Many an iconic swimsuit moment has resulted from classic movies (think Elizabeth Taylor’s so-simple-it-hurts white suit in Suddenly, Last Summer). Modern bikinis have never made it easy really capture the same vibes—until now. Super swimsuit purveyor Everything but Water set out to celebrate its 30th anniversary by recruiting 30 designers to create styles inspired by some of the most classic beach moments, ever. With new iterations of major moments from Brigitte Bardot and Farrah Fawcett, capturing the essence of your favorite vintage sexbomb has never been easier.
Designer: Alé by Alessandra
Swimsuit Inspiration: Bo Derek in 10
The iconic still of Derek running on the beach in a nude one-piece with beads in her hair is a universally known image—and most of us have no idea what the movie’s actually about. Since it’s unlikely your summer look will involve the same braids, the new suit does it for you. “I knew the beads had to be part of the swimsuit,” Alessandra Ambrosio explained. Turning the one piece into a 21st-century monokini completed the modernization. Shop here.
Designer: Luli Fama
Swimsuit Inspiration: Marilyn Monroe
The design team of Luli Hanimian and Augusto Hanimian took bombshell inspiration from a photo of Marilyn wearing a polka-dot bikini in the ’50s. “Even though she was a sex icon, she was never a Barbie,” they wrote, and the idea inspires this combo of sexy cut with playful print. And like all things Marilyn, a suit this basic will never go out of style. Shop here.
Swimsuit Inspiration: Brigitte Bardot in A Very Private Affair
Designer Nicky Zimmermann was drawn to the pic of Brigitte for its free, independent vibe. The original’s flirty ruffled skirt is reinterpreted with playfully trimmed briefs, still as girly but more figure-flattering, and the magic of modern fabrics means that today’s suit will hold its shape if you’re lounging à la Brigitte or getting into a game of beach volleyball. Shop here.
Swimsuit Inspiration: Sally Field in Gidget
“Our mission is to make women feel beautiful and confident in what they’re wearing. The most important accessory is always confidence,” designer Pily Queipo told us. Field’s spunky surfer girl Gidget had that in spades, as exemplified by her sunflower-yellow suit. The bright hue and ruffles stayed, but coverage was cut back to modernize the style. Shop here.
Swimsuit Inspiration: Farrah Fawcett’s famous poster
“That poster was on every boy’s wall across this country, and she was my icon even at an early age. I spent hours trying to get my hair to look like hers,” designer Rebecca Virtue told us. There’s little about the simple tank that can be improved upon (the relaxed V-neck is super flattering on all busts), but the team left their own mark with new-for-now rings bringing an extra dose of sizzle. Shop here.
Swimsuit Inspiration: Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High
“Phoebe’s look in the movie’s hot hormone-raging pool scene is epic. It captures the glory days of youth,” designer Despina Filios wrote. Since part of what earned this little red bikini its spot in the swimsuit hall of fame is the way it’s presented, slowly emerging from the pool, Filios made sure to re-create the effect with crystal tassels. And since no one’s itching to get back to high-cut ’80s bottoms, this one is done for now, with special seaming on the rear to create “a heart-shaped bottom.” Shop here.
Start your swimsuit shopping now: We rounded up 17 of the very best one-pieces around.
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