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FASHION NOTES: SS16 SWIMWEAR

01.05.16

Planned and curated over a six month timeline, Poolside is one of the Getty Image gallery’s biggest exhibits of the year. The presentation celebrates the work of one of the most influential magazine photographers of the 50s, 60s and 70s, Slim Aarons, and it presents an idea of escapism that links perfectly with the start of the summer season. We caught up with the gallery manager, Anthony Gammell to talk through the exhibit that inspired the Reiss SS16 swimwear designs. Poolside can be found at Getty Images Gallery, 46 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DX Open until the 7th May, 10-5.30pm Monday – Friday and 12 - 5.30pm on Saturday Shop the SS16 swimwear collection

Bright, glossy imagery and the instant urge to book a tropical getaway awaits at the Getty Images gallery behind Oxford Circus, where never-before seen Slim Aarons imagery is displayed on clean white walls. Famed for taking images of ‘attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places’, the photographer’s representation of the 50s, 60s and 70s are still recognised as an idealistic lifestyle today, and what better way to celebrate the start of summer season than with a presentation of his work?

‘We own the Slim Aarons archives’ says Anthony, ‘so we delved into the depths of the collection to find the best range of previously unseen pictures.’ One particular feature sees a sequence of shots taken at the same time as the famous Poolside Gossip image. This, as well as film snippets, offers an insight into the life that Aarons lead, moving in high-society circles and capturing the day-to-day activities of the wealthy.

It’s exactly this aesthetic, lifestyle and era that inspired the Reiss swimwear designers when setting the tone for SS16. The poolside looks within the images are minimalistic and clean-cut, reflecting the style of the time, and it has been captured within the SS16 collection. By taking this idea and adding considered detailing to each piece, the designers brought the look firmly into the present, creating a unique collection. Sculptural silhouettes are cut from fabrics with subtle shine or texture to them to elevate the look in the most refined way, and metal hardware is precision-placed, using modern manufacturing techniques and showcasing additional detail.

Careful consideration went into how the pieces sit on the body, and where necessary, subtle padding was placed in tops to expertly sculpt the figure. The Binx bikini top, for example, has a supportive wide underband that suits its sporty aesthetic, but slim shoulder straps and minimal detailing keep it in line with the rest of the collection. Adjustable strap fastenings and delicate front closures on certain styles nod to lingerie and there’s a consistency to the seamless technique used throughout the collection. In contrast, graphic crossover back straps and cut-away front features up the impact on swimsuits and give the collection a glamorous twist.

Binx bikini top, Binx bikini briefs, Avery printed bikini top, Avery printed bikini briefs, Codie embellished swimsuit

Despite being a striking product series in itself, there are synergies with the mainline collection that link everything together. The tropical palm print on the Avery bikini, for example, can be found on the Selena series in the womenswear collection, but has been manipulated in a darker colourway to suit swimwear. Certain hardware mimics that seen in the accessories collection, showcasing signature Reiss etched detailing.

Whether it’s a relaxed beach holiday that you’re heading for this summer or there’s something more elegant on the cards, there’s a swimwear style to suit. Be sure to slot separates and one-pieces into your suitcase to cover all options and mix and match styles to put a personal spin on your look.