Sunday, December 16, 2007

Random Bikini History resources

Bikini Science is a comprehensive textbook on the development and variety of the swimsuit. Since swimwear and underwear are so closely related this site is a good source of information. It is very well done, covering the subject with depth & breadth.

Sky News, a UK television news program, produced a web piece for the bikini's 50th birthday. It includes an overview of the development of the bikini. Included are protest bikinis--some made of lettuce or flowers.

TIME magazine produced this photo essay to celebrate the bikini.

R is for Rudi Gernreich is a post on the designer of the topless bikini.
No-Bra Bra & See-Throughs. No designer these days reveals more than California's Rudi Gernreich, 45, the man who shocked the world in 1964 with his topless bathing suit. No stylesetter has capitalized with more flair on the current vogue for exposure; but even his critics grant that Rudi's topless was only an incident in his rapid rise to leadership as the most way-out, far-ahead designer in the U.S. When he was inducted into Fashion's Hall of Fame this fall the sixth U.S. designer to be so honored he was hailed by the selection committee as "one of the fabulous originals," the designer who has been so consistently a front runner that "like World War II's Kilroy, wherever one looks in fashion, it seems 'Gernreich was here.' "

Gernreich (which he pronounces to rhyme with earn quick) made his mark by being not only the first U.S. designer to raise skirts well above the knee but also the first with such trend-setting styles as colored stockings, now so overwhelmingly popular, which he showed as part of what he called "the total look," with dress, stockings and sometimes a hood all matching. Along the way, he has introduced vinyl clothes developed out of a material that looks completely "today" and a series of freeing designs aimed at giving back to the female body its natural look and curves, including his knit tank suits, his No-Bra bra, and sheer, see-through nylon blouses.

Wicked Alternative. For last month's spring showings, Gernreich arrived togged out in one of his favorite zippered Pierre Cardin "cosmocorps" suits, looking every bit as futuristic as his fashions. Standing fully erect, his 5-ft. 6-in., 138-lb. figure poised with a lithe dancers grace, he told the buyers and press: "A woman today can be anything she wants to be a Gainsborough or a Reynolds or a Reynolds Wrap." Then came a preview of the provocative choices ahead. First was a series of simple knit dresses simple except for the clear vinyl bands that saucily bared the navel and the underslope of the bosom. Nor were the bathing suits that followed any letdown. Clear vinyl was at work again to make them the nudest since the topless.

Gernreich confronted the problem of the miniskirt head on. Tights may take care of modesty in the wintertime, believes Rudi, but for summer they are simply too hot. "Since skirts as such are really disappearing, they have to have a different look," he announced, and proceeded to prescribe either puffy bloomers or Siamese skirts with a security panel wrapped between the legs. For braver women, he offered a wicked alternative: a black bikini bottom to match the briefest tent dress ever. (Up, Up & Away, Time Magazine, Friday, Dec. 01, 1967)

Peggy Moffit modeling the famous Rudi Gernrich “No Bra” bra--"Vintage mid 60's Rudi Gernreich 'No Bra' Bra, size 32C. Classic nylon bra with adjustable shoulder straps and 3 adjustments to the size at the back hook. Looks and feels if your wearing absolutely nothing. Soft and semi sheer."
sources Hippie Goddess, Glamoursurf

[added 20 April 2008, revised 09 April 2009]

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