INTRODUCING: LILLIPUT & FELIX
Launched in late 2014, luxury swimwear brand Lilliput & Felix creates high-end pieces with a structured feel and sense of fun. Merging classic and contemporary influences, the company’s debut collection, inspired by the beauty of British country gardens, introduces six different styles (two bikinis, two one-pieces and two cover-ups) in eye-catching prints and pastel colors, and unexpected details – see self-tied bows and gold hardware embellishments. Catriona Ramsay, founder of Lilliput & Felix, walks us through her line, explaining the company’s “secret,” and shares her thoughts on the swimwear industry.
What were you doing before you came up with the idea for Lilliput & Felix?
I have always wanted to design a swimwear line, but before I worked up the courage to do it, I worked in luxury, mainly in the fine wine trade running tastings and events.
What is the story behind the name of your brand?
I met someone who had lots of stories and adventures to tell, and who said he held the Guinness World Record for the number of forward flips per minute (which he then demonstrated). He then asked me if I wanted to know “The Secret.” “What secret?” I asked, “just The Secret” answered and he whispered in my ear, “Lilliput and Felix” and I never forgot it. “Lilliput” is for magical island escapes, and “Felix” for happiness.
Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?
Everywhere! Whether it is a shape I have always admired or caught my eye, or a color of a building that I have photographed on my travels. Lots of my inspiration for shapes comes from dress-making, as I like to make the swimwear pieces more like costumes than underwear. My friends are also a huge source of inspiration for me, and their feedback and ideas are invaluable.
How would you describe your collection?
Nostalgic, timeless and feminine.
Who/what do have in mind when designing?
With not much fabric to work with, I try to design shapes and silhouettes that are new and eye-catching whilst crucially remaining flattering. I want to to make the most of women’s figures without having to reveal everything. I design for the confident aesthete and dreamer who likes to create their own style.
What are the perks and the challenges of launching a seasonal product?
Well, it is always summer somewhere, and the British do tend to punctuate their year with holidays to sunnier climes! So, in that sense, the swimwear season is year-round.
What does your company offer in the swimwear and resort market?
Luxury items that are timeless classics yet also new. The flattering shapes and tactile fabrics add another dimension as do the self tie bows, allowing every pieces to be customizable to fit your unique shape and figure.
What makes the perfect swimsuit?
One that you look forward to wearing, and once you put it on, you feel elegant and confident and never want to take off.
What was your first memory wearing a bathing suit?
I grew up mostly in Hong Kong, so I have many watery memories – most of them wearing nothing! I do remember that my mother used to dress me in these beautiful cotton tie-side bikini bottoms all in beautiful prints.
What is the status of the swimwear industry today and where do you see it in five years?
It is quite a saturated market, but with many beautiful brands that all have their place. There is a big focus on fabric and cut at the moment, which I think will only grow stronger as technology improves. I think that swimwear will begin to focus more on skin protection and coverage as we start to pay more attention to the sun and its potential damage to our skin – most of L&F fabrics have factor 50+ UPF. Long live the swimsuit!
Images © Lilliput & Felix