Jan 11, 2013 04:45
by Hannah Ongley
Australian surf culture and tropical ocean motifs are two things that run throughout each of Emma Mulholland’s progressively mind-blowing collections. So last season was a bit of a doozy: for SS12/13s As Bad As I Guana Be the designer traded the ocean for more barren lands, finding inspiration in a fabricated basketball game between two lizards from the Mexican desert.
But of course that doesn’t mean abandoning her perennially great swimwear and psychedelic rashies, because when you’re Emma Mulholland there’s no reason why chilled out iguanas and venomous Gila monsters can’t get down with subaqueous hues on one trippy piece of spandex.
And this geographical drifter is just one designer of the belief that beachwear isn’t just for getting wet and sandy.
Even more difficult to comprehend than lizards playing basketball is neoprene, but if there’s one designer fit to make you look at glamourised wetsuit fabric in a favourable light it’s Josh Goot. His sunny Resort 2013 outing was an unconventional love triangle between simple brights, buzzy fish prints and, of course, fashion’s fabric du jour — which gave his skirts and jackets a sculptural high fashion edge.
And if you’d rather leave neoprene to the O’Neills, there are plenty of designers incorporating swimwear into everyday pieces that aren’t quite so controversial.
Kaftan queen Camilla Franks amassed a colourful army for her SS12/13 collection, and even put up a series of rather detailed style guide videos on her website for those unsure of the best way to nip, tuck, tie and wrap (an intentional “Undie Tuck” is particularly creative).
Then there are We Are Handsome’s omnipresent palm trees, which this season adorn bodysuits completely indistinguishable from swimsuits bar a little extra UV protection and a handy press-stud crotch. Also, pool slide sandals. Sorry ‘bout it, Havaianas.
What’s the verdict: Would you wear rashies and neoprene to the bar, or should they stay firmly on the sand?