I have hit my first few days at the beach, watching surfers, planning on some scuba diving later on this summer. Clearly, the wetsuit inspiration has hit many fashion designers in recent seasons as I keep seeing the aquatic staple hit the runways. Here is how scuba chic has evolved...
The first time I saw neoprene interpreted for street fashion was at Parsons, when one of my teachers invited a former student to describe her first job designing for designing Donna Karan. She showed us her sketchbook which included early versions of the 1994 dress of what became a famous look for the designer and immortalized in the book, Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look to Now:
For 2013, designers have quickly brought this look further by treating the neoprene fabric itself, (see first photo) .Cynthia Rowley, a surfer herself, created some terrific dresses and top using digital printing on neoprene. At her Montauk store, there are lace prints, jewel and botanical prints that I loved. In turn, she brought high fashion streetwear to surfing, offering a special collection of functional wetsuits with her trendy prints. Designer Byron Lars created an elegant Fall 2013 collection bonding brocade and glen plaids to neoprene to use the bright color as a pop lining or unexpected texture inside traditional fabric. He also used laser cutting to create flattering shapes of applique on the dresses. He also relied on supportive nature of the fabric to create a sexy silhouette.
For the multi-tasking gal, it's great to know you hit the runway or the ocean and never have to change!
Photos from Nick Verreros, Irving Solero, Mariana Leung