For those of you old enough to remember a bikini-clad Fiona Xie bounding down Orchard Road in the 2004 TV series The Champion (if not, Google it), the S/S ’19 runways offer a lesson in creating the same kind of splash — fashionably. Think patterned two-piece swimsuits peeking through ornately embellished, sheer evening gowns (Thom Browne), oversized blazers thrown over printed tankinis and one-shoulder maillots worn with low-slung jeans (Chanel), or string bikini tops paired with tailored wrap skirts and bustier dresses (Sportmax). Some critics call the trend escapist dressing. We call it a chic and clever response to climate change, and a sporty alternative to the inner-as-outerwear look that’s more 2019 Xie: grown-up, evolved, but still 100 per cent hot.

Left of image — first row: Thom Browne polyamide-blend bikini (worn throughout), Dover Street Market Singapore. Left: Leather bermudas, Bottega Veneta. L’Instinct Longchamp leather phone case, Longchamp. Coach 1941 leather and rubber sandals, Coach. Middle: Wool top and matching skirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim. Rubber slides, Chanel. Right: Cotton-blend parka, Cos. Leather boots, Marc Jacobs. Socks, stylist’s own. All prices unavailable

Right of image — First row: Jersey maillot (worn throughout), Chanel. Left: Mesh tank dress, Cos. Coach 1941 metal bracelet, Coach. Leather flats, Bimba Y Lola. Middle: Coach 1941 denim jeans, Coach. Chloe C leather shoulder bag, Chloe. Leather slingbacks, Giuseppe Zanotti. Right: Wool cardigan, Chanel. Patent leather boots, Roger Vivier

Photography Zaphs Zhang Styling Imran Jalal Hair Junz Loke/Hairloom, using Kevin.Murphy Makeup Wee Ming, using Shu Uemura Nails Zi/Auum, The Honest Nail Spa Model Keti/Mannequin

This story first appeared in Female’s February 2019 issue.