When Fabiana LeFleur decided to make her own bikini, she hopped right to it.
Which makes sense since she used frogs as the material.
The 28-year-old LeFleur lives in Henderson, Louisiana, and grew up hunting and fishing around the bayou. Her father taught her not to waste anything from an animal.
“When my father took a deer, he always made it a point to use every part that he could, not only eating the meat but also tanning the hides, sometimes even carving the bones into knife handles,” she told local station KLFY TV.
She recently decided to apply her father’s advice to amphibians.
“I went out hunting and caught seven frogs, which worked out well because one of them didn’t turn out well,” she told HuffPost. “I didn’t choose carefully from a very large catch.”
After removing the meat for a meal, she sewed the animals together into an eye-catching swimsuit.
“The most difficult part of making the bikini was the skinning of the frogs,” LeFleur told HuffPost. “Normally, to filet a frog you would just make a cut around the belly and pull off the pants to expose the legs. To keep the whole things intact, I had to turn them completely inside out without damaging the skin so it’s a more delicate operation.”
The results, as you can see, are truly ribbiting, er, riveting. Photos of LeFleur in the frog swimsuit are going viral.
Urbanites might find the idea of going skin-to-skin with an amphibian a little hard to take, but LeFleur said frog hides are no different from any other animal byproduct used to make clothing.
“The only difference is that you can really see what they are in my suit,” she said. “I didn’t cut off the limbs and the heads. I thought it was a more interesting aesthetic. Personally, the process of extracting silk from worms seems a lot grosser than stitching a couple hoppers together.”
Once the frog hides were dried, she sewed them together with sinew and then covered them with several layers of shellac to make the bikini waterproof.
Although she is happy with the results, LeFleur admits wearing the suit presents some challenges.
“They don’t have an underwire, so there’s not as much support as a standard bathing suit,” she said. “As a piece of sportswear, a wardrobe malfunction would be inevitable.”
In fact, LeFleur doesn’t plan to wear the suit very often.
“My uncle has a bear skin hanging in our family’s hunting cabin and my mother says I should hang it right next to that,” she said. “I think that’s a pretty good place for it.”
She hopes her frog bikini inspires more people to find ways to use materials they would otherwise discard. However, she has no plans to go into business selling similar suits.
“The process really isn’t efficient enough to charge a reasonable price,” she admitted. “I’d be more inclined to give them a more detailed explanation of how I made mine. Stuffing a frog is definitely not a carefully guarded trade secret.”