5 Jul

Micheline Bernardini in the world's first bikini, 1946

I bet you didn’t realize what an important date July 5th played in your life.  Sixty-five years ago, the bikini was introduced, changing tan lines forever.   Oddly enough, two separate designers set to revolutionize the beach at the very same time, each one working on his version of the two-piece.

Jacques Heim named his the “atome,” after the teensy atom, and marketed it as “the world’s smallest bathing suit.”  But someone else – Louis Reard – managed to eclipse le atome with ‘bikini.’  It’s really quite amazing.  Reard wasn’t even a full-time designer.  He was a mechanical engineer whose hobbies including swimsuit design.  But while he and Heim had the same idea, Reard was a far better marketer.  His slogan? “Bikini — smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world.”

And so, on July 5th, 1946, model Micheline Bernardini unleashed the first bikini to the world.   Damn all of them!  Just the other day as I stood in a three way mirror under florescent lights, I decided I’d like to bring back the bathing attire of the 1920s.  But that’s just me.

I have to believe that many a relationship has been started because of a teensy bikini.  And I’m equally sure that the vast majority of them end around Labor Day.  And here’s a great ode to the summer fling – “Summertime Girlfriend” by A.M. 60.  A.M. 60 was an infectious band fronted by Chris Root, who also had a great band before that (The Mosquitos) and has a different dreamy one now (Undersea Poem).  Since that’s three bands, I think I have license to use the other two in subsequent posts.

I’m a  big A.M. 60 fan.  I used an incredibly great song of theirs, “Just A Dream,” in a Schwinn commercial I produced last year.  You should buy it.  The song, not the bike.  Although the bikes are super nice too.

Okay, I need to go do some crunches.  It is bikini season after all.


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