Here’ a find: unique swimwear looks patterned after early 20th Century men’s swimsuits.
This collection comes from conceptual fashion designer Monika Zajaczkowska of Poland, and will likely be hard to find without contacting the designer directly. But it’s such a clever idea that we’re hoping some North American designers will take a hint.
Not everything in MZ’s 2011 swim range borrows from the men’s vintage theme: as you can see below, there are plenty of nice minimalist cuts in trendy pale hues. However, the most dramatic and appealing pieces are the throwback looks: big scooped-neck tops, button-side high-waisted bottoms and the uber-cool Henley front in the top photo.
Jantzen (and probably some other labels) have tried in recent years to reintroduce the old tank-style men’s trunks in a non-ironic way, but not for the women’s market.
I’ve always thought the tank swimsuit look was clownish on men, but there’s a reason men’s styles evolved that way. Back in 1917, a very prim set of “bathing suit regulations” required men’s swim trunks to be covered by a skirt (true!) or similar effect. The boxy tank-style was an attempt by designers to create a fashionable look for the boys that wasn’t, believe it or not, too effeminate.
You can check out more of Monika Zajaczkowska’s work on her website (look for the link that translates it into English). On it, you’ll also find her clothing line from last year — very interesting pieces made with a sleek wet-look fabric that is meant to fold like paper. How cool is that?