Bikini Briefs

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 … ...Read more

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 … ...Read more

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 … ...Read more

Underwater Art ~ Maaji

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 … ...Read more

by Rhea Cortado

photo by Bielmann/SPL, via

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 … ...Read more

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