NYFW | SS16: Flagpole Swim Presentation
Plan de Ville's Editorial Contributor ARIA DARCELLA talks inspiration, process, and materials with FLAGPOLE SWIM.
It's hard to imaging a luxurious beach when stranded in Manhattan post Labor day, but Flagpole Swim managed to recreate a relaxed setting on a rooftop in Chelsea for their first show. Founders Jaime Barker and Megan Balch began the New York based swimwear company in 2013, and only found out the presentation would be happening three weeks ago. “It’s been crazy. I was good for the first week, maybe, possibly, a little bit in shock,” explained Barker. “And it wasn’t until the first weekend I just had this emotional moment where I was like, this is happening. I went to design school, and this is everything that you dream of when you’re in school."
In a subtle way, an Americana theme drew the collection together by way of inspiration from Independence day and the Rio summer Olympics. The duo sourced an Italian-made fabric in a myriad of hues, which dim down the flag comparisons whilst still giving a nod to patriotism.
As with their previous work, the suits have a timeless feminine quality to them, evoking the image of a woman in a Louis Dahl-Wolfe photograph without being an overt retro throwback. In part it speaks to the practical need of their customers, but also remembering that on the beach—where bodies are most on display—is still a place where women can feel beautiful at any stage in their lives. “I think we always grew up on the beach with either skimpy bikini’s that were great for tanning and were super sexy, and completely inappropriate for doing any type of sport. And we really wanted to make suits that women could be active in, and swim, or bend over and pick their kids up,” explains Balch. “Jaime and I would love to have more to play with than less, so anywhere that we can add a little more fabric, and still figure out a way for it to be really sexy is something that we kind of strive for in every bathing suit."
- Aria Darcella