The seats were filled. The plastic covering the runway was lifted. The lights went down. The music turned up. The spotlights were cued and the shows began. Based on the first night on the catwalk at The Raleigh for Merecedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, these are the trends you’ll being seeing the most of for 2014.
Skins Are In
Forget the florals, the reining prints on this season’s catwalk were of the animal variety. Think zebra stripes, leopard spots and a smattering of snakeskin at almost every show. Agua Bendita got in on the trend with snakeskin in a neutral hue, as well as a bold snakeskin blast in neon. Poko Pano played up its leopard print set against an orange ombre background in everything from teenie bikinis to cover ups. Dolores Cortes got in on the trend with snakeskin as well, while Suboo’s leopards were outfitted in black and white spots with solid patches of black thrown in for good measure. Beach Bunny relied on zebra prints to show its animal magnetism.
So Long, Basic Bikini
The shapes on this year’s catwalk were anything but ordinary. Last year we saw tons of fringe and even more high-wasited bikinis with bandeau tops. This year, however, the traditional bikini went out the door, replaced instead by structure, skimp and even suspenders.
Suboo built its entire show around structure. Swim tops with sleeves, cutouts, collars, broad shoulders and bustiers made the show the standout for the night. Agua Bendita started off its show by sending a studded leather vest paired with a bikini bottom down the catwalk. Several ‘80s-inspired suspender suits were the other unexpected offering at the show. And yet another suspender suit, this one in basic black and white, went down the runway at Beach Bunny. Dolores Cortes’ didn’t have suspenders, but she did show laser-cut triangle tops, tie-side bottoms and one-pieces. It was her appliqué flowers, however, that gave one-pieces and bikinis a three-dimensional feel and truly caught the audiences’ attention. She retained it with her final piece, a gold spiked metal bikini top. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill lounging by the pool suit. Poko Pano illustrated its something different with micro mini bikinis. The brand, which hails from Brazil, gave a whole new meaning to Brazilian bottom. There was even a thong that went down the runway, begging the question: Is that trend alive again?
Color Me Happy
There was a return of red to the runways this year. Agua Bendita paired rouge triangle tops with tribal patterns, while Poko Pano mixed its reds with oranges and pinks for a candy-colored look. Poko Pano also sent a solid red cut-out one piece with gold hardware detail down the runway. Dolores Cortes didn’t go red, but she did rely on hot pinks and deep purples to liven up her suits. Several of her bold purple options came with cutout detail or mesh, baring more than a little skin and leaving even less to the imagination. And her floral patterned suits captured the essence of tropical flowers in bloom, with even more deep purples and pops of hot pink. The liveliest of colors at Suboo was an orange that burned bright. In several of its structural offerings it was paired with tan neutral paneling on the sides of high-waisted bikini and maillots, making the hue pop that much more. Beach Bunny skipped straight to metallic for its go-to hue. Shimmering blues, golds, bronzes and gun metals gave the runway a hint of sheen.
Best in Show
There’s always a showstopper in every collection, the piece we all wait to see go down the runway. It’s never expected, but also enjoyed. At Agua Bendita, it was the animal faces (think lions and tigers) on triangle tops and bikini bottoms that made the biggest impression. Poko Pano pleased the crowd with its anything but basic black and white one pieces (think piping detail and perfectly placed black panels on a white suit). Dolores Cortes aimed for a jungle punk show, but it was her boho-esque cover ups fluttering down the catwalk that best caught the audiences eye. Suboo’s structure reigned supreme in a black and white dress heavy with geometric shapes. And the tuxedo bikini at Beach Bunny carried just enough quirk to make it the piece you most remember and most longed to suit up in.
And that was what the first night of shows at The Raleigh were all about.