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Strong Suits : Swimwear for L.A. That's Bold, Brawny and Borrowed From the Past

February 14, 1988|Linda Va Salle | Linda Va Salle is an editor for this magazine.

THE NEWEST WAVE in swimwear is suits that cover more than they have in years. The suits of '88 are skirted or saronged. Or they're high-backed and super-athletic. Some recall the '40s and '50s with lingerie details or demure cap-sleeve tops. Men's designs go even further back in time with old-fashioned tank-top bathing suits. They can be as wild as a tropical leaf print or as basic as sturdy black neoprene. The Southern California twist on this cover-up operation is a look that's splashed with the influences of surfing, scuba and cycling. The suits shown here may not bare all, but they aren't shy. They dive right in, play all day and sometimes team up with street clothes for a night out.

Hair and makeup by Katharina Ehrhardt/Celestine-Cloutier and Jeffrey Beaton/Celestine-Cloutier; styling by Claude Deloffre and Peggy Sirota. Models: Sandra Canning/Elite; Lisa Durham/Elite; Brad Bowman/Omar's Men; Gar Lanz/Omar's Men; Murnik/Omar's Men.

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