Gallery – What’s hot in swimwear for SE Asia this summer

Is bikini waxing too sensitive for useless law students?

Fashion trends from the 1980s – crop tops, shoulder pads and even fanny packs – are making a comeback across runways. And swimwear is no exception. Luckily, only the best of the 80s has been distilled into swimwear. Here is how you can turn the clock back this summer.

1980s recall – “The ’80s reign – so high legs across suits and bikinis is really key,” says Aisling McKeefrey, head of design for womenswear at fashion retailer ASOS.

Triangl, whose signature neon swimsuits took the beaches by storm a couple years ago, swaps neoprene for velvet this season. The high leg cheeky bottom is paired with a scoop neck top.

The velvety bikini (US$89/HK$693) is available in a range of fun colours – fuchsia, royal blue, minty green, coral and bright yellow – and has been spotted on celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian.

For those who prefer a less revealing bottom, high-waisted briefs are also all the rage. To avoid looking like you are wearing granny pants, go for a romantic and flirty one such as the Tulsi lace panel bikini (HK$4,225) by Australian brand Zimmermann, which features mesh details.

The top has adjustable straps. As with the rest of the collection, this one is more for resort and pool-side glam, because you would not want sand to be caught in its delicate material.


Bold prints and patterns

The ’80s brings to mind bold colours and prints. The debut collection of local swimwear brand Mint Escape, launched this year by designers Diana Vo and Anna Biller, features fun and creative patterns such as tropical leaves, heliconia flowers and soft blossoms inspired by Japanese gardens.

Each print is available in various styles such as bandeau and balconette, and can be mix and matched with different bottoms (HK$770-HK$850 for one set). Some of the solid-coloured bottoms have macramé details on the side, a nod to the knit and crochet trend that emerged last year and is here to stay.

Sleek one-pieces

Also making a return this season are one-piece bathing suits. They are more forgiving, but not necessarily less sexy (remember Baywatch?).

“One pieces are still big news as they offer a sleek sexy look to suit all body shapes and can give structure and confidence to women who are self-conscious of certain areas,” says Natalie Kingham, the buying director of online retailer Matchesfashion.com

According to Kingham, this year is all about clean lines and limited embellishment. Limited but creative, to keep the swimming suits fun and interesting. “Historical references which are dominating womenswear collections are filtering through into swim – corsetry lace-up details and sleeve drama,” McKeefrey says.

Kingham recommends On the Island, an Italian brand that is new to the online retailer. Available in stark white or pitch black, its lace-up V neck swimsuit (HK$2,720) keeps things simple with a sleek modern silhouette. The seductive lace-up details in the front and a deep scoop back add a playful touch.

H&M, which has just launched its online store in Hong Kong, offers similar styles. Its latest swimwear collection has plain bikini tops (HK$149) and black swimsuits (HK$299) with front lacing.

Sports-inspired and athleisure

Jump on the athleisure bandwagon with swimwear by Flagpole, which is functional, comfortable, yet chic. The colour palette of its latest collection, in hues of coral and green, is inspired by seasonal fruits of summer and watermelons in particular, according to founders and designers Megan Balch and Jaime Barker.

Jade (US$385) features a deep plunge cut that is popular this season, but keeps it classy and elegant by not exposing too much skin in other areas.

The colourblock design and architectural lines on the swimsuit give an illusion of a slimmer waist and performance fabric is made to last. – This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Return of the cool

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