Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim
Day 2: July 20, 2012
Agua Bendita, Poko Pano, Dolores Cortés,
and Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens
at The Raleigh Hotel
1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Scorching hot sun, hour-long delays, and long lines won't keep us away from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. We found ourselves worn out -- but far from beaten. Not even a little rain can keep us from reporting on scantily clad bathing beauties.
We started the day promptly at 6 p.m. yesterday, and after hopping from show to show (and sinking in sand so quickly we had to grab onto volunteers to stay upright), we're happy to report that MBFWS is well underway -- albeit running a little behind schedule.
Diamond shaped neon prints were accented with '80s-style neon visors, tribal prints, and ink-splattered fabrics as club music blared through the speakers. South American influences were apparent, as chevron prints and crochet detailing were juxtaposed by sequined collars and Army badges. A few of the pieces danced on the line between chic and street walker (like the liquid leggings with cut-out braided detailing along the sides), but don't you expect a little sex-appeal with your swimwear?
They managed to tackle cut-outs, bead work, hints at snakeskin and touches of neon -- without looking tacky. Another first for us on the runway: The one-piece tuxedo swimsuit. You know, for all of those formal beach parties.
We could do without: A lot of the jackets were great stand-alone pieces, but we'd almost prefer to see them with pants or a skirt to get a real feel for them.
Trend Alert: Sleeked back greased beach waves, smoky eyes, animals as actual prints (not to be confused with animal print).
The Vibe: Cowboys vs. Indians
Cute Factor: The horse print fabrics. Also, the designers clearly wore pieces from their own collection for their strut down the runway -- and they looked adorable in them.
Poko Pano jumped into the rainforest for its Spring/Summer 2013 offerings, with leaf prints, fruit prints, and puka shell necklaces. Metal sequined detailing and mosaic-style bird tiling were welcome surprises to the collection, and liquid-like shiny fabrics in neon oranges and greens made the rest of the neutral pieces pop.
Zig-zag prints and the circle cut-out cover-up that's so jaw-dropping it could be worn from the beach to the club.
We could do without: The high-waisted print bottoms -- though cute -- seemed to make the waif-thin models look larger, so we worry how average-sized women will fare?
Trend Alert: High-waisted bikini bottoms are in.
The Vibe: Nature prints (leaves, fruit, birds) meet flirty fun
Cute Factor: The models actually smiled during the show -- rare for a runway (and totally welcome).
The Dolores Cortés collection never seems to disappoint, and last night's showing was no exception. Cortés' trademark pieces (swim-fabric-like jumpsuits, plenty of prints, interesting cut-outs) were all present, with an added twist: Plenty of neon mixed in with pastels and pops of color. The accessories were also on-point, with fringe-detailed mini bags, bib necklaces, and larger-than-life (or at least your face) gold flowered cuffs.
The tye-dye-ish printed one pieces with unexpected stomach cutouts and braiding details.
We could do without: Some of the crochet work -- though interesting to look at -- is probably best framed on a wall rather than worn to the beach.
Trend Alert: Is this the dawning of the sky-high beehive with neon highlights? Has the bride of Frankenstein been modernized for the 21st century? We sure hope so.
The Vibe: Wearable art for women that like to feel girly yet empowered
Cute Factor: The styling was impeccable and girly. We'd never think to coordinate lips, nails and hair.
Vitamin A by Amahlia Stevens
Plenty of basic vintage-inspired two-pieces were strutted, mixed in with snakeskin and tan wedges. Black and gold seemed to be the prime colors of the evening, with diagonal stripes and blue, water-like printed fabrics making waves. Fringe, belts on swimwear, and criss-cross detailing were worn by exotic-looking models sporting scarves as bandanas. Neon face paint popped up later in the collection, making rainbow-like tie-dye stripes appear more like gear for fun, fashion-y football players than just daily beachwear.
Standout Looks: The accessories! The necklaces that were connected to cuffs by gold chains were stunning (though we're not sure how wearable for everyday).
We could do without: So many string bikinis. Though wearable and cute, they were definitely overshadowed by the impressive styling.
Trend Alert: Jewelry as a stand-alone piece. Necklaces go over shoulders and down to the waist. (How will we ever wear over-sized bags again?)
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The Vibe: The pin-up meets Boho Chic
Cute Factor: Cute? More like straight-up sexy. These models were the most exotic looking we've seen on the runways thus far.