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Image / Style / Fashion / Shopping

All things seaside, from shells to starfish, are making a splash


by Holly O'Neill
03rd Aug 2021

Read time: 3 minutes

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Fashion's new wave? Ocean-inspired dressing.

Back in March, shopping platform Lyst reported that we were searching for all things seaside. Searches for ‘mermaid tees’ rose by 19%, ‘starfish’ searches were up 23% and searches for ‘seashell’ grew 51%. Lyst pinpointed our three most wanted seaside goods –– shell earrings from Anni Lui and Rixo and the shell chain from Wald Berlin.

It’s regrettably been labelled ‘mermaidcore’ which is a little too Disney Adult to stomach (I wanna be where the Internet’s endless roundabout of aesthetics as personalities labelled under the umbrella of the suffix ‘-core’ aren’t).

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It’s not quite about maritime wear, sailor collars and Breton stripes, or even the summer camp beaded rainbow jewellery all over your Instagram. It’s specifically the Versace SS21 show, set in the imaginary remains of Atlantis, where water ran down the walls, models wore wet-look hair and damp skin and walked between fallen Medusa heads and pillar ruins, where Gianni Versace’s spring 1992 Trésor de la Mer print was reimagined and bejewelled starfish, coral, and seashell motifs were embellished on everything from seashell bra tops to jellyfish-reminiscent wavy hemlines. Versace’s under-the-sea-wear has now been worn by everyone from Emily Ratajkowski to Dua Lipa, and combined with our collective incessant Googling, you’ll now find starfish, shells, mermaids and all things seaside everywhere you look, from Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza raffia conch bags to Rixo’s tee, emblazoned with a Victorian sailor tattoo style mermaid.

On a side note, do you think our collective affinity for mythical creatures like unicorns and mermaids is from the lack of a divine and mystical nature in our culture? Then we bastardized that too and plastered unicorns and mermaids on phone cases and make-up bags and then we paved paradise and put up a parking lot? Hey, lemme know in the comments and shop the best of seaside fashion below.

Photography by Catwalkpix.

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