Sarah Swash and Toshio Yamanaka prove that no textile is too tough for their label Swash. Since its debut in 2004, which netted the Festival Hyeres’ Fashion Grand Prix, Swash has received accolades for its original, rich and whimsical prints on challenging materials such as silk crepe de chine, Italian cashmere blends and merino/angora mix. Combining Cornwall-born Swash and Japan native Yamanaka’s different cultural backgrounds, the label is at once quirky and luxurious in its ready-to-wear designs.
Swash’s s/s ‘12 collection is a nostalgic rejuvenation of ‘60s seaside glamour, capturing the romance of island living with glorious creatures, tropical flowers and ukuleles. Pale blue and white stripes stream across cropped t-shirts, linen dresses and cotton cardigans. Hot pants—a featured trend throughout Milan Fashion Week—were also spotted throughout Swash’s new collection with palm trees, black and white diamonds and coconut designs. The designers also explored the ever-popular maxi dress, introducing a series of elegant remakes with slim-line collars, boat necklines and wide straps. Each delightful look was accompanied with a complementing scarf that was featured as a head wrap, turban, belt or neck accessory.
The prints themselves—consisting largely of Yamanaka’s lively pencil and watercolor illustrations—have a childlike candor: ornate rabbits and orange anteaters dance up a long skirt and into a matching sheer long sleeve blouse, while peacocks with orange, pink and bluish-green feathers eyeing each other against a floor skimming white background. Playful florals are also present throughout the collection as pink and red hibiscus blossoms appear splashed against neon yellow one-piece swimsuits, long cardigans and accompanying accessories (hats, shoes, swimsuits and bags).
Swash’s new s/s ’12 collection is now available from Valerie Demure’s revamped website.