Sleek Suits Meet Modern Cover-Ups
Photographed by Arno Frugier
Swimsuits buck the bell curve. Rather than converge at a happy medium, they cluster at the extremes of glitzy or basic, utterly non-functional or blandly utilitarian. A new generation of designers is approaching the category with fresh inspirations such as lingerie and modern dance to create suits that are as stylish as they are practical. To extend their sense of effortless ease beyond the beach or pool, make a modern après-swim ensemble by adding a streamlined top, dress, skirt, or trenchcoat.
To slip on an Araks swimsuit is to instantly recognize the designer’s roots in lingerie. New York-based Araks Yeramyan honed her refined yet feminine aesthetic in underpinnings that feel and fit as good they look, and her swimwear is a natural extension of that approach. “You have a bigger audience with swimwear, and you want people to feel comfortable and pretty, but in a different way [than with lingerie],” she says. “You don’t want to think about what you’re wearing, you just want to feel great.”
Accelerate your search for the ideal swimsuit by focusing on a pared-down palette. A monochrome style not only puts the focus on distinctive details like a branched, asymmetrical strap or artful back cutouts but also imparts versatility. Designed to move with and flatter the body, the right suit can instantly transform into a sleek, comfortable foundation for pieces such as Protagonist’s black satin wrap dress or an Edun halter top made special by lambskin details.
The bikini is the most important thing since the atom bomb.Diana Vreeland
Shared loves of dance and the beach culture of South Florida inspire designers Megan Balch and Jaime Barker of Flagpole Swim. Founded in 2013, the label specializes in stylish suits that can handle the surf. Balch and Barker favor Italian fabrics that conceal technical qualifications such as four-way stretch, anti-bacterial properties, and power mesh linings. The silhouettes are perfected with the help of artisan tailors in New York’s Garment District and are just as comfortable when worn beneath a trench or skirt.
When it comes to après-swim accessorizing, less is always more. A carefully chosen pair of sunglasses can play up bold curves or sleek lines, and many of Linda Farrow’s exquisite frames are accented with 22-karat-gold-plated titanium studs that act as built-in jewelry. Sculptural pieces in sterling silver also complement rather than overpower, whether they tend toward the organic forms of Sophie Buhai or the irreducible simplicity of Adrien Messié and Erwan Le Louër’s handcrafted Le Gramme bracelets.
Styling Lindsey Frugier
Hair Bok-Hee at Streeters
Makeup Emi Kaneko at D+V Management
Model Sophia Ahrens at DNA Models Mangement
Explore another chapter in The Stories:
A Week in the Life: Elements of a Wardrobe That Works