On Thursday, Instagram’s favorite brand Miaou, known for its dalmation-print corsets and low-rise kick flares, announced the launch of its first-ever swimwear collection. For its debut, designer Alexia Elkaim, who founded the brand in 2016, designed a 42-piece (!) selection of ‘90s-inspired swimwear and ready-to-wear, created to be worn on and off the beach. Think: string bikini tops paired with retro pedal pushers and matching cropped cardigans, as well as mesh, money-printed baby tees styled with tiny bikini bottoms and platform flip-flops. And corset swimsuits, of course.
Elkaim’s first foray into swimwear was inspired by travel, something that she, as well as her customers, couldn’t partake in because of the pandemic. “I began designing this in confinement, when the idea of traveling felt so far away,” she tells Refinery29. “I took some of my favorite vintage swimsuits [that] I [already] owned, reworked them for months on end, and reimagined them in our signature prints." According to Elkaim, who is based in Los Angeles, swimwear has always been of interest for Miaou. “Anyone that knows me knows I live in bikinis,” she says. “And I’ve always wanted to wear a bikini in our figaro print.” Lockdown gave her the time to make that happen.
For the lookbook, which was shot in Miami, Elkaim worked with New York-based photographer Emily Lipson to create an opulent escape from the last year-plus of indoor living. In the photos, models on yachts and in all-white mansions don silky corset tops, skimpy bikinis, and cut-out maillots, all with ‘90s accessories like chain belts, see-through sunglasses, whale tails, and more. Elkaim’s suggestion for styling the collection? “Wear these bikinis barefoot on the beach with belly chains and pearls all summer.” Don’t mind if we do.
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