From Glass Onion to Emily in Paris, the shows bending swimwear’s rules

One of the greatest things about living through a time of “anti-fashion”, when ugly shoes refuse to exit stage left, “goblin mode” is the word of the year and fashion takes a decidedly dishevelled turn, is that we get to wear what we want. Only, how does that apply to swimwear?

Well, you can look at Instagram, where it appears suits are getting more skimpy. But if you’re sitting, like most of us, in front of Netflix with the air conditioner blasting as you eke out the final days of your summer break, it’s handy to know that all that bingeing is also doing double duty as the best swimwear window shopping this side of a trip to a beach club.

Emily’s gingham suit has 1950s South Pacific meets Parisian beach club vibes.Credit:Netflix

Emily in Paris (Netflix)

The rule: Thou shall stick to a silhouette you know – for life.

In season three, much is made of the fact it’s the Parisian summer (it’s hot, we get it, the French don’t do AC, blah blah, pour us another kir royale). When the staff at the Savoir marketing firm are not whingeing about baking in the office, there is some seriously good swimwear inspiration, thanks to the titular character and her roommate, Mindy. When they visit a pool club in episode five (the scene was shot at Paris’ Hotel Molitor), Emily (Lily Collins) dons a gingham set by Leslie Amon that gives major South Pacific vibes. But it’s Mindy’s (Ashley Park) hot pink and gold one-piece by Agent Provocateur that steals the show.

The takeout: Thinking outside the box in terms of silhouette can restore the fun factor to shopping for swimwear. A swim skirt, like Emily’s, can add coverage without being too conservative, while some bling on an otherwise solid colour suit is a great alternative to a print. Just watch the metal doesn’t get too hot in the sun – ouch. Try: Romance Was Born, Zimmermann, Infamous Swim.

Glass Onion (Netflix)

The rule: Men should avoid matching sets, lest they look like pyjamas.

A How to Host a Murder weekend on a Greek island in the middle of the pandemic calls for some seriously Mediterranean-inspired swimwear. Inspired by her own mother Goldie Hawn’s style, Kate Hudson’s Birdie Jay goes for the full Dolce & Gabbana ‘more is more’ aesthetic, arriving poolside in a ruffled tangerine bikini by Nigerian label Andrea Iyamah, complete with high heels. Birdie’s “look at me” swimwear is the antithesis of Andy’s (Janelle Monae) sleek monochrome one-shoulder, or even Whiskey’s “I left my heart at Coachella” triangle bikini, which seems so far from 2023. But, really, the all-out standout is Daniel Craig’s drawling detective, Benoit Blanc, whose striped two-piece is more Sinatra does Palm Springs than Craig’s James Bond in trunks in Casino Royale.

Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, right) is predicted to set some swimwear trends for men in 2023.Credit:John Wilson/Netflix

The takeout: Gentlemen, there’s more than one way to “do” swimwear, and a coordinating set is a chic way to overhaul your swim wardrobe, and will be all over Europe come the northern summer, so here’s your chance to get ahead on the trend. Better still, the shirt can be worn open over a T-shirt for instant beach-bar cred. Try: Venroy, Commas, Vacay Swimwear.

The White Lotus (Foxtel/Binge)

The rule: Prints are for young girls, and bling is tacky.

So much has already been written about the style of Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) and the male characters on the show as a signifier of their character energy, but as far as swimwear goes, it’s Daphne (Meghann Fahy) versus Harper (Aubrey Plaza) for style cues this summer. Whereas Daphne’s Pucci prints and starfish-patterned one-piece gives a slight “soccer mum goes to St Tropez” vibe, Harper is shvitzing with sexual energy in a plunging black halter one-piece with a chain clasp across the bust.

The takeout: Whereas Emily in Paris’ Mindy wears hardware for a bling-bling (read: fun) effect, Harper’s metallic accents exude power and confidence, like someone carefully plotting a coup from her cabana. Try: Rebecca Vallance, Andie Swim, Gyre Swimwear.

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