“When I design a collection, I always think of where you’d want to wear it”, says designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves. “For Summer 2020, the answer was clear—Puglia. It’s pure European summer.” With a Mediterranean coastline that spans some 500 miles, the sun-baked region is the heel of the Italian boot, where historic hill towns and ancient olive groves share an azure sky with stunning beaches and rocky coves.
The collection introduces swimwear and resortwear that conceals and reveals with artful cutouts. These strategically and typically asymmetrically placed apertures are framed by playful ruching that is inspired by the ribbed and fluted surfaces of the wild cacti that are ubiquitous in Puglia. One such cactus, the fruit-bearing prickly pear (fichi d’India), is studded with clusters of especially long, hard spines. This succulent armor is represented by blanket-stitch trim, a graphic accent on new swim silhouettes such as the cross-back Sole Maillot and the skirted Trulli as well as a refined yet relaxed range of linen dresses and long-sleeved tops that double as cooling cover-ups.
Grounded by breezy white and eternally chic black, the collection’s heightened hues are inspired by the way that Puglia’s whitewashed walls and abundance of cream-colored limestone transform familiar, natural tones into enchanting, even electric, colors. Layers of vibrant hues come together in a print adapted from a watercolor sketch made by Reeves. At once warm and cool, the washes of color simultaneously evoke shifting sands and undersea wonders. “This print is magic. It complements the collection’s wide-ranging colors, and everyone sees something different in it,” says Reeves. “For me, it’s a wild summer sunset.”