Today is the 60th Anniversary of the bikini.
We guess it all depends on who you ask because some people are saying the two piece garment has been around since Antiquity, appearing on Roman pottery depicting games.
The modern bikini, however, made its debut after World War II and was invented by two French guys, Jacques Heim, a fashion desinger at Cannes and engineer Louis Reard, who responded to Hein’s claim that the garment was the smallest swimsuit in the world. Reard cut the outfit in half and named it after Bikini Atoll, the nuclear testing site. Heim called his piece the Atome, French for Atom (get it?).
The bikini didn’t really take off until after WW2 when women had to sacrifice material to aid the war effort. French women refused to wear Reard’s creation because it appeared immodest; a nude dancer by the name of Micheline Bernadini didn’t care less and modeled the suit.
Following her was Bridget Bardot who wore and popularized the suit in the film “And God Created Woman” in the late 1950s, thus creating the first bikini clad sex symbol.
In America, the bikini craze didn’t explode until the late ’60s launching movies, songs and a little ol’ TV sitcom about a beach and boy crazy girl named Gidget.
After the break, iconic bikini babes!
Above: Halle Berry as Jinx in the James Bond film, “Die Another Day.”
Bridget Bardot in “And God Created Woman.”
Raquel Welch wore a fur/animal skin bikini in “10,000 Years BC.”
English actress Diana Dors, seen here in Venice in the 1950s in a mink bikini, was known as the English Marilyn Monroe.[pagebreak]
Kelly Le Broc in bikini inspired bottom in the 1980s teen fantasy “Weird Science.”
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in “Star Wars.”
Tyra Banks on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft.
Dame Helen Mirren at age 63 in a bikini in 2008.
Actress Ursula Andress in the first James Bond film, “Dr. No.”
Sally Field as Gidget in 1966.