Miami Beaches Mercedes-sponsored Fashion week is the opportunity for designers to display the full range of their swimsuit, bikini and resort-wear-producing imaginations to the fashion-hungry buyers from all over the world. This year diversity seems to be paramount and there is sure to be a range of swimsuits to allow even the most determined fashionista to ‘mix it up’ on the beach. Styles range from modest one-pieces to daringly cut-out monokinis, seemingly held together by a thong, a sequin and a promise in defiance of the laws of gravity, but it is in the fabrics and textures that the full variety can be seen. Metallics The metallic look is always a favourite with designers and consumer alike, creating as it does, a fabulous modern look, even with something as potentially frivolous as a tiny micro-bikini. The glitter of gold fabric can allow you to show off your ‘bling’, without needing to raid your jewellery box, and the staid gleam of silver or bronze can create the impression of sexy strength and power, providing an instant boost to your confidence. Animal Print Fashionistas always go wild for animal print and it has found its way into swim-swear for the 2013 season. From the more traditional leopard-print and zebra stripes designers have now included fabulously detailed snake-skin patterns and even the more subtle snow leopard prints; simply stunning and designed to draw the eye sensuously to your curves. Loud Tropical Prints Vibrant and colourful floral prints are also big this year, pun absolutely intended! Enhance your fun yet still feminine side with outsized flowers and even brightly coloured birds emblazoned on your swim-suit. The catwalks were cheerful and joyous as these delightful swim-suits debuted, drawing a smile from even the most hardened and cynical buyers. Trim: Bows, Straps, Sequins and Detailing Swimsuits have added a girly dimension this season; fun and playful ribbons, bows and beads enhance the ‘cute’ factor and will help to turn those bronzed poolside heads as you pass by. Even fringes make an appearance, flirtatiously bobbing and swirling around the bodice, simultaneously providing coverage and drawing attention to that most feminine area: the bosom! Neat bows at hip level draw the eye to curves, while strategically-placed ribbons flutter seductively. Retro Magic Many designers have rediscovered the glamour of the fifties and have brought back high-waisted bottoms teamed with a full, almost brassiere-like bikini top; redolent with high-class naughtiness. The added beauty of these apparently old-fashioned swimsuits is that they are so very much kinder to the fuller figure, concealing lumps and bumps and transforming them into delightful curves instead. Anyone who has ever admired the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe will immediately be attracted to this wonderful retro swimwear, especially enjoying the luxurious fabrics that finish the look so beautifully. Accessories Not actually swimwear, but so important when setting the scene at the poolside, on the beach, or even aboard a cruise ship, trendy accessories are very important, even for swimwear. A wide-brimmed shady hat adds glamour while keeping you safe from the sun’s rays, while a tasteful necklace or bracelet can add mystique to your appearance. Miami saw the return of the espadrille, but a modern espadrille made over and done up with glitter, bows and ribbons and bright colours. Be sure to keep some of your swimwear budget for one or two fantastic accessories to enhance and pull together your look this season.