Swimsuit season: love it or hate it, you cannot hide from it. Not only is the warm weather rapidly approaching, but so too is Spring Break, when many of us will be briefly parting with the perpetual winter wonderland that is Hamilton to lay on a beach and soak up the sun. For those of you feeling a bit of dread for that fateful day when you must slip on a bathing suit for the first time in months, do not fret. This season’s swimwear selection is chic, fun and super flattering. So, your pre-vacation swimsuit shopping experience will leave you with nothing but confidence.
In the fashion industry, swimwear is a whole different animal. For that reason, it is not a focus during Spring Fashion Week and instead receives its own separate treatment in a similar, although smaller scale, event known as Fashion Week Swimwear that takes place in Miami in mid- July and showcases the looks for the next coming season. The lineup is notably different from traditional Fashion Week, as it features big names in swimsuit design that the public less readily recognizes. But the 5-day showcase is undoubtedly a glamorously beachy and bronzed display that puts forward some really pretty, intriguing and innovative pieces.
On the Spring 2011 swimwear runways, a number of fabulous trends made themselves known. Perhaps most prominent was the stylized, “skimpified,” sexy one-piece (sometimes known as a monokini). With the earliest signs of this look surfacing in swimwear last year along with the recent cutout trend in womenswear, this style seems like a logical progression for the swimsuit. This type of suit comes in all shapes, sizes and variations on the theme. Some show skin using simple side exposure. Others elect an extreme deep-v neckline that plunges almost to the bellybutton to counterbalance the coverage elsewhere. Still others are essentially a bikini embellished with only a few extra bands of stretchy fabric that connect the top and bottom, making it technically a one-piece. One particularly interesting suit on the runway was unlike any other; designed by Luli Fama, it had a one-sided slash look, almost as if it had been clawed (but in a good way, I promise).
Yet, bikinis are not by any means obsolete. In fact, they are back with a vengeance this season after receiving an update from another popular trend: the high-waisted brief bottom. Again, the arrival of this look makes sense, born of the recent high-rise trend in slacks and skirts. The style is decidedly retro, but looks totally contemporary when updated with a modern-cut top.
Paradoxically, alongside these retro bikini bottoms, swimwear with a futuristic vibe was also a dominant force during Fashion Week Swimwear 2011. Lots of pieces had a metallic sheen; Crystal Jin showed a simple bandeau bikini in a shiny silver, as well as a full-length cover-up in the same hue. Trina Turk featured a billowy, maxi-length cover-up in metallic purple. Red Carter took the futuristic trend one step further, issuing a suit with a space galaxy inspired print.
One other trend that surfaced on the swimwear runways was the “LBS,” the little black swimsuit. That is to say, black was certainly a color of choice for many designers. Black is generally understood as universally and consistently flattering in clothing and the same principle applies to bathing suits. Black suits are not only stylish, but also quite slimming and who is not looking for that?
Finally, once again in an unexpected turn of events, not only was the black suit abundant, but also was its polar opposite: swimwear in loud psychedelic paisley and geometric prints. The Trina Turk show is a great example of this look.
So, the time to buy swimsuits is now, but never fear. Wonderful options are here.