When swimwear by Aussie brand We Are Handsome first hit my desk sometime in 2010, I remember – in the way some stories occasionally managed to do – being dazzled. Photoprint was a ‘new thing’ (Mary Katrantzou was only just emerging from Central Saint Martin’s at the time) and swimwear was either drop sexy, super cute retro or surf/sporty.
WAH’s scoop-necked one-pieces covered in photos of lions, panthers, flamingos and California beach scenes were a breath of fresh air: kitsch but cool, definitely statement. Fashion editors gobbled them up – as did Beyonce and Rihanna, neither of them slouches in the swimwear arena.
Then and now, all the imagery is unique, normally shot or illustrated by Katinka and Jeremy Somers (inspirations Ansell Adams and Guy Bourdin) but, even when picked up from stock libraries and messed about with, they’re adapted to fit within the WAH signature.
Today, the label makes leggings, relaxed silk shifts and stand-to-attention mini dresses but it’s the one-pieces and string bikinis that still provide the most perfect platform for the prints.
Latest collection Odyssey Rising offers galloping horses, a jetty, a whale shark, acid bright hummingbirds and, my personal favourite, a chateau and its gardens. They say the Aussies make the best swimwear in the world. I think they may be right.
On sale now, www.wearehandsome.com