The pieces were really colorful, and many were extremely unique! The crowd was fascinated by the array of men’s and women’s swim attire that glided across the runway!
Before I recap the five featured collections, let’s take a look at the evolution of swim wear that has transformed in style dramatically over the course of the last two hundred years.
A few years back I was reading the book, Hiroshima, by John Hersey. It is a somber tale detailing the events and after effects of the atomic bombing that occurred in Hiroshima, Japan on August 6th 1945. While I was reading the startling facts about atomic bomb testing that occurred during that era, I learned that the US set off many test bombs along the coast in the Pacific Ocean, including near several small islands and atolls (an atoll is a reef, or chain of islands formed of coral). One such atoll, the Bikini Atoll, was devastated by the effects of these bomb tests, resulting in the native habitats being forced to move from the area. According to recent news sites, the Marshall Islands, which is where the Bikini Atoll is located, is still brimming with nuclear contamination to this very day.
During the 1940’s and 1950’s people were fascinated by the new development of atomic power. It was little understood, and highly romanticized. Louis Reard, who was a French designer of the 1940’s created a courageous two-piece swimsuit, which he called the “Bikini”, indicating that the impact of this new fashion would be explosive! European women wearing the new fashion were called “bombshells”, because of the devastating effect they had on their male companions. Although the idea of a two-piece swimsuit was not new, European women in the 1930’s were pairing halter tops with shorts; this new style, created by Reard, was crafted using minimal fabric, mimicking a bra and panties. In addition to Louis Reard, Jacques Heim also created a similar design, around that time, and called his two-piece suit “atome”. I find these facts very interesting, especially since the word Bikini is commonly used to describe a two-piece swimsuit today! We even call the sexy ladies who wear them “bombshells”!
Let's take a look at the modern "Bombshells" of Oakland Fashion Week!
The first collection featured at this years OFW swimwear event, Designs by Layla, was radiant! I loved all three looks, particularly the fringe detail on the second swimsuit presented. The models were so stunningly beautiful. I wish I could look as good in a Bikini as they do, but thankfully some alternatives were presented in the next collection that may be more suitable for body conscience types like myself!
The next designs were created by Ujena Swimwear. Ujena Swimwear showcased a large collection of 13 exquisite pieces! I loved the mixture of two-piece swimsuits, one-piece suits, and cover ups. They were all so pretty! Don't you agree?
One of the best parts about attending all of the Oakland Fashion Week events, is having the opportunity to network with models, hair and make-up artists, photographers, event coordinators as well as fellow designers. One designer who I had the privilege of meeting during the first model casting for OFW, was Masthan Fanaka. Mr. Fanaka and I talked at length during an event mixer that we both attended a few weeks ago, and he told me about his career path, and what led him to design. Mr. Fanaka started his career in fashion as a photographer, but then became inspired to create his own swimwear line. He said at first he felt his peers did not take him seriously as a designer, but as his skill and ideas increased he began to develop a reputation for creating amazing intricate swimwear that was fashion forward, bold, and energetic. Yesterday evening, Mr. Fanaka presented both a men's swimwear line and a women's swimwear line. The pieces in his women's collection were truly special! I loved how each garment included an element of surprise. Check out some of my favorites:
Following Mr. Fanaka presentation, were garments from Jr. Esmeralda Boutique. During this event, Jr. Esmeralda Boutique showcased a wide variety of shorts and tops in a multitude of color combinations. Everyone enjoyed these looks, as I surely did!
While studying fashion, I learned clothing construction techniques, as well as needlework techniques such as knitting and crocheting. Because of my knowledge of these crafts, I appreciated the next collection presented by Very Conceited. Each swimsuit was made out of exquisite knitted textiles. I absolutely adored every piece in this collection!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog article about Oakland Fashion Week: Day Four "Splash: Swim & Resort"! I know all who have helped make this event a possibility are overflowing with excitement as OFW main event, the final runway show, "VIP Exclusively Yours" will commence on Saturday May 14th 2016! I look forward to seeing you there!
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!