This won’t be just another summer bikini article that you will find in fashion magazines on newsstands throughout the country simply because, well, it can’t be. With retailers presenting consumers with the usual onslaught of swimwear collections that promise to flatter, enhance and beautify one’s body, the onus has fallen on those who have a healthy appreciation for creative and unique styles that exist on the market to support their endeavour.A bikini isn’t just a bikini and the history of it be traced back to the post-war era in France. There, Louis Reard, a Parisian electrical engineer by trade who had taken over his mother’s lingerie store, developed the first two-piece bathing suit for women. It was 1946 and although it immediately became popular, enabling Reard to open boutique selling them for the next 40 years of his life, many felt that the swimwear was simply too revealing to be worn in public.
However its popularity grew slowly yet consistently, gaining traction in the Sixties when the ubiquitous California beach culture emerged. Today, while many may prefer to peruse ads that feature the usual bandeau, tankini, 50s style high-waisted, dental floss, crochet and all the different varieties of two piece swimwear, there is a subset of the female population who appreciate all things bold and avant-garde. Subsequently, designers have developedthe“fish tank” bikini which features an aquarium of sorts, filled with water and a tiny goldfish in both cups of the bikini. There is also the “pig snout” style that has the heads of two pigs jutting out from the bust of the suit which is vaguely reminiscent of a mounted deer head on the wall of someone’s basement. “The LED light” style is also a showstopper where the entire bikini lights up and can thus be the ideal suit to wear at a festival or evening beach party. Then there are the suits that are made of some of our favorite foods such as bacon and lettuce and will thus attract both passerby as well as insects.
Yet the suits can and do get even odder, as a result, there are the “three legged” suits that appear as though they have been put on upside down in addition to solar-powered bikinis and aptly-named “bikini jeans” that appear to combine a regular pair of jeans with swimsuit bottoms. The suit that can arguably be considered the most useful of all of the aforementioned, however, is the bikini that features a UVA monitor. It effectively informs the wearer of the exact amount of UVA levels that they are being exposed to which allows the individual to apply the appropriate amount of sunscreen thereby protecting both themselves and their families from the sun’s harmful rays.
These unusual bikinis shouldn’t only serve the purpose of getting others on the beach or pool to take notice, however. Ultimately they provide those who wear them with the opportunity to express themselves by putting one on, going to the beachand having to continuallycheck to see if the bikini’s LED light is working, a fallen lettuce leaf isn’t causing a wardrobe malfunction or the bacon hasn’t begun to sizzle in the sun. Some would call this the downside of progress, however many would simply view it as the inevitable yet worthwhile price of unconventional beauty.