Swimsuits: A ray of winter sunshine

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Finding a swimsuit out of season can be tricky – unless you've been introduced to the chic styles and year-round luxury of French swimwear brand Eres

It's undeniable that a swimwear brand choosing the chilly month of October to open its first UK standalone store is making something of a contrarian move, freak heatwaves aside.

But when you delve into the history of Eres – the French brand whose flagship London boutique will open its doors this week – it becomes apparent that going against the grain is in its DNA.

Established more than 40 years ago by Irène Leroux, the story of Eres is one of a revolution in swimwear design and retail. In 1968 Leroux took over her parents' boutique and made the bold decision to sell swimsuits throughout the year, rather than adhering to the industry tradition of making hay while the sun shines. This move cleverly aligned the boutique with couture houses, whose cruise collections catered for clients wealthy enough to chase the sun in a time when international travel was truly the preserve of jetsetters.

Turning the traditions of the industry on their head for a second time, Leroux then began to sell the tops and bottoms of her swimwear styles separately, giving her customers the freedom to suit themselves.

Inspired by sleek lines, Leroux strived to liberate her swimsuits from the old-fashioned constraints of padding and boning, choosing to flatter and enhance – rather than falsify and alter – natural curves and contours.

This became a cornerstone of the Eres philosophy: "The Art of the Body".

The distinctly understated styles showcased all those years ago remain to this day, made contemporary through fabric and pigment innovation and extremely focused technical details, ensuring that the designs fit like a second skin – one that is immune to puckering and wrinkles, to boot.

In 1996, Eres became part of the Chanel group. This new backing led to the company branching out into lingerie two years later and once again defying the rules of the time. Ignoring the brash and blatant sexuality of the Wonderbra, somewhat de rigueur in the dying embers of the last millennium, Eres's sleek and minimalist triangle bra became its signature style. Focusing again on the needs of a woman, the clever use of innovative materials provided comfort, freedom and support along with style. The use of supple, featherweight tulle and fine Lumière jersey married modern textiles with traditional craftsmanship.

Since her appointment in 2007, artistic director Valerie Delafosse, who trained under Azzedine Alaïa, has developed beachwear along with homewear and accessories to extend the reach of the brand, while remaining true to the founding ideals. As well as launching the flagship UK store on Wednesday, the brand has just seen its e-commerce website go live. "The brand isn't well known in the UK yet," Delafosse tells me from her office in Paris. "It seems like the English clientele have been waiting for this new philosophy of pure body art – graphic and luxurious – in lingerie and swimwear." Eres has long strived to set – rather than follow – trends and Delafosse treads a very personal path in her pursuit of inspiration. "I get inspired by my readings, my trips, contemporary art, photos, old fashion magazines, exhibitions and contemporary dance shows," says Delafosse. She emphasises: "What talks to me most is what comes out of contemporary art: the new fabrics, translucent colours and graphic forms in art work and sculpture."

The lasting quality of the pieces remains important to the brand, combining the latest innovations, Delafosse talks of "laminated foam inspired by wetsuits that we apply on some parts of the body for a modern and technical feel", as well as the use of laser cutting which enables seam-free construction.

Investing in pieces that boost your body confidence is an undeniably smart approach to the daunting tasks of dressing for the beach or the bedroom.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Key Account Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A really exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Multi Trade Operative

    £22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen for a Customer ...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project