The creative force behind this season’s exuberant prints is Coco Brun, the Paris-based illustrator best known for her collection of luxurious silk scarves, Forget Me Not. For Seilenna, Coco’s imaginative prints ignite fantasies of turquoise waves and white sand perfection. She culls inspiration from her own exotic getaways—counting trips to Thailand and the Mediterranean among them—but her true genius lies in the mix. Whimsical compositions of tropical blooms and classic beachwear patterns, artfully skewed, are on a trip all their own. Coco filled us in on her creative process recently, while doing her very best to choose a favorite Seilenna swimsuit.
How did you meet Seilenna’s founder, Annelies De Rouck?
We met 10 years ago in London, as we have lots of friends in common.
We worked together on some occasions before and now we're collaborating on this amazing project. I am really happy to be making these prints. We talked about swimwear two years ago, and now I'm really excited to see the result!
What inspired this season’s prints?
The inspiration revolved around tropical and floral themes. We also have a Vichy pattern behind the flowers in the Isa collection—a nod to Jacques Demy and Brigitte Bardot.
You have your own collection of scarves which feature magnificent, otherworldly prints. How is designing for a swimsuit different than designing for a scarf?
Of course I need to adapt the prints. I typically make big prints and like large elements with lots of detail, so for me it is something completely new. I learned a lot this season.
What was the process behind making these prints?
I first do some research, after which I start to draw, one by one, each of the elements. All of the prints are handmade. After that, I select which ones work best together. I always use a mix of techniques. I am constantly experimenting and merging classic techniques like pencil, watercolor, pastels or Indian ink with digital processes. The final montage is done in Photoshop. This kind of hybrid work offers an opening into a world of possibilities. The prints are very colorful. It's my first time printing on swim fabric. We have all the prints made in Italy and I am really happy with the results.
Describe your perfect day at the beach.
When I was a child my mother loved the beach so much that we were always the first to arrive and the last ones to leave. I quite like to get there early in the morning, swim a little and have a walk around afterwards. But I also love to arrive at the beach after a day of work and just test the water.
What do you like to wear over a swimsuit?
I love to wear an extra large dress, like a boubou or a caftan, with a print. They’re really comfortable during hot weather and I like to mix the look up with accessories. I definitely prefer summer clothes over winter attire, complete with coat, gloves, etc. Is there something you absolutely love to eat at the beach?
Fruits. And above all, ice cream.
What’s your favorite sunny weather destination?
It's difficult to choose. I am based in France and the Mediterranean regions are just magical during springtime. All the countries around this sea are amazing: Italy, Greece, Spain, Morocco and Turkey. During the winter, Asian countries are ideal. I spent a lot of time in Thailand, for instance. Australia also has amazing beaches, and I hope soon to discover Brazil and Argentina.
Shop the Kea Top here
If you were packing for a vacation right now, which Seilenna swimsuit would you bring and why?
Ou la la… that's a rather tough question! I do prefer to wear prints, especially at the beach, but I would like to say that the Esther collection is so beautiful with its mix of fabrics. I am a big fan. If I had to choose, I really like the Kea and Amazon designs from the Laila collection. From the Isa collection I adore the Claire high-waisted bottoms, and the Françoise and Yvonne tops are my favorites.