Designer bikinis present classic and clever variations on the apparel item’s enduring form, with experimental and carefully updated pieces reflecting the dynamic landscape of contemporary swimwear. Today’s bikinis trace their roots to the mid-twentieth century, when a fast-moving cultural climate put swimwear at the forefront of progressive modernity and signalled a sea change in gender politics. In the long time since, technical advancements have improved the versatility of the bikini and brought new tailoring possibilities. Select pieces see forward-thinking accents, with asymmetric constructions, cut-out detailing, and straps that work to de-center basic silhouettes. The bikini has always served as a natural medium for strong design language, and all-over prints, stripes, and polka dots take full advantage of the diminutive canvas to bring bold contrast and swagger. Elsewhere, a new emphasis on monochromatic minimalism has prevailed, as geometric designs reconfigure old bandeau styles, high-waisted 90’s thong silhouettes, and elements of high-end womenswear.
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