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Crochet bikinis and the return of the poolside poser

It isn’t a date that leaps out of the diary but, according to fashion aggregator website Lyst, which sells thousands of brands, 8 June is the day most women make the Big Deal purchase of the summer: they buy a bikini.

This year, that bikini might be a bit different. Over the past couple of years, sporty styles with a bit of a surf edge have become the thing, with zips and neoprene details. See, at the high-fashion level, Lisa Marie Fernandez, and similar styles everywhere from Cos to Topshop. This was swimwear to swim in, or even, for those in possession of pop-up skills, surf in.

Fashion editor Anna Dello Russo in her Kiini. Photo: Instagram/ @anna_dello_russo Photograph: Photo: Instagram/ @anna_dello_russo

For 2015, though, all that activity is over. The poolside poser is back: that holiday loafer type more likely to be found on the lounger than the lilo. We know this from the massive growth of a brand called Kiini, launched by Turkish-American Ipek Irgit in 2012, and its crochet bikinis. Lyst says searches for the brand are up 822% since last year. Sure, you can no doubt swim a few lengths in the villa pool in one of these, but they’re far better accompanied by Prism shades, an afternoon cocktail and a well-thumbed copy of How to be Both. Kiini is the alpha choice, but any crochet bikini will do.

The return of the poolside poser has been brewing since late summer 2014 – the time of year when fashion people take holidays in order to look tanned and rested at the collections in September. Anna Della Russo, Bar Refaeli, Dree Hemingway and The Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine all posted Kiini selfies, looking fabulous but all bone dry. Kiinis, with their bright colours that pop with a tan and that slightly 70s shape, are made to show off. And with social media, showing off is not only allowed but celebrated. Perfect.

Kiini bikinis from @kiiniswim on Instagram Photograph: PR

Of course, this trend isn’t limited to crochet. High-waisted bikini bottoms are another poolside poser favourite, worn by Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. Part of a retro Bettie Page look, they are hardly designed for wild swimming but, Lyst says, searches for them have increased nearly 125% this year.

And beachwear as a category has grown too – matchesfashion.com has expanded its range – because your outfit to and from the beach is now scrutinised and that holey old T-shirt will no longer do. You’ll need a beach shirt, or even a kaftan. Forget doing stuff this year. Relax, dress up and keep your phone charged – poolside posing is the only fashionable holiday activity in 2015.

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