Best women’s beachwear for turning up the heat

Celine, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Fendi and Lanvin serve up scintillating ensembles for a scorching summer break

Best women's beachwear, Chanel bag and Saint Laurent jumpsuit
Left, cardigan, £2,495; top, £1,135; shorts, £1,600; earrings, £750; necklace, £590; belt, £1,395; bag, £4,475, Chanel. Right, jumpsuit, £1,225; shoes, £1,065, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. Fashion: Jason Hughes
(Image credit: Joanna Wzorek)

A heady host of designers took to heart the maxim ‘life’s a beach’ for S/S 2022, creating body-revealing women’s beachwear that had all the dramatic abandon of not just barefoot dancing on smooth pebbles, but a disco ball spinning above. For the upcoming season, make the disco-inflected beach party your ultimate escapist event, where any outré embellishment – be it beading, sequins or spandex – is invited.

Illustrator Antonio Lopez was a regular at Studio 54 in New York, before he swapped its packed dancefloor for the white-sanded shore of St Tropez in 1970, hanging out with then-rising fashion star Karl Lagerfeld, who had joined Fendi three years before. For S/S 2022, the Roman house’s Kim Jones was captivated by a series of Lopez’s archive drawings – featuring flowing-haired beauties and rainbow-splashed stripes – and emblazoned these across glittering strapless dresses, best worn barefoot. 

The 1970s also resonated with Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, who looked to its founder Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime muse Paloma Picasso as inspiration. A ‘glamorous toughness’ punctuated the Parisian maison’s collection, which included skin-flashing spandex catsuits that would make for a sublime swimsuit-centric silhouette on the shore. 

Best women’s beachwear: Chanel to Fendi

Best women's beachwear SS22 Fendi dress

(Image credit: Joanna Wzorek - Photography)

Best women's beachwear SS22 Celine dress

Top, dress, £3,300, by Fendi. Above, dress, price on request, by Celine

(Image credit: Joanna Wzorek)

Celine, likewise, looked to the spirit of the French Riviera, showcasing its collection on the Nice beachfront. Its suggested look for a sunset party poolside? A gown glittering in sequins and beads, slashed seductively at the décolleté.

Lanvin’s Bruno Sialelli had an ocean of references for the Parisian house’s glamour-oozing S/S 2022, spanning from Batman to Bavarian churches. What will the brand’s heroine be sporting this summer? A densely tinselled puffball skirt and matching bra top in beaded abstract pansies. 

Any scintillating soirée – be it at a beachclub or on a private shore – requires an eye-catching accessory. The bag to hold all your escapist accoutrements? Chanel’s ‘2.55 Hobo’ – an elegant, roomy style with a tactile chain strap – in which to stow your emergency towel and snorkel, for when you go for a spontaneous late-night swim.


A version of this article is featured in the March 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, on newsstands now and available to subscribers

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