"...The Borat-ish ‘burkini’ edict that’s currently causing ripples of concern in a handful of council-run leisure centres is undoubtedly going to provide a lot of challenging design opportunities for fashionistas. Officials are attempting to bar both Muslim and non-Muslim swimmers from entering pools in normal swimming attire during certain sessions unless they comply with strict ‘modest’ Islamic dress codes. Modest dress code dictates that women be covered from neck to ankle (with headscarf) and men from navel to knee. ‘What Not To Wear’ on the beach seems to have unwittingly overtaken global warming as the contentious topic of conversation this summer.
Across the Channel, France is also in sartorial turmoil. The country that fought hard to champion topless sunbathing in the late Sixties as a symbol of feminist rights (and has subsequently prided itself on being the world’s capital of seaside semi-nudity) is suddenly facing a bit of a bikini backlash. .."