spfw: água de coco

(images via ffw)

that’s right, can you believe it? we’re already on to swimwear time again, and if são paulo fashion week usually clocks in just right when it comes to discussing the colourful bikinis and poolside cover-ups brazil offers (at least, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, being that the event is usually in early june), this time around, i was left wondering if even the designers were a little sheepish that its being pushed on us so early (even for them!), evidenced (perhaps) by the fact that they cut down on the amount of actual swimsuits, and seemed to have a lot more generally beachy apparel in their lineups.

but nevertheless, i’m always excited to see what these once-a-year brands have to offer when it comes ’round to another summer season, and água de coco, that label which never seems to let us down when it comes to lovely, vibrant patterns and a plethora of colours slapped onto some of brazil’s best-known models (see s/s 2011, s/s 2012, s/s 2013) brought it out once again for the upcoming (yes, really!) s/s 2014 season.

right, so. this time around, the brazilian site pure trend explained that designer liana thomaz drew on brazilian culture for her inspiration, while harper’s bazaar expanded on that notion by adding that the range was (trans.) “full of artsy references and many others that celebrate the richness of our flora and fauna. The block focused on vegetation seeks refuge in the work of landscape architect Burle Marx to stamp out the silhouettes and give the bikinis and swimsuits the wavy design textures that recall Atlantic forest leaves and the stem of the banana. Here, green is king.”

meanwhile, they carried on to note that, in addition to the leafy greenery, some of ms. thomaz’s motifs of the season included (again, trans.) “(m)acaws, toucans, [and] storks,” as well as “(b)ananas, cashews and passion fruit,” and plenty of patterns that evoked baskets and woven raffia, sometimes through the rough-hewn texture of the pieces themselves, that actually looked to be assembled of some wild grasses, or simply stamped as a print across the colourful swimwear.

the fruit motifs felt to me a little bit like ms. thomaz’s answer to dolce & gabbana’s veggie-strewn s/s 2012 collection, and although i think we’ve all seen kitschy little prints featuring cherries, strawberries, and the like, mean to be sexy as they are squeezing as much cute out of life as they possibly can, it felt a little more genuine in the case of água de coco, though maybe in part thanks to the more vibrant, less sensual choices of fruit (a lot like stella mccartney’s citrus prints for s/s 2011, actually).

but before i rattle on too much about that, maybe we should get back on track with the critics. so anyway, according to ffw, the theme (most specifically) was (trans.) “(t)he wealth and mixture of diversity in Brazil,” while they quoted the designer as stating that “(i)t is not easy to speak of Brazil without falling into stereotypes.” indeed, i think she’s quite right. and they also explained that range materials included linen, neoprene, lycra (of course), and silk, with citrines and amethysts serving as flash accents.

they carried on to point out that the range was divisible into several parts, with the first portion (again, trans.) “marked by patterns of foliage,” that were derived from the aforementioned mr. marx, while the middle segment “celebrates the craftsmanship and work of Brazilian Campana brothers…[with] prints that recall basketry,” the third part a discussion on the aforementioned fruits of the country, the next on the wildlife, the following on the ocean and its colours, and the final concept centering around precious stones, such as the aforementioned amethysts.

the excellent brazilian site closet online related that we saw pretty much every expected colour of the rainbow (though i’d say there was a special emphasis on greens, earthy brown/beige tones, and warm oranges and yellows), and explained that the designer worked with (trans.) “various outfits from bikinis to outputs like overalls and dresses, and vaporous silks with creases that represent the cutting of stones.”

meanwhile, chic gloria kalil reflected that this season there were (trans.) “very small cuts [that were] full of curves, creases and bands that gracefully contained the body, giving it security but also lightness.” and for my part, i’d say this is something of a specialty of água de coco’s in that the designer is at once able to highlight everything a girl might want to show off on the beach, but keeps the silhouettes classy and never over-reveals, if you know what i mean. there’s something still kind of laid-back about the vibe, rather than, like, ‘in your face’-style sexification.

well. finally, we heard from vogue, declaring that (trans.) “(t)he unusual sets in printed silk fabric for post-beach, marked the beginning of the presentation. Then it was the turn of lycra bikinis with a slight sheen…The pinnacle parts were ‘padded’ with designed seams, and many ruffles, looking hard because of the neoprene, both in skirts and tops as well as adorning the necklines and back of the swimsuits.” so. in the end, it was fun, wearable, and not forcing one to think too hard, which feels just right for another summer. even if it is still raining in plenty of northern cities at the moment. ha.

(enjoy the video action here)

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