Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Long, Hot Summer

Mosaic (3rd century AD)
Villa Casale (Sicily)
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Yes! We are already in summer! (my favorite season, by the way), it's time to soak in the sea, in the pool or wherever we like best! It's time to to put on lighter clothing and show off our beautiful bodies in the sun! (without complexes, ladies). So let's talk about the bikini, more exactly let's talk about the first bikini. Because ... Who would have the audacity to create something that would leave women practically naked in ... public? (Oh, my God!), And who would have the daring to wear it? If we start at the beginning, I will surprise you when I tell you that already in Roman times, and even further back, the concept of bikini appears as it is known today (impressed, right?, I told you). Images of women wearing a bra and panties are represented in several mosaics of the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., the best known ones are those of the Roman villa of Casale (Sicily).



Micheline Bernardini
and the first bikini (1946).
The modesty in dress at the time of taking a bath was gaining strength in the later centuries until a Frenchman (it seems that the French are always innovating in terms of fashion) thought that women needed something lighter to enjoy the summer and a good dip (wearing layers of clothes was not very comfortable, certainly). Well, this man, Louis Reard (1897-1984), what he did was to market the bikini, since the idea already existed of yesteryear. He needed a name for it, so it occurred to him to name it as the Bikini atoll located in the Marshall Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, where the trials of the first atomic bomb took place just four days before the world presentation of his creation (there is something of metaphor in the chosen name, do not you think?). So it was the year 1946 when something was about to change the image of women in terms of bathing clothes, but there was some problem in the beginning, since no model was willing to be the first one to wear it and show it to the world . That was an audacity and none wanted to end up being stigmatized. But, as always, someone brave shows and decides to take the step. In this case, it was Micheline Bernardini who happened to be a stripper. So this great lady appeared wearing a bikini made of what looked like newspaper papers, and World went crazy.


Brigitte Bardot (1968)

It was quite a scandal during the following years, but it ended up being popularized definitively in the 60s. Actresses like Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe (always Marilyn) did it daily. The beaches began to be filled with women already liberated and openly (men were very happy too) and so on until today. It is the most valued garment to wear in the long, hot summers, and it seems that no two are the same. We can not finish without being grateful, ladies, so ... Thank you very much, Louis!

See you next week, vintage lovers!




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