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A tribal wave

Swimwear steps off the runway and into the wild, in stripes, earthy solids and layered with accessories for the beach, pool and party.

June 08, 2008|Melissa Magsaysay | Times Staff Writer

Mismatched prints in sunset hues and animal stripes jibe unexpectedly with sleek metallic swimwear, earthy macrame bags and statement necklaces made of precious stones. Geometric print caftans are worn with stacks of brass bracelets, graphic and liquid at the same time. The polished and the well-worn, color and texture piled on with the carefree ease of summer.

It shouldn't work, but it does. Because this season's tribal trend isn't just for the street; it's for the sand and surf, too.

From the ready-to-wear collections of Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg, right down to mall stores H&M and Forever 21, the tribal beat is echoing from the runway to the beach. Women are treating their swimwear ensembles like they would any other outfit, with a sense of style and individuality. Long gone are the days when throwing on any old bathing suit with a faded baseball cap was acceptable.

It makes sense, with so many fashion designers now doing swimwear, that this summer's trendy tribal tunics, scarves and ethnic print skirts would mix so seamlessly with swimsuits, taking women from a pool to a party.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, June 08, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
Image cover credits: In today's Image section, product information is not provided for two necklaces featured on the cover. The multicolored Forever 21 necklace is $8 at Forever 21, Beverly Center. The Rosena Sammi bead necklace is $115 at

We have not only fashion designers to thank for this new haute swim style, but also celebrities. With paparazzi photographing the likes of Fergie, Kate Hudson and Ashlee Simpson frolicking during their vacations in Hawaii or on their Malibu decks, the beach has become the new red carpet. Of course, they're playing the part, wearing complete looks -- bikini tops with chic paper-bag waist shorts, layers of gold necklaces and those ever-present fedoras.

So, be it the pool at the Roosevelt or the sand at Point Dume, don't just wear a swimsuit this summer. Step out in a zigzag bikini, and wind a red and orange cotton voile scarf around your neck along with some ocean-colored bead necklaces. Any one of the season's dazzling bikini tops would look great under a sheer sweater for a night out. The tribal trend lends itself to layering and piling it on. While lying by the pool in your swimsuit, wear the same skirt and necklaces that you might later wear to sunset cocktails. Just watch the tan lines.

To fully embrace the spirit of the trend, we shot in the backyard of Tony Duquette's legendary estate, Dawnridge. The palm leaves, waterfall and sprawling greenery are as close to an exotic vacation as you can find in Los Angeles. The only things missing were the wild animals.



Styled by Melissa Magsaysay Los Angeles Times. Makeup by Jessica Liparoto Exclusive Artists Agency. Hair by Barbara Lamelza Exclusive Artists Agency. Model: Amera Wong Ford Models. Fashion assistant: Ronit Nabi Los Angeles Times. Shot at Dawnridge, Beverly Hills.

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