Styling the Maillot With Lisa Marie Fernandez
New York fashion stylist and swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez is the quintessential chic traveler. She’s often found in St. Tropez, Capri, Positano, Bali or Montauk; great hotels dictate her destination. “Usually a great hotel means a wonderful experience, plus it’s the perfect research for the bathing suits,” says Fernandez.
Inspired by the sleek athleticism of scuba gear, the suits are crafted from either a luxe version of neoprene or a new sleek gloss fabrication, never before used in swim. Each style is named after “women who are interesting characters, have jobs and lead intriguing lives. And, they are all my friends.” The ready-to-wear detailing (zig zag seams, taught silhouettes and zipper detailing) allow the pieces to transition beautifully throughout the day, creating versatility without compromising style.
Last season, Fernandez collaborated with Peter Pilotto, the London-based ready-to-wear label. Her suits were shown on the Pilotto runway as bodysuits, paired with trousers. “I’ve evolved into this body suit girl. I wear a lot of Alaia and Céline. It’s funny! I’m making body suit bathing suits. Through osmosis the customer picked up on it,” she laughs.
“Across the board, though, I’m really into the one-piece swimsuit. And I’ve been a bikini girl my whole life, but I’ve transformed,” says Fernandez.
The Dree Maillot is inspired by model Dree Hemingway. “This swimsuit is a classic, chic, black and white halter. It’s a very glamorous one-piece for sunbathing. I imagine the Dree at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool. In the afternoon you can put a long skirt on and go for a really nice lunch. This would be incredibly chic, especially if the entire ensemble was all black and white.”
The Elisa Maillot is inspired by model, actress and filmmaker Elisa Sednaoui. “The Elisa in black rubber looks really nice on a woman with a body. It’s great for a day at the beach in St. Barts. It’s a bit sexy and sporty. You can windsurf and swim in the ocean without compromise. In the afternoon, put on a beautiful trouser for drinks with friends.”
The Farrah Maillot honors American actress Farrah Fawcett. “The Farrah is perfect for surfing in Montauk. The best thing about this swimsuit is you can layer a Missoni bikini underneath and leave it unzipped. The Farrah is ideal for a day when you don’t want to get too much sun. A lot of women are wearing the Farrah as a true body suit.”
The Daphne is inspired by artist and fashion muse Daphne Guinness. “This chic swimsuit has a collar, and it looks really nice if you keep the collar up. If you unzip it, it has the appearance of a shirt. Pair the Daphne with shorts for a day of sightseeing in Positano, Italy. The black and white is unbelievably chic.”