Is there a fashion category that has exploded as quickly as the women’s plus-size swim market? Once a collection of “full coverage” suits in 50 shades of black with cascading peplums and skirted bottoms, plus-size swimwear has transformed in recent seasons into a cornucopia of silhouettes, textures and prints.

Think off-the-shoulder tops, cutouts and cheeky pineapple patterns, as well as updates on classics such as Brigitte Bardot-inspired gingham and the ultimate summer icon, that itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini.

It doesn’t just make for a more fashionable scene on the beach, but also a confident and inclusive one as well. With the emphasis off hiding one’s body but on expressing personal style, brands are getting more creative. They are collaborating with bloggers such as Gabi Gregg of GabiFresh, who teamed with Swimsuits for All, and celebrity stylists including Timothy Snell, who has worked with Queen Latifah, among others, who was tapped by Always for Me. These collaborators often are well-loved in the plus-size community.

Alex Michael May, a Los Angeles-based, body-positive style expert, recently modeled in Eloquii’s swimwear look book. “When I shop for swimsuits, I’m looking for the same things I seek out in clothing,” May says. “Interesting details, pieces with movement, and fun patterns — something that’s going to make me feel confident, not covered up.”

While large brands get savvier to that way of thinking (check out Lane Bryant’s textured peekaboo monokini), niche brands have continued to push the envelope. Brooklyn-based Nakimuli put out a brilliant and versatile suit, a rainbow-hued one-piece that can be tied multiple ways.

The bottom line? Just as there’s no one way to have a beach body, there’s no one way to dress yours.

For fashion news, follow us at @latimesimage on Twitter.


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What’s in season: One of the quintessential vegetables of summer, zucchini, and other summer squash are now filling market stands. There are a number of varieties of the summer squash beyond classic green zucchini: from softball-sized, white-green Eight Ball and stout Mexican zucchini, to yellow oblong Goldmine and small, flower-shaped Sunburst squash. Exterior colors range from a lighter grayish-green and vibrant shades of yellow-orange to almost black, with sizes varying from small and slender to massive squash well over a foot in length. The season runs through the hotter months of summer, tapering off as the weather cools in fall.

A summer favorite: 12 great recipes for zucchini >>

What to cook: Smaller zucchini tend to pack more flavor than their larger counterparts and work well raw or cooked. Consider slicing or grating the squash to use in salads or slaws. Steam or stew chopped or diced squash, or throw large wedges or slices on the grill, tossing them with olive oil and chopped fresh herbs and garlic. Use larger zucchini in soups, or consider roasting, braising or even stuffing the squash as you might with peppers or tomatoes.

What’s on the horizon: Summer melons, including Tuscan cantaloupes and watermelons, are just beginning to show up, as are fresh figs.


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It was the longest day of the year, and Diane von Furstenberg wasn’t going to miss a second. Carrying a small, black digital camera in one hand, she was equipped to document every bit of the 2017 Summer Solstice, which she chose to celebrate by inviting about 220 of her friends and family to Liberty Island for a sunset picnic.

After a brief ferry ride, guests immediately dispersed. DVF’s husband Barry Diller was among the first dozen or so who took advantage of the after-hours access to Lady Liberty’s crown, a feat that involved climbing several hundred stairs. On the way in to the statue, he tried to sneak a drink through the security x-ray machine. After being found out, he joked with the guard, “Just drink it.”

Von Furstenberg serves on the board of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and has been leading fund-raising efforts to raise $100 million to build the new Statue of Liberty Museum and enhance the rest of the island. The picnic was less of a fund-raising effort (there was no auction) and more of an opportunity for von Furstenberg to show her friends and family why the cause is important to her (and should perhaps be important to them, too).

Though it was open to a select few media outlets, the designer had requested she be the only one to do interviews that night. Yet she ultimately avoided most questions, in her classically sweet, gracious — but firm — way.

When asked what the Statue of Liberty means to her, she responded, “I’m going to be saying that tonight so you could write it down. I just wrote it down.” When asked to expound on why she had dubbed herself the “godmother of Lady Liberty,” she replied, “That’s what you’ll see. He will announce that, too.

“Anyway, just enjoy,” she continued. “It’s a wonderful place. I have my family and my friends. There are no tourists. It’s a beautiful night, it’s the longest day of the year and we celebrate this incredible woman, this statue who represents womanhood and freedom and courage. That’s what it is.”

The shortest interview ever behind her, she went on to enjoy what was left of the longest day of the year.


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Who do the bar-hopping cocktail devotees of Los Angeles have to thank for their next hangover-worthy tipple? Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV, a.k.a. Tom Selleck, a.k.a. the older guy from “Friends” who has that “thing” with Monica Geller.

“Magnum P.I.” serves as the inspiration behind the King Kamehameha, one of the excellent cocktails on the menu at Lono, the new tiki bar from Austin Melrose and Zach Patterson of the Umbrella Hospitality Group. They opened the bar a little more than two weeks ago on Hollywood Boulevard, just down the street from the original Don the Beachcomber.

The cocktail was inspired by general manger/beverage director Michael Lay’s recent discovery of the ’80s TV show. (After a friend told him to watch it, he’s been streaming it on Amazon TV.)

Recipe: King Kamehameha »

“I love Magnum P.I.,” said Lay, formerly of Faith and Flower and Broken Spanish in downtown L.A. “I’ve been watching through all the seasons. The drink is named after a club they always hang out in.”

The King Kamehameha is a lot of rum (four total, including two Jamaican and two Puerto Rican). A lot of citrus (lime, orange juice and Aperol). Some passion fruit, and some pineapple. It is the color of a pale orange-pink sunset, served in a hurricane glass full of ice, garnished with a cherry, an orange peel, a wedge of pineapple and spear-like pineapple leaves that stick straight up and out of the glass — perhaps an offering to the tiki gods.

It’s a well-balanced drink with lots of fresh citrus flavor, a little bit of Jamaican rum funk and a serious punch of alcohol that sneaks up on you. The word “dangerous” comes to mind. By the third sip a wave of relaxation washes over you as you settle into one of the bar’s comfy dark booths and order one of chef David Lespron’s elevated pupu. Maybe an order of the oxtail steamed buns or kung pao ribs while you contemplate whether or not the golden octopus spinning on top of the record player is actually spinning.

Lay was kind enough to share his King Kamehameha recipe below, so you can sip while you watch a couple “Magnum P.I.” episodes at home.


5 minutes. Serves 1

¾ ounce dark overproof rum, preferably Plantation OFTD rum

¾ ounce aged Puerto Rican rum, preferably Bacardi 8

¾ ounce Jamaican rum, preferably a blend of Smith & Cross and Appleton 12

1 ounce Aperol

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce orange juice

2 ounces pineapple juice

¾ ounce passion fruit syrup

¾ ounce honey syrup

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the rums, Aperol, lime, orange and pineapple juices, the passion fruit syrup and honey syrup. Shake vigorously and strain into a Hurricane glass filled with ice. Top with an orange twist and a wedge of pineapple.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Michael Lay of Lono Hollywood. The rums, passion fruit and honey syrups are generally available at well-stocked liquor stores. To make passion fruit syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water and boil for a couple minutes; add ½ cup fresh passion fruit and the juice of ½ lemon and boil for a couple minutes longer, then strain and cool until needed. To make honey syrup, combine ¾ cup honey and ½ cup water and boil until reduced by ¼, then cool until needed.



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The hottest shoe of the summer isn’t from a luxury brand like Gucci or Louis Vuitton or a cool, on-the-rise label like Vetements. It’s an old footwear stalwart from Costa Mesa-based Vans — one you might already have in your closet. The action sports brand’s Checkerboard Slip-On, which has been offered since 1977, is being embraced by celebrities and cool kids from Frogtown to Bushwick.

First made famous by Sean Penn playing stoned surfer Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 cult film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” the sneaker received a major public endorsement last year. It came from musician Frank Ocean, who paired the slip-on with a navy suit and white dress shirt while attending the last White House State Dinner of the Obama administration. “You can’t think. You just have to do things,” Ocean told reporters at the event, explaining his daring stylistic choice, one that Vogue called “a bold, rebellious choice.”

Ryan Reynolds, from left, Ty Dolla Sign and Frank Ocean have embraced the checkerboard Vans slip-on. (BuzzFoto via Getty Images / WireImage / AFP / Getty Images)

Much like the Adidas Stan Smith, the Birkenstock Arizona sandal and Vans’ own Old Skool style before it, Vans’ Checkerboard Slip-On ($50, is the latest in a string of casual, easy-to-wear footwear options that have been rediscovered and popularized recently after years at the fringes of the shoe market.

“It’s remained part of the pop-culture consciousness,” says Andrew Luecke, co-author of the recent book “Cool: Style, Sound and Subversion,” which chronicles the history of subcultures and street styles.

“Even when it hasn’t been that popular, it’s there, in people’s minds, with the associations of Southern California surfers and skaters — and this kind of cultural memory is important in creating trends,” he says. “People know it. They may love it for nostalgic reasons, and so when it surfaces as fashionable again, it’s easy for people to embrace, even comforting, like going back to being a kid.”

Add to that the fashion industry’s recent obsession with Southern California style — exemplified by the recent pilgrimage of international brands to show in Los Angeles as well as online luxury menswear retailer Mr Porter’s recent Made in California collection — and you’ll notice that this Vans trend is at its tipping point. Just ask celebrity fans including Justin Bieber, Ryan Reynolds, Brooklyn Beckham or Ty Dolla Sign.

First introduced in 1977, Vans' Checkerboard Slip-On, $50, became mainstream after appearing in the  1982 teen drama, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
First introduced in 1977, Vans’ Checkerboard Slip-On, $50, became mainstream after appearing in the 1982 teen drama, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” (Vans)

“We’ve seen a lot of fashion brands referencing skateboarding and streetwear as a source of inspiration in their latest collections and have used the checkerboard motif throughout their lines, bringing the pattern back to the forefront,” says Mark Haskins, vice president of global product design for footwear at Vans. “The checkerboard pattern is a trademarked intellectual property of Vans, and the fashion industry loves iconic design. And the Checkerboard Slip-On is an absolute original classic.”

The shoe first came into existence when Vans co-founder Paul Van Doren’s son, Steve, noticed that young people were drawing in the checkerboard pattern on the sidewall of their sneakers themselves and decided to do it for them. But it wasn’t until being featured in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” that the shoe went mainstream. Now a new generation is making it their own.

Because the style is easy to wear, versatile, unpretentious and perhaps a deal at $50, there are all the trappings of a full-fledged seasonal trend.

“The Checkerboard Slip-On remains one of our most popular styles and continues to be one of the top 10 purchased styles globally,” Haskins says.

And really, it doesn’t hurt that the shoes are so easy to put on.

“Just slip your foot in literally, which makes them perfect for the beach or cocktails in the city,” says Luecke. “They can do it all. Also, with that canvas construction and rugged vulcanized rubber sole, they’re the kind of shoe that ages and breaks in so well. Vans’ slip-ons can tell a story, you’re personal story, and communicating that personal story is really what style is all about.”

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It’s technically the first day of summer (in the city), but HBO and “Game of Thrones” have the perfect antidote to the back of your neck getting dirty and gritty.

Actually, strike that. People in Westeros are filthy.

The premium cable provider released its second trailer for Season 7 of the blockbuster fantasy series “Game of Thrones” on Wednesday morning, and it’s chock-full of snow, fire and stirring orchestral themes.

The trailer begins with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) striding through the snow as renowned meddler Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) provides voice-over advising, “Don’t fight in the North. Or the South. Fight every battle, everywhere, always, in your mind.”

From there, the trailer is off to the races, checking in with the three would-be sovereigns of Westeros — Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) — before moving like wildfire through the rest of the enormous cast. 

Though Season 7 will contain only seven episodes, unlike the 10-episode seasons that preceded it, there appears to be no shortage of action.

The rest of the trailer contains dragons and White Walkers and crows aplenty, plus a special appearance by the undead leader of the Brotherhood, Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer).

Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” premieres July 16.

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Fifty years on, San Francisco’s Summer of Love has become a glossy flashback to the time young people came to the city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to start a cultural revolution.

A new kind of flower power tribute begins Wednesday in Golden Gate Park when the plain white Conservatory of Flowers will be bathed in lights featuring boldly colored spinning flower mandalas, animated butterflies and other designs and shapes.

The nonprofit group Illuminate, which supports projects such as the Bay Bridge illumination that began in 2014, partnered with light-based art pros at Obscura Digital to transform the 1879 building.

The show is free and open to the public from sundown to midnight starting Wednesday and continuing until Aug. 21.

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Northern California has always been rich in rivers, lakes and waterfalls. But this video makes clear just how wet and wild the summer of 2017 will be.

With so much snow yet to melt from last winter’s storms, the region’s shorelines, hiking trails, bridges, rafts and houseboats are busier than they have been in years. For this video, I visited seven lively, watery spots in mid-June, all north of Sacramento. I fit them all into five days — about 600 miles of driving. So could you.

1. Crossing Sundial Bridge

Santiago Calatrava’s Sundial Bridge, completed in 2004, is one of Redding’s leading landmarks, with the Sacramento River rushing beneath it and a museum, arboretum and riverside trail in the same park.

Sundial Bridge, Redding, Calif. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

2. Facing the roar of Burney Falls

Burney Falls, about an hour northeast of Redding, is among the state’s most beautiful cascades, 129 feet tall.

Burney Falls, northeast of Redding, Calif.
Burney Falls, northeast of Redding, Calif. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

3. Hiking alongside McCloud Falls

McCloud Falls, a series of three cascades along a single trail, isn’t far from Burney Falls. Its second section, Middle Fall, is a roaring spectacle.

Hiker at Northern California's McCloud Falls, Middle Fall.
Hiker at Northern California’s McCloud Falls, Middle Fall. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

4. Dangling above the Sacramento River in Castle Crags State Park

Most hikers go to Castle Crags for the challenging trail up to the park’s signature granite spires (and the views of Mt. Shasta). But the Sacramento River rolls through the park too, and there’s a nice, shaded suspension bridge over the water. Unlike the Crags Trail, this is a short, flat, shaded stroll.

A suspension bridge crosses the Sacramento River at Castle Crags State Park, Calif.
A suspension bridge crosses the Sacramento River at Castle Crags State Park, Calif. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

5. Houseboating Lake Shasta

Lake Shasta, a man-made entity, has twice as much shoreline as Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties combined. For decades, it has been a beloved houseboating destination, and many families return every summer to the Bridge Bay and Holiday Harbor areas, among others. Lately, the water is higher than it’s been in years.

Holiday Harbor, Lake Shasta, Calif.
Holiday Harbor, Lake Shasta, Calif. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

6. Inspecting Shasta Dam

Yes, this is the concrete engineering wonder that makes Lake Shasta possible. Visitors can stroll and bike along the top of the dam — a great spot at sunset, whether you’re looking at the relatively dry scene downstream or the broad lake upstream. Dam workers offer free tours too.

A family strolls atop Shasta Dam, north of Redding, Calif.
A family strolls atop Shasta Dam, north of Redding, Calif. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

7. Rafting the South Fork of the American River

The South Fork of the American River isn’t just where the Gold Rush began in 1848, it’s where rafting begins for hundreds of visitors every year. That stretch of the river is not only scenic, but it’s also endowed with several Class II and Class III rapids challenging enough to thrill newbies and anybody who hasn’t boarded a raft in a few years.

Guide Kyle Brazil navigates the South Fork of the American River near Coloma, Calif..
Guide Kyle Brazil navigates the South Fork of the American River near Coloma, Calif.. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

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As the first heat wave of summer reached its anticipated peak Tuesday afternoon, Southern California residents employed a variety of methods to keep cool amid the swelter.

From the Pacific Coast to the Inland Empire, children and adults sought relief in air conditioned malls, libraries and movie theaters, while others lounged in pools or on the beach.

Meanwhile, those who worked outside the shelter of climate-controlled office buildings guzzled water in a desperate attempt to stay hydrated.

“The water is key,” said Tawny Auer, 28, as her sons Carter, 2, and Shane, 3, played at the Palm Desert Aquatic Center.

“For the next two and a half weeks this is where we’ll be,” she said as her boys splashed each other and slid beneath water fountains.

In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Beverlywood, David Johnson worked to replace fiber optic Internet cables in the bright sun. A contractor for AT&T, Johnson said his crew’s truck was equipped with three, 5-gallon jugs of water.

“Hydration starts the day before,” Johnson said. “Weeks like this when it gets really hot you drink nothing but water.”

In a Canoga Park playground, a film crew tried to soldier on as the mercury climbed to 104 degrees.

“It’s definitely challenging,” said Devon Downs, one of the production’s directors. “The equipment is hot. We’ve had to change our shot list.”

The crew had to stop shooting some scene when the playground’s slides got too hot for the actors to sit on.

“No one is keeping cool,” said first assistant director Xavier Puslowski as he sipped water. “But work is work.”

The scorching weather is part of a system commonly referred to as the Four Corners High, a high-pressure system that settles over the desert Southwest near the Four Corners area — where Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado meet — and spreads smothering heat from Northern California to Nevada and as far east as Central Texas.

In anticipation of the heat, Los Angeles County posted a list of cooling centers online, while operators of California’s electrical grid issued their first flex alert of the year on Tuesday.

The California Independent System Operator urged energy consumers to scale back power consumption over the next two days or risk outages.

Customers should turn off unnecessary lights and major appliances between 2 and 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, when energy usage is expected to peak at 47,000 megawatts, the system operator said.

The agency serves about 80% of the state’s electricity consumers.

The multi-state heat wave that brought triple-digit temperatures to Southern California was expected to peak Tuesday, although the heat will probably fall a degree or two short of all-time records, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan.

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The sizzling summer sun doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying California’s great outdoors, but be smart about it.

Even though there’s growing awareness about the damage sun rays can cause, the rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years, said David Andrews, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit agency that specializes in research and advocacy.

One factor is that sunscreen’s efficacy isn’t just about using it — but how you use it:

Purchase “Broad Spectrum” UVA/UVB-protection sunscreen. Use an SPF 30 or higher, but anything higher than 50 can be unnecessary and misleading. Reapply about a shot-glass amount of sunscreen per area at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or heavy sweating. And check the expiration date — products that are too old should be tossed.

The good news is that sunscreens are improving, Andrews said, “but a critical part of our messaging is that sunscreen is not the end-all or be-all, it’s not the magic bullet or the magic cream that’s going to make you invincible to the sun’s rays, it’s a tool. It’s a piece of your sun-protection strategy that needs to include sun-protective clothing, hats and UV-protecting shades.”

Also, avoid peak sun hours — about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — and stay in the shade, which is especially important for infants.

Here are 2017’s top sunscreen picks from the EWG and Consumer Reports:

California Baby Summer Blend Sunscreen, SPF 30+. $19.99.

Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Fluid For Face, SPF 50. $26.

COOLA Suncare Sport Tint Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50. $26.

Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30. $10.

Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen, SPF 30. $45.

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Sunscreen, SPF 50+. $38.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Care Stick, SPF 15. $4.95.

Banana Boat SunComfort Clear UltraMist Spray, SPF 50+. $7.59.

Equate Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50. $4.98.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk, SPF 60 $35.99.

Neutrogena Beach Defense water + Sun Protection Stick, SPF 50+. $10.99.

Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray, SPF 50+. $5.99. Trader Joe’s stories nationwide.


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