Photography by Irina Luca.
The fashion calendar is an odd little thing. Just when you’re ready to put sub-zero temperatures behind you and start looking towards the sun, you are dragged back to endure a parade of cold weather staples.
That wasn’t the case with Shan fall/winter 2011. Instead of woolen outerwear and somber palettes, Shan designer Chantal Levesque presented a ’50s-inspired collection of bikinis, one-piece bathing suits, swim trunks and beachside cover-ups and accessories for both men and women.
Toned and tanned male models languidly perched on lifeguard chairs and a video clip featuring the iconic beach scene from the classic romance film From Here to Eternity set the mood for the French Riviera-inspired collection that followed. Models donned long sea-inspired waves and shorter Marilyn Monroe bobs, and were accessorized with towering espadrille wedges, over-sized sunglasses, pearl necklaces and wide-brimmed hats; especially stellar was the jewellery courtesy of Anzie Jewellery.
Bikinis with ruffled bust lines in navy and white polka-dots, retro one-piece swimsuits in brightly hued shades of peach and perriwinkle, floral caftans, flowing midi skirts, and navy form fitting seaside-to-bar side ready-to-wear (think jumpers and mini dresses) with satin hems dominated the runway.
Sometimes the sultry screen siren looks got a little too racy and there were a few wardrobe malfunctions. (There was one a few harrowing yet creative attempts at making strapless dresses and tops stay up).The whole time, however, I couldn’t help but think: Why are we looking at swimwear during the fall collections? This isn’t resort.
While Shan specializes in swimwear and ready-to-wear made for lounging around the beach the navy drawstring pants and draped retro mini dress would look just as stylish on a Queen St. stroll or brunch in Yorkville.