July 1, 2014 at 1:00 am

Swimwear goes from the beach or every day

Bikini or cropped swim tops double as bras, and one-pieces get sophisticated

The hand-crocheted Kiini Tasmin Classic Bra Top is a fashion statement all on its own. (Kiini / MCT)

With beach season now in full swing, we caught up with an industry insider to talk about trends in swimwear this summer.

Runway to beach

“We’re seeing a lot more ready-to-wear designers entering swimwear,” says Sabra Krock, creative director of retail chain Ev­erything but Water. “For a long time, the category was treated very functionally. It was all about fit and body type. But ... sw­imwear has become its own fashion occasion.” Print-heavy brands Mary Katrantzou and Preen are two of the new fashion na­mes to enter swim this season. Krock says Clover Canyon, designed by L.A.’s Rozae Nichols, also emphasizes prints.

One-pieces in spotlight

“They’re sophisticated and can be just as sexy as a bikini, especially with cutout and open weave details,” says Krock. “So people who aren’t typically interested in one-pieces are interested because they’re not quite as demure as they used to be.”

Swimwear, outerwear

Part of what’s driving the trend of swimwear as a fashion category is that women have started to incorporate it into their everyday wardrobes, wearing one-piece suits as body suits with skirts and jeans, and bikini or cropped swim tops as bras with backless dresses and shirts. Krock points to two brands that are hot for this season, Marysia, whose scalloped-edge one-piece suits look chic with white jeans, and Kiini, whose hand-crocheted bikini tops are a statement in themselves.

Sport-luxe swim

“It’s been a fun trend, with fabrics like neoprene, zippers and mesh insets,” Krock says. Designer Lisa Marie Fernandez and her color-blocked, scuba-inspired suits with mesh insets epitomize the look.

Fringe

Another trend that resonates in both ready-to-wear and swim? Fringe, which is only going to get more popular with the fall season.

Look chic in white jeans with Marysia Antibes Scallop One Piece Wide Strap ... (MCT)
This Robin Piccone Penelope One Piece Bandeau shows what women are ... (MCT)
Designer Lisa Marie Fernandez and her scuba-inspired Neoprene One Piece ... (MCT)
Fringe resonates in both ready-to-wear and swimwear, including the L Space ... (MCT)