Aussies might have held the monopoly on cool beachwear for several summers past, but things are changing in the swimwear scene—and it seems the sun is shining pretty damn hot on the West Coast.
A small ocean of LA labels has emerged in recent times, giving us statement swim shorts, high cuts, heavy colours, neon 90s revival, and iconic Hollywood-style details.
It’s poolside at the Chateau Marmont, Hotel Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel; it’s Venice Beach, Santa Monica Boulevard, cruising the Sunset Strip and Courtney Love’s dreamy, jaded Malibu. But only after you’ve queued for sneakers in West Hollywood, shopped vintage at Maxfield and gone vegan for a minute at Gracias Madre.
LA's all about fast cars and being a superstar, and this lycra and spandex is not for the faint of heart.
If you're ready to stand up and stand out, it's time soak up some SoCal sun with a few of our favourite pieces from the next generation of summertime labels from the City of Angels.
EDITOR'S PICK: LA label SAME totally blew up this year with a collection of super high cut swimmers in blinding 90s-style neon green and hot pink.
Worn by everyone from Hailey Bieber to Caroline Vreeland, the square cut top is what makes all the difference. Among my favourites are these bold maillots from SAME'S separates line, Skin by SAME. Approx. $142 at Revolve.
Solid and Striped
Solid and Striped used to create custom swim shorts for the pool staff at the Beverly Hills Hotel. These days, their one pieces and neon boardshorts have catapulted to cult swim status. With heaps of cuts, coverage styles, separates, stripes and big, bold colourways—all made in luxury lycra—the label is a one-stop shop for anyone wanting to step it up a bit this summer.
The sporty, triangle-cut 'Morgan' comes in a library of colours—this here is Malibu pink. Approx. $108 for the top, and $108 for bottom at Solid and Striped.
LA native Roxana Salehoun's namesake swimwear line will have you feeling like a real mermaid, or at very least—as if you're an extra in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. It's probably one of the most interesting lines to grace shorelines and hotel pools of late, with mid-century style rouching, rings and ruffles that toe the line between edgy and straight-up feminine.
Each piece is made with velvet blends and imported European textiles and trims—but is produced entirely in Los Angeles. Her top-selling separates are the halter bra and side ruffle bottom. Approx. $200 and $160 at Roxana Salehoun.
Inspired by 90s supermodels, Sidway is the summertime genius of former Puma swimwear designer, Sarah Sidway Godshaw. Her cuts feature a high spandex content, so they will hug the body and mould to your shape, and hems are made with rubber that won't give over time. Winning.
The clear winner has to be the 'Beverley Hills' bandeau and matching 'Vivian' tie-side bottom in daffodil yellow. Approx. $135 and $130 at Sidway.
For everyone keen to stick to the Southern Hemisphere when shopping swim, check out Hatrik Swim, ethical and sustainable swimwear at Kowtow and from the Aussie sequin queens at Discount Universe, Seaqueen Swim.
Still shopping? Forget slogan tees, these shirts actually give back.
Image credit: Sidway.