Fashion trend forecaster David Shah has unveiled four themes that he says will dominate swimwear styles next year.
Those themes are: Jungle Fever, typically presented as an exciting African vibe full of colours, contrasting designs and bravely mixed patterns; Rave Couture, which embraces red-carpet elegance pop art; Memphis Sport, a tribute to performance sports and leisure swimwear with daring colours and a design emphasised by the combination of sculpture and geometry; and Brutal Glam, which match futuristic dresses, designed for a strong, impressive and majestic woman.
Shah fleshes out his vision in a report published in advance of the Mare D’Amare beachwear show in Florence, Italy, which opens on Monday.
1. JUNGLE FEVER
It is a tribute to Africa in its comprehensive variety, limits and contradictions. It is about putting together elements that had never been mixed before: fabrics made of natural fibres, hand-made, natural and digital. This eclectic mixture shows the bold energy of the “black continent” as well as the combination of ethnical, tribal, animal, hip-hop and punk influences, all of them joined together by colour and dynamism.
“Don’t mix but bring alongside” – lace fabrics with technical finishes and classical tribal patterns at the same time; dry-fit cotton with prints inspired by wild nature and effects of “now you see it, now you don’t”; laser-perforated polyester and imitation leather. Amazing decorations with appliques, fringes and macramé on digital prints and embroidered textiles. Wild and wonderful!
Once again the extremes clash into each other while the tribal patterns are mixed with computer-generated and computer-modified designs which are scanned and processed in a “psychedelic” way as to create colour overload. Daring mosaics are used alongside with desert-inspired patterns as well as irregular motifs for a more natural and mitigated effect.
The life of a tropical rain forest, the colour hues of vegetation with inserts of acid colours representing flowers or flying tropical birds. The digitally processed colours are made still more extreme and are counterbalanced by the kaki colour and the dark Burgundy.
North-African kaftans, djellabas, tunics and ponchos inspire the beach robes. Sets of T-shirts and shorts are featured by soft prints that are only partially emphasized by strong colours. Fringe bikinis, bandeau tops and corsets are made in such a way as to express their originality. Audacious and decorated straps may sometimes be used. Tops team or clash with colourful shorts and panties. Dresses seem to overlap and mix in a casual but never too ordinary way.
2. RAVE COUTURE
It is a tribute to pop art where eye-tricking optical illusions generate movement, distortion and depth effects. These often black and white motifs immediately suggest some sophisticated glamour and opulence for outfits featured by simple lines.
The refined elegance requires a silk-satin-looking microfibre that delivers a light glittering; these fabrics stand out as a sophisticated base for expressive graphic motifs seated on embroideries, sequins and beads in soft metallic or digitally printed colour hues.
Illusions play a starring role; the geometric patterns plumb the depths of pop art and generate bewildering effects. Flowery patterns and whirls wrap up the dress and emerge on the dress surface as in a nearly three-dimensional style. Colour is used as an additional dimension to the optical illusion.
Motifs made by light metallic hues enhance the modern acid lights while silver and platinum flashes work for the optical patterns.
Slim silhouettes celebrate the hourglass shaped woman whereas the French knickers leave the upper abdomen free in a very chaste way! Dresses are tight or flared to enhance the ideal woman of the ‘60s.
3. MEMPHIS SPORT
A tribute to humor and kitsch. During the 80s a number of Italian designers gathered under the name of Memphis Group and fighting the minimalist and austere trends of the time, were capable of designing funny and playful garments by often using modern plastic surfaces and employing colour and patterns where instead grey and black had dominated the scene in the past. While starting to celebrate the economic recovery, we also start re-evaluating colour and patterns as a tribute to that Memphis group for the purpose of revitalizing the young sporting energy of swimwear.
The sports swimsuits are compact and made of neoprene to facilitate movements while swimming. Performance enhances effects, including the bright colours teamed with power compression panels, technical finishes and plastic colour brightness. These chlorine- and UV-resistant fabrics are suitable for ordinary but also constant use. Swimwear cover-ups are available in several options: rib-knitted, pique, twill and honey-comb, all of them geometrically knitted. Finishes and straps are featured by graphic patterns or fluo and reflective shades.
Playful and funny! Mosaics are flanked by colourful and patterned geometric shapes… the very end of flowery patterns!
Lively, vivacious and optical colour hues; basic and slightly retro-chic sports elements clash among each other as well as with the black and white details.
We are talking about swimwear which is markedly and openly sports swimwear focused on water-performance: this is why the audacious shapes that outline the finishes and the colour blocks are used together with a very ergonomic design. The swimwear features devoted to the sporting performance are extremely rigorous but still with a mix of sports and sensuality that requires bra support for the woman version. The swimwear robes are bright and luminous: zipped blazers and jackets teamed with shiny shorts. The sporting approach is enhanced by the brilliant contrasting finishes and decorations: we never miss irony and humour.
4. BRUTAL GLAM
It is a tribute to dystopia: a universe of dark cosmic divinities, bold and strong, proud and safe in their technological armours. Basic and rational shapes are inspired by brutal compositions that translate into futuristic dresses marked by the black monochrome and the dark shades of the night colour. Despite evident sensuality, beauty, strength and energy, the apocalyptic future requires seriousness and integrity.
Leather and latex; stretch fabric and studs, zips, nails, rings, beads and iron. Armoured outfits inspired by animals (elephant), reptile skins and hammered metal. The heat-bonded double-face fabrics seem to be made by a steel sheet teamed with knitwear effects and graphic folds. The future-oriented fabrics look at the space movies for their inspiration as if actually made up of heat-bonded, double-face steel-sheet fabrics fused into a close-mesh effect with graphic folds.
The leather patterns in relief are set against star spurts and 3D designs generated by mapping programs. Algorithms are used to make random patterns and grids.
The black and intense darkness along with the oily-film effect of the greenish black set the background for pearlescent silvers and lilacs: cosmic and cold colour shades.
Swimwear is featured by strong and audacious shapes with distinct and clear lines and contours. The laser cuts account for both a modern touch and a highly technical effect of the outfit as if it were directly imprinted on the body. The smartly cut patterns suggest a sensual touch to the outfit and at the same time avoid any brutally tight and strong effect. Nevertheless details are powerful, feature cuts and tears, air inlets and straps with finishes and bands that mark the skin-tight style of a perfectly glove-fitting bathing suit.