Modern Living: The String Look

In swimsuits, as in wit, Shakespeare's law still rules: brevity is the soul, etc.

Yesterday it was the bikini. Today it's the String.

The String? It started out on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro (see color pages opposite). Brazil's puritanical military regime had prosecuted a girl from Ipanema who went topless, and then permanently prohibited mammary nudity. Undaunted, the girls of Rio invented the String—known in Brazil as the Tonga—which is derived from an ancient Indian loincloth and consists of two minuscule triangles of cloth joined by a cord over either hip. The Tanga is a huge hit with Rio girl...

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