As swimsuit season approaches, women are discovering that many of this summer’s suits represent a sharp turnaround from the crass arrangement of string and sequins that in recent years has made the Hamptons shore look like a Vegas sideshow.
Probably for the first time since Lindsay Lohan was born, fashion designers, from the high-end likes of Miuccia Prada and Stella McCartney to mainstream classics like Jantzen, have taken a more refined approach to swimwear, emphasizing one-piece looks, halter tops, high-waist boy shorts and ruffles and ruching as camouflaging details.
Jantzen’s most popular look this season is a sassily ruched one-piece, updated in lifeguard red and now called the Vamp, which would seem to encourage accessorizing with a cigarette and a martini more than a Pilatesstick.
“The extra coverage feels really right,” said the designer Shoshanna Gruss. “What more people are realizing is that these shapes are beautiful, and more women can wear these. More is more.”
Now one could argue that the covered-up direction in swimwear has something to do with the tanking economy (ahem, tankini), or perhaps it is a precautionary statement against too much sun exposure.
More likely, such looks have come around again for the same reason they were popular a half-century ago. As the Macy’s window display of historic Jantzen suits would suggest, leaving a little to the imagination imparts a lot of allure. Care for an example? A black lace suit from 1954 was called the Man Trap.
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