You don’t have to be a Francophile to admit that French people are just far less weird than Americans when it comes to naked bodies. That might be why Eres, a Parisian lingerie-and-swimwear company that recently opened a shop at 621 Madison Avenue, is where all the off-to-St. Barts types are heading for swimwear. For one thing, the bikinis (around $200) are sold as separates – naturally, if one is Riviera-bound, one can always discard those pesky tops – and available in a range of cup sizes. The sleek tanks ($150-$300) are made from superlightweight parachute material or cut with zigzaggy laser-pinked edges. There are Tom Ford-ified deep Vs, and bombshell boy-cut bottoms. Of course, if you’re still feeling American, there are pareos ($100-$250) and jumpsuits and slinky cover-up dresses. That odd French cellulite cream, however, you’ll have to pick up elsewhere.
The Tide Is High
The whole hemline question is supposed to be over. Obsolete. We’re meant to have all these choices. But suddenly … resort … spring … everything’s mini! “Right,” confirms Bergdorf Goodman fashion director James Aguiar. “It’s all about the rising hemline.” “The mini is so great,” promises happy retailer Stefani Greenfield, whose Scoop boutiques have already sold out of twill Katayone Adeli minis in khaki and navy ($136; 1275 Third Avenue, 212-535-5577; and 532 Broadway, 212-925-2886). Marc Jacobs’s Marc line is heavy on minis – choppy, tiny denim ones ($98 at Intermix, 1003 Madison Avenue; 212-249-7858), and Oscar de la Renta has revived that perennial teensy favorite: the tennis skirt. “I think where it looks best is just above the knee,” cautions Aguiar. “If you’ve got great legs and a youthful quality, you can go as short as you want. Otherwise …”
The Buddy System
That whole mother-daughter thing conjures images of dowdy Laura Ashley jumpers, but now it’s the boys’ turn, and masculine matchy-match turns out to be a lot more eye-popping. Vilebrequin father-son trunks come in delirious prints like juicy kiwis, pink paisley, or snapping turtles. “They’re not,” says Jeffrey Morris, a banker who buys them, “the type of designs you see on every other fellow on the beach.” They’re selling out at the St. Tropez line’s New York shops (boys’ sizes $37-$58, men’s $100-$135; 1070 Madison Avenue, 212-431-0673; and 436 West Broadway, 212-650-0353). “They make it easy to find your son in a crowd,” adds Morris. Even Guy Ritchie, who shouldn’t have that problem, shares pairs with baby Rocco – they got the orange elephants.
Michelle Riley and Rochelle Relyea
Models, like dancers and pop bands, have a short shelf life. Those who are more enterprising but haven’t yet achieved spokesperson status begin searching for options when they hit their late twenties. So when Miami-based Elite girls Michelle Riley (left) and Rochelle Relyea turned 30, they were prepared. The two found a thirties bungalow and converted it into Il Paradiso (305-672-2600), a cozy day spa on Alton Road in South Beach, with homey décor, cushy couches, and the feel of a friend’s living room. “We went to Home Depot and drywalled and plastered it ourselves,” says Riley, who still does some modeling work with Florida agency Irene Marie. Though Miami has plenty of resort spas, Il Paradiso is one of the area’s only intimate spots, and word has already spread among fellow models and bookers. “We get those girls in their twenties with flawless skin,” Riley says with a laugh. “They get a tiny wrinkle and want to sandblast themselves.”
BETH LANDMAN KEIL