The asymmetrical swimsuit, one shoulder of attraction


Ihe asymmetrical jersey plunges us into opposite worlds. The first, contrary to appearances, is orderly. It is situated between the cocktail dress and the antique tunic, drawing as much on the creations of Halston, flagship designer of the glamorous seventies, as on statuary. At the intersection, there is the cinema and Hollywood, which make it a staple of peplums and this, from the 1930s, with Claudette Colbert – the first Frenchwoman to receive the Oscar for best actress.

In The Sign of the Cross (1932), by Cecil B. DeMille, she plays the Empress Poppea, wife of Nero, willingly taking baths in donkey’s milk, whose opaque whiteness made it possible to circumvent the censorship of the Hays code then regulating the content of productions according to principles “morals”. In the same way, his costumes, far from hiding his body, highlight it in a rather spectacular way, in particular in a tied dress leaving a bare shoulder and seeming to wrap vigorously around his figure.

In 2009, Michelle Obama chose, for the inauguration party for her husband’s first term as president, a white silk chiffon ball gown with a pleated bustier, held in place by a single strap, giving her a sculptural look. A dress which, according to the consecrated formula, was, “for one evening, the most important dress in the country”, as the director of the National Museum of American History, which preserves it today, reminded us.

Friend of alpha male Tarzan

Far from ultra-sophistication and nods to the Antique, the asymmetrical swimsuit also refers to the fantasized representation of the woman in the caves or that of the jungle. From the different versions of Jane, good friend of the alpha male Tarzan, to the girlfriends of Raquel Welch in One million years BC (by Don Chaffey, 1966) and up to the group Destiny’s Child in the clip of his hit Survivor : the one-strap two-piece is the imposed uniform of a return to the state of nature almost systematically worn by a fighter… who does not forget to be seductive so as not to upset the spectator too much.

Read also: The bikini, a two-piece with a view

Because the whole thing, of course, plays with a certain eroticism: paragon of good girl art, genre of comics featuring hypersexualized heroines, the comic book series Cave Girl, published in the 1950s, depicts a blonde pin-up, her body molded in an animal skin tied on one shoulder. Wiser: in the American animated series The Flintstones Family, Madame Wilma Flintstone presents herself in an asymmetrical minidress, bun and pearl necklace like a model wife from prehistory.

Unless… The characters may theoretically come from the Stone Age, but some on the Internet have another theory: the Flintstones family does not evolve in prehistoric times but in a post-apocalyptic future, which appears every summer from less and less distant.

Latitude 43 swimsuit, in polyamide and elastane, Re.sea, €230.  Bracelet, Sisijoia.
Devi swimsuit, in polyamide and Lycra, Zimmermann, €475.
  Polyamide and elastane jersey swimsuit, Hermès, price on request.
Effigie swimsuit, in polyamide and elastane, Eres, €360.  Necklace, Sisijoia.
Singapore swimsuit, in polyamide and polyester, €59 for the top and €40 for the bottom, Calzedonia.
Swimsuit, in polyamide and Lycra, Fendi, €670.  Earring, Sisijoia.


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