Thursday, March 16, 2023


Arax took this seaside photo of Pierre Laurent in 1948.
The bathing suit (and what's in it) caught my eye.



  1. In the post liberation 1946 French film La Bataille du rail (Battle of the rails), in which the French liberate themselves without an American, Brit or Canadian in sight by blowing up every German locomotive in existence, the French actor Jean Daurand strips off for some sunbathing between explosions down to a pair of briefs about this size and style. Of course, not every French male was wearing bikini underwear like that, as not every French male was sporting swimming briefs like Pierre Laurent's, but it is food for thought for what was deemed à propos or even comme il faut in 1948 on either side of the Atlantic.

    1. So this wasn't some sort of one-off. Perhaps the skimpy use of fabric was a post-war austerity measure. Or did the French even do that?

    2. Having only partly lived in France as a boy and the war and post-war years very much further away when I lived permanently in France as an adult, I can't say with any certainty how far the austerity went. That the Germans asset stripped the country and took most of the food is true but the culture doesn't give up its furtiveness in respect of the war years. If WWII was never off the TV screens in England, it was rarely mentioned in France. For example, it was perfectly sociably acceptable to ask your friends what their parents did in the war. It was a total faux pas in France. The reason for this is obvious. They signed an armistice with Germany, half the country was occupied and they were a defeated people - and many of them collaborated or tacitly supported the Vichy regime out of fear of Communism. That did not stop the post-war popularity of the Left, which was about 40% of the electorate. I think the real reason was social. The Vichy regime was essentially a Catholic expressed form of Fascism and stripping off in a bikini, as above or on film, was a way to thumb their noses at the Church and the past.