BEACH, SWIMWEAR AND LINGERIE FABRICS AND ACCESSORIES
It is almost too good to be true; finally, optimism and energy have returned and we can toast the return of positivity and colour. Designers and consumers are feeling the desire for indulgence and yes, why not, outlandish celebratory behaviour, a general relaxing of the rules. What we wish to celebrate is what drove the recovery in the first place: our vibrant, converging society where differences are blurred, merged and blended, the multi-cultural world where boundaries have melted away.
In a general burst of energy we have defined six trends, for swimwear and bodywear:
Swim Celebration – Jungle Fever – a euphoric drum beat of Africa-inspired frenzy, full of colour, clashing designs and boldly mixed patterns.
Swim Glam – Rave Couture – red-carpet elegance with a modern, racy twist and op art inspired illusionary patterning.
Swim Performance – Memphis Sport – active performance suits, sporty leisure swimwear, colour blocking and geometric, sculptural, body architecture.
Swim Tech – Brutal Glam – futuristic garment engineering for the powerful, heroic and fierce intergalactic new age woman.
Body Sensuality – Artist’s Garden – romantic, bohemian artist’s atelier with arts and craft era suggestiveness.
Body Smart – Sensory – contouring and supporting curves, smoothing and caring for the body.
Let the party begin!
This is a celebration of Africa with all its diversity, extremes and contradictions. It’s about mixing things that have never been mixed before – organic, man-made, natural and digital. This mish-mash, eclectic jumble captures the bold energy of the ‘Dark Continent’; we are focussing on ethnic, tribal, animal, hip-hop, and punk influences, all bashed together with colour and dynamism.
Not blending but juxtaposing – lacy fabrics with technical finishes together with traditional tribal patterns; dry cotton with wild jungle prints alongside skin hide effects; and techno laser cut openwork polyester with fake leather. Embellishment is spectacular with appliqués, fringes and macramé work on digital prints and embroidered cloth. Wild is wonderful!
Once again extremes collide as traditional tribal patterns are used together with computer generated and manipulated designs that depict tropical flowers, animal camouflage, or folk designs – all digitised and ‘psychedelically’ treated to bring about colour overload. Bold mosaics are used with desert inspired marls and cork patterns for a more muted, natural effect.
The sensory rush of a tropical rain forest, vegetation shades with flashes of acid depicting flowers or tropical birds as they flit by.The digitally pushed acid extremes are countered by khaki and deep Burgundy.
North African kaftans, djellabas, tunics and ponchos inspire cover-ups for men and women. Cotton shirt and short co-ordinates in subtle prints work for men, as do shirt short clashes. Women are dressed to impress in fringe bikinis, bandeaux bras and corset tops; straps can be bold and embellished or non-existent. Tops combine or clash with shorts and bold coloured briefs. Clothing is layered and chaotically mixed.
This is a celebration of op art, where optical illusions trick the eye and engender movement, warping and depth. Often in black and white, these optical designs immediately bring sophisticated glamour and opulence to simply designed outfits so combining glitz with chic swimwear; elegant crystal adornments do a similar job.
Refined elegance requires silky satin and subtle sparkle; these fabrics work as chic grounds for expressive graphic patterns, based on embroidery, sequins or beads in muted metallic shades, or printed on digitally. Brocade fabrics can be used for swimsuits.
Optical illusions take centre stage; geometric patterns explore the celebration of op art and produce disorienting effects. Swirls and flower designs warp and move from the surface of the garment in a seemingly 3D manner. Colour is brought into play to add another dimension to the illusion.
Grounds of muted metallic shades exalt the modern, acid brights and flashes of silver are used for the optical designs.
Tight corsets and body shaping techniques celebrate hourglass feminine figures, while high-waist briefs expose bare upper midriffs – all very demure! Garments are fitted and flared to maximise pre-1960s ideals of womanly shape.
This is a celebration of humour and kitsch. In the 1980s, a group of Italian designers, who called themselves the Memphis Group, bucked the minimalist, serious trends of the time by designing fun and humorous pieces, often using modern plastic surfaces and employing colour and pattern where once grey and black were king. As the green shoots of economic recovery sprout, we turn to pattern and colour once more in a homage to Memphis for a sporty, energetic and young take on swimwear.
Sporty, go-faster swimwear fabrics are in neoprene and compact constructions. Performance enhancing effects, including racy colours, combine with compression panels, tech finishes and plastic sheen. Chlorine-resistant and UV protective, these fabrics are intended for regular, even punishing use. Cover-ups come in knitted ribs, piqués, twills and honeycombs with geometric, knitted constructions. Trims and laces are either graphically patterned or in reflective, fluo shades.
Playful and fun! Mosaics sit alongside tangrams and colourful geometric shapes and designs, as a moratorium on floral patterning is declared! Colours Playful, energetic and optimistic shades; slightly retro-kitsch sport staples contrast with each other and with black and white detailing.
This is overtly, even exaggeratedly sporty and performance oriented swimwear, so racy shapes, streamlining trims and bold colour blocking is used alongside ergonomic designs. Performance features are de-rigueur, with sporty racing backs and enhanced breast support for the girls. Cover-ups are bright and patterned with shirts and zipper jackets over shiny boxers for girls and boys. Neoprene contouring jackets are combined with shorts and briefs, zippers once again being featured. The sporty approach is reinforced with bright contrasting trims and piping: irony and humour is never lost.
This is a celebration of dystopia; a world of dark, fierce and severe cosmic goddesses, who stand proud and protected in their techno armour. Brutalist compositions inspire basic, rational shapes that translate into paired-down futuristic outfits in black monochrome or dark, nocturnal shades. Sensuality is there, so are beauty, strength and energy, but the apocalyptic future calls for severity and rectitude.
Leather and latex; rubber and studs, zips, nails, rings, beads and iron. Armoured looks are inspired by animal (elephant) and reptile skins or by beaten metal or chainmail. Heat-bonded, double sided fabrics, as if formed from sheet metal, are combined with stern mesh effects and graphic pleats. Sci-fi textiles take their inspiration from dystopian space movies.
Skin relief patterns are counter-posed by inter galactic star sprays and digitally generated 3D mapping program designs. Algorithms are used to produce controlled random patterns and grids.
Black and intense saturated darks together with greenish black with an oily sheen form the backdrop to pearlescent silvers and lilacs: cold, cosmic colours.
Swimwear is forged from strong, bold shapes with contouring, sharp lines. Glued and laser cut seams give a modern, highly engineered feel to garments that are so fitted they appear to have been cast directly onto the body. Clever pattern cutting brings a modern corsetry feel to garments that are almost brutally strict and strong. Details are equally powerful with cuts and slashes, open effects and straps, trims and bands enhancing the body-glove, close-fitting style.
This is a celebration of romanticism and aesthetic pleasure based on the Bloomsbury Set, who, in the early 20th century, believed in the importance of the arts in creating a better society. Elegantly hedonistic, they sought out pleasurable experiences, appreciating luxury and sensorial enjoyment. True to their philosophy, nature is celebrated, here, as the pinnacle of intelligent design, incorporated into contemporary ideals of a dreamy, languid way of life, a counter point to modern freneticism.
Fabrics with a luxurious hand such as silk satins are used as the base for elegant, floral prints and jacquard designs. Antique velours and flock prints add soft texture while diaphanous veils and lace provide luxury. Modern finishing techniques produce fabrics with enamel-like or porcelain aspects. Embroidery in soft Lurex and brocade creates a retro feel.
Flowers and botanical drawings of meandering flower stems and lush vegetation cover whole garments or are scattered tastefully. A modern quality is acquired through the use of oversize floral designs; laser cut lace and appliqué on tulle.
Tones reminiscent of fabrics dyed with natural dyestuffs: muted, restrained and in harmony with nature. Earthy shades of terracotta, beeswax, shell and fern are used with radically new digital printing techniques to reinvent this inspiration for a new generation.
Languid silhouettes are produced from flowing fabrics and floating, loosely cut pyjamas and trousers. Layers of fluid, comfortable garments with ruffles and ruches, drawstrings and knotted sashes allude to relaxed weekends in sunlit rooms as dust motes float in the air. Lace cardigans and long dressing gowns in silk-touch fabrics cover luxurious underwear with a hint of sophisticated sheen.
This is a celebration of our new, healthy and strong vision of feminine beauty. Empowered and intelligent, women eschew weak, skinny and ultimately unhealthy female stereotypes to embrace a vision of fitness, wellbeing and mind-body strength. These women indulge themselves with spa treatments and immersive experiences to engender a natural sense of restful wellbeing. To rest the eyes, lingerie is clean, simple and visually understated with smooth, sensual fabrics that honour the perfect body’s curves. Intelligent smart fabrics aim for scientific performance from natural ingredients and aid us in our quest to feel great in our skins.
Emo-fabrics employ perfume and sensory stimuli to calm the mood. Lightweight textiles with smooth surfaces have a cosmetic soapy, creamy or foamy hand to create a subtle, pleasurable sensation in wear. Plains are either pearlised or matt for sculptured, supporting garments. Featherweight veils, mesh and tulle provide a face powder effect.
Almost non-existent! simple gradient colouring and surface opalescence or iridescence enhance clean fabric surfaces.
Fresh, clean whites with delicate cosmetic pale tones and cool pastel shades. Bolder make-up colours are used for gradient effects.
Lingerie garments are reminiscent of the clean, flowing sculptural lines of modernist architecture: forms are simple and minimalist, strict and pure, but sensual in their gentle contouring curves and white flawlessness. Sheers, graphic ajourés and refined graphic meshes are layered for beauty without frills.