Which Trends Emerged from Swim Week?
by julia ford-carther
New runways, larger trade shows, and a bounty of brands marked this the busiest year yet for Miami swim week. We took stock of the new trends.
At Luli Fama, tasseled ends added flirty movement to the designer’s sexy suits.
Thirty-two years ago, Miami’s SwimShow was the little industry show that could, with just 15 representatives and 30 collections. We’ve come a long way, baby—this year, there were more than 7,500 brands from 60 countries displayed throughout approximately 500,000 square feet.
A parallel event, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, launched by IMG Worldwide in 2004, now boasts 57 international swim designers, and IMG added new runways poolside and in the penthouse at The Raleigh to accommodate the anticipated debuts from newcomers Clover Canyon, Mikoh, Belusso, and Frankie’s Bikinis.
Yes, it was an exciting week of beautiful cuts and prints. At each show, the packed house clamored for prime viewing of 2015’s trends and to watch the reactions of those seated in the front row, including LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian, Nina Agdal, and Real Housewives of New York’s LuAnn de Lesseps.
The Poko Pano Swimwear show at The Raleigh hotel during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2015 in July.
Adding to the swim circus were off-site trade shows such as Salon Allure and Cabana, which gained traction this year with a well-edited selection of luxury lines ranging from Zero + Maria Cornejo’s architectural minimalism to the art-inspired silk caftans by Cheyann Benedict, one “C” of the original C&C California. For beach goers, all of this translates into more trends and inspired fashion. “2015 will be an eclectic year for swim,” says Judy Stein, executive director at the Swimwear Association of Florida, which produces SwimShow. “Look for nostalgic prints or kitschy fruit. Ethnic prints will be updated with a sophisticated twist. Romantic floral prints will continue to add a girlish pop, while asymmetrical plunging gives an edgy, sexy appeal. And lace and crochet might be the most inspiring resources of the upcoming year.”
As these collections won’t be available until November, here are four looks to start inspiring daydreams of tropical winter getaways.
FROM LEFT: Black lace over gold shimmer added unexpected detail at L*Space; Neon plus animal print made Mara Hoffman’s bustier stand out; Mikoh’s surf-inspired bra top in striking neoprene sheen; Sport silhouettes took a feminine turn at Clover Canyon.
Lace accents carried a heavier stitch in patterns bordering on crochet. Victoria’s Secret bombshell Alessandra Ambrosio, in collaboration with Lunada Bay (Becca, Lucky Brand Swimwear), debuted her Ále by Alessandra collection, which included a high-leg neon tie-dyed crochet-lace one-piece layered over a matching two-piece. L*Space by Monica Wise sent out a show-stealing deep-plunge strapless black crop bustier with fine crochet lace overlaying a shimmery gold front. Los Angeles-based A. Ché created a versatile skirt bottom, lending a peekaboo effect with its lace-crochet hybrid, and Jantzen did a similar take in its racerback cover-up dress.
Stealing a look from lingerie, crop-top bustiers created shape and sex appeal in many collections. Mikoh drew on its California surfer background to create a sleek, structured glossy neoprene deep-plunge corseted version. Mara Hoffman, a consistent crowd favorite, delivered an inspired collection of her signature geometric prints. This year, designs arrived in creative combinations of neon shades and bold animal prints, such as a leopard and color-block crop-top bra, lending a more punk-glam feel. Model-turned-designer Tori Praver picked up the trend in a comfortable crop bralette in a Marrakesh-inspired triangular print. Known for fusing high-end fashion with swimwear, Australian line Zimmermann featured a sculpted, strapless take on the crop bustier with a wide, square plunging neckline in a delicately geometric print.
While beads and feather accents were some of the many added details, tassels seemed the go-to tie-on, showing up at the end of strings, draping down necks, and bopping on the backs of bottoms. At Luli Fama, one of the week’s sexier shows, matching fabric tassels caught the eyes of onlookers, creating unexpected flair dangling from the back of a modified halter bra top. At Cabana, ViX by Paula Hermanny showcased hand-beaded gold tassels on pieces inspired by the designer’s recent trip to Egypt. Luxury legend Shan tied its long, oversize fringed tassels to the neckline and navel of its sophisticated suits.
Style met function in sport-appropriate minimalist cuts and romantic prints. Clover Canyon’s whimsical florals appeared on a range of crewneck, zip-down crop tops and one-pieces sturdy enough for an ocean swim. Catering to the chic standup-paddleboarding set, Body Glove’s new Breathe collection featured mix-and-match surf briefs and long-sleeve fashion crop tops. UK brand Orlebar Brown, famous for revolutionizing tailored swimwear for men, presented its third women’s collection, applying signature side fasteners to its Bond Girl-esque bikinis.
photography by Frazer harrison/getty images For LuLi Fama (LuLi Fama); neiLson barnard/getty images (poko pano); Frazer harrison/getty images For mercedes-benz (L*space); randy brooke (mara hoFFman); Frazer harrison/getty images For mikoh (mikoh);Joe schiLdhorn/bFanyc.com (cLover canyon)
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.