a bathing suit for us
I’ve been thinking about a “bathing suit for us” for two or three years now. In my mind I would design all kinds of possible variations—but I’m not a designer and my designs would just be filed away in the won’t happen file. Then I met Germaine DeNigris of Arkins, a young designer with talent, a collaborative spirit, and an open mind.
Who, I thought, would want to design for women over fifty? Who would want to design edgy, slow and ethical fashion for us?
Germaine did! I was afraid maybe I’d overwhelmed her with my “enthusiasm” and detailed accounts of what was filed away in my won’t happen file, but we settled on that quintessential example of the kind of thing women our age want re-designed for us, the bathing suit.
Germaine took the challenge on and told me it could happen.
As we all know, “off shoulders” is very big this summer. I really love the trend, but I’ve yet to find something for myself. My one big question about it is, please tell me: is it comfortable?
Nevertheless, when I saw this new Marie Hell one-sleeved tunic, besides finding it striking, there was something compelling about it. I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable in it, and I didn’t know if it would look good on me but I had to try it on, so I called up and ordered my Game tunic.
The compelling thing about the tunic, turned out to be a very pleasant thing indeed. It’s so much fun to wear!
welcome to my garment district
Welcome to my “garment district.” If you’ve never seen a garment made, here’s a glimpse into the process, a process dear to me because of my grandfather, who was a tailor.
When I see these pictures of Germaine DeNigris, of Arkins, working, I can hear the pattern paper rustling, the pins rattling in the little tin box, the sound of scissors munching through fabric, and the smell of a warming iron. Even though I’m not sure of what all those little hieroglyphic dots and arrows are, I love this process. This is how a garment is made—and this is what Germaine says about what’s coming:
“The thing I love about the suit we’ve created is that the wearer is given the power to show or cover what they want, and what works best with their unique body type. We all deserve to feel peaceful and playful at the beach, not distressed and distracted about an unflattering swimsuit. My goal with this piece was to create a classic garment that would appreciate any woman’s shape or size via customization, and give the wearer the confidence they deserve to be able to enjoy every beach day more fully.”
I love the idea of a garment “appreciating” my shape!
Although I’ve written about her designs before, I’m really just getting to know Germaine DeNigris, from Arkins. I’ve admired Germaine’s work, and her commitment to slow and ethical fashion, since I bought an Arkins dress last winter. More recently, I’ve come to admire her open and collaborative nature.
I’m thrilled to say that Germaine and I are working on a bathing suit designed especially for older women—women like me, who love the sun and beach but can’t seem to find an attractive bathing suit we feel comfortable in. Personally, I have very little problem with showing skin, I just want to be the one to say how much and where.
I recently tried on a prototype at Germaine’s studio. It was exciting! It looked great and felt wonderful. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be documenting and sharing the process we’re going through. How does one design a bathing suit for women who may not want to show arms, bellies, and thighs? We’ll show you. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. This should be fun…