July 5th 1946: Designer Louis Reard unveils a new breed of swimsuit, the bikini
In the 16th district of Paris, Hotel Molitor sits discreetly between two roads. Once it was the place to be, a poolside littered with models and film stars. Between the wars people flocked there not to swim but to be seen.
It then became tired, unused and slowly deteriorated until they shut the doors. Plans for it to be turned into apartment blocks were fought and eventually lost.
A new era of Molitor emerged. Spray paint began to cake the walls of the dried up pool as ravers, skaters and vagabonds swamped the art-deco skeleton. Electronic music soared though the halls and around the changing rooms which were now used for getting high.
From models to punks the mutation of time resulted in two subcultures that couldn’t be further apart.
25 years after it officially closed, the doors re-opened. Now it’s a 5 star hotel which has been restored to its art-deco glory but with subtle nods to the anarchic years. The pool is no longer forgotten.
My room overlooked the pool, and as I watched bodies float and flutter across my window I thought that after all the change and transitions the swimming pool has seen, this frame has probably changed the least.