Swimsuits with glam


Design team Badgley Mischka wants women to be as glamorous on the beach as they are at a gala. So their first swimsuit collection elegantly mirrors the elegance of their evening gowns, with jeweled embellishment, expert drapery and delicate embroidery.

Badgley Mischka unveiled their bathing suits Wednesday, during Miami's fashion week, with designs reminiscent of old Hollywood. Brilliant metallics, navy blues, reds, limes and blacks predominated.

"We were sitting at the pool of the Beverly Hills Hotel this summer imagining the poolside there during the '40s and '50s, all the glamorous stars taking their cocktails by the side of the Beverly Hills Hotel pool," said James Mischka, explaining their inspiration.

He added that they were also inspired by the 1967 movie "Valley of the Dolls," which starred the late actress Sharon Tate, among others: "All American girls going to Hollywood and seek their fortune," Mischka said.

"These are glamorous swimsuits ... They are taking you to Palm Beach, Capri, and to St. Tropez and any yacht over 50 feet," he said.

On the runway, the front of a white one-piece suit was embellished with rusching and embroidered brown flowers, while pink jewels resembling brooches held together a black bikini. A mocha bikini shimmered with a hint of gold.

"We used a lot of pretty hardware from our jewelry collection," said Mark Badgley. "We use the same beading and embroidering people that we use in our couture collection to detail some of the suits." The cover-ups, such as a metallic halter top dress, can double as informal evening wear, Badgley said.

"Some of them have an evening gown look to them," he said. The customer "can just pop one over her swimsuit and go straight to a cocktail party at a resort community or when she's on a yacht or at a resort." Creating swimsuits was a very similar to creating the glamorous dresses the duo is known for, but with suits they spent a lot of time trying to perfect the fit, which is the most important thing, Badgley said.

"We really work on our suits making sure they are flattering and they don't require a 16-year-old body to wear them," Mischka said. "Our customer is used to coming to us for things that enhance their figure, but they don't draw attention to her flaws."

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