Designer and model Tori Praver presented a sampling of her 40-piece collection, Ventus Scopis, at The Webster, a luxury Miami Beach boutique. “I wanted to work with the muted colors that remind me of the ocean and the prints that feel like they are wind-swept or blowing in the wind,” she said.
Runways and shows around South Beach were brimming with vibrant beaded necklines, cut-out maillots and bandeaus. Add to that plenty of standard-issue bikinis for hot bodies, with lots of crochet, macramé, lattice, fringe and front and backside ruffle detailing. Dolores Cortés offered a show-stopping white suit, top and bottom connected by an abstract crochet pattern, and a black monokini wrapped in sexy vertical straps.
Designers also turned to the glamour of the past, offering retro high-waist, full-bottom briefs called midkinis in a nod to the pinup girl. Theatrical and fun, some designers sent models down the runways blowing kisses and striking kittenish poses. Lisa Blue did it big with vintage pale pink and blue striped swimsuits.
Re-imagined one-pieces were omnipresent, as was the use of exotic materials: jewels; raffia; wood; metal scrollwork and even Lucite. Aqua Di Lara took the bling factor to the next level, adorning the swimwear with Swarovski crystals.
Some designers tapped into fantasy — think Red Carter’s ode to Studio 54 with a line that ran the gamut from foiled psychedelic to geometric patterns to Art Deco bustiers.
Exotic destinations were also a source of inspiration: Éclairée turned to the shores of St. Tropez and Ibiza for a collection in softer tones such as peach, baby blue and mint green. Poko Pano’s 40-piece collection was inspired by the vibe of Salvador, the capital city of Bahia, Brazil — manifested in bold hues and pastels, leopard and tribal print and florals. Designer Paola Robba said she took her cues from the city’s culture, ranging from famed street artist Bel Bora to the Brazilian martial arts style of Capoeira. Her most dazzling design: a patchwork seagull applique on a black caftan.
Animal prints, a perennial designer favorite, made cameos in most every show, often reinterpreted in bold colors. Cia.Marítima show opened with a stunning yellow leopard monokini with stripes, setting the tone for a collection inspired by Hawaii. Benny Rosset designed a sophisticated collection of swim and resort wear including breezy sarongs that wow on or off the beach. In a collection drawing from Aztec and Egyptian art, Mara Hoffman introduced a slouch-pant and tank dress in snake skin and a flowing blue dress with a wide beaded neckline.
Some of the newest fabrics were practical, too: UV-resistant and even anti-bacterial.
Xtra Life Lycra held a group show in which each of the designs featured used the brand’s fiber. It was part of the company’s global marketing campaign, called Unstoppable, that sends the message your suit should be more than pretty. It should be durable, even in extreme swim conditions that include contact with chlorine and sunscreen, said Ninabeth Sowell, global marketing director of INVISTA, producer of Lycra.
As in years past, the designs were also about evoking confidence in those who wear them.
Said Robba, of Poko Pano: “We want the woman who wears our swimwear to feel beautiful and sexy and powerful.”
Miami.com contributors Maria Tettamanti and Annie C. Vazquez contributed to this report.