Birthday cheers to the bikini
Happy birthday to the bikini, which was first shown at a poolside fashion show on this date in 1946.
Designed by Louis Reard, an engineer and part-time designer for his mother’s lingerie store, the bikini was so skimpy that no model would wear the scandalous suit. Reard had to hire an exotic dancer, the only woman he could find who was brave enough to bare so much skin.
The bikini, named for atom bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, didn’t really make a splash until Brigitte Bardot wore the suit publicly in 1953. In the mid-’60s, the bikini took on more wholesome appeal when actress Annette Funicello donned one in her beach movies. Not so wholesome was Raquel Welch, who steamed up the big screen in “One Million Years B.C.”
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