This Toronto-based swimwear line features collections for both men and women, and draws its inspiration from past glam looks like the 80’s aerobics era, and the 50’s pinups. These vintage styles are combined with new cuts and fresh prints to create a splash wherever they’re worn.
Designers, Vanessa Warrack and Karen Donaldson , are making their mark in Toronto fashion by doing everything themselves – from the designing to the sewing, everything is done by hand. They also understand that many women don’t always fit into a category of small, medium, and large, so they do custom orders.
If Warrack and Donaldson could design a swimsuit for any celebrity it would be Linda Evangelista in the 90’s, because she was such a strong, risk-taking woman. “She’s versatile, assuming so many different characters in front of the camera – at once tough and playful, hard and soft. We’re obsessed with 90’s supermodels right now, particularly her.”
Minnow Bathers is timeless, as each piece is influenced by historical precedents. Donaldson is a costume designer, so her designs reference period pieces found in research, such as Medieval garb or Victoriana. Warrack stocks piles of old issues of Vogue , and collects vintage one piece bathers for inspiration. Together they look to the past for inspiration, combining references with contemporary prints and shapes.
Their personal favourite swimsuit type is the 1950’s two piece with high-waisted bottoms. Warrack and Donaldson say, “The style represents such an iconic femininity and is so incredibly body flattering. Our love of this silhouette is seen in our Summer ’09 collection, but this shape is combined with prints which give the bathers a completely different sensibility.” Theses fab girls are fans of pretty much anything with a high-waisted retro flare from the 90’s, florals, and how the characters dressed on Beverley Hills , 90210 and Melrose Place !
Donaldson loves Alexander McQueen for its theatricality, attention to detail, and tailoring. She appreciates that each piece is a veritable work of art. Warrack looks closely at Tom Ford’s work at Gucci , and claims that he did “powerful sexy” like no other. They both also love Vivienne Westwood for her punk rock aesthetic and approach to fashion.