The V-kini Defined
A v-kini is a high-leglined, front-plunging culotte with a narrowed front and backside. The v-kini bikini bottom takes its name from its shape: viewed from the front or the back it looks like the letter V superimposed on the pelvis of the bikiniite (FL8606, NK8801). It is also called a v, v-brief, and papillon (the butterfly).
Seen from the front its waistline is high on the sides of the waist with a "V" notch centered below the navel with a depth that matches the bravery of its wearer. With the ultra-brave it collides on the top of the pubic hair (RD8739). In pure form the legline at the sides may rise above the crests of the ilium, and the narrowed front lies on the pubis inside the inguinal, forcing either hairage (VB8415) or the depletion of the side of the pubic hair (NR8502).
The backside of the v-kini may mirror the front, with a deep "V" that plunges into rugage and a narrowed legline that recedes on the buttocks as it rides up the hip, forcing buttage.
V-kini Acquires Momentum
In order to appreciate the v-kini it is necessary to understand the stasis from which it evolved. The predecessor to the v-kini is the string, which at its most extreme features a waistline which has descended to the lowest possible position and fused to the legline with the string ties at the sides. A product of over a decade of minimization, the string at its lowest point is also static, shoaled on the hips.
The v-kini marks a new direction and with it new momentum. The new direction is characterized by a rising legline--and a rising waistline in tow. The first inklings of the new silhouette are seen in the late 1970s on the beaches of Brazil (N197912, N197913, N197917), in fashion shoots (RV7962), but it is crystallized on a famous Cosmo cover, where Christy Brinkley demonstrates the new silhouette (CB7710) in one of those rare fashion moments. Reties are an important part of the play.
At first the v-kini is incompletely defined (VB8250, WB8408), but in the early 1980s the silhouette evolves as the legline rises on the sides (FI8319), pulling the waistline up with it, and narrows in the front until the inguinal lines inside the pelvis are completely exposed (NH8405, KW8602, AO199110). Hairage and depletion, both at the top and the side, mark its natural limits and shoaling points.
The action of the v-kini on the backside mimics that on the front, with the rising legline first teasing out the cheeks of the buttocks (FI8301, VB8413), and narrowing the back so that it tries to slide into the crack of the ass (VB8425, SM8870). Cheeking leads to the halfback, in which the rising, 45 degree legline surrenders all pretense of buttocks modesty, leaving at least half of the butt always visible (VB8401, VB8421, CI8909, EL9008, SE9114C). The halfback is also called a Brazilian-cut bottom. reflecting the mythical origins of the silhouette.
In momentum terms, the halfback lies midway between the classical panty and the tanga. Not only is the backside getting narrower, but narrowed halfbacks tend to unavoidably slide into the cleft of the buttocks (CB91C2), providing anticipation. Early spotting of tanga may coexist with halfback (LV8401), but the natural velocity of buttage will not reach its tanga moment until the late 1980s.
Note also that the v-kini need not have symmetrical front/back relationships; it may for example, deeply V in the front while maintaining a full bottom in the rear with no cheeking or buttage whatsoever.
Other Culotte Richness
The v-kini may have normal, strapped (FL8606), or string sides. Vs are distinguished from the 70's string in that they avoid the more horizontal lower waistband and instead plunge at the center middle. Strings coupled with the V silhouette are the route toward the microkini, aka the ultra-mini (Vero84, KP8912), which is treated as a separate species.
Rare treatments include ties (SE9113B), rings, and other details in the center-front. This variation spikes two different fabrics together at the side of the front (G94804).
Of special concern here is also the diamond-head variation, in which the front of the culotte forms a diamond with strings joining it to the wasitband. Because the diamond-head can manifest in the v-kini, string, and other species, it is not identified as a species but rather, in Lavel's thinking, as a modifier, like color, fabric types, and other "adjective" factors. Half-diamond-head v-kinis also exist only the left (FL8609) or right side exposed.
Toward the end of the 1980s the minimization the v-kini silhouette couples with self-adjustment to produce the adjustable, which may share similar lines (FL8623).
The v-kini also shares some common ground with the montante, another 1980s silhouette with rising legline momentum. But whereas the montante rises the waistline and keeps it horizontal and actually recovers the butt, the v-kini's energy is directed at redirecting fashion lines and further miniaturization.
Foundation, absent for many years in the string, is reintroduced in the v-kini, often in the form of a vertical seam in the front and/or back of the brief (WB8502, FL8603, GL9008). This seam not only helps to shape the garment but pulls a tight center-line of stretchy Spandex across the pubis and up the rump, accentuating it natural bifurcation (LB830T). But non-vertical seams also emerge, including smart diagonals and a bias seam (LG8440), and variation called the pyramid brief, which is made with two materials so that the line of one of them continues inside the V.
Foundation also makes a reappearance is some of the v's topside companions.
The v-kini's influence also involves the soutien-gorge, or bikini top; this interplay is particularly resonate and somewhat unique in Bikini Science history.
As if by default the v-kini gets paired with the string halter, especially when the v itself has string sides (FI8309, RS8501); sometimes the string rides through a casing, turning the culotte into an adjustable (DB8701). V-kini's independence from the string culotte also invites companionship with the bra (KW8602, SE9188), and a major partnership with bandeau (UB8210, FI8302, Vero8702). In this blue polkadot bandeau and v-kini, rings in the center of the bandeau resonate with rings in the front and back of the v-kini (KP880L).
Still, one of the most interesting silhouettes is the combo with the emerging slide-side halter, which features slide casings to the sides of the breasts rather than below them. There are two variations of this: in one case the halter is separate from the culotte (N197912, JB8401, Vero8405), and in the other the halter strings pass through the v-kini and hikes the side even higher. This retie innovation is seen in the Cosmo Brinkley silhouette (CB7710) and quickly makes it way to the beach (WB8403). Reties also provide a way to graft a traditional string top with a v-kini (VB8410).
Cross-tensioning the top and the bottom lowers the tension point for the breast coverings to the waistline, and raises legline to underarm. The new tension point, on the sides of the waist, will affect swimsuit species for many years, both in bikini and maillot designs.
The slide-side threaded through the v-kini rotate attention when compared to slide-triangle string. On the halter, the slide casings below the breast are now on the side of the breast. Furthermore, the new vertical seam down the front and back center of the brief, (rather than the sides), echo the body's natural bifurcation and adds to the change of orientation.
Slide-side halter and v-kini.