BOMBSHELLS and BIKINIS
A salute to the Bikini
by Mick Rawport
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Chasing fantasy bikinis on a tropical island photoshoot...
Bikini Atoll, central Pacific Ocean, July 1, 1946: the US conducts a nuclear bomb test. At this time, attractive women are known as ‘bombshells’ and anything intense is ‘atomic.’
Just four days later, in Paris, on July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Réard decides to name his new creation le bikini, after Bikini Atoll, implying that his invention is as momentous as the new bomb. No French model dares to wear his skimpy creation, so he hires a stripper to show it off to the press. Réard opens a Bikini Shop, which he runs for decades, but the scandalous bikini is banned in many nations. It gradually comes into vogue after resistance wears down due to movie-stars like Brigitte Bardot flashing bikinis on-screen. Actually, two-piece swimsuits were around in the 1930s, but were high-waisted. None showed the belly-button. That was the grand taboo. Louis Réard has proven to be right: the Bikini is surely one of the greatest inventions known to Man. The most daring bikinis make a Man go ballistic. The average Man has an inbuilt Bikini Radar that scans the beach, homing in on all shapes and sizes displayed in bikinis. Since 1946, the three tiny triangles of cloth have undergone some radical changes, with even more scandalous designs in the billion-dollar bikini business. Here are some fantasy bikinis, dreamed up by the photographer.
Using her boobs to power up woman’s best friend: her cellphone. This futuristic bikini worn by Katya utilises small solar cells to convert sunshine into power output. Put the cellphone on vibrator mode for urgent calls. Great potential here.
The history of the bikini actually goes back a lot further than 1946. British director Don Chaffey took it back to One Million Years BC, in the movie of that name (released in 1966). The fantasy adventure movie starred rival tribal groups, dinosaurs, and Raquel Welch--wearing a very saucy doe-skin bikini. She shot to instant stardom, even though she only spoke three lines in the film. Her seductive curves obviously did the rest. Another bikini breakthrough role: the voluptuous Ursula Andress walks out of the sea in a dazzling white bikini, with sheathed knife on her belt. That scene stealer is in Dr No, the very first James Bond movie, released in 1962. The role of Honey Ryder in Dr No turned out to be a big Yes! for Ursula’s career — and did wonders to promote the wearing of bikinis in the US and the UK.
Rocking a Cavewoman Vibe is Katerina, showing off her Tiger-skin Bikini--completing the tribal look with pierced nipples and navel, plus a bracelet of wild animal teeth. Grrrrr! Watch out for this cat! Wearing a furry bikini can get hot: this outfit is made from faux fur. A bit impractical in the water because it may expose some other fur.
An old poem to suit outfit: Would you like to sin
With Elinor Glyn
On a tiger skin?
Or would you prefer
To err With her On some other fur?
How far back does the bikini concept really go? Roman mosaics in Sicily made around 1700 years ago depict female gymnasts wearing bandeau tops, bikini bottoms and even ankle bracelets--as they indulge in what appears to be a round of beach volleyball.
One day, along comes a woman who sweeps you off your feet like a Great Wave, washes all memory away, changes all your beliefs, turns your world upside-down--and nothing will ever be the same again after she thunders through. Katerina shows off a bikini printed with ‘The Great Wave,’ a classic work by 19th-century Japanese artist Hokusai, who also created the world’s first mass-produced porno woodblock prints. With manual manipulation, Katerina turns this into a high-waisted cheeky-bottom thong bikini.
ITSY-BITSY TEENIE-WEENIE Yellow dental-floss bikini
In the summer of 1960, the bikini hit the beaches in the US bigtime, spurred on by the radio playing the smash hit song ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.’ It rocketed to number one on the charts and made millions for the songwriters over the years.
Evoking the Teenie-weenie Vibe is this radical thong bikini, which actually has three zips. And it takes a Teenie kind of body to wear it well. Sideboob, underboob, butt cheeks, this micro bikini has it all uncovered. This scandalous bikini will do more than raise a few eyebrows: it will probably set them on fire!
Hoist the mainsail, strap down the parrot, unleash your libido--this pirate will steal your heart! Model Titasahara shows off a dangerous Jolly Roger design with skull and crossed cutlasses, which signals imminent assault on the senses.
Accessorised with silver pirate necklace, earrings and bandanna to match. And shows off some nice personal bones. Aye, me hearties--this Pirate Princess will kidnap you and hold you to ransom--and have her way.
All washed up, shipwrecked on a deserted island. Flotsam and jetsam and seaweed gives just enough cover that this could make it to Instagram without being banned. All the right bits in the right places. Salty and sweaty and sandy--all at the same time... Who gets desert and dessert mixed up?
A woman’s best friend is Diamonds, right? Wrong! On remote islands, it’s Pearls all the way. Sultry Siren Maria shows off her imitation-scallop-shell design top and her fabulous string of pink pearls. What is a Siren? An enchanting creature with big tail who lures sailors with melodious songs and then... better not talk about that.
Modelling real mother-of-pearl-shell top, and aqua- blue bikini bottom. Shell money: mother-of-pearl and other shells were used for trading by Oceanic peoples.
Shells were also worn as jewellery--but not this way! Her wrist bracelet is made of shell.
THE COVER-UP BIKINI
If no bikini, just use your hands when caught nude sunbathing.
Gigi cooling off with a conch shell — don’t want to get overheated.