by Vanessa Papas
Long gone are the days when the humble full-piece costume sat low on a woman’s hips in summer. Also gone are the days when a standard bikini graced swimming pools and beaches. Welcome to the world of minimicro bikinis! Barely there bikinis with provocative cut-out designs, super strappy waistbands, and bold colours are turning heads across the globe. Fashion designers have been working around the clock on new ranges for women who are not afraid to bare it all.
Already, a ton of celebrities have cottoned on to the mantra that less is more. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Gabrielle Union, Jasmine Sanders, Demi Lovato, Emily Ratajkowski, Ashley Graham, Kim Kardashian, Sofia Richie and Martha Hunt have all been snapped by Paparazzi flaunting an abundance of cleavage, butt, tummy and hips.
The latest images that have emerged are of Madonna’s 23-year-old daughter Lourdes Leon, wearing very itsy number while enjoying a sunny vacation in the Maldives. Her choice of skimpy top made up of tiny triangles of bright yellow material held together with thin pink straps that tie into a halter neck design and stretch behind her back made front pages.
The standard bikini has a colourful history. Although two-piece bathing suits were being used by women as early as the 1930s, the bikini is commonly dated to 1946, when partly due to material rationing after World War II, French engineer Louis Réard introduced the modern bikini. The piece has gone through a number of design deviations over the years.
We have seen the introduction of the string bikini, which is scantier than a regular bikini but still covers a lot of skin. Then came the skirtini, which features a bikini top and a small, skirted bottom. Next up was the tankini – a swimsuit combining a tank top and a bikini bottom. And who can forget the bandeaukini – a bandeau top (no straps going over the shoulders) worn with any bikini bottom.
According to fashionistas, the minimicro bikini is especially designed to elongate legs, lengthen torsos and highlight the hip region. Metallic and neon are currently the flavour of the season, as is the ‘naked’ bikini – a skin coloured top and bottom combination. Another trend is the ‘sheer’ micro bikini – that is completely see-through when wet. Earlier this year, a V-string minimicro bikini bottom from Australian brand Beginning Boutique made its debut. It went viral for all the wrong reasons, however, when it was mocked for not having nearly enough fabric to cover a woman’s private parts.
Bikini.com is another international supplier of minimicro bikinis – famed for stocking the smallest bikini triangle bottom manufactured. It barely, if at all, covers genitalia, measuring just four centimetres at front (widest part) and five centimetres around back. Other stockists of the minimicro include Missguided, ASOS and Prettylittlething.
For just over R600, you can purchase Prettylittlething’s rose-tan velvet bikini that has a tiny G-string with adjustable toggles for its string side straps. The women’s fashion stockists shared the revealing look on their Instagram page, and while many loved the colour, others were asking a much more important question: How the hell does it stay in place when you’re swimming?