In The Swim Of Things

Harper's Bazaar Australia|November 2019

In The Swim Of Things
With aspirational holidaying now a hallmark of a chic existence, swimwear brands are likewise lifting their game. Grace O’Neill spotlights the new labels mixing high style and size inclusivity
Grace O’Neill
WHILE ONCE swimwear shopping was a ‘one-piece or bikini?’ kind of conundrum, now the process is as complicated (and elusive) as finding the perfect pair of jeans. Search ‘swim’ on any of the major e-tailers’ sites and you’ll be faced with seemingly endless results. As it stands, there are hundreds of new-season swim collections by hundreds of brands, covering every corner of the globe and every style proclivity. And with the emergence of hot new labels almost every month, the offering doesn’t let up.

So, how to find the signal amid the noise? There’s the millennial — or should we say Gen Z — route, as paved by teens Frankie Belle Stark and Kono Lulu Smith. The duo, who have fashion pedigree (Stark’s father, Richard, founded Chrome Hearts), launched their swimwear brand, Dipped In Blue, in late 2018 and it quickly reached cult status. Bella and Gigi Hadid wore the brand’s barely-there string bikinis during a Mykonos getaway in July, while Kendall Jenner put its newspaper-print style in the spotlight back in March. Bella also helped popularise the work of Louisa Ballou, a relatively unknown swimwear designer who recently graduated from Central Saint Martins in London. Her avant-garde prints and asymmetrical designs, with evocative names such as ‘Moonflower’ and ‘Solar Tide’, are worth earmarking.

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November 2019