Bikini Awareness Month

Moria Costume in Paris - by Anna West

Black Bikini - by Anna West

Artduh felt it was important for you all to know that Governor Herbert signed a proclamation declaring July to be Bikini Awareness Month in Utah.

Okay, I made that up to cover for the fact that July 5 was the anniversary of the fabulous garment known as a bikini (named after an atomic bomb test) and we heard about it too late to get it up on the blog. So here you go, better late than never, our blog post about the wonderful invention known as the bikini.

by Krista Nielson - Photo by David Newkirk

I actually chose this topic because I LOVE to make bikinis. They are fairly quick to crochet (my favorite way of making things) and I seem to have endless ideas to make them weird – like weaving in bits of metal, jingle bells, even bullets. But, most of the time mine aren’t actually meant to be worn, except on a stage or runway, and I don’t know what I’d do if someone jumped into a chlorinated pool in one of my creations.

My friend Krista Nielson, a local fashion designer and writer who I admire a lot, also makes bikinis. She makes hers out of fabric instead of crochet and she unveiled several new designs at Spring Fashion Stroll in May.

by Krista Nielson - Photo by David Newkirk

And now, a little bit on the history of the bikini.

This sexy swimsuit was first unveiled in July of 1946. Naturally, it was a French designer, Louis Reard, who first had the balls to put women in such skimpy clothing. The poor man couldn’t find a model who was willing to let so much hang out, so he talked an exotic dancer into wearing his bikini at a popular Paris swimming pool.

It seems politics had quite a lot to do with the development of the bikini. In the 30s, women first began wearing two-piece swimsuits, but they modestly kept the navel and, well, almost everything else covered. However, World War II brought hard times, and fabric was rationed. So swimwear grew smaller and smaller.

by Krista Nielson - Photo by David Newkirk

Naturally, the bikini caught on more quickly in Europe, though when the garment was first introduced many beaches moved to ban it. However, by the 1950s, the bikini was a mainstay of European fashion.

The prudish U.S. was slower to adopt the trend. However, in the 60s, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” became a popular song and Annette Funicello wore the magical outfit in many movies. And the rest is history.

Next week, visit for Todd’s post on the history of the thong. Have a great summer and don’t forget your sunscreen when you lay out in your gorgeous Krista Nielson bikini!


White Bikini - By Anna West

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