The Fashion Statement: Take the Plunge
Summer is bearing down upon us and so is the most fearful word in the English language -- swimwear. Sooner or later we all have to buy a swimsuit and we women like this seasonal ritual about about as much as filing our tax returns.
But this season offers hope. For those among us who aren't blessed with Gisele's bod, now is as good a time as any to hit the fitting rooms. Why? Because, one-pieces, like the throng Dolce & Gabbana (pictured above) sent down the runway, have the ability to cover up imperfections without a whiff of dowdy. If bikinis are more your thing, there are plenty of boy bottoms cut à la Marilyn Monroe that hide a lot more than the essentials. Of course, if you are a Gisele, there are still plenty of ways to show off your assets.
Here's a cheat sheet on who's doing what in swimwear. Then, ladies, gather up your courage, go forth and shop!
RETRO '50s: Designers have gone back to the days of Harry Truman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the birth of Rock 'n Roll. Maurizio Pecoraro, Stella McCartney, Moschino Cheap & Chic, and Hervé Leger all presented swimwear that jumped out of the mid-century. These silhouettes sit oh-so-low on the leg, but still read sexy because of their emphasis on the waist.
CUTOUTS: Not for the faint of heart. If the retro style is Marilyn Monroe, swimwear with cutouts are more like Grace Jones. Tim Hamilton, Gucci, Roksanda Ilincic, Jen Kao, and Yigal Azrouël sent out suits with a touch of the '80s and a good dose of fierce.
THE DEEP V: The swimwear equivalent of J. Lo's famed Versace dress, deep Vs are de rigueur. Jasmine di Milo, Milly and Twenty8Twelve showed V necks plunging down there that promise to boost the sex appeal of the waif-ish, in particular.
ONE SHOULDER: Gone are the days of the matronly one-piece. Taking a cue from evening wear over the last several seasons, Emporio Armani, Unique, Michael Kors, and Diane von Furstenberg designed swimwear that drape over one-shoulder, with some incorporating cutouts.
ITSY BITSY: Gisele's milieu. Jean Paul Gaultier, Dsquared2 and Emporio Armani used fabric sparingly in their swim collections. Waists are as low as they can go while tops are tiny triangles held together by a string. One-pieces take cutouts to another level -- one from Gaultier is in a harlequin pattern.
Check out the gallery for the latest looks.
Gallery: The Fashion Statement: In The Swim