Portal:Fashion/Selected article/9

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Woman wearing bikini in Chicago (1973)

The history of the bikini is a checkered one. Though the bikini shocked when it appeared on French beaches in 1947, its origins date back millennia. Depictions of bikini-like garments appear at the Chalcolithic site of Çatalhöyük, and two-piece bikini-like garments were worn by women for athletic purposes in Ancient Greece as far back as 1400 BC. Roman mosaic artwork in Sicily, dubbed "Bikini Girls" and dating back to the reign of Diocletian (286-305 AD) gained significant archeological renown, and Roman statues of Venus in a bikini were found elsewhere. In the modern era, the first functional two-piece swimsuit was designed in 1913 by Carl Jantzen. Australian swimmer-performer Annette Kellermann was arrested in 1907 for wearing a two-piece. Later it was made popular by pin-up girls like swimmer-actress Esther Williams, and actresses Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lana Turner. The modern bikini was invented by French engineer Louis Réard in 1946. He named it after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, the site of an atomic bomb test on July 1, 1946. Réard hoped that the burst of excitement it caused would be as explosive as an atomic bomb.