Each summer every woman feels a sense of sartorial panic. Black bikini? Pucci inspired bright one piece? Skirted swimsuit with a visor and trashy novel (oh, eeek). What will this summer's swimsuit style bring? Last year I spent exactly 10 hours deliberating on a swimsuits online and decided on a two piece I wore for precisely 2 hours, total. No other piece of apparel illicits the same fitting room reaction: You laugh, you cry, you promise to never eat a cookie again, you smile when something looks acceptable. Then you have to figure out what to wear as a cover up. Sigh.
The history of the bikini goes back to about 1400 BC when ancient Greek women wore them for athletic endeavors. The precursor to the modern bikini dates to the 1940s, when women began to show more skin in their swimsuits then ever before. Not just a fashion statement, it was a matter of practicality. With war rations on the rise, less fabric was available from garment distributors, and soon thereafter midriffs were exposed. French engineer Louis Reard created a swimsuit that was “smaller than the worlds smallest swimsuit” and the bikini was born. The look was so risque, even French models wouldn’t dare to wear it. Slowly gaining worldwide popularity, the bikini was declared sinful by the Vatican.
The acceptance of the modern bikini can be attributed to French actress Bridgette Bardot. Appearing onscreen in an itty bitty, bikini’s suddenly hit the mainstream and were all the rage. Every decade has it’s own iconic swimsuit “moment.” Ursula Andress in a white suit in Dr. No. Bo Derek coming out of the water in 10 (not a bikini, but a paper thin flesh toned one piece is just as daring). The 80s were all up the high cut, teased bangs paired with a neon suit. Pam Anderson Baywatch-style.
Looking for the perfect event to have your own iconic 2015 swimwear moment? On July 18th, The Hill will be the venue for Slide the City. Barrel down the 1,000 foot slip and slide down 13th street, which drops off right in front of Frisk. I am about 78 neighborhood walks away from my public swimsuit premier, so maybe next year. But stop in check out our selection of vintage, never been worn 1980s swimsuits.