A brief history
Roman Gymnasts Contrary to popular belief, the bikini was actually an ancient invention, as illustrated by this 4th century Roman mosaic from Villa Romana Del Casale in Sicily, Italy. Going back even further, two-piece garments were worn by women (for athletic purposes) as early as 1400 B.C. and are depicted on Greek urns and paintings from that period.
On July 5, 1946, French engineer Louis Réard designed a garment "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." Four days earlier, the U.S. military had conducted nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. Réard hoped that his invention would be as explosive as that test and so called his new creation the bikini. But at first none of the Parisian models would dare to wear his design.
Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer, was the first woman ever to wear a bikini, during a July 11, 1946, showing for the press at the fashionable Piscine Molitor in Paris. The bikini was so small it could fit into a matchbox, like the one she's holding. Unsurprisingly, Bernardini received plenty of fan mail.
Bikinis were banned from worldwide beauty pageants after the first Miss World Contest in London in 1951. As the tasteful one-piece continued to reign supreme, the bikini was later also banned in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Australia, and it was even declared sinful by the Vatican.
An iconic moment in cinema history came in 1962, when Swiss actress Ursula Andress, playing Honey Rider in the James Bond film Dr. No, strode out of tropical Caribbean waters wearing her homemade bikini. Nearly 40 years later, it sold for $60,000 at an auction in 2001. The following year, the moment was memorably re-created by Halle Berry in Die Another Day.
The first magazine cover in the 1960's that braced the bikini was in Sports Illustrated 1964 which cemented history with the bikini. Featuring Babette Beatty.
The designs of magazine covers back in the 1960's featured large headings with the magazines title and some small text and that was it. The front covers were kept to a minimal and the picture was the main aspect.
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A brief history of the bikini
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