Just Add Water, Part II

In keeping with this week's beachy blog theme, here is a very different swimsuit, made of equally impractical materials. The publicity surrounding the scandalous bikini (introduced in 1946) had subsided by the 1960s, but not the carnal delight in gazing on nearly naked female bodies. 

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Cole of California, Los Angeles
c. 1965
Gift of Anonymous Donor

Manufactured by Los Angeles swimwear company Cole of California, this bikini was likely not commercially available, but used for publicity purposes. The motif is analogous to the repetitive images of Pop Art icon Andy Warhol (1928-1987); its metal discs are machine-stamped with the profile of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) as she appeared on the copper farthing coin.


The none-too-subtle jingling of the "coins" announced its wearer's approach and humorously referenced the expense involved in acquiring the bikini. There is considerable irony in the fact that the stern British monarch would never have condoned wearing such a skimpy outfit, even at the beach.


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