Picapp Bikini Treasures

I have found that if you skip to the end of a long set of pages of Picapp pictures they often have some antique pictures from picture libraries. They are a nice change from the sport, celebrity and news stock shots that all look the same after a while.

I did a search on “bikini” and at the end of the 3,855 “editorial” pictures I found this gem. The caption is:

20th July 1949: A bikini-clad fashion model sits on the bonnet of a Standard Vanguard motor at Eastbourne in east Sussex. (Photo by William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Content © 2009 Getty Images All rights reserved.


[picapp src=”7/1/3/c/Shapely_Motor_c577.jpg?adImageId=6728546&imageId=4796327″ width=”500″ height=”508″ /]
Some random thoughts:

  • This was taken four years after the end of WW 2 and six years before I was born. England was such a different place. This must have seemed very erotic and exotic. BUT
  • The Standard Vanguard is one of the un-sexiest cars around, even for those days.
  • The model looks so stiff; not relaxed at all.
  • The bikini is, to say the least, matronly. This isn’t how it was first conceived. See below.
  • Eastbourne is more associated with retirees than glamour.

What do you think?

They have another treasure: a photo of the very first bikini. I don’t remember seeing this before.
[picapp src=”8/2/0/6/First_Bikini_25ea.jpg?adImageId=6729863&imageId=3587572″ width=”437″ height=”594″ /]

Jul 7 1946
The new ‘Bikini’ swimming costume (in a newsprint-patterned fabric), which caused a sensation at a beauty contest at the Molitor swimming pool in Paris. Designer Louis Reard was unable to find a ‘respectable’ model for his costume and the job of displaying it went to 19-year-old Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris. She is holding a small box into which the entire costume can be packed. Celebrated as the first bikini, Luard’s design came a few months after a similar two-piece design was produced by French designer Jacques Heim. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Content © 2009 Getty Images All rights reserved.

Micheline has a Wikipedia article here. Unfortunately it does not say what happened to her. She may still be alive in her 80’s. I hope she gets a good laugh from how our sensibilities have changed since 1946.

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5 Responses to “Picapp Bikini Treasures”

  1. Michael Willems Says:

    And of course I love that. Great design (below), as opposed to “Granny’s bikini” at the top. No respectable model… don;t you love that!

  2. Michael Willems Says:

    Think I prefer this bikini (warning, slightly NSFW):

    Blue Bikini?

  3. ileaneb Says:

    I’m so glad that you found a way to “trick” PicApp into giving you something unique and useful. I’ll have to try this search technique one day.
    Cheers!

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