Ladies, swimsuit season is coming! I open with this sentence not to freak you out about your thighs and bellies (You already look hot!). I’m just excited about beach fashion.
Recently, while the weather was still blustery in New York, I went to Hawaii and got a preview of what we will all be wearing when it’s finally beach weather for the rest of us.
How to describe Hawaii fashion…? Big tourist influx and big tourist money mean Honolulu is an outpost for sophisticated global brands like Vuitton, Prada, Marc Jacobs. But like Hawaii food and culture in general, Island Style is a unique blend of the influences that have visited paradise for hundreds of years and been seduced into staying. Everything from muumuu floral dresses inspired by native Hawaiian clothing to surfer boho beachwear finds its way into the Hawaii beach aesthetic. A few hallmarks of Island Style: casual ease, florals, bold color. The girls in Hawaii look like they were born wearing bikinis and strappy sundresses.
I took to the beaches and to local gathering places like the Kapiolani farmer’s market to check out what the locals were wearing. Bikinis were bright and fun, but I was most excited about innovations in swim coverups. For those of us not lucky enough to live AT the beach or pool, we need something to wear between home and the sand, and we need it to be adorable. Beach loungewear is what I’m talking about, the summery equivalent of the perfect boudoir chemise or robe. And, luckily, I ran into two gorgeous lines of beach loungewear designed and made by independent designers in Hawaii.
I got to ask Jane Hoskins, designer of Tiare Hawaii, a few questions:
TheLingerieAddict: How does “Island Style” influence you as a designer?
J.H: “Island Style” has been a huge influence on me as a designer and in creating my line. Tiare Hawaii is unique in our love for the islands. Every piece is an inspiration, from the hand dyed fabrics, to eyelet details, to the flow of the dresses reflecting the waterfalls nearby- all are inspired by the natural beauty of Hawaii.
TLA: What kinds of recent trends do you see in beachwear?
J.H.: A coverup is a great way to complete an effortlessly beachy look and is a practical and fashionable way to go to and from the beach or pool in style. There are so many chic and flattering styles of coverups that are in style such as caftans, pareos, rompers, sundresses, or just a really cute pair of shorts. I am seeing lots of tie dye, dip dye, gauzy fabrics, hi-lo dresses and skirts, ikat prints, and lots of color for Spring and Summer.
TLA: What colors, patterns, and detailing are you working on?
J.H.: I am promoting colors inspired by nature (the colors of sand and the Hawaiian oceans, sunsets, and waterfalls) and am using natural dying methods to put my inspiration onto fabric. I am also working with some colorful Ikat prints for my summer collections.
For a list of retailers, please go to www.tiarehawaii.com and click on “Retailers.”
I came across another great brand designed and made in Hawaii, Wonderland, when I happened to trendspot its designer, Jess Shedlock. I stopped her to take her picture and ask about her amazing fuchsia overdyed denim shorts–turns out, she makes them herself. I asked her some questions about her inspiration and thoughts about beachwear.
TheLingerieAddict: What’s new in swim coverups?
J.S.: I like that swim coverups are fashion pieces now, as opposed to the dumpy coverups of the past. There are some beautiful coverups out there that can double as casual wear. Luxurious prints and fabrics make a lot of coverups really fun and fashion forward.
TLA: Can you give some styling tips for how girls can use your line as swim coverups?
The denim is really popular here because the shorts work great a swim coverup but can be work to lunch or the mall right after. The beach is so accessible here, that a lot of us hit the beach for a quick session between other daily activities. The colors make the dyed shorts swimsuit friendly as well.
TLA: What colors, patterns, and detailing are you promoting?
For denim, I did ombre dyed pastels and crochet details for spring. The high summer pieces are a little more bold – red, navy, olive with pendleton-inspired prints and fringes
So even though I was greeted by 50 degree New York spring when I returned, I am warmed by anticipation of summer beach time — and all the innovative, sexy ways to dress up a swimsuit. Ladies, it’s not your grandma’s beach anymore!