Leading American designer Kenneth Cole loves the elegance of classic black. For knockout impact, look no further than the one-piece swimsuits featured in his latest women’s beachwear collection – super sleek black numbers that entice with details such as macramé lacing, gossamer fine mesh and eyelet embroidery.
Sharing star billing with Kenneth Cole New York at the Sydney 2019 Fashion Exposed Now fair will be Ralph Lauren’s Polo and Lauren labels, and hot Canadian favourite, Dsquared2.
The North Americans will provide more than an elite international flavour for the fair’s Beach & Body section. Between them, the four labels offer all the key new season trends – especially the sensuous, but tasteful one-piecer.
The pieces feature cut-outs, deep vees, plunging backs and sheer inserts with the overall effect ultra chic, immaculately styled swimwear.
Palettes and prints echo the mood. Bright solids that emphasise clean silhouettes are favoured by all four labels and all-black or the monochrome drama of black and white, get big play. There is also a profusion of fine stripes, while prints range from intricate florals and paisleys to tropical themes.
Classic styling extends to bikini bottoms – a cool alternative is the hipster – while tops include bandeaus, halter necks, tankinis and prettily frilled numbers.
Among the standouts: A delectable floral suite – one-piece, bikini, hipster and lean long-sleeved top – in cornflower blue, rose and white from Lauren Ralph Lauren (“the label is inspired by true American aristocracy and Hollywood glamour”); striking geometrics from Dsquared2; some dazzling abstract prints in Ralph Lauren’s edgy Polo range, and – easy choice – Kenneth Cole’s black beauties, though he also offers lots of colour.
In contrast to Cole and Ralph Lauren whose fame is inextricably linked to the Big Apple, Dean and Dan Caten (originally, Catenacci), the 53-year-old identical twin brothers behind Dsquared2, proudly proclaim their internationalism through their label’s slogan “Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy”.
In 1991, the Catens moved to Milan where they worked as designers for the house of Gianni Versace and denim brand Diesel before launching Dsquared2 in 1995. Madonna gave the brothers a huge boost when she commissioned them to design more than 150 pieces for her 2001 Drowned World tour, but they have long been celebrities in their own right.
– Zelda Cawthorne