Wednesday 24 April 2019

Beautiful dreamer


Smocked Sun dress, €366, Kisuii; leather sandals, €895, Saint Laurent
Smocked Sun dress, €366, Kisuii; leather sandals, €895, Saint Laurent
Floral print Off-the-shoulder crop-top, €130; matching floral print bikini, €160, both Rixo London; sandals, €1,695, Christian Louboutin; earrings, €340, Marni

With so much focus on the well-being of our seas' environments and the problem of plastic, swimwear is, albeit slowly, getting conscious with regards to sustainability and the planet. Brands such as Emma Pake, new and exclusive to Brown Thomas Dublin; and Marysia are sourcing fabrics and doing their manufacturing in Europe, as opposed to the Far East (cost-saving) or Australia or Brazil (specialist knowledge) to cut down on their carbon footprint.

There are lots of wearable beyond-the-beach pieces, such as silk and cotton wrap dresses, skirts and coats - be they by super-cool Rixo London (also new this season to Brown Thomas's swim department); Kisuii; Heidi Klein; Love Stories; Melissa Odabash; or Susannagh Grogan. Kaftans are another new and key feature of this season's beach-wear collections, thus making them that bit more useful. More designer brands are focusing on classic swim shapes, exhibiting more awareness that swimwear is no longer something people wish to think of as limited to one holiday, one season - disposable.

"There are so many beautiful shapes and flattering styles. I am in awe of what some of the brands presented us with this season," Brown Thomas's Swim and Lingerie Buyer Roslyn Ellis tells me. "Everything is very well thought out. A lot of brands are focused on function and versatility of wear. That people want a capsule wardrobe, an edit, that will take them from a weekend city break to a longer holiday. There is a lot of awareness about fabrication; brands offering fabrics that feel nice next to the skin and that travel well."

But it wouldn't be swimwear if it didn't deliver us a lovely dose of uplifting cheer, fun and frivolity. Gorgeous new trends such as frills, smocking, polka dots, checks, stripes, crochet, lattice-work, tie details and oodles of florals - from tiny and delicate to bold and attention-seeking - all make for an especially feminine swim season. Be you a bikini-ite or a swimsuit seeker, you have options. But - go and get fitted!

"We are all very different shapes and our bodies are constantly changing," says Roslyn. "A lot of brands offer cup sizes and straps, so you can adjust the fit, get better support and a more flattering shape. Body appreciation is very important, I feel. Embracing our own natural shape and feeling good about ourselves - rather than trying to be something else."

Wise words. Thankfully, this season there are also the options to look as beautiful as one can be. And my wise words - you deserve to.

Photography by Stefano Moro

Styling by Darren Feeney

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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