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The bikini time

June 30, 2016

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There are artists whose names fade through the passage of time, while their works take on another life. One of them is Toni Frissel, an American photographer whose ideas half a century later still impact the world of photography and keep on living in numerous remakes of today’s best artists.

She was born in one of the most influential Manhattan family and started her first job at Vogue. But her glamour career, interrupted only during the World War II, is not limited to portraits of the rich and the famous, like Elizabeth Taylor, Eleanor Roosevelt or the Kennedys. Tony also became the first female to work at the Sports Illustrated and she is one of the first fashion photographers to leave the studio and start working with natural light.

Another of Frissel’s first is The First Bikini commissioned by Harper Bazaar. She described the making of the photo in Jamaica saying, there was a tall white diving platform up fifty feet. I called to the fisherman and asked if he would let my model pose below the diving board. The effect was remarkable. This is how a shot of the first bikini to be seen outside of France happened.

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