5 July: Bikini Day


Bikini Day is the anniversary of the invention of the bikini by a Parisian fashion designer, Louis Reard, who on July 5, 1946, presented a daring two-piece swimsuit at a popular swimming pool in Paris. He called his creation the bikini, after the Bikini Atoll, where testing on the atomic bomb was taking place and promoted it as “smaller than the world’s smallest bathing suit.”
Due to its controversial  design, the bikini was slow to be adopted. In many countries it was banned from beaches and public places. Italy and Spain soon capitulated , while in America, it was resisted until the early 1960s.
It gradually became a part of popular culture when film stars—Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress and others—began wearing it on public beaches and in films.
But ”nihil sub sole novum”  –>  there is nothing new under the sun

The representation of a  bikini-like costume can be traced back to antiquity. The earliest was found in Anatolia (around 5600 BC), where a mother goddess is depicted wearing a similar costume ,  and a two-piece swimsuit was worn by female athletes in the Greco-Roman world, as shown on urns and paintings dating back to 1400 BC.
In Italy bikini-like garments during competitive athletic events were found in “Villa Romana del Casale “ (286–305 AD) in Sicily in a mosaic on the floor representing young women that participate in competitive athletic events, and in a statue found in  Pompeii, where the goddess Venus,  the so-called “Venus in a bikini”, (1st-century AD) is depicted in a similar garment as she is about to untie her sandal.

Villa romana Casale



One thought on “5 July: Bikini Day

  1. Tales such as these, from the first post war years always make me smile. As they are tales of creativity and effort, not the forgetting the courage in adversity.

    The bikini designer found a solution to a problem. The ladies needed swimwear for the summer. Large amounts of material were expensive and hard to obtain. Hence a minimal solution the bikini.

    Liked by 1 person

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