Miami is never steamier than in mid-July, but the sizzling temperatures were matched by a parade of scorching looks on the runway as the swimwear industry rolled out its 2015 designs. From barely there bikinis to more covered-up pieces, designers at Miami Swim Week offered up a wide array of trends, many reflecting the ready-to-wear influences that have pervaded the swim shows in recent seasons. Here, a look at the best of the week:
Always one of the most anticipated shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim at the Raleigh Hotel, the New York-based Hoffman sent out her signature graphic prints, which for 2015 were inspired by a recent trip to Guatemala. Thus palm-frond prints were produced in neon tones and placed symmetrically on a suit, such as a cropped rash guard with a high-waisted bottom. Hoffman also offers some of the best maxi dresses and other poolside cover-ups you'll find.
Tory Burch: Burch's team showcased her 2015 Resort collection at the Soho Beach House penthouse. With views of azure waters and golden sands as a backdrop, Burch's collection of Mediterranean-blue prints seemed an ideal match. They were inspired by the painter Milton Avery, displayed in the artisanal nature of the prints, or the watercolor feel of the florals against white. And while it was clear that rash guards are the piece everyone needs to include, only Burch did hers with a Tory-friendly ruffle.
The Spanish designer dubbed her 2015 collection "Urban Safari," seen in her mix of tortoise with gold metallics, or in a great black monokini with a shell-like panel held in place with asymmetrical ties that wrapped the body. We saw a lot of these twists and drapes this week; while artful, we couldn't help but wonder about the tan lines they'd create.
Caitlin Kelly: You won't find an abundance of tropical florals or dizzying prints in Caitlin Kelly's collection; the New York-based designer seems to favor sleek and simple. Chain details and other metallic touches (a gold medallion at the waist of a halter monokini) should prove to be a 2015 trend.
This Tel Aviv-based label has always been rooted in the idea that you should be able to make the transition easily from beach or pool to cocktail party, and several of designer Keren Gasner's looks made such a pragmatic notion seem within reach. Gottex's signature pareos were artfully wrapped and attached to bikinis, while Gasner also touched on one of the week's key trends, lace, in a strapless maillot you might just think about wearing with a jacket and maxi skirt on a Saturday night.
This Australian brand proved to be one of the surprises of Swim Week, with its cunning ability to combine the sporty trend (bikini tops cut like sports bras and a heavy emphasis on scuba-inspired suits) with a look that still felt undeniably sexy. A high-waisted bottom, for example, was cut so it curved above the hipbone, while a one-shoulder keyhole bikini in white looked like something you might see in a Calvin Klein underwear campaign.
Creative director Benny Rosset produced a memorable show, filled with another key trend of the week: the mix of prints on a suit, such as palm trees combined with bold, graphic stripes, or tropical florals mixed with leopard.
Belusso: Another great find of the week was Belusso, its name derived from the Italian word for luxury, its aesthetic rooted in the glamorous beaches of Saint-Tropez, while its designer, Kirsten Ehrig-Sarkisian, is based on Los Angeles. The result: plenty of glam, from pastel bikinis that dripped with long fringe to a sheer white peasant dress as a cover-up over a neon-yellow bikini.
Beach Bunny's show is always a riotous event. This year's theme was "Electric Barbarella" -- envision the intergalactic space bunnies you might find in a B-movie of the 1950s or '60s. Bikinis in silver metallic leather were shown with thigh-high Christian Louboutin boots and Brigitte Bardot hair. Ultimately there seems to be just one rule about Beach Bunny: If you've got the nerve and the body, go for it.