While the sunshine has been teasing the Northern Hemisphere for some time, real summertime weather is finally upon us. In celebration of all the beach adventures, poolside hangouts and river tubing to come, the CH team has hand-picked some of the most graphically striking one-pieces on the market and—to make your summer season even easier—matched them with bold, fun sunglasses. These colorful and playful ensembles are sure to add plenty of summer vibes wherever they go.
Been by D'Heygere
Since we last wrote about Stephanie D'Heygere—a Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp grad and now a designer at Maison Martin Margiela—and her side project Been by D'Heygere, we were stoked to learn she's expanded her hyperrealistic digital prints of food beyond just leggings to T-shirts, cycling shorts and swimsuits. Her pineapple swimsuit (€98) is a great example of how D'Heygere creates mesmerizing textures from an ordinary piece of fruit.
P.A.M. + Super
The third lovechild between Australian lifestyle brand P.A.M. (Perks and Minis) and Italy's SUPER by Retrosuperfuture is a bit more relaxed and fun than their past two collaborations. P.A.M.'s "Helianthus" sunflower print (seen on button downs and caps) now grace two iconic SUPER silhouettes, the Paloma and the Ciccio—along with a sprinkle of weed leaves. Thanks to multiple printed layers of acetate, the psychedelic imagery pops even more. And when things get a little steamy and hazy, the words "Psy Life" magically appear on the evergreen lenses. $295 from Someday Store.
From from her ancient Egyptian-themed collection, "Ruins," comes Karla Špetić's Multi Lines Open Back one-piece. The bold, cartoonish take on ancient Egyptian rock-face drawings is almost an '90s tinged version of the iconographic and symbolic art. Functional and bright, the swimsuit is all designed and made in Australia and is available online for $176.
Coco & Breezy
The NYC eyewear brand was founded by two designers from Minnesota who also happen to be identical twin sisters, Corianna and Brianna—hence the name Coco & Breezy. Bringing a firm street style to their designs, the ladies create frames—like the Thema ($275) with its yellow, black, gold and red palette—that aren't for the faint-hearted.
Filles a Papa
The punk and rock'n'roll-inspired brand from Belgium, Filles a Papa, knows how to mix contrasting elements like rough with refined, masculine with feminine, oversized with skinny fits. Their retro, pink Bomb swimsuit (€310) bears the words "Cherry Bomb" and a glittering cocktail made up of Swarovski crystals—and even comes delivered in a matching pink neoprene case.
These Miki sunglasses (€149) from the Italian brand Kyme boast houndstooth done right. Paired with silver mirrored lenses and a thin frame, the black-and-white pattern is just hinted at—and that's how Kyme reinvents vintage, with careful dedication to high-quality.
It takes two artists (Central Saint Martins alum, no less) to come up with the whimsical designs of Swash. London-based duo Sarah Swash and Toshio Yamanaka painstakingly draw the exact print design on paper, paint with watercolor, then digitally printed on silk and other fabrics. While famous for their scarves, they've branched out to apparel and swimwear, like this Sea Green Rambling Ruff one-piece. The swimsuit ($170) is a beautiful illustration: the rabbit in the center resembles an antique cameo carving and is reminiscent of a certain childhood book character. $170
We love the colorful, double-take prints that Brooklyn-based designer Ellen Van Dusen creates for her label, Dusen Dusen. While her tortoise circle sunglasses ($180) may be a bit more subdued than the apparel options, they're equally as attention-grabbing. Also available in clear or matte black, you'll have to restrain yourself from purchasing all three colorways of this delightful design.
Not to be confused with the high-end NYC boutique, this Biarritz, France-based swimwear and lingerie line is designed by two sisters. Albertine is named fondly after their grandfather Albert, who made corsets. We're particularly enamored with the green palm-covered Palombaggia silhouette (€170), which is likely named after the Palombaggia beach in Corsica, France.
A 2012 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, the trio (Justin Salguero and siblings Daniel and Alina Silberman) that make up Illesteva add a contemporary, downtown NYC vibe to classic styles: producing fashion-forward frames that are still wearable for everyday. These clear acetate Meyer Safari sunnies ($300) are a bold statement that won't clash with the majority of your wardrobe.
Kitschy lawn ornaments have never looked so classy on a swimsuit. The LA-based, vintage-inspired Wildfox Couture offers the Florida Garden one-piece ($138) that features two pink flamingos surrounded by flowers. The open back has ties that can styled in different ways, meaning different tanning options.
The best things about Australian Quay sunglasses are their quirky aesthetic and the fact that they're affordable enough that you'll never cry over a lost or broken pair. The brand, in fact, was founded "roadside on the festival circuit" and fittingly offer lightweight, inexpensive frames that can be tossed on and off without a second thought. Their Charlie sunglasses have tinted blue-green lenses that make the pink frames pop out even more. £25 from Lazy Oaf.
New York's Mara Hoffmann never disappoints with her swimwear, and this season's collection is no exception. Our pick is the Lace Up One Piece, complete with cut-outs and a bold geometric pattern. This suit—like all of Hoffmann's creations—is loud, bright and has a very playful touch while remaining sophisticated.
Brooklyn-via-Jakarta model Fahrani Empel and graphic designer Miles Pitt also double as eyewear designers for Cast, whose interesting geometric shapes are loved by fashion editors, popstars and creatives alike. With unique names that equally match up to the frames ("You and I are in love" and "Let's Funk" are just two examples), Cast frames almost outshine the rest of the outfit—but we think the above Mara Hoffman swimsuit is a worthy contender to Legend on the Rocks ($240) in tangerine.
We Are Handsome
The Australian label quickly garnered a cult following after its launch in 2009 and this season's collection is more of what fans have come to expect from them: bold, flashy graphic printed swimwear. This summer, our pick is The Bahamas Panel one-piece ($369) which features a '70s-style sunset, complete with flamingoes. We Are Handsome have now branched out and are also making towels, beach umbrellas and shoes to match their swimwear and beach attire.
Camper + Nendo
The influential contemporary design studio Nendo never disappoints, and the same goes for their collaboration "Eclipse," with the Spanish footwear company Camper. It's both their first try at sunglasses, and already they've changed the game. For each pair, two differently-colored lenses (brown and grey, blue and graduated black, red and green) are combined to create a unique shade. Bonus surprises include a cleaning cloth in the shape of a lens, and a soft leather carrying case closes with an attached tortoise eyeglass arm. The collaboration will be available in June.
Images courtesy of respective brands