Brazilian swimwear: catwalk highlights

WGSN.com, August 14 2006

Swimwear was the highlight at both São Paulo Fashion Week (July 11-18) and Fashion Rio (June 6-11) in Brazil. WGSN reports on the key summer 2007 swimwear collections.

Agua de Coco

Agua de Coco

Movimento

A WGSN swimwear favourite this season at SPFW – where there were six swimwear collections shown among 43 womenswear and menswear shows – is the expanding Neon label, with its Kamali-esque, 80s-inspired mix of glamorous dramatic shapes and vibrant abstract prints.

Designer Dudu Bertholini told WGSN that his swimwear label, designed along with Rita Comparato, first saw international success before becoming popular within Brazil.

“It was an inverted situation. We began selling only to New York and Tokyo, but now we sell to 13 stores globally and 35 national stores.”

Salinas

Blue Man

Blue Man

Yet other brands are clearly focusing on international expansion. Sais designer Amir Slama said that his decision to show the upscale Rosa Chá label in New York and not at SPFW was a tactical one: “It’s much better to focus on one brand at one event. New York is right for Rosa Chá, while Sais will stay at SPFW.”

As well as continuing the relationship with Speedo, Slama has also recently signed a deal with major Brazilian distributor Maresol, telling WGSN that he hopes to begin opening own-label stores in Europe, as well as increasing sales to more multi-label boutiques.

Another glamorous swimwear label, Cia Marítima, will also heading to the upcoming Olympus Fashion Week in New York, adding to a growing number of Brazilian labels showing in the city, including Alexandre Herchcovitch, Carlos Miele and Rosa Chá.

Neon

Sais

Poko Pano

São Paulo Fashion Week swimwear

Among 48 shows, São Paulo Fashion Week held six beachwear presentations, featuring plenty of novelties – along with the original prints we’ve come to expect from Brazilian swimwear design.

Cia Marítima

The focus for summer 2007 at Cia Marítima is “not sexy but sensual and chic, based on a fictional woman who travels to Bahia, so there are a lot of hot colours and African influences, mixed in with Brazilian references,” creative director Benny Rosset told WGSN. “This season is not about a particular shape, but more about prints, colours and fabrics,” he added.

The collection coordinates clothing and swimwear with a nonchalant sophistication. Bikinis have wide sides, with folded or draped waistbands that match comfortable triangle bras with a variety of ties – including exotic macramé work with tropical seeds on the neckline.

Hues of green, dark brown and vibrant purple colour the exclusive prints that Cia Marítima is known for. Natural motifs include: large roses, stylised jaguars, delicate garlands and a new camouflage that mixes banana-tree leaves and butterflies. Geometric tribal prints – one of the stronger 2007 trends – were used for bikinis and one-pieces with knotting details.

Beachwear focused on oversized pants, long dresses and kaftans, all using exclusive prints. The short pieces, such as the mini wrap dresses or the handmade lace skirts, were accessorised with long necklaces that mixed thin golden chains with big shell-pendants and wider chains made out of circles of printed fabrics.

Special mention goes to these accessories, especially when integrated into the swimwear design, such as the bikini top with straps that are not designed to be tied, but instead to be weighted down with lumps of semi-precious stones.

Rosset Têxtil is one of the largest producers of Lycra in Latin America, using Invista yarns, microfibre and nylon, with a strong focus on digital printing. Benny Rosset has been exporting swimwear and the Cia Marítima label for 20 years to North America, UK, Spain, Russia, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal.

Poko Pano

Pirates were the inspiration for Poko Pano’s feminine, easy-going collection, featuring black, white and red stripes, dots, paisley-print scarves used as bikini tops and a variety of details including ropes, ties, oversized eyelets and coins.

Key styles featured ties, bows and bands on a variety of bikini styles, as well as bathing suits that mix prints or colours, and asymmetrical patterns. The halterneck top finished with a striped kerchief summarised the whole concept.

Paola Robba, the designer behind the label, also showed high-waisted bottoms, reinventing an austere bikini style within a very young collection.

The outerwear created by Poko Pano featured striped rayon mesh and cotton eyelet on mini-dresses, baggy pants and short jumpsuits dressed with thin belts and square acrylic bracelets.

Poko Pano has stores in Brazil and Portugal, and sells globally.

Agua de Coco

One of the most interesting collections of swimwear for summer 2007, Agua de Coco used bikinis and bathing suits to enhance details brought to Brazil by Portuguese colonisation more than 500 years ago.

Designer Liana Thomaz used original prints of tiles, arabesques designed on dishware, traditional black-and-white mosaics, plants and flowers. A vast range of two-pieces adorned with handmade laces, rounded patches of crochet and enamelled badges featured prints that simulated antique blue-and-white tiles.

Bathing suits appeared with new textures showing surfaces covered by wide “honeycomb” embroidery and giant leaves.

The clothing collection assembled important trends, forms and fabrics shown by prêt-a-porter womenswear labels but there was a fresh touch to the wrap-dresses, jumpers, Bermuda shorts and voluminous tops – indispensable pieces for the after-beach wardrobe.

Sais

Sais, the youthful sister label to upscale Rosa Chá, presented a lighthearted collection of hotly-coloured beachwear, using 1960s flower prints, neoprene sports styles and musical motifs in a rainbow of optimistic brights.

The collection was based on an electric colour palette, with orange, yellow, pink, green and blue helping to create a vibrant range of psychedelic flower prints shown side-by-side with stripes and acrylic charms in the shapes of musical notes.

Most of the two-pieces featured deep bottoms adorned by cut-outs, knots and bows around the waistline. Amir Slama, the label´s creative director, told WGSN that he was paying attention to women’s desire for femininity and comfort when he decided to make the patterns and cuts a little bigger on bikinis. The tops also had a more generous shape, predominantly the bandeau styles.

Movimento

From pinafore-fronted swimsuits to bikini bottoms with braces, Movimento presented an eclectic, youthful collection featuring cutaway styles and layered bikinis.

Black, white and red gave way to mosquito and dragonfly prints, palm designs and large abstract patterns as well as shaded dye treatments.

Key styles included bikini tops with long, frilled hems, layered bottoms, deep bottoms and racer backs. Also fresh are the 80s-influenced “bodies”, featuring fitted bottoms that morph onto loose all-in-ones that can easily be worn as clothing.

Beachwear styles included loose playsuits, trapeze-line dresses and mini ra-ras, accessorised with chunky wooden bracelets and necklaces.

Neon

The Neon label, designed by Dudu Bertholini and Rita Comparato, has become a SPFW favourite, known for its theatrical shows that always end in a vibrant tableau of models. The label is moving more into beachwear and apparel as it continues to grow within the Brazilian market.

This season’s themes touched on Spanish gypsies, African Brazil, Bahia and 80s styling (think “hot lips” motifs, white denim jackets and bold jewellery).

The collection started with a subdued range of solid-coloured swimsuits, bikinis and high-waisted trousersuits in navy, red, yellow and other flat primaries and then exploded into an array of exclusive prints on both clothing and swimwear.

Swimwear styles included high-cut swimsuits and bandeau styles with plenty of long ties.

Highlights were the artist-designed digital prints, especially the São Paulo day and night scenes used on flowing silk kaftans.

Key trends
Highlights for summer 2007 include a diverse range of comfortable two-pieces and elegant clothing lines.

Cia Maritima

Poko Pano

Cia Maritima

Movimento

Neon

Movimento

“We’re producing more clothing,” said Benny Rosset of Cia Marítima. “Women want to have the whole look – including the jewellery.”

Rosset is not the only designer creating more than just swimwear this season and branching out into the kind of beachwear that can easily translate into day-to-day wear.

Neon has moved further into the apparel sector, producing covetable floaty dresses for beachwear or evening.

Neon’s Dudu Bertholini notes that larger, more comfortable sizes are key: “It’s a myth that all Brazilians wear skimpy bikinis. Brazilian buyers like the bigger cuts. We produce a large collection and it’s always interesting to see how buyers choose from the mix, picking a little bit of everything.”

Movimento

Neon

Movimento

Movimento

Sais

Poko Pano

Sais’s Slama also told WGSN that he wanted to create more relaxed, flattering styles for the beach that weren’t so revealing. This emphasis on comfort translates into a bigger pant shape, with larger sides or a high waistline.

Structured bras were also more popular, with padded lining or extra straps for novelty tying. Cutouts, draping and twists also featured on tops and one-pieces. Rope ties and layered bikinis were also popular.

Many labels added accessories to the swimwear creating the “jewel bikini”, where metallic beads, enamel plaques or acrylic brooches were exhibited as an adornment and not as simple embroidery.

Brazilian beachwear labels are still investing in hi-tech materials. Fast-dry fabrics and those with special anti-bacterial and anti-UV coatings that launched two seasons ago are now used in many collections.

However, despite all fabric innovation focused on stretch, the surprise material for this season is traditional <b>100% cotton</b>. Cotton – plain or mixed with rayon – was also used in most of the clothing lines presented by the swimwear labels.

Poko Pano

Sais

Sais

Movimento

Agua de Coco

Agua de Coco

Cotton – plain or mixed with rayon – was also used in most of the clothing lines presented by the swimwear labels. Mini-skirts, oversized dresses and overalls are key pieces.

We love…
Chocolate de Gema is the new beachwear range from Estudio Chocolate. With a laidback, youthful vibe, the range of swimwear and beach separates is also competitively priced.
www.estudiochocolate.c…

*Photographs by Fernanda Calfat.
Images of all catwalk shows can be found on:
www.saopaulofashionweek.com.br

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