“LeAnn Rimes? That’s kind of random.” Such was the sentiment shared by the press upon spotting the country star and husband Eddie Cibrian in the front row of Luli Fama’s presentation Sunday evening at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. Among the ways these shows at The Raleigh differ from New York and Lincoln Center is that you rarely see actors and actresses in the front rows, but rather models or, as one attendee put at an earlier event, “I’m pretty sure I spotted a Real Housewife back at the Setai.” And that’s when I remembered that this duo debuted their reality show, LeAnn & Eddie, on VH1 last week. OK, maybe not so random.
LeAnn wore an ivory lace off-the-shoulder top and matching skirt by Miami-based Lourdes “Luli” Hanimian, who sent out one of the briefest collections of the week — brief not in size of show, but in size of swimwear. There were barely-there bikinis that featured multi-strap bottoms and crochet-accented triangle tops — ultra-sexy suits sure to send you running to sign up for a series of spin classes.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s Gottex, which kicked off the Sunday night shows with both its signature collection and its Profile by Gottex line, set against the backdrop of The Raleigh pool. Designed by Michal Weinberg, Profile seems positioned as the younger sister of the iconic Gottex, filled with youthful basics and trend pieces, from rashguards to rompers as cover-ups and a strapless maillot that evoked a retro-40s feel.
But it was the signature collection by designer Keren Gasner in which Gottex truly shined, particularly in her mixed-print suits, a zebra stripe with a psychedelic wave on a monokini twisted throughout the midriff, for example, or a strapless maillot in a mix of chocolate and turquoise boho-inspired prints, embellished with shell embroidery. And then there were the label’s signature pareos, wafting through the air as the models sailed by the pool. Of course, you won’t walk down the beach with your pareo flying flag-like behind you (at least we hope not), but they made for great photos.
A more static presentation followed over at the Setai, where La Perla presented its Summer 2015 offerings. Models took turns standing on four platforms as the crowd enjoyed a beachside cocktail party around them. The best of the collection was the first group, a neutral-toned palette of taupe, chocolate, black and ivory, in one and two-piece looks that worked woven and nude-illusion details into the designs.
Back at The Raleigh, Belusso designer Kirsten Ehrig-Sarkisian rolled out her mix of sleek suits with cover-ups that evoked a boho-chic vibe; it’s always great to see a new take in swim, and here that was reflected in a group of looks — a racerback maillot, a strapless bikini and a cropped rashguard shown with a Brazilian bottom — each beaded to create a stingray effect.
Last year, Suboo was roundly agreed to be among the week’s favorites, and that’s likewise true of the Australian label’s 2015 offerings. We’ve seen a lot of athletic and scuba influences over the course of this Miami Swim Week, but none quite as sexy/powerful as this Sunday-night collection, designed by Sue Di Chio. High-waisted bottoms were cut above the hipbone, while the rashguard — a now-ubiquitous piece at these shows — was slashed at the shoulder to show a little more skin. A few pieces in black pleather seemed just this side of dominatrix-chic, while Di Chio’s whisper-thin bomber jackets (one in a beautiful watercolor print, trimmed in black) offered a nice cover-up alternative to the wealth of caftans, rompers and harem pants typically sent down a runway. It was a great example of the continued ready-to-wear impact in swim, that what you wear emerging from the surf can likewise reflect your everyday style.