January 30 2012
Lucia van der Post
Once upon a time, getting the kit for an out-of-season jolly to sunnier climes wasn’t easy. Now, percipient shopkeepers have come to the rescue.
Heidi Klein was one of the first to see the sense in becoming an all-year-round purveyor of sunglasses, kaftans, bikinis and the rest. Now Matches has joined in, opening a year-round, one-stop shop for holiday and beachwear (including some of Heidi Klein’s bikinis and kaftans, from £180).
It has joined with Thierry Colson to produce a collection of pretty, boho-luxe, cotton cover-ups (pictured, from £178). He works a nice, laid-back St Tropez vibe, redolent of the heady days when Brigitte Bardot was photographed in her little gingham frocks. He does easy cotton shirt-dresses (£395) – again very Bardot. Look out, too, for kaftans from One Fine Day (from £180) and Missoni Mare (from £198).
For swimwear, check out its offerings from Lisa Marie Fernandez. Her edgy pieces use a luxe version of neoprene found in wetsuits, which means the swimwear moulds the body – very Bond girl. A rubber bandeau bikini is £248, and there are some with prints from a collaboration with Peter Pilotto (from £355).
For a hat, check out Eugenia Kim (£258 for a panama with a feather, pictured); for towels, a zebra-striped beach number by Maslin (£90); and Sensi Studio for a woven bag (from £245).
Finally, you will need sandals – and they don’t come more fashionable than Ancient Greek Sandals by Christina Martini(Medea sandals pictured, £140). Matches can also satisfy fans of cult shoemaker Bernardo Vintage Couture’s sandals (from £175).
Meanwhile, working a South Pacific vibe is a new venture called Atea Oceanie. It is a small London store (with plans for an online shop, too) and its clothing range is perfect for island holidays. They’re what its founder, Laura Myers, calls “quietly luxurious pieces”. Simple yet elegant fine cotton, or raw silk, has been used for a series of smocks in cream, white and navy that come knee-length or long – ideal for lounging on deck or beach. Prices start at £350.
It also has handbags made from pandanus and leather, including a Fijian hand-woven satchel (pictured, £2,250) and a Solomon Islands clutch (pictured, £1,600). There are also necklaces made with Cook Islands black pearls (from £350) and shell pieces (from £35).