I am always looking for special things for Emporio Le Sirenuse, my boutique in Positano: items shoppers won’t see everywhere else. Which is why, I suppose, Diane De Clercq, an old friend and well-known Belgian designer who creates the most fabulous knitwear collection, called to tell me I had to see a new line of bikinis called Dosed. Her nephew Luca Balella and his young Brazilian-born designer wife, Marcele Ribeiro da Silva, were doing fusion swimwear: the sexiness of South American beaches combined with the refinement of European fabric and design. I bought the entire collection, becoming their first—very proud—client.
Da Silva was born in Brazil and educated at Studio Berçot, the most traditional fashion school in Paris. She worked for a year with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, then moved to Milan and was soon hired by Giorgio Armani. After her first child was born, she started designing her own line and named it Dosed because, as she puts it, “Whatever I do in life, I always carefully weigh all the elements, seeking to reach balance and harmony.” It shows. As her husband says, “To look elegant in a swimsuit requires thought. The cut, the proportions are fundamental.”
Inspired by the colors and freedom of her native South America, Da Silva purposely avoided the typical Brazilian itsy-bitsy bikinis, opting for a slightly fuller and more flattering European style. The fabrics used are either French or Italian of the best possible quality. The results, whether it is the striped Bianca style (which seems made for the Mediterranean) or the red Scarlett model with wooden toggle detail, are fresh and extremely chic. The Audrey may be the bikini equivalent of the little black dress. In just a few strips of fabric it creates a bridge between Rio and Milan. “We wanted these bikinis,” says Balella, “to be big enough to cover the bottom nicely without looking like they belong to a grandmother!” Now that that challenge has been met, Dosed is on to one-piece bathing suits, bags, and tunics.