Hot looks to stay cool in the sun

The most desirable designer kaftans and swimwear for summer

Marie France Van Damme silk Zebra Palms kaftan, £365. 
Marie France Van Damme silk Zebra Palms kaftan, £365.  | Image: Sean Lee Davies

If you’re heading off to a yacht, a beach or anywhere hot this summer, then it could be time to size up the season’s new holiday kit.

If it’s kaftans you’re after, check out those by new arrival, Australian former theatrical costume designer Camilla Franks. They range from the generously flattering to the decadently glamorous and her fans include Oprah Winfrey, Lily Allen and Beyoncé. Ranging in price from £485 to £525, they offer a choice of the painterly and colourful – beautiful enough to be worn as eveningwear – or more muted greys and pinks, and even a delicate paisley pattern. They are just the sort of classy cover-up you need for a day at the beach, out on deck or by the pool.

Erdem swimsuit, £350
Erdem swimsuit, £350

An equally covetable range of kaftans comes from boho‑luxe label Etro, famous for its highly decorative designs. They come in electric colours that would look wonderful under the sun, and there’s a particularly lovely one (£545) featuring a vibrant purple top and a swirling green-and-purple patterned base.

For a more subtle look, Marie France Van Damme has a very desirable line in ethereally chic designs, such as her delicate, lacy, snake-print, silk‑chiffon number in black (£385) and a silk tie-die poncho (£255). Slightly bolder is her monochrome silk Zebra Palms kaftan (£365, first picture).


On the swimsuit front, the exciting news is that Erdem Moralioglu has made his first foray into swimwear and has applied his magic way with florals to a small but very pretty collection that has rendered the fashion pack unduly excited. Bandeau tops start at £155, halters at £170 and bottoms at £125, while his neon Miranda Montford one‑piece (second picture) is £350. If flower power is your thing, then you might also fall for the Nicholas Kirkwood shoes (£835) that the models wore with it on the catwalk.

For the more daring, there’s Hervé Léger’s swimwear, which uses the brand’s emblematic bandage technique. The striking designs include a brilliant yellow bikini (£550) and a pink-and-red cut-out jersey one-piece (£730).


Another new arrival to look out for is Brazilian designer Guilherme Vieira, who has created some beautiful swimsuits in his Clube Bossa range (from £102). They are perfect if you can face a tiny bikini but there are also some fabulous retro-inspired pin-up-style one-pieces.

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