It’s time to think about swimwear, as it’s about now you’ll have the pick of the crop. The mood around the pool or by the sea remains distinctly retro – and this year there are plenty of exciting labels to ponder on.
Biondi, the little boutique off London’s King’s Road that specialises in beachwear (and offers a bespoke service for those with figures that don’t conform to preordained sizing), finds its sophisticated, much-travelled customers are looking for simpler styles and a perfect fit. This season its own range, Biondi, features some cute bikinis, but I like best the reversible Vipera one-piece (£185, third picture), which can be worn in plain Amazon green or a purply, snakeskin-like pattern, and is available in sizes up to an F cup.
Karla Colletto, which launched 30 years ago in the US but is less well known in the UK, also concentrates on simple designs in innovative fabrics that offer terrific support; its one-pieces are sculptural and ultra-flattering. Perhaps most becoming is the Basic Constructed one-piece ($267, first picture); for something with a tad more flair there’s a version (Surplice Neck Silent UW Tank, $264) with some rather beguiling draping across the front that gives good support. Both come in a splendidly chic array of colours.
Orlebar Brown, launched in 2007 by Adam Brown because he was so ashamed of the way British men looked on the beach, has since turned its talents to designing for women. Key ideas are to give us sleek one-pieces (from £185) with high cutaways to lengthen the legs and flattering low-cut necklines, as well as simple mix-and-match bikinis. There are retro bandeau and classic bra-shaped tops (both £95, example third picture), and triangle (£95) or more 1950s-esque high-rise (£100) bottoms, all in lots of colours such as fuchsia, orange, cobalt blue, black and white.
And finally, Solid & Striped has cut‑out swimsuits and bikinis with a cute, vintage aesthetic. Chicest are the dark-blue and black or cream and dusty-pink striped one‑pieces (£125) and bikinis (tops and bottoms, £55 each). Its new collection, designed in collaboration with Poppy Delevingne, is also charming – look out for the flamingo-printed and colour-blocked cut-out swimsuits (from £130, second picture) and matching bikinis (from £130).