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.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
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: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

    £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

    Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

    Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

    £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

    £18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower