If the future is to grow out of the past--and it only partly will--it will contain some shockers for us, things we aren't quite yet prepared to see next, like chopstick bikinis (CBA110). In America 1990s trends included the tanga bikini, the pretzel maillot, and forays into toplessness in New York and California. Future trends may well embroil quite countervailing trends--high-necked yet bottomless, loincloths with no nether closure, rigid plastic springs, and counterpointed materials. And, although the swimsuit designer has already borrowed heavily from the costumes of the primitive as well as the ecdysiast, there still remain gems in both of these domains worthy of mining.
In 1946 only a stripper would wear Louis Réard's original bikini design and, in a very real sense, the evolution of the bikini has borrowed heavily from the wardrobe of the ecdysiast. Beyond micro halter and brief designs (NYA150), swimsuits have incorporated string and fastening details, the topless, the g-string, pasties and appliques (SPA010), the fishnet and the see-through. Yet, still, the ecdysiast remains a source of ideas: the pretzel maillot, the slingshot (ZX3K26BS), ZX3K60BS), the torpedo (WK9546BS), or the transparent pasty (TF9502) and the liquid latex pasty (TF9503)
Retro and High Fashion
In some respects the bikini is an established silhouette, so high fashion may well involve baking the cake with touches from the past (BEA550).But it is also true that traditional bikini silhouettes continue to remain popular, especially the now-traditional string halter and string brief (MHC341), or with a scooped waistline that incorporates the v-kini silhouette (MHC351). Here a string halter and tanga incorporate a fringe which could be just as easily be swirled by an ecdysiast (MHC331).
Another source of resonance is fetishwear, which is influenced by the bikini as well as influences it (LESYA2BS). Fantasy illustration plays another role (EC1017BS).
Quite in contrast to today's skin-tight elastics is a harder, sometimes looser-fitting bikini, made from rigid materials like shells and metals, sand dollars or pearls (fig. 35-3), still quite at home on the stage.
Manna for the Designer
An aspiring designer, especially in post-topless society, may find resources for more casual breast coverage that can complement the g-string. These includes pasties and applique, nipple shields (FKA47A), breast drapes (fig. 35-4) and even peek-a-boo boobless (EC0732J, EC0732K) and nippleless exposures (fig. 35-5), designed to get attention in even a topless culture. This teasy topless Japanese maid holds a leaf in front of her breasts (EC0732F). Even less unlikely to make it outdoors is the crotchless (fig. 35-7), although no one really expected to see the g-string on the beach either.
The male of the species who, at least in the Temperate Zone, lacks a deep tradition of display dance, may also turn to the tropics for inspiration. Compared to futuristic Hollywood (fig. 35-8), the African wears his member in a stick tied around the waist (fig. 35-9); while the Japanese encapsulates the privates in a sack which is not unlike a g-string (fig. 35-10). It's the type of thing the post-Punk Generation might do.
One may also return to the loincloth, worn by both sexes; a patch of cloth, suspended by a string round the waist, shielding the sex organs from front view, but of course, not encasing them (fig. 35-11). and not covering the rear.
The loincloth minus the cloth is the waistband, a string around the waist, and the loincloth minus the waistband is the fig leaf (fig. 35-12), which returns us to our beginning.
By the middle of the decade, and possibly driven by the Internet, the new Internet media fused with the culture of the athletes and performers. This is further driven by the publicity machines of those who want to perform and or become rich by being famous. Paris Hilton, heiress to a hotel chain, capitalizes on an illicit videotape of her engaged in an oral sex act; she becomes a person-of-interest, a celebrity. She models, she appears, she flashes. But she is a style setter, a member of the rich and famous.
The good doctor is pleasd to wake up and discover that the bikini remains part of the landscape. It is worn by every television star, movie star, debutant, celebrity. Are there any differences in the silhouettes, or have we seen them all?
Kristin Durst breaks out on one of those Big Pictures and becomes a bikiniite favorite circa 2004. Her repertoire includes a single string, and a bag full of a center-ring bandeaus (UDA440), worn to calamity (UDA450). Jessica Alba swabs sand out of the back of her bottoms (AJA580) and Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova brushes sand out of the front of her bottoms (AKA516). Lucy Clarkson, a flesh-and-blood actress of the game character Laura Croft, yachts Majorca topless (CLA5CW-CX).
Exactly how much of this is shot for placement in the media--the Internet included--and how much is genuine paparazzi is anyone's guess. Whatever the mix between the real and the synthetic the fact remains that there exists a media dynamic between the surfers, who seek to discover stars, and the stars themselves, who seek to discover surfers.