Written by Georgina Langford
It seems that new designer Diana Auria Harris and prolific illustrator Margot Bowman might just have achieved the holy grail of sustainable fashion with their line of swimwear. Not only is it made from Econyl, a 100% recycled polyamide fabric, essentially, old carpets and fishing nets, but also it looks incredible.
A tropical pastel palette of colours runs through the SS13 Auria collection, which features Margot's inimitable illustrations based on the Greek goddess Artemis. Not to mention the flattering shapes; crop tops and scooped swimsuits that could easily double up as fashion items as well as being worn poolside. At the launch of the Crazy Horse Cabaret in London, Margot wore a vibrant crop from the collection, teaming it with a kilt and cropped jacket.
Diana Auria and Margot Bowman
This illustrator and designer duo are old friends, so when Diana decided she wanted to push her swimwear out of a 'grey and black only' comfort zone, she knew exactly the woman to call. Margot explains, "my family and house have always been very colourful, so for me colour is a natural form of non-verbal communication." The colour scheme itself, as well as referencing Los Angeles sunsets, also stems from contemporary screen culture. "We are living in a time when so much of the creative media we take in is backlit, and that creates a different understanding of colour scale" says Margot.
Diana was determined to create pieces that made the wearer look "both sexy and amazing" and steered clear of the current obsession with multi-strap, multi-cutaway designs, opting instead for accessible, practical pieces that reference the best of 50s, 80s and modern swimwear. Having seen Margot's fashion illustrations, and apparently some "doodles of women with eyes on their boobs in my sketchbook," Diana enlisted her friend's help and they began.
Using Greek mythology as a starting point, they had fun looking at the goddess Artemis and the iconography associated with her, before twisting that symbolism into something contemporary. "There is a movement towards 'neo mysticism' right now that's about people communicating with each other in a way that doesn't depend on language, like emoticons," says Margot. Diana jokingly claims she wants to turn their playful prints into actual emoticons for an iPhone app, so that they can become the "grown-up, sexy swimwear version of Moshi Moshi Monsters!"
Auria Swimwear will be available from 69b boutique in early 2013