Here is an article I wrote for a new fashion magazine that went under just two months after launch. It’s tough times all around for print media. I thought you might enjoy the article, so I'm posting it here.
The Best Swimwear for Women
by Serg Riva
As a designer of swimwear, I am constantly asked about the best swimwear for women. Often this type of advice is geared towards women between the ages of 30 and 55, the reasoning being that women who are younger than 30 look fantastic no matter what they wear, and women who are older than 55 either have it all figured out already, or couldn’t care less. I think this is nonsense, and that women of all ages can equally benefit from the following few ideas. Here are my best five suggestions for hitting the beach:
1) Buy a robe. This is not to cover up your body, but to reveal it. I don’t care if you are a soccer mom, a 19 year-old supermodel, or the fittest, most beautiful cougar in Saint-Tropez, the key to gorgeous beachwear is all in the reveal. So pick up a fantastic robe and think of it as the curtain that opens before the show. Your leg will appear and disappear under the robe like a rhythmic, seductive, Siren’s call. Remember that narrative creates a fantasy, fantasy activates the imagination, and imagination is the key to all fashion. Don’t have a robe? Then wear a men’s dress shirt. Steal, swipe or borrow one from a man you know and you’re ready to go. Do not roll up the sleeves, however, instead push them up. The resulting shoved-up sleeve is sexier and more sophisticated. Just shove and go. Try a blue shirt, as if you have just had a romantic liaison with a very wealthy banker who is also trim, thoughtful, and a patron of the arts. The look works best if the shirt was previously ironed, but is now wrinkled. So there should be a crease down the sleeves, a sharp collar and placket, and then wrinkles on the tail and possibly a lipstick stain, depending on how dramatic you want to make it. Unbutton it a little more than you normally would. You’re wearing a swimsuit underneath – so what’s the harm? Enjoy the walk from your cabana to the shore, or from your car to the bar, or from your carpool to the kiddie pool. Summer is fun and you should enjoy yourself.
2) Pick your feature. Are you showing off your uptown or your downtown? Is your best feature your firm arms or your fantastic feet? Pick something and feature it. Get a pedicure, buy some sunglasses, wear a necklace, whatever it is - feature your feature, make it the star.
3) A swimsuit is essentially several clasps held together with the smallest amount of fabric. If you don’t want to spend serious money for a swimsuit with gorgeous, beautiful, clasps, then buy something inexpensive and swap out the claps with a vintage find, or something from the bead store. Just remember, some clasps heat up more than others. Choose wisely.
4) Get a hat. The right beach hat keeps your face out of the sun and provides a sense of mystery. Who is that gorgeous women in the mysterious hat? She reminds me of a movie I wish I’d seen.
5) Walk like you mean it. The most appealing person on the beach is never the person with the fittest body, but the person with the happiest, most confident, most playful, creative, encouraging, intelligent, humorous, and intriguing personality. You can see this in her walk, in the way she fearlessly tells a joke, the way she yawns at pretension, the way she handles both pleasure and annoyance, the way she drinks her water, reads her book or responds to a phone call, and on the happy faces of friends or children near her. Relaxed gestures unfold from her body like the long poetic exhale of a piece of scandalous literature. Sounds like you, non?
Serg Riva is an international swimwear designer. You can follow his life at http://sergriva.blogspot.com/