G-String Runway Show Brings Unique, Unusual, and Risqué Swimwear to Monarch Theatre
Clockwise from left: The swimsuit designs of Missconstrued, Thrift Riot, Hell on Heels Couture, and Torture Couture.
Courtesy of the designers
According to the style wags of the fashion blogosphere, some of the big bathing suit trends for ladies this summer include animal-esque influences, cutout swimwear, high-waisted two-pieces, and an abundance of ruffles.
Naturally, hints of such conceits will be seen in the many of the bikinis and one-pieces made by local designers for Saturday's G-String: A Swimsuit Runway Show at Monarch Theatre, albeit remixed into creations that are bit more daring, sinister, and risqué. Nightlife promoter Jen Deveroux, who organized the fashion event, says that some of swimwear being unveiled tomorrow night is "kind of different" from the sort of ensembles found at some hip pool parties.
The swimsuits created for G-String by the 13 different local fashionistas involved are as diverse as designers themselves, Deveroux explains, and their particular tastes.
"The couture is really...interesting," she says. "They all have different opinion on what a swimsuit is."
To wit: Bridgette von Black of Villainess Couture and will display Gothy and somewhat fetishistic designs using lace while Suzy Homewrecker of Hell on Heels will feature creations that are "sexy, outrageous and kind of bondage." Punkouture's Trish Martin, on the other hand, is likely to display what Deveroux describes as "deconstructed swimwear" that the designer adds her own flair to via studs and spikes.
Not everything's gonna be straight out of a fetish ball, however, as Amanda Tucker, the fashionista behind ModifiedMinds Clothing, will offer swimwear made from unique fabrics that "colorful and fun" and promises to be "attention grabbing."
Ditto for Kelly Calabrese's "streamlined and classic designs" and the glamorous and body-contouring ensembles made by Haus of Stardust's Sedalia Nicole, which are influenced by Japanese street culture. Deveroux adds that despite the event being called G-String (exemplifying her penchant for often-cheeky event names), one thing attendees won't see are any of dental floss-like thongs worn by models strutting down the runway at the Monarch.
"I sometimes have some kind of perverted innuendo in the names of my parties, but I don't think anyone wears the g-strings out here any more," she says. "People wouldn't be caught dead in that shit."
That doesn't mean, however, that there won't be swimsuits that leave little to the imagination. Reanna Diehl of Missconstrued will have couture made from sheer fabrics and non-traditional materials like clear plastic offering "minimal coverage" among the dozen or so pieces created for the show.
"It comes just like fabric does in a roll and its a lot thicker than Saran wrap but its thinner than any other plastic material you could get at like Home Depot," Diehl says. When asked how much skin will be shown, she laughs and says it's a secret.
"I have some nice little artwork designs put in place to hide the areas that my models probably wouldn't want showing on the runway," Diehl explains.
She will also have more elegant pieces she describes as "tension swimwear."
"Those fit each body style based on the amount of tension that you apply, kind of like rubber bands where you pull them and tighten them," Diehl says. "I've made one previously and that one was really popular and got a lot of attention before. I just reconstructed it and developed some new ones. It's fun and a little bit risqué."
Deconstructing and repurposing pre-existing fashion into stylish swimwear is also a penchant of Leah Linder of Thrift Riot. The 29-year-old designer told Jackalope Ranch that she's made a few pieces for G-String from clothing bought at local secondhand stores and reworked into hip two-pieces.
"There are all these high-waisted pants from pantsuits commonplace in thrift stores and they usually come with some god awful blazer with shoulder pads," she says. "I've always looked at it as my job is to repurpose it, so instead of completely reconstructing a whole garment, I take out shoulder pads, crop the pants, and replace certain things and rework it to a modern design that works with the current trend."
Linder will also display a few vintage bathing suits she's discovered on the secondhand market and left mostly unmodified, save for replacing the liner.
"If it's what we call true vintage, like a 1940s bathing suit, and it's already perfect, you don't want to mess with that," she says. "You just replace the lining to be hygenic since the design element is just awesome."
One of Torture Couture's creations.
Courtesy of the designer
Such vintage throwbacks will provide an interesting contrast to the bizarre-sounding bathing suits made by Gracie Martell of Torture Couture, who is incorporating actual animal skulls and other unusual elements into her eight pieces for the show.
Martell admits that it's her first attempt at making swimwear, since she's known for making accessories like fascinators, jewelry, or costuming elements, which caused a little trepidation on her part.
"It was very hard to do this show," Martell says. "It's been kinda strange 'cause I'm not a pool person at all. I prefer the winter, so I guess I've mixed my own style with swimwear. It's Gothic swimwear, if that is possible."
"I'm going a little crazy with it" she says. "I really love Gothic Lolita culture, so there's a lot of ruffles, black, grays and whites. It's like Gothic Lolita and kind of a taxidermy thing."
That means bikinis and bodysuits made from PVC and chiffon that's complimented with headwear and neck pieces "that look like they're part of the outfit," including one that was modeled after Frank the Rabbit from cult film Donnie Darko.
"I have this big headpiece inspired by the movie that's kind of like a mask with bunny ears and stuff," Martell says. "Like some of the other designers, I just tried to make things in my own style."
G-String: A Swimsuit Runway Show takes place at 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Monarch Theate. Admission is $10.
122 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
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