June 18 2010
Lucia van der Post
Bathing costumes do rather bring one face to face with one’s shortcomings on the body front. Apart from the matter of legs (how to tone and tan them, whether or not to bare them), the hot-weather conundrum that looms largest of all is the matter of where to find swimwear that supports and flatters.
Now Eres is not a new name – being one of the best-known, well-loved swimsuit brands – but if you want to stand out this summer while lolling on your yacht, then its new Jet Lag line is the one to aim for. It features a bandeau round the middle, often in a contrasting colour (lime green against a cerise background or brilliant yellow on beige; swimsuit shown in first picture, £350), which is both dramatic and flattering as it trims and holds in the waist. Eres’ USP has always been its special combination of Lycra, elastane and polyamide, which supports and appears to slim the stomach, but with the bandeau it has brought off a double whammy. Couple that with a design overseen by Eres creative director Valerie Delafosse, who trained under body-con masters Mugler, Montana and Alaïa, and you have something that gives less than perfect torsos all the help a swimsuit can. Though the Jet Lag numbers are the most eye-catching, those who prefer less arresting pieces will find classy, plain but beautifully cut swimsuits in the collection. Prices start at £350 for swimsuits and bikinis, and Eres’ own boutique at Selfridges has the best range.
Also new on the swimwear front is Agent Provocateur’s first corseted swimsuit (second picture, £395). Known, of course, for its underwear, Agent Provocateur has been working on a corseted swimsuit for two years and this summer it launched the first model – and very sassy it is too. It’s beautifully crafted, holds one in in all the right places and comes only in black with a flash of scarlet underneath the lacing up the front. It zips up the back (to give a tight fit), has winged bra cups (very Thierry Mugler) and is altogether more speedboat than sailboat, if you get my drift. Next summer it hopes to have lots more corseted swimwear on offer.
If none of these works, you might like to book a long weekend in Rome. There Marisa Padovan is generally agreed to be the master of the grand art of the bespoke swimsuit. She has a ready-to-wear collection from £500, but the full bespoke service costs from £600 and upwards. You will also, of course, need time. Those who have experienced the service (well-heeled Roman mammas, heiresses, heads of state, stars of stage and screen – Audrey Hepburn was a fan) report that there’s nothing quite like it.