It may only be January, but if it hasn’t already, swimwear will soon be appearing on your fashion radar. Whether you are planning a holiday to the sun or are just trying to think ahead to warmer temperatures, swimwear is one of those fashion mediums where there is quite simply no place to hide; great design is everything. If you think that your swimwear is perhaps in need of a facelift, the following four swimwear lines offer sexy, stylish, and affordable designer swimwear that are sure to infuse a little style into your beach holiday wardrobe.
Vitamin A Swimwear
California-based Vitamin A swimwear is a brand that has been around since 2000, and is the brainchild of southern California native Amahlia Stevens. Soon after its launch, the brand quickly expanded from having only one simple design, the “California Cut” bikini, to a comprehensive collection that completes any relaxed, laid-back resort wardrobe. The brand boasts its figure-flattering fabric choices and detail-oriented designs as the reason for its popularity, and Vitamin A swimwear counts such celebrities as Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, and Scarlett Johansson as fans.
Amahlia Stevens cites her California roots as the inspiration for the line; the designer takes her love of modernism and melds it with a commitment to sustainability to produce her designs. Stevens uses a super fine blended jersey in her swimwear that is made from recycled nylon, out of which she has created her own swimwear classics, including the LBB, better known as the little black bikini. Modern art, travel, and the trendsetting women who wear their designs are all part of Stevens’ inspiration, and with one click on their website’s lookbook, it’s easy to see why. You can view the Vitamin A look book at http://www.vitaminaswim.com/look.aspx.
Trina Turk Swimwear
Another California native, designer Trina Turk draws her inspiration in a very similar way to Amahlia Stevens; she bases her designs on the sunny optimism of the California lifestyle and blends it with her passion for modern art. Uncanny similarities between the two designers’ inspiration sources notwithstanding, the similarity ends there. Where Stevens’ designs are a nod to sleek, minimalist modernism in (mostly) solid colour fabrications and small-scale prints in a more neutral palette, Turk’s creations are a veritable riot of colour, much like the modernist paintings that inspired them.
Although Turk’s design house designs and sells full ready to wear collections for both men and women, as well as residential décor and textiles, her swimwear remains one of her most popular offerings. In fact, Turk was the designer to innovate the humble bikini by simply replacing the ubiquitous metal o-ring hardware with more decorative creations, inspired mainly by her vintage modernist jewellery collection. Needless to say, the rest of the industry soon followed suit. You can see Turk’s current swimwear collection at http://www.trinaturk.com/Swimwear.
This Australian brand is the creation of designer Bonnie Coumbe, who grew up surrounded by the secluded beaches and dense forests of New South Wales, Australia. Bonnie was a girl who knew her calling at a very young age; she made her first swimsuit at the ripe old age of 13, using some crushed black lycra that she found at a local vintage shop. At that stage in her life, she had already been sewing for several years, taught by her brother who is a costume designer, who was taught by their grandmother, who was a tailor.
In 2008, Coumbe and her partner, Carlos Aviles, launched the Seventh Wonderland label and soon thereafter showed at Miami Swim Fashion Week to a resoundingly receptive audience. It is easy to see why the response was so positive. Coumbe places a lot of emphasis on quality and construction in her swimwear, making it wearable for a lot of different body types, and therefore a wider slice of the market. Coumbe adds to that a strong artistic aesthetic in her use of print that is a nod to the bohemian, as well as a uniquely Australian vibe. View the collection at the Seventh Wonderland website at http://www.seventhwonderland.com.
Varley is a luxury swim and resort wear brand that is owned by British couple Ben and Laura Mead. The brand mixes feminine sophistication with strong silhouettes and clean lines to achieve a well-balanced, elegant collection. The Meads, who make Los Angeles their second home, focus on melding the ease of the laid-back California lifestyle with the elegance of European design to achieve their unique, timeless pieces. One of the real highlights of the Varley line is the Meads’ use of hand-painted prints in their swim and ready-to-wear lines, which elevate the looks from casual resort wear to louche sophistication. Simple, elegant details finish the looks, whether they be the simple gold buttons on a hand-painted silk beach shirt, or the bespoke hardware trim on one of their bikinis. The Varley collection can be viewed at http://www.varley.com.