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Modern Meets Vintage ~ Marysia Swimwear

June 13, 2012

By Rhea Cortado

Without a plan and with the intention of “just looking,” I went to the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena. This is not a good idea. The Rose Bowl flea market is bigger than any flea market you have ever been to, multiplied by tens and a lot of it is redundant. If you get lost, there is no way someone can find you using descriptions like, “I’m by the booth with military duffle bags and leather moto jackets and Navajo rugs. Or look for piles of frayed Levi’s 501 shorts?” There are so many.

You must have focus about what you want; which is why I liked this one woman’s booth that was only selling vintage bathing suits. She had ludicrous 1980s jazzercise one-pieces and 1990s padded push-up underwire tops. She said she kills it pre-Coachella season when hipster band-aids need outfits for pool parties at The Ace Hotel. I tried on this 1960s one-piece and loved the print but the hard cone bra and itchy fabric was not comfortable for today’s beach splashing.

To get the same feeling with a much more modern fit and look, I love Marysia swimwear. It’s has a pretty vintage bathing beauty kind of classiness and grace—with scalloped edges, soft focus shades and vintage-inspired high waist and bra silhouettes—but not too precious or saccharine. The precise seamless finishing and fresh color-blocking combinations is very rich in an understated way. Looks like the perfect thing to wear during summers on the east coast (where Marysia is from), while doing a balletic cross-step on a foam and fiberglass balance beam surfboard.

 

Contact:  nathaniel@marysiaswim.com

Available At:

25 Park Ave: NYC, NY
Van  Jean:  Columbia, SC
Morgan Kylee:  Atlanta, GA
marysiaswimstore.com online

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Comforts of Home ~ Lenceria Boutique

May 1, 2012

By Rhea Cortado

Every time I go home to Santa Cruz I have to get a raspberry napoleon at the locally famous Gayle’s Bakery . The crust is slim, airy and flakey and in just the right ratio proportions in relationship to the raspberry and whipped cream filling. Other napoleon’s will be an acceptable fix but will never be the same. I tried to take one home to L.A. in a cooler to share, but they never make the drive back. “All that butter in the crust, the melting whipped cream, it won’t keep right? We should eat it. We must eat it. Now. We cannot risk it spoiling and poisoning our guests.

Gayles-Bakery-raspberry-napoleon Yummy
Juliana Correa is lucky that her favorite things to share from her home in Colombia are not perishable goods. Her new swim and lingerie boutique, Lencería in West Hollywood imports all of her favorite Colombian and Latin American designers and brands that she grew up wearing or discovered during recent visits back (Amulette, Maaji, Agua Bendita, Touché and Saha are a few). Because she chose every piece, she can tell you a little biographical story and also some factoids about Colombia, while brewing an espresso. And offering sweet treat cookie or candy. Those can easily travel.

Juliana Correa, owner of Lenceria Boutique 

To read a little bit more about Lencería, see the story in California Apparel News

Contact: Juliana@lenceriaboutique.com

 

 

 

 

http://lenceriaboutique.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LenceriaLA/info

 

 

 

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Delicious Color ~ L*Space

April 5, 2012

by Rhea Cortado

For a personal side project, I’ve been on a cooking bender. Every other day I am in a grocery store, a specialty food depot or one of the local farmer’s markets. Last week I bought a purple cauliflower purely because it was pretty. It tastes the same as a normal cauliflower and I don’t even particularly like cauliflower (if I had the choice of any vegetable to eat for my last supper, cauliflower would not be on the plate) but I was stunned by the ombre gradient hue that was like a purple sunset. The red side of the color wheel has been whispering to me lately—strawberries, beets and blood oranges—both for sweet flavors and photogenic vivid palette.

strawberries and blood-orange-beet salad

Monica Wise, designer of L*Space consistently has a spot on instinct for fresh colors in her swimwear, many of which reminded me of farmers market shades. Her Pinterest is a peek into her design room think tank, with pins of glassy blue ocean vacation destinations; and curry oranges and raspberry magentas seen in home décor textiles. Her genius is not the neon but the restraint; she drops the saturation of brightness in just the right amounts, making easy-to-wear and flattering bikini silhouettes suddenly new and eyebrow-raising.

 Inquiries:  Monica Wise~monica@lspace.com

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Underwater Art ~ Maaji

February 28, 2012

by  Rhea Cortado


There are prints that people are conditioned to seeing on bikinis and swimwear. Tropical flowers. Stripes. Geometric shapes. Whatever prints are trending in ready-to-wear, like the tribal fever going on now. When I first saw Maaji’s swimwear at Surf Expo in Florida, I was mad about the prints and style lines that were in another fairytale universe from everything else on the show floor. The designer from Columbia makes all the prints and then links the pattern pieces together like a delirious kaleidoscope quilt of sea creatures and beach accoutrements drawings. I wanted to take a photo. But I couldn’t decide which one. I had to have the bandeau with laser cut scalloping and pastel rainbows, but that top didn’t have the zebras or deer. And then the seashells with paisley and snorkel drawings were super cute and playful in that Hello Kitty, Betsey Johnson or Tarina Tarantino family of whimsy, but also totally unique in its point of view. Here’s where buying tops and bottoms separately comes in extra handy, so you can create your own print story depending on your sea creature personality. And the suits are also fully reversible, should you ever be in that one-print kind of mood. But with such fun pictures to show off, we don’t think you ever will be or you’d be buying that predicable striped bikini.

Wholesale contact info:  Kelly Ellingson
kellingson@maajiswimwear.com

Available At:

San Lorenzo:  Waikiki, HI
Nic del Mar: Coral Gables, FL
Diane’ s Beachwear: Select locations, CA

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For Girls & Boys ~ Bettinis Bikinis

February 8, 2012

by Rhea Cortado

photo by Bielmann/SPL, via surf.transworld.net

December and January is North Shore season in Hawaii. Without getting too technical, it’s when winter storm swell collides into the north side of the Hawaiian islands, waves are famously huge and that’s when all the big surf contests happen. I’ve been following the flesh and glory on surfing blogs, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fans and pundits may disagree on many things when it comes down to the contest rankings, but there is one point in which they all agree. They like rear views in teeny bikinis. Photos of bronzed bums get the most “likes.” We all know that saying about dressing for boys (hotness) versus dressing for girls (stylishness) and these girls know their audience.

Bettinis Bikinis got its big break when designer Bettina Bell’s “Itsy” bikini was chosen and shot in one the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues and for good reason. Bettinis’ two pieces are cut to show some skin for line-free tanning and flaunting the bum (for the guys). But using crochet fabric, happy prints, smocking textures and ruffled trims, the suits have a very cute, girl-next-door kind of sweetness (for the girls). Sexy meets pretty.

Available At:

Stores Nationwide

Diane’s Beachwear

Butterflies and Bikinis

Runway Swimwear

Wholesale contact: Bettina Bell: info@bettinis.com

(310) 872-6110

 

Stores:

Diane’s Beachwear

Butterflies and Bikinis

Runway Swimwear

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Clear Cut ~ So De Mel

January 18, 2012

by Rhea Cortado

I was craving a new pair of spectacles, so I tried on like 10 pairs of tortoise shell frames that were some variation of Ray Ban Wayfarer glasses at the darling Gogosha Optique.  All in a row on the glass table, they looked nearly identical. But when one is actually on the face, the miniscule differences became deal breakers—too much scoop in the bottom, too straight across the brow, too thick of a frame, too gaping or too narrow. Owner Julia Gogosha empathized that when matching glasses onto a face, “Every millimeter makes a difference.”

I’m no expert in knowing which glasses compliment which face the way Julia is, but I know it’s the same way in swimwear (and lingerie). There is such little fabric and so much skin, every single millimeter and degree in the angle of curve cuts makes the difference between a sexy décolletage and an unflattering vacation photo. A solid triangle or bandeau bikini and brief may look similar on the rack, but once you get in the dressing room, it’s clear which brands did their pattern homework. Sonia De Mello’s line, So De Mel, in simple and understated designs with seamless edges makes the wearer look great without looking like she’s trying. Coming from a Brazilian and Italian background, the designer’s fit is a combination of Brazilian and European that’s sexy, but not overly revealing. The outcome is the simplest triangle bikinis, bandeaus and maillots cut with the most flattering precision so that you see the wearer first, not just the adornment.

Available At:

Tropical Affair:  Santa Barbara, CA

Cabana at Four Seasons: Maui, Wailea

Seaside Beach at Hualalai Resort:  Kona, Hawaii

Bacara resort:  Esperanza, Mexico

Yemaya:  Sayulita:  Navarit, Mexi

The Palms:  Turks and Caicos

Auberge Du Solei:  Napa, California

Ritz:  Cayman Island/Puerto Rico/Hawaii/Florida

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Wholesale inquiries:

Sonia De Mello
info@sodemel.com
(805) 969-2955

3 Femme Showroom in New York,

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhea Cortado

Bikini Briefs

 

As a contributor covering the swimwear world for Lingerie Briefs, Rhea Cortado feels like she’s living in an endless summer. Rhea has covered the lingerie market, emerging designers, events and trade shows for the trade newspaper California Apparel News for more than six years. On top of having vast professional expertise of the subject areas, she is a truly, madly, deeply obsessed fanatic for lingerie and swimwear because both have transformative powers to put the wearer in a escapism and vacation state of mind. She has written for a variety of publications such as Transworld Business magazine, AlmaSurf Brazil, Surfgirl Magazine UK, Driftsurfing.com, Tu Ciudad Los Angeles and Audrey Magazine. Her personal blog, The Surftorialist is a passion project about all things she loves about surfing, people who have cool surfy style and make cool surfy things.

Visit www.TheSurftorialist.com