Some of the most memorable swimsuits were worn by women other than bikini models, yet the public has never forgotten about those looks. If you ask anyone born in the 60s to recall any such moment during their lives, when a bathing suit made headlines, they won’t hesitate for a second before blurting out Farrah Fawcett’s name, and then describing that red full-body swimsuit she once modeled in the 70s. Fawcett’s photograph had sold in the millions, with her poster hanging in teen’s lockers at school as well as on bedroom walls.
An early swimsuit bombshell, at a time when fashions tended to sway towards the conservative, was Esther Williams. Esther Williams had a fabulous figure, and elegant swimwear in the 1940s and 50s were made famous when she appeared in movies that highlighted her synchronized swimming abilities. Esther’s suits were very classic and glamorous, her hair and makeup were always immaculate, and every woman back in the day wanted to look as good as Esther Williams, even if they didn’t know how to swim.
Elizabeth Taylor in a white swimsuit captured attention when she starred in a 50s film titled, “Suddenly Last Summer.” Her pose didn’t really show much of the suit, yet that moment had become etched in people’s memories as iconic.
Deborah Kerr, made this look extremely sexy in the 1953 film “From Here to Eternity.” Her suit embodied that famous pointed bra look and a tailored waistline prevalent in fashion during those years. She starred alongside another iconic film star Burt Lancester, but his suit went completely unnoticed while Kerr splashed in the waves in her suit.
When thinking famous bikinis, it’s pretty ironic that a fur swimsuit that would be impossible to wear in the water was nevertheless made famous when Raquel Welch wore it the classic film from the 60 titled “One Million Years BC.”
Ursula Andress stepped out of the water as a Bond Girl in the 1962 film “Dr. No,” wearing a two-piece white bikini with a diving knife strapped to her side. This is a moment in Bond-film-history that many young boys who’ve since grown to manhood, fondly remember.
Marilyn Monroe again made headlines when she posed in a white one-piece while vacationing with her husband Arthur Miller at Amagansett Beach, Long Island. Those days, when the fashion world seems to have a preference for slender physiques, still, women such as Marilyn with fuller figures remain the image that continues to stick in people’s minds.
Brigitte Bardot was known as one of the world’s biggest sex symbols in the 60s; she could wear a burlap sack and make it look good. So it’s no surprise that when she posed in this swimsuit– notice how ill-fitting is was with loose fabric on her bottom– no one else but Bridgitte would have been able to turn it into the sensation that it had become.
Pamela Anderson’s image has become engrained in people’s minds as that girl from Baywatch in the red swimsuit. Unlike Farrah, Pamela seems less shy. More comfortable in what she’s wearing, and showing a lot more of her body. The high-waist design, low cut neckline coupled with Pamela’s big blonde hair, earned her the status of an icon and became a look that many women would try to emulate.
Daniel Craig had carved a well deserved spot in most iconic swimwear moments when he emerged from the water of yet another Bond movie, wearing a blue bathing suit. I’m sure that we can all agree that the fact that he’s wearing a speedo can be easily ignored because that suit, and that moment, have become just as memorable in iconic swimsuit moments.
After viewing each and every photograph, the first thought that comes to mind is how so many designers had created swimsuits over the years that bear a strikingly similar style to those worn by these famous women. Some of the suits worn by these women looked simple, others impractical, especially those made famous in the 50s that bore a cinched waist, yet somehow they had turned into a sensation. So, what made those moments so memorable after all? Perhaps the fact that the women who wore those suits did so with a definite attitude and sex appeal; only a handful of the suits made famous were a two-piece, yet each one of those actresses knew how to wear their suits in a way that caught the attention of both men and women alike. They posed in such a way that elevated their suits to the status of most iconic swimwear moments in history.