By Punch Correspondent Hannah Roth
Year after year, with the advent of the summer months, we of the female persuasion brave the brutal task of swimsuit shopping – hours spent under fluorescent lighting, highlighting starkly pale winter legs (and lets face it, the desperate need for a good pre-summertime wax). Every woman yearns for the “perfect” bathing suit. As much of a female myth as the “perfect” pair of jeans, we need something that hugs and flatters in all the right places, flaunting our best qualities while minimizing our worst. I wish just once some wise person would simply tell me exactly what bikini to buy for maximum attractiveness and minimal discomfort. Because of this dream, I was delighted when I was asked to speak with Brazilian-born designer Emily Gonzaga, owner of the brand D’Milikah and overall beach-ready expert.
Emily’s accent is exotic and Gisele-esque, with a warmth and sensuality that forces one to listen closely. Hot off a whirlwind of Grammys and Oscars success, D’Milikah is a brand to watch – especially where celebrities are concerned. Gonzaga and crew were part of the Grammy’s Celebrity Gift Lounge at the Staples Center during show rehearsals, and also gifted swimsuits from her new line “Blurry Feminine” to recipients of the Oscars’ famed gift bags – Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain to name a few. With her swimwear line as the focus, the looks Gonzaga choose to feature in the Grammy lounge were met with much enthusiasm by some very big names. At Gonzaga’s booth, singer Ashanti stopped by to pick up some items, performing artist Sting picked up a hot little number for his wife, as did members of the Zac Brown Band. There is no doubt that the pieces are body conscious and significant-other approved – made to flaunt what you got while complimenting the contours of the female body (however curvy it may be).
D’Milikah celebrates the female form in a very Brazilian and matter-of-fact way, taking direction from Emily herself. When I asked her tips to rock a bathing suit, she surprised me with her refreshingly honest and extremely on-point answer. Rather than the overused reference to confidence, she remarked that women should be aware of their flaws as well as their assets. Her number one tip is to know your body – know what works, what doesn’t, where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If you have small breasts, use padding. If you need extra support, then don’t buy a teensy top that you’re popping out of. If you have a big butt, wear generously cut boyshorts – just don’t try those string Brazilian bottoms. Just don’t do it. Her wise words of wisdom – know “how to look the best of you”. Be honest with yourself and you will look like your best self.
Personally, with the plethora of Brazilian beauties reigning in our current fashion industry – Alessandra Ambrosio, Camila Alves, Gisele Bundchen, to name a few, I wholeheartedly trust the art of Brazilian swimwear. D’Milikah is a 100% Brazilian-produced brand, designed by a Brazilian and produced with top-quality Brazilian Lycra in Brazil. The intricate beading of some pieces is impressive, as is the obvious well thought out construction. Price points are mid-range, from $70 tops to more intricately beaded $100-150 bottoms and one-piece suits. From perusal of the website, standouts include the Japonica Floral Top with boyshort bottoms (I NEED for my summer swimsuit wardrobe), as well as the Tigerstribet patterned bikini and Francine monokini (both featured in the Grammys booth). Ready for summer…now.
Look out for D’Milikah swimwear outfitting the hottest bods in Hollywood come summer and check out the line in Alexandria, VA to shop to get your own Brazilian beach-worthy look. One more step for DC fashion – watch out world!
You can find D’Milikah at Current Boutique in Alexandria 1009 King Street and in DC at Tari 1525 Wisconsin Ave NW.
Hannah Roth is a recent Virginia Tech grad (and hokie for life). She is a vintage/thrift store shopping junkie, and loves traveling. While her perfect day would entail some sort of mixture of cuddling with puppies, eating dark chocolate, and drinking champagne, she has more serious ambitions as well. Hannah's passion includes fashion and openly dives into DC's rapidly expanding stylish market.