A UK START-UP that is preparing to launch its first swimwear collection under the label Belle and Whistle through its online store on July 1 described its products as “the bathing suit equivalent of a cocktail dress”. Founder Carla Ham calls the range Cocktail Swim and explains that the garments are intended for poolside parties that call for more sophisticated styles. She adds: “There are elegant dresses for black-tie galas and jeans and a T-shirt for casual dinners at home, so why shouldn’t there be different options of dressiness for swimwear?”
While the concept may be valid, it faces a serious threat from the vagaries of English summer weather. What is more, the swimwear image proposed by the new brand has long been available from such luxury labels as La Perla or Gottex.