by Patrik Alac
ISBN 1 85995 795 1
This fascinating book and its marvelous photographs trace the 2 piece bikini swimsuit through its origins in post World War II Paris to the skimpy creations of today.
As scandalous as they were in the late 40's, the early bikinis look quaint and quite modest to the eyes of today. There are some wonderful photographs of the early bikinis designed by Louis Renard that caused such a scandal in Paris in 1946. Be sure and see them in the first chapter. Looking at these photos now of bikinis with three inch and more sides, one wonders what all the fuss was about.
The reaction to the scandal was the era of the 50's as the 2 piece "swimming costume" gained a lot of material as bottoms became a beach version of shorts reaching down to mid-thigh and tops covering a good part of the upper torso. Vogue Magazine even celebrated a return to decency on the beach in its fashion pages!
But then came the 60's and Yves St Laurent. Prudity was suddenly out and the flaunting of the body was in. And, so it has remained ever since. Bikinis seem to get smaller and smaller with each passing year.
You won't want to miss the chapter on Bikinis in the movies. It is chock full of well-known stars in some very famous bikini photos. For example; Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi, Raquel Welch in her celebrated fur bikini worn in One Million Years B.C., Ursula Andress in her Dr No bikini, Britt Ekland in her The Man with the Golden Gun bikini and, of course, a whole page devoted to photos of Brigitte Bardot. This is just a sampling of the many famous photos of stars in their bikinis. Be sure and see this chapter.
The truly minimalist styles of today are covered in the final chapter. Many of today's tiny, tiny bikinis are modeled here by the super models and movie stars of today.
This is a terrific coffee table sized book jam packed with photos of the famous and not so famous wearing bathing costumes ranging from neck to toes coverage to hardly any coverage at all. Find it...you'll enjoy it.
Review by Thomas F Farley
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