Swimwear fashion shows in SoFla spotlight trends for 2012 spring summer season

Catwalk capers?

Sure, but aside from the chance to ogle hotties and honeys wearing little more than a strip of Lycra, remember that swimwear is a $4.5 billion dollar industry.

And every year the swim shows put SoFla in sharp focus with bikini biz and fashion flash taking place here and there in South Beach nightclubs and hotels, sprinkled amongst the big three.

At the Miami Beach Convention Center there is SwimShow, a trade show staged by the all-powerful Swimwear Association of Florida with 2,000 collections exhibiting (including 30 lingerie lines for a first this season).

Over at the W Hotel there is Salon Allure, another trade show for luxurious designer brands that will retail at $100 and up along with high-end accessories and jewelry lines.

But it is the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim shows set up around the pool of the Raleigh Hotel that swimwear designers from around the world show directional swimsuits with a smattering of celebs.

A quick Google of names revealed that this year it was mostly reality TV wannabes from “The Bachelorette,” “The Real Housewives of Miami” and the usual Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit issue models. The first night brought out the big guns: NFL star Chad Ochocinco, rapper Theophilus London, ex-Gossip Girls Jessica Szohr and TV personality Kristin Cavallari, who hit the catwalk at the splashy Diesel show wearing a cobalt-blue glass-festooned bikini (inspired by SKYY Vodka, sponsor of the kick-off party afterward).

And there were trends highlighted for the 2012 spring/summer season:

Stripes of every kind

Sporty scuba looks

Slick sexy metallics

Taupe and khaki styles

Bright pastel neons

Shapewear and lingerie effects (ruffles, molded cups)

High-tech fabrics (resistant to salt and chlorine-fade)

Poncho, caftan and jumpsuit coverups

Source : blogs.sun-sentinel.com