Speedo Swim Set with Integrated Bra by Bianca Laporta

Read on to find out what our students thought about the process of working with a big brand.

Jessica Preece
Cut-away one piece swimsuit

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour

Jessica’s design takes the Speedo LZR Racer through a metamorphosis from advanced technical swimwear to fashion focused and design led swimwear suitable for relaxing at a pool or spa.

Initial inspiration came from the structure, organic shapes and repetitive segments of cocoons, with associations of protecting the body whilst rejuvenating and preserving youth. Current catwalk trends of armour, tribalism, cut-outs and structured panels also influenced the design. Designed to boost body confidence and flatter the female form, the suit features a halter neck and low revealing back.

Speaking of the importance of sustainability in fashion, Jessica said:

I enjoyed working with a real life economical and environmental problem. It has made me aware to consider a product’s life-cycle from cradle to grave, and to minimise the amount of waste when designing a product at all times.

On working with the Speedo LZR Racer, she added:

The material suited my design due to its fast drying properties – a benefit when the product needs to go from pool to sunlounger to bar quickly! The fabric was interesting to work with, but presented challenges due to its rigidity and non-textile nature, making it different from traditional fabrics used in commercial swimwear.

Bianca Laporta
Speedo Swim Set with Integrated Bra

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour
Bianca chose to reshape the Speedo LZR Racer into a new garment, creating a swimsuit aimed at the fitness and lifestyle market and designed to meet the requirements of ladies with larger busts.

Inspired by the trend for asymmetry, Bianca arranged pattern pieces cut from the Speedo LZR Racer suit to create different stylish shapes, with elements of Speedo’s arrow device symbol strongly recognisable on the final design. In addition, the product has been designed with functionality in mind, with features including a small pocket for locker keys to meet the needs of the fitness consumer.

Upon completion of her recycled Speedo LZR Racer product, Bianca said: “Sustainability in fashion is very important as we are constantly renewing fashion without thinking of the consequences. This project is proof that new fashion can be generated from obsolete products through up-cycling.”

On working with the LZR Racer material, she added: “The LZR Racer fabric was very interesting to work with. I found it really easy to cut and sew, and it was greatly responsive to laser cutting and heat welding”.

Danielle Wilson
Speedo Swim Dress

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour
In creating the ‘Isabella’ Swim Dress, Danielle  transformed the Speedo LZR Racer from an elite competitive swimming product to swimwear suitable for use on the beach or on holiday.

Inspired by the Speedo Sculpture range, the swimwear collection which flatters and shapes the female form, the Isabella swim dress is shaped to the bust and waist whilst sculpting the tummy and hips. In producing her design Danielle identified a similarity between the ‘second skin’ aesthetics of the Speedo LZR Racer suit and current trends in intimate apparel, a comparison which inspired the final product.

Speaking about her experience of working with the Speedo LZR Racer material, Danielle said: “I really enjoyed working with the Speedo LZR Racer fabric, and I worked with many samples to find out what was most effective for my design. It was a new approach for me to be given the fabric and have to work my pattern pieces around it, but it was a great experience”.

Diana Aura Harris
Monokini with inflatable plunge cups

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour
Diana was inspired by flotation devices and lifejackets whilst producing her innovative design for a monokini featuring inflatable plunge cups.

Motivated by a desire to create a metamorphosing product which combined fashion and function, Diana produced a fashionable monokini featuring the inflatable elements which both aid flotation and offer a boost to those with smaller busts.

Diana carefully planned her pattern so as to only use one Speedo LZR Racer suit, eliminating the possibility of excess waste in production.

Speaking about the design, Diana said: “Speedo are all about being daring and dedicating a lot of time to develop or invent something new and innovative. I feel that my design has achieved this with its inflatable cups and detailed planning of the pattern cutting.”

Yiding Yumura Yuan
‘Surrounded By Bubbles’

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour
Yiding was inspired by the sea in her piece called ‘surrounded with bubbles’.

She said of her design inspiration:

“When people jump into the sea, lots of bubbles are left behind. I created this piece to make people feel that they are still in the sea even when they are sitting in a beach chair”.

The bubble effect appears as if in 3D on the suit, thanks to a contrast generated by the grey and black colour scheme of the Speedo LZR Racer suit.

Yiding added: “Even though the Speedo LZR Racer cannot be used in competition anymore, it is still a legend in the swimming world. People always want to follow fashion, but it’s important to remember how many clothes are discarded each year. Therefore, I think sustainability in fashion is very important.”

Man Kit Au-Yeung
‘Metamorphosis’ Patchwork Watershorts

BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear
The Speedo LZR Racer made waves in the world of sport, and Man Kit has stayed true to its sporting roots with his ‘Metamorphosis’ patchwork watershorts.

On the sporting influence behind the design he said: “The dedication of professional athletes is something I have always admired, and I was looking for a design element which demonstrated their discipline and commitment.”

Using this inspiration, Man Kit produced the Metamorphosis shorts from a patchwork featuring not only the Speedo LZR Racer, but pieces of other Speedo swimwear sourced from internet auction websites, echoing the brand’s commitment towards developing swimwear at all levels.

On working with the LZR Racer fabric, Man Kit said: “After making some stretch tests and recreating the pattern in paper, I decided to follow my instincts and cut up the swimsuit bit by bit, placing different panels onto my body. Eventually, the Speedo LZR Racer found its own way to be reborn into a new life.

Adriana Margarita Ruiz
Technical Jacket with hood

BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear
Adriana focussed on a complementary product for swimmers and aquatics sports athletes to wear away from the pool when designing the Technical Jacket with Hood using Speedo LZR Racer suits.

Whilst researching the brand, Adriana was inspired by Speedo’s athletes including Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte and constructed the jacket to make the most of the Speedo LZR Racers key properties in strategically selected areas.  The LZR Racer panels were utilised to add water repellence in essential areas, including the hood, shoulders and pockets. Meanwhile, the stretch elements of the suit have been used to ease freedom of movement, as well as providing ventilation.

Adriana said: “I focussed my designs on the customer’s requirements and I always had it in mind to create a range of products for aquatics sports athlete. I was inspired by the Speedo LZR Racer suit and athletes’ testimonies, with colours, shapes and technical details inspired by Speedo’s products.

Sophie Watkins
Bandeau Knotted Bikini

BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear
Sophie Watkins’ bandeau tie-up bikini has been designed as a fashion spin off of the phenomenal Speedo LZR Racer Suit.

The bikini features a subtle nod to Speedo’s passion for water through its inspiration derived from sailing knots, with Sophie having carried out extensive research into the different shapes that could be achieved from different knotting techniques, ensuring that a practical and aesthetic feature evolved.

Made entirely from Speedo LZR Racer fabric, the bikini demonstrates Speedo’s heritage through innovative design coupled with a strong sustainable ethos.

On her experience in working on this project, Sophie said: “I was inspired by high-end fashion and sailing knots – I loved the shapes that could be formed by the knots whilst incorporating a practical fastening solution. The Speedo LZR Racer fabric was very interesting to work with and made for an exciting design brief.”

Eva Hiu Wa Lai
LZR Afterlife

BA (Hons) Fashion Contour
Eva’s Speedo LZR Afterlife focuses on redeveloping the Speedo LZR Racer suit into a new item with a focus on high fashion.

The LZR Afterlife takes inspiration from a plethora of sources, taking in the original Speedo LZR Racer image featuring Michael Phelps in a stance echoing Leonardo Da Vinci’s infamous Vitruvian Man, anatomy, the concept of afterlife, and the instantly recognisable outfits of female superheroes – heralding the suit’s cape feature.

Sustainability in fashion is something that’s already important to Eva, and she explained: “I hate wastage and find it hard to throw away old clothes. Recycling is great, but ‘up-cycling’ is even better. It’s amazing to create something new by reinventing.”

Used to working with soft lingerie-style fabrics, the Speedo LZR Racer fabric presented a number of different challenges for Eva, but she remained unfazed: “I was inspired by the fabric’s leather-like appeal, and started to run with that. The result was amazing, as all raw edges are neat and sharp and easy to cut and sew. It is a nice change to work with something more structural and shaped, a fantastic challenge to create soft contour lines in a tough material, and an unexpected brilliant outcome!”