In June, Bryony visited beautiful Lake Como in Northern Italy for a weekend of sunbathing, spaghetti and swing dancing.
An avid swing dancer, Bryony can often be found hitting the dance floors of London's Lindy Hop scene. Originating in Harlem in the late 1920s, Lindy Hop is a partner dance that unifies elements of jazz, tap, and charleston. Increasingly popular in the U.K and Europe, swing dance festivals have multiplied in recent years. You can now choose a dancing holiday in any country you like, from the beaches of rural Corsica, the lakes of Finland, to culture hotspots such as Berlin, Barcelona and Budapest.
The Swing Crash festival is an annual weekender that brings Lindy Hop to the shores of one of Lombardy's largest lakes - the majestic Como. Bryony visited with four friends who are fellow dancers, renting an apartment close to the shores of the expansive 400m deep waters.
Lake Como is known for its idyllic palatial villas, tranquil tree-lined towns and the mountainous terrain of the surrounding countryside. Its history in the arts is significant - Como has inspired literary greats such as Mary Shelley and Mark Twain and finds reference in the works of Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett. The lake itself is fed by the river Adda. Full with greenery and rich vegetation; figs, olives and pomegranates flourish upon its banks.
Each of the group packed a Palava dress for their Como adventure. The warm temperatures of June required easy-to-wear summer dresses - but more importantly, the desire for something comfortable, elegant and eye-catching to dance in. We asked the girls to talk us through their style choices.
"I love flamingos! And the blue is super flattering, along with the nipped in waist. Plus it could be worn at a wedding, or more casually, like dancing around the house!"
Publishing professional Caroline picked Beatrice Cap Sleeves in our Red Walking Zoo print. Perhaps the most colourful of our dresses, featuring a parade of exotic hand illustrated animals: you can spot zebras, monkeys and peacocks on patrol.
"I love the colour. It matches my lipstick! The shape is flattering and easy to wear. Best of all, it's made from organic cotton which is very soft and comfortable. The quality speaks for itself."
Construction expert Victoria wore
"I've not come across many dresses with such a range of unusual and quirky prints.
I was drawn to the botanical print. I like when objects from nature are used to make distinctive, bold prints. The neckline is also very flattering. I love the sustainable ethics behind the company, the use of high quality organic fabrics and the attention to detail of the prints themselves."
Housing professional Rosie loves Audrey Bluebells - a chic, sleeveless design with back zip, side pockets and slim fit. Our Bluebells print added a touch of springtime cool to the intense Italian heat.
"My dress has such an elegant shape, I love the tailoring on the waistline...it pulls you in nicely and is very flattering. The bluebells pattern is quite striking...makes it a bit of a stand out frock!"
Lake Como provided a rare opportunity to observe four very different Palava styles worn side by side. Be it during afternoon strolls around town in search of coffee and gelato, or dancing into the night - each dress passed the Palava holiday test!
If you want to try one of these dresses for yourself, they are featured in our pick of the week selection. Enjoy 20% off - this weekend only, plus a few other summer styles. Have a peek now!