The rising legline of the early 1980s catalyzes maillot developments with an energy that maillot has not experienced since the early 1940s. The rising legline synergizes maillot developments because the solid torso construction of the maillot--and the uplift provided by shoulder straps--permits the legline to rise much higher than with the v-kini. During the initial part of this rise all construction within the maillot is sacrificed, as stretchy thin Spandex becomes the dominant material. Elastic straps wrap over the shoulders, revitalizing the tank silhouette (FB83P48, N198507) and deepening cleavage (FI8306). String halter influences are also very evident (TG8110). Strapless styles do exist (RW197910, CA8220, HU9030), but are unable to sustain the rising momentum because at some point they lack the neck/shoulder uplift to keep the legline rising.
As the legline continues to rise it eventually collides with the armhole (FB83P61). In this more mature silhouette the plunging armhole introduces side cleavage of the breasts (CS8430); this cut is often advanced around toward the front of the body so as to reveal their free hanging undercrease. Because the breasts are unsupported, the risk of them springing into view at the side heightens eroticism.
The point of intersection between the armhole and legline is a new discovery, and this new left/right pair of side tension points invites a variety of decoration and focus, including rings, buttons (faux and real), and zippers (N198503).
Large armholes also squeeze out the T-back maillot (DR8510) and catalyze other backage development.
And inevitably, the rising legline also defines a narrower front that drifts inside the inguinals (FI8306), and a backside that advances from buttage (MM9310) to, at its extreme, the maillot tanga.
The high-legline maillot, especially once the armhole and legline collide, affects both bikini and maillot developments for years to come. On one hand it invites many traditional silhouettes to be rethought if not reintroduced. These especially include the wrap silhouette and maillot cutout.
But beyond reworking the old the new tension points stimulate a dramatic new generation of swimsuits whose classification as maillot or bikini becomes more uncertain. Of obvious note are the suspender, the miokini, the pretzel and related slingshot, and the notorious torpedo.
The impact of the high-legline is discussed in detail at each of these species.
The maillot hi-legline has a legline that has risen above the waistline and which ultimately intersects with the armhole.