They do swimwear better down under
Australia knows swimwear better than anywhere else in the world. Fact. It's hardly surprising, though, considering our sunny-side friends enjoy bikini weather all year round: their winters don't fall below 15 degrees and the temperature of the resplendent sea that wraps the 25,000km of golden coastline averages at 25 degrees on the Gold Coast.
In Oz the landscapes are arrestingly beautiful and picture perfect locations abound. The land and sea blend harmoniously and paradises bloom - something that evades us Brits so immensely it can seem illusory. With a lifestyle centred around the beach, Aussies are certainly better married to nature than we are, and while unfortunately they cannot lend their January sun to our little island, there is something they can impart onto us: their swimwear design prowess.
Palm trees, lush greenery and ocean breezes are island motifs that have long inspired clothing designers, but there is a real authenticity about the clothing created for island escapes by people who live it in reality. If you daydream in beaches and faraway places where the colours are so rich that filters are eternally abandoned, we have the found the most lust-worthy, Instagram-friendly swimwear brands that you will fall in love with. (Ones that are really worth the shipping costs.)
Consider your vacation swimwear sorted. Thank you, Oz!
C Λ N T I K
C Λ N T I K (pronounced ‘chun - tick’), means 'beautiful' in Bahasa - the language of Indonesia. Founded in 2013 in Sydney, the label's creations are designed in Australia but come to life on the island of Bali. With the essence of the Indonesian archipelago in mind, the brand aims to capture the essence of those long, languid days in a tropical haven.
The pieces show off the female form in bold, feminine designs. The label boasts the perfect must-have, every-occasion swimwear pieces you'll keep forever, as well as styles that are totally unique (and cannot be found in the UK). For designer Catherine Heenan, ethical consciousness is at the heart of the brand: the label is mindful of the way it designs and creates its products, and it uses a 100 percent regenerable and recycled nylon yarn throughout its 2017 collection.
In Your Arms
DESERT HUES collection
We are the sun. We are the moon. We are the sea. We are the sand. We are the sky. We are In Your Arms.
Born and bred in Australia, In Your Arms swimwear epitomises the best of what the country has to offer. The brand aims to appeal to the dreamers; women who thrive in the sunshine, who have an innate love for nature and an itch to travel, and do so with a full and spirited heart. The soul of the brand is perfectly embodied by In Your Arms muse Mimi Elashiry - the ultimate Aussie beach babe who works with the label on her own Instagram: @mimielashiry.
The ethically conscious label has incorporated their unique, signature fabric - In Your Arms Swim Knit™ - throughout their collections which, to suit the girl who is constantly submerged in various oceanic elements, is fast drying and lightweight. The label is all about creating sustainable, timeless pieces that will stand the test of time, and look stylish along the way.
B Ā M B A S W I M
PARADISE COVE campaign shot by Brydie Mack
Originating from a small team of passionate swimwear designers on the west coast of Australia, B Ā M B A (pronounced 'BUM - BA') is a label whose aesthetic is making waves, just check out their Instagram for proof. 'Less is more' is the brand's motto, with the emphasis being on the shape of the designs to accentuate, flatter and bring comfort to women of all sizes, inspired by the minimal, high-rise cuts that were popular in the 80s.
The PARADISE COVE collection takes inspiration from the styling of Brooke Shields in the 1980s cult classic The Blue Lagoon. In an ode to the ocean, the newest collection focuses on the beauty of a sun-soaked beachfront; swimwear is adorned with shells, crochet, embroidery and tassels to appeal to the girl who is at one with nature.
Zulu & Zephyr
MADE FOR THE SUN, THE SALT & THE SEA.
Born on Bondi Beach, Australian lifestyle label Zulu & Zephyr is owned and operated by a small team of creatives, and is aimed at the laid-back girl-next-door who wants their swimwear to echo their character. The brand has had great success in expanding its reach worldwide by doing what most Aussie swimwear labels do - harnessing the power of Instagram. Their summer collection pieces are currently being sold on ASOS (which is great news for us here in the UK).
Inspired by the Australian bush, the transeasonal fall '17 collection, Wilder, plays on the themes of nature to create pieces that are comfortable and have earthy hues, but are at the same time luxuriously stylish. Wilderness glamour, if you will. The Zulu & Zephyr muses even style their own campaigns to create the most authentic shoot possible.
F E L L A.
NUMERO TRES SS17, HIGH SUMMER campaign
Founded in 2012 in Sydney, F E L L A. designers Rosie Iffla and Christine Tang wanted to create a label in which the pieces were simplistic but beautifully sophisticated and chic - something they felt the market was missing. A fusion between swimwear, lingerie and active-wear, F E L L A. is the brand you can count on to deliver clothing that flatters your body whatever your shape or size - pieces that will never go out of style or be expelled from your wardrobe.
The SS17 High Summer campaign is enough to make you want to drop what you're doing and jet off island-hopping, wearing that signature yellow F E L L A. bikini, naturally. And to make things better, there's no need to pay Australian shipping fees as the the brand is now stocked on NET-A-PORTER.COM.
All That Remains
All That Remains is an Australian clothing label that creates beautiful and beach-inspired handcrafted artisan pieces. The styles are limited edition and because it isn't mass-produced you can guarantee that no one else on the beach will be wearing the same design. The boho-inspired garments are ideal for the summer climates and suit the wardrobes of those with a peripatetic nature and a penchant for travel. Their signature crocheted, embroidered and macraméd swimwear pieces are backpacking traveller-meets-luxury jet-setter, and are oh-so pretty.
Rat & Boa
Those who have Rat & Boa on their sartorial radar most likely became familiar with their stylish Instagram page, first. Evocative of exotic bazaars in faraway lands, the label boasts pieces that you can’t find anywhere else; pieces that your wardrobe is most certainly lacking.
Swimwear is just one thread of Rat & Boa's brand; a brand that riffs on a spirited and adventurous carnival vibe. Eclectic, bold and sexy, the label is for the daredevils and the sun-worshippers.
MAY & HUGO
Inspired by a love of the ocean, the sun and the earth.
MAY & HUGO celebrates the essence of some of the most beautiful seascapes the world has to offer. Launched in 2015 by creative couple Emily May Tait and Marcos Hugo Bello, the brand is directed and designed from Sydney; is inspired by the glorious Spanish summer and its environmentally sensitive and sustainable fabrics are sourced from Italy. The effect of taking inspiration from a hybrid of sun-soaked resources is that the brand's leisure-wear, yoga-wear and swimwear is beautifully feminine, modern, and indicative of those blissful holiday destinations.
Founded and designed by Vrindy and Ramana Benson, OHANASWIM is an Australian swimwear brand you'll want to take note of. Inspired by sea salt smells, sandy beaches and wind-whipped hair, the label's pieces are minimal and blur the line between swimwear and underwear so beautifully - you'll feel at your most sexy in one of their designs. Just check out their Instagram to feel real bikini envy.
She Made Me
She Made Me is about the girl and the way she makes you feel. She is effortless, beautiful, confident and she can make people feel different things – love, lust, admired, respected.
Born on Australia's east coast, She Made Me is a swimwear label designed by Chloe Dunlop and aimed at girls who are like her in character: a nomad with a free spirit and love for exotic cultures. After working on other swimwear labels, inspiration for her own collection came from her travels to India, Morocco and Bali, where She Made Me was ultimately born. Each piece in the collection, which is evocative of 70s bohemia, is carefully and skillfully hand-crocheted by local artisans in Bali - strengthening the connection and love between communities.
For women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves.
Ok, so Lonely is a New Zealand label, but we couldn't not include it. The brand's ethos celebrates freedom of expression surrounding body image, and the Lonely Girl's Project celebrates how real women from around the world and from all walks of life wear Lonely.
Lonely's designs are all about comfort and showing off the female silhouette in the most flattering way. Alongside their clothing and lingerie collections, Lonely are due to drop a new swim campaign very soon, so watch this space.