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Aug 18, 2011
2012 Swimwear Trends from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim

It's called the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim and in a nutshell, it's a jam-packed 5-day event showcasing the talents of hand-picked swimwear designers, every July in Miami. The MBFW Swim is one of the best venues to learn about tendencies for the upcoming year. So here are the top 2012 swimwear trends we've seen during MBFW Swim:

The palette for 2012 swimwear will be sunny and chic. The deep, burnt-orange shade that was a designer favorite last season was softened and is now a pastel version of its former self. Coral permeated the collections, as well as citric light green. In opposition to the more pale shades, pinks will come in strong, vibrant hues. Blue colors will gravitate towards extremes: either ultramarines, like royal and cobalt; or very light, like swimming pool blue. White will be strong, particularly as a solid one-piece. As always, black solid pieces are in every season! Below are the top colors we've seen on Miami runways:

Citrus Green

Citrus Green Color - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Seen in many collections, designers splashed their creations with variations of chartreuse, pale lemon green and acid citrine hues.

Sunset Orange

Orange Color - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Lighter, more pastel versions of last season's orange were seen, like saffron, amber and apricot.


Coral Color - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Peachy, salmon-esque pink and light grapefruit shades also appeared across the board, lending a universal feminine appeal to most collections.


Fuchsia Color - 2012 Swimwear Trend
From shocking pink, passing through vibrant cerise all the way to reddish purples, pink-based hues will make for a lively 2012 swimwear season!


Cobalt Color - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Perhaps inspired by Kate Middleton's notorious deep blue ensembles, designers made extensive use of royal, navy, indigo and midnight blue in their lines.

Aqua Color - 2012 Swimwear Trend
As an alternate to the deep shades of blue: light, baby blue, tiffany blue and cyan were also popular.

The creative forces behind the 2012 swimwear collections seem to have taken inspiration in timeless artisanal, handcrafted pattern-making methods to build their lines. Tribal and ethnic influences are evident in many collections, as well as embroidering techniques. Colorful patterns mimicking serape, ikat and native motifs were prominent in the runways. Handcrafted fabric methods such as embroidery, crochet and macrame were also present. Animal-inspired patterns last year came in untraditional colors - while that was still seen, we've noticed a resurgence of the more classical animal colors. But to add a twist, designers have incorporated a trim or detail against a solid color. With this trend, contrasting, non-matching hues are key. Leopard, croc, zebra will all be back in 2012, but more prominently, the Python look was the most conventionally seen in Miami.


Tribal - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Swimwear creations inspired in artisanal techniques such as native american patterns, ikat and serape prints lend an instant bohemian feel to the collections.


Python - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Animal print is a classic for swimwear, and nothing seems more in for 2012 than the snakeskin print.

Animal Print with Solid Trim

Animal Print Solid Trim - 2012 Swimwear Trend
A trend for next season is a mix of animal print with a solid color trim or detail (no need to match the shades!)

Silhouettes & Styles
Naturally two-pieces still reign supreme, but compared to last season, we've seen more one-pieces, monokinis and tankinis on the runway. As tops go, construction is becoming more and more structured - designers will be leveraging underwire, push-up, padding, etc to provide the support desired by their clients. Bandeaus and one-shoulder tops will still be very much present. For bottoms, hipster is still the go-to style. A lot of ruched bottoms went from scrunching just the top of the fabric at the back to a more prominent all-the-way down scrunch. We've also seen many occasions were designers are using multiple strips of fabric on tops and bottoms, to create a more interesting effect on the suit. As seen below, make plans for a white or off-white swimsuit for next season - a huge hit, seen in many collections and a sophisticated choice for any wardrobe. Finally, nothing says poolside chic as a b&w stunner suit!

The White Suit

White Monokini and One-Piece - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Virtually all collections had their version of a white monokini or one-piece - white and off-white suits were also present as stylish two-pieces (albeit less so). This look works great against so many skin tones and is irresistibly chic as a maillot or monokini.

B&W Drama

B&W Suit - 2012 Swimwear Trend
Black-&-White combinations provided some of the most dramatic looks on the runway. Designers mixed these classic colors in the right dose to produce aesthetically striking styles.

Which styles/colors/trends for 2012 swimwear will you be following? Let us know below - we'd love to hear your opinion on this!
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