hand. Oscar winning Halle Berry, in “Bond 007 – Die Another Day”, pays homage to Andress exiting the water in an orange, shocking bright colors were in that year, bikini.

This Baby Boomer shows no signs of slowing down or quietly retiring to the history books. It is the number one favorite in every woman’s beach wardrobe. It changes from year to year, has a little touch up work done showing more or less, brash at times but always sexy and provocative. Perhaps this Baby Boomer is more radioactive than the atolls it was named after. Without a doubt it is much more famous. So, Happy 60th Birthday and in Italian tradition “100 years more!”


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Blogger ChickyBabe said...

What a beautiful post, David, a homage to gorgeous women and bikinis! I can't believe it's 60 years old!

And you referenced 007 movies, I'm a HUGE fan of James Bond films, especially the early ones. Incidentally, the movie with Ursula was "Doctor No", one of my favourite scenes of all the Bond girls. But I'm rambling... here's to 100 years more! Cin cin!

9:33 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ChickyBabe - This was a no brainer for me. I love women.

Interestingly after I posted this yesterday I received about 30 fotos of the bikinies the designers have in the store. It is really really 70s.

5:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Controversial from its birth, the designer hoped his new design would bring attention to the destructive power of atomic weapons."

Heh. Or perhaps what the designer really hoped was to destract all the men making the bombs...

9:10 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Jennifer - great insight. I must admit that I can easily be distracted by a beautiful woman in a bikini. Isn't that the way it is supposed to be?

9:17 AM

Blogger a.c.t. said...

I wore mine today as it was a gloriously hot day in London - praise to the man who invented it.

2:43 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ACT - does this mean pictures will be forthcoming!?!

5:05 PM


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