During his Resort 2012 fashion week presentation, Michael Kors described his tight neoprene dress, which resembles a wetsuit, as “Surf Jackie.” That would be Jackie O., of course. Although it is doubtful that Jackie O would embrace such intensely bright and sporty silhouettes, there is a simplicity and elegance to the clean, architectural lines that she would have adored. Kors was just one of a handful of fashion designers showing scuba-inspired attire on his runway. Marine sportswear emerged as a major trend during the resort season with Donna Karan, Derek Lam and Rachel Roy all embracing the style in their runway collections. As resort fashion trends often lead in directly into spring, it is no surprise that scuba wear also made an appearance on Spring 2012 runways. Alexander Wang and VPL both presented sporty neoprene silhouettes complete with wetsuit-like paneling and oversized zippers. This fashion trend may just be the closest thing to workout gear you can wear outside the gym…but when it comes to sporty garments, there is still a possibility it will look more active wear than city wear.

Fashion tip: Embrace bright colours

While you don’t have to embrace intense neon yellows and pinks like Michael Kors, stylish scuba-inspired items will most likely be a bright colour of some sort. For example, Derek Lam’s Resort 2012 runway collection focuses on vivid shades of blue and Rachel Roy’s on bold orange. If the thought of head-to-toe colour seems intimidating, then opt for colour-block garments, where brights are paired with neutrals for a not-so-loud statement.

Fashion tip: Get comfortable with the idea of a skin-tight silhouette

With stretchy neoprene being the preferred material for most scuba-loving designers, things will get a little tight. But if you are used to wearing leggings and
skinny jeans, then the slim cigarette pant with an exposed front zipper from VPL’s Spring 2012 runway won’t be that much of a stretch. And if there is a Azzedine Alaïa or a Hervé Léger style bondage dress hanging in your closet, then a teeny sleeveless Michael Kors Resort 2012 “Jackie O” shift dress will feel right at home. However, if tight is not your fashion game, choose looser jackets like Alexander Wang’s Spring 2012 as your go-to scuba garment.

Want more tips on how to wear this trend? Keep reading on to the next page…

Fashion tip: Opt for heels

Scuba chic tends to look like active wear until you add some height to it. Recent seasons saw the emergence of one of the most surprising fashion trends – sweatpants – into the world of high fashion, thanks to fashion designers Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang. To avoid looking drab, our favourite piece of lounging attire is usually paired with a killer pair of heels. Same goes with scuba dressing: a little bit of height will prevent you from looking like you’re heading to a class at the aquatic centre.

Fashion tip: Don’t over do it

Runway is runway and some exaggerated fashion trends are best forgotten, so avoid the Aquaman look head-to-toe. Pair your scuba dress with a jean jacket or a softer knit sweater – something to break up the rigid texture. Style your favourite pencil skirt with a sporty neoprene top for a modern take on office attire. Keep in mind that the crisp and streamlined structure of scuba-like attire will compliment most silhouettes; Jackie O. would agree.

Read more:
Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2012
Missoni Spring/Summer 2012
Burberry Spring/Summer 2012