In the Swim!

June’s bathing beauties

Who doesn’t look forward to a beach vacation? Did you know that it’s actually a fairly recent invention? If you look just a little way back into the past, you’ll find that it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that bathing at the seaside was considered a form of fun and relaxation.
Swarovski Crystallized Swimsuit
Swimsuit Coutures Paris · Ring Otazu · Earrings Frangos Jewelry

When we did eventually discover the joy of an ocean dip, there came the question of what to wear. Covering up from top to toe was de rigueur—a proper Victorian lady wouldn’t dream of flashing the flesh, so out came one of the most outrageously impractical items of clothing ever created: the woolen swimsuit. While its long sleeves, skirt, stockings, and bloomers did a great job of preserving modesty when dry, once it was wet the sodden wool clung heavily to every bump and curve. By 1921 a little flesh had come into fashion and the first one-piece wool-knit suit arrived. At least arms and legs (only up to the knees, please) could now soak up the sun. Over that decadent, party-fueled decade bathing suits shrank to somewhere near our current sizes, but the soggy wool clung on.

Thank the sea gods then for Mabs of Hollywood! It was the mid-30s when this Californian brand made a splash, creating glam bathing suits out of Lastex for Hollywood icons Joan Crawford and Jean Harlow. This silk and elastic mix fabric had originally been used to make girdles, but its lightweight, satin-feel quality brought about a revolution in swimwear. When famous femme fatale Marlene Dietrich ordered a dozen in every color, the old knitted swimsuit finally unraveled.  

Swarovski Crystallized Swimsuit
Swimsuit Magistral · Ring Frangos Jewelry

Today, with myriad stylish designs available to choose from, we can all be Marlenes. But if you want superstar quality, then Coutures Paris and Magistral are the go-to brands. This season, Coutures Paris has taken the elegant simplicity of the little black dress and transferred it to swimwear. A crystal-blitzed band across the empire line adds glamour, so once you’ve wowed at the pool, just slip on a silk wrap and some heels, and dress it up with a ring by Otazu and earrings from Frangos Jewelry, and head off for a cocktail or two.

Family-run since 1992, Hungary-based Magistral prides itself on the quality of its fabrics and the creativity of its eye-catching prints. This season’s collection is especially dazzling, featuring pieces embellished with Swarovski crystals. Team with a statement ring in ocean-inspired colors from Frangos Jewelry, and heads will most definitely turn…


Photographer Sabrina Theissen
Creative Director Cathy Boom
Stylist Winnie Placzko
Hair & Make–up Artist Manu Kopp / Nina Klein Agency
Model Pauline Van Der Cruysse / M4 Models