The nice and sensual story of swimsuits

Whether it is a bikini or a one-piece garment, the swimsuit or bathing suit has changed the way women dress . Carefree, resolutely feminine and often subversive, this mythical and essential piece of your summer wardrobe has made more than one wave in its history! As we will see below.

At first... The bikini. Although Louis Réard is often cited as the inventor of the bikini , its origin is actually much more distant... Indeed, very similar garments were discovered at the Turkish site of Çatal Höyük, a Neolithic city founded around 7000 BC .

Famous mosaics from Villa del Casale in Sicily, dating from AD 300, show women in mini-panties and a thin band over their breasts . And then? In the Middle Ages, water was accused of transmitting diseases, so long baths were avoided.

the first swimsuits

It was not until the 18th century, when bathing in the sea made its appearance; but there was no question of revealing any part of the female body. Women bathed in shirts, then corsets and baggy pants . Then came the Belle Epoque swimsuit: a charlotte to protect the hair and a long-sleeved dress.

And since it was not a good idea to be seen in a bathing suit, a man named Benjamin Beale had the idea of creating mobile bathroom stalls . The woman entered the cabin with street clothes and changed, while she was dragged into the water by oxen or horses. When the water fun was over, a flag was raised to indicate that the cabin should return to dry land.

Annette Kellerman and her fine

In 1907, Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman dared to wear a form-fitting, sleeveless swimsuit that closely resembled the one-piece we know today. His audacity earned him a fine and the case made headlines. It must be said that Annette was a young woman with a very strong character.

The reason is that he was born with atrophied leg muscles , so he had to wear braces to walk. At 6 years of age, the specialist indicated swimming as a way to stimulate his extremities. 7 years later, thanks to his aquatic practices , he had them almost as robust as a normal person.

At 15 years of age, he mastered all the strokes and triumphed in the first swimming meet . 4 years later, he once again made himself known when he tried to swim across the English Channel. Swimmers were then allowed to compete naked, but our Annette was forced to wear a neoprene swimsuit . That same year, he swam across Paris competing with 7 men.

To maximize her swimming performance , Annette Kellermann wore a tight-fitting suit that exposed her arms and legs. It was this bathing suit that she wore on the Boston beach in 1907 and the one that led to her arrest. The highly publicized incident launched the one-piece swimsuit craze and democratized swimming for women.

The war for the smallest swimsuit in the world

In 1932, the Parisian couturier Jacques Heim designed a two-piece swimsuit , the lower part of which was a high-waisted short that hid the navel. Your name: Atome, in reference to the smallest element on the planet. With this, the knitted wool bathing suit was replaced; that weighed 500 grams dry and more than three kilos when leaving the water.

Hollywood stars popularized it in the 1940s. Without knowing it, Jaques Heim had just dropped a veritable time bomb . And the person responsible for the explosion was Louis Réard, who ran his mother's lingerie store in Paris, "Les Folies Bergères".

Seeing women roll up their swimsuits to optimize their tans on the beach, Louis Réard had the idea of creating a model that would reveal the navel . It would have even less material than the smallest swimsuit in the world: a declaration of war against Jacques Heim!

On July 5, 1946, Réard presented his creation in a contest organized at the Molitor swimming pool. 4 days earlier, the Americans had detonated a bomb in the Marshall Islands, Bikini Atoll to be exact... do you see it coming? Réard wanted to leave his mark: his swimsuit would therefore be called "bikini, the first anatomical bombshell" .

This garment caused such a scandal that Réard was unable to find a model with the necessary courage to take his creation to the contest. He ended up hiring an exotic dancer from the Casino de Paris, named Micheline Bernardini. To highlight how little fabric the new swimsuit had, it was sold in a matchbox -sized packaging.

Although it has its fans, the bikini arouses criticism throughout Europe and the world. It is prohibited on Spanish, Belgian and Italian beaches . France is divided: banned on the Atlantic coast, the sultry swimsuit is allowed in the Mediterranean .

The bikini was popularized by the stars

It wasn't until 1953, when the bikini received a boost that its popularity would take off. At the age of 19, Brigitte Bardot accompanied her husband Roger Vadim to the Cannes Film Festival and participated in a photo session on the Carlton beach. She posed in a white flowered bikini , everyone talked about it.

In 1956, it was on the big screen that BB shocked men in a white bikini that became a cult hit in the film "And God Created Woman." A few strokes away, in the first part of the James Bond saga, Ursula Andress also emerged from the water in a white bikini. The trend was on!

Not even Pamela Anderson in her famous red one-piece swimsuit in 'Baywatch' could dethrone the bikini. But the call of retro is never far away and today, online fashion stores with their entire models are back with a bang, as you can see in the Dakonda catalogue . And it is that, regardless of the design, the swimsuit has not finished being all the rage.

Related products


BOSS 50469594 - Swimsuit

€32.48 €64.95
Gender: Male Composition: 100% Polyamide
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