When you think of Martha’s Vineyard, you probably think of our amazing beaches, pristine and some of the most beautiful in the world. These beaches that we sometimes take for granted are a source of inspiration for so many people. It seems only natural that we would have someone who designs amazing swimwear.
Meet Ashley Chase, who designs wearable art for the beach, Sea. Love Swimwear. Inspired by the shores of Martha’s Vineyard with a little splash of Bali, her collection is a welcomed addition to Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week.
In Bali Without a Bikini
It’s funny how sometimes fate opens a door for us when we least expect it. In 2008, Ashley travelled to Bali for a 30 day holiday, and did not bring any bikinis with her. Here she is in this tropical paradise with waters that are more than irresistible, without a bathing suit. What’s a girl to do? Instead of running to the local store to grab a suit, like I would, she designed two suits for herself, and had them crafted by a local seamstress.
And so it began. People really liked the bikinis she made. When they asked about them, many were surprised that Ashley had designed them herself. Realizing the need and want for swimwear made with attention, love and personality, she decided to continue designing.
One might wonder how you go about designing such a line. For Ashley, designing beachwear and swimwear came naturally. She grew up on the water in Newport, Rhode Island and on Martha’s Vineyard with “salt in her hair, sun on her cheeks, and a swimsuit as a second skin.”
Being here in the Summer surrounded by water and nature, Ashley finds that it’s easy to design beautiful pieces that will fit and flatter a woman’s body – whether lounging by the pool or catching a wave at South Beach. Her pieces are cheeky and colorful with unexpected flirty details.
Though designed here, her pieces are handcrafted in Bali by local artisans, with a portion of the sales going to environmental protection and community development. So, you can look good while doing good – an added bonus and another reason to support Sea.Love Swimwear.
Swimwear That’s a Breeze
What beach does a swimwear designer like to spend time at on the Vineyard? This year it was Philbin Beach, and many a day you could find Ashley there wearing her Lovina triangle bikini top and Breeze bottoms – which is her favorite design to date. She says they’re really fun to wear. Originally from her 2010 collection, she had to bring them back. The 2012 version of the Breeze has been reinvented, updated, and has an even more amazing fit. These bikini bottoms have contrasting trim, with long corkscrew ties at the sides which are super cute and flirty.
When looking through her collection – I fell in love with the Padang bikini top. I love the diagonal ruffle pattern and the white is beautiful. Also, I like that the bikini top ties have distinctive gold & silver beading. Such a great touch and a little flirty on beautiful sun-kissed skin.
Ashley does more than swimwear. I have to mention the Belinda beach tunic – handmade lace and a soft whimsical pattern, named Rocco, make this piece easy to wear and eye-catching. If you don’t want a print, it’s also available in white. Seriously, I love the lace on this piece.
For this year’s Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week, Ashley plans to show about 10 -12 pieces. With that number, there will be a wide representation of her fabulous collection. Be ready for sassy tops and cheeky bottoms that are colorful and fun and perfect for Vineyard gals.
You’ll be able see Sea.Love Swimwear on the runway at Summer’s Not Over Yet, Wednesday night at the Sand Bar & Grille. Remember that Summer really isn’t over, and there’s nothing wrong with buying a new bikini now – perhaps it will inspire you to travel someplace warm over the winter months.
If you want to check out other event happening in MV Fashion Week, check out, Ready for the Runway – 2nd Annual MV Fashion Week.
Thanks for reading On Point – I hope you enjoyed it. You can find Sea.Love Swim on Facebook. I bet when looking at Ashley’s photos of her collection- you’ll recognize a lot of the places they were taken.