THE BIKINI

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It was in 1946 that the world first came to hear of a coral atoll in the Marshall Islands called BIKINI. The following year ,french couturier Louis Réard borrowed the name and applied it to a bathing costume for women. Breaking from decades of boring conformity, Réard dared to “undress” women’s bodies . By taking up the bikini as popular beachwear , women also found themselves thinking differently about their bodies.  An ideal of perfection was many times reinforced by the appearance on the cinema screen of stars as Marilyn Monroe,Brigitte Bardot and Ursula Andrews, all of whom featured in bikinis that accentuated their own gloriously curvaceous contours.More than a bathing suit ,the bikini made its own contribution during the 1970s sexual revolution, to the changing relationship between men and women in general. The 1980’s saw the revival of the one-piece swimsuit with women preferring to conceal any potential flaws behind Lycra. The 1990’s were characterized by a nostalgic return to trends from the past: Hermès St. Tropez one-piece swimsuit and bikinis inspired to the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Nowadays, beachwear boasts an endless array of styles catering for all taste and needs, from skimpy bikinis to burqinis, popular among Muslim women.

 1915 © Getty Images

1915 © Getty Images

1918 © Getty Images

1918 © Getty Images

1900 Santa Monica,  1900 © Getty Images

1900 Santa Monica,
1900 © Getty Images

1922 © Getty Images

1922 © Getty Images

1925 © Getty Images

1925 © Getty Images

 France, 1929 © Getty Images

France, 1929 © Getty Images

Rita Hayworth, 1946 © Getty Images

Rita Hayworth, 1946 © Getty Images

1935 © Getty Images

1935 © Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe, 1949 © Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe, 1949 © Getty Images

1950 © Getty Images

1950 © Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot, 1961  Lake Leman, 1961 © Getty Images

Brigitte Bardot, 1961
Lake Leman, 1961 © Getty Images

Dr. No, 1962  Ursula Andress, 1962 © Getty Images

Dr. No, 1962
Ursula Andress, 1962 © Getty Images

Photo by Franco Rubartelli 1966 Swimsuit Bernhard Altmann Vogue Italia, May 1966

Photo by Franco Rubartelli 1966 Swimsuit Bernhard Altmann Vogue Italia, May 1966

Photo by Eric Swayne 1967 Swimsuit Ken Scott Vogue Italia, April 1967

Photo by Eric Swayne 1967 Swimsuit Ken Scott Vogue Italia, April 1967

Photo by Gianpaolo Barbieri 1969 Swimsuit Annaspina Vogue Italia, May 1969

Photo by Gianpaolo Barbieri 1969 Swimsuit Annaspina Vogue Italia, May 1969

Photo by Barry Lategan 1970 Swimsuit Swan Vogue Italia, May 1970

Photo by Barry Lategan 1970 Swimsuit Swan Vogue Italia, May 1970

Photo by Gianpaolo Barbieri 1975 Swimsuit Faber Vogue Italia, giugno 1975

Photo by Gianpaolo Barbieri 1975 Swimsuit Faber Vogue Italia, giugno 1975

Photo by David Bailey 1976 Swimsuit Armonia Vogue Italia, May 1976

Photo by David Bailey 1976 Swimsuit Armonia Vogue Italia, May 1976

Photo by Peter Knapp 1980 Swimsuit Capucci Vogue Italia, settembre  1980

Photo by Peter Knapp 1980 Swimsuit Capucci Vogue Italia, settembre 1980

Photo by Hiro 1983 Swimsuit Gianni Versace Vogue Italia, Jun 1983

Photo by Hiro 1983 Swimsuit Gianni Versace Vogue Italia, Jun 1983

Photo by Steven Klein 1988 Swimsuit Marvel Vogue Italia, Jun 1988

Photo by Steven Klein 1988 Swimsuit Marvel Vogue Italia, Jun 1988

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth 1991  Swimsuit Dolce&Gabbana Vogue Italia, May 1991

Photo by Ellen Von Unwerth 1991
Swimsuit Dolce&Gabbana Vogue Italia, May 1991

Photo by Michel Comte 1994 Swimsuit Paola Frani Vogue Italia, May 1994

Photo by Michel Comte 1994 Swimsuit Paola Frani Vogue Italia, May 1994

Photo by Steven Meisel 1995 Swimsuit Moschino Vogue Italia, May 1995

Photo by Steven Meisel 1995 Swimsuit Moschino Vogue Italia, May 1995

Photo by Steven Meisel 1997 Swimsuit Erès Vogue Italia, May 1997

Photo by Steven Meisel 1997 Swimsuit Erès Vogue Italia, May 1997

Photo by Steven Meisel 2003 Vogue Italia, Jun 2003

Photo by Steven Meisel 2003 Vogue Italia, Jun 2003

Photo by Steven Meisel 2004 Vogue Italia, Jun 2004

Photo by Steven Meisel 2004 Vogue Italia, Jun 2004

Photo by Paolo Roversi 2004 Vogue Italia, July 2004

Photo by Paolo Roversi 2004 Vogue Italia, July 2004

Photo by Paolo Roversi 2005 Vogue Italia, Jun 2005

Photo by Paolo Roversi 2005 Vogue Italia, Jun 2005

Photo by Steven Meisel 2008 Swimsuit Michael Kors Vogue Italia, December 2008

Photo by Steven Meisel 2008 Swimsuit Michael Kors Vogue Italia, December 2008

Photos by Steven Meisel Vogue Italia May 2011

Photos by Steven Meisel Vogue Italia May 2011

Sophia Loren, 1965 © Getty Images

Sophia Loren, 1965 © Getty Images

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