What about Mabel’s Naval.

What Ho Chaps & Chapettes,

This week saw the bikini turns 70 years of age.

Invented by former engineer turn lingerie designer

Louis Reard.Bikini 1

Le Bikini was invented in an attempt to win the race to produce the smallest swimwear; to win it was required to be able to fit through the wears wedding ring.

The Le Bikini was made up of four triangles made from just 30 inches of fabric, so small and indecent at the time in 1946 that Reard could find none of the models of the day willing to model it and so used erotic dancer Micheline Bernardini.

Bikini 1

Consequently the bikini arrived to an astonished and most unadventurous post world war world, many of whom could still remember when a glimpse of stocking was shocking but now Le Bikini was showing of the wears naval, hardly surprising that it was banned immediately in Austria, Spain, Italy and Belgium.

Although two piece swim wear were seen during the war years due to war time 10% reduction of fabric allowed for use of woman’s swimwear it was still out-lawed in many cities in the USA.

In 1951 the bikini was introduced at the first Miss World Contest in London causing such uproar and disgust that it was banned from pageants globally.



It took the stars of the mid 50s to make the bikini commercially popular, even so, in 1961 at the beginning of the swinging 60’s more than 50 bikini clad woman or unclad depending on your view-point were ordered off Bondi Beach Sydney Australia.

Many actresses of the time such as Jayne Mansfield who wore a leopard print  bikini in the 1956 film  Wild Thing.bikini 4

And the likes of Rita Haywood and the young starlet Brigitte Bardot who were snapped wearing the outrageous Bikini on the beach. 

Helped the bikini  become more acceptiable.

bikini 5          bikini 7

The release of the chart topping Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini by Brian Hyland in 1960 sent bikini sales soaring.    bikini 9

1962 saw Ursula Andress in Bond film Dr No iconic moment when she emerged from the sea wearing the now famous white belted bikini, which sold in 2001 for £41.000, Andress always stated that bikini was my golden ticket , it made me into a success.

bikini 8

Rachel Welch however, always claimed to have felt exposed in the fur clad bikini she wore in One Million Years BC.              bikini 6

But my favourite quote of the time is that made by legendary fashion designer Diana Vreeland who is quoted as say “It reveals everything about the girl, but her mother maiden name”.

And to think Louis Reard Le Bikini was invent purely to win a contest and now most female on the beach this summer will be clad or unclad in one.

I personally prefer Beach Pyjamas bikini 10

Until next time

Rosie Lea xx