Sitting pretty, poolside

By Dora Kouts
March 2023


If you’re like me, being by the water, whether that is seaside or poolside, is a favourite pastime. Simply sitting and staring at the water for minutes on end, just daydreaming, is a peaceful momentary reprieve from the otherwise busy lives we lead.

When it comes to swimming though, as picturesque as the ocean is, I generally prefer swimming in a pool – I am really not much for waves… or for losing my bikini top for that matter! Pools also have a certain design charm too. As a designer, thoughtfully-landscaped, crystal clear, aqua-coloured pools, are an endless source of inspiration to me, and this is no surprise, given pools have long featured in fashion photography.

We need only look at the photography of Slim Aarons (1916 – 2006) to see just how beautiful poolside scenes can be. I remember walking past a small gallery and being completely mesmerised by a Slim Aarons print, and to this day, his ‘Poolside Glamour’ photo is one of my favourites.

Such is my appreciation for his work that I bought the book ‘Poolside with Slim Aarons’ which features more stunning scenes of people in beautiful poolside locations, and proceeded to decorate my coffee table with it, along with a few other magazines, just on pretty pools. Yes! such magazines exist.

And it seems I am certainly in good company when it comes to fashion’s fascination with glamorous poolside settings. Vogue published an article online in 2016, titled ‘The most inviting swimming pools in Vogue‘ and British Vogue also more recently published a gallery of ‘The most beautiful pools in Vogue through the years‘, both featuring a gorgeous selection of fashion photography by the pool, definitely worth diving into.

So, it naturally follows then that one of the things I daydream about when I am sitting by the pool… is sitting by the pool in an exquisite outfit – one that does not belong by the water (or in the water!) from a practical point of view. And so this year, to mark the end of summer, I decided to take a ‘sitting pretty by the pool’ photo of my own, wearing one of my very own gowns from my last collection.

I like to say that I create dresses so that my clients can create beautiful moments in them. And so here I am doing exactly that, and I hope to capture as many of these moments as I can this year. We only live once after all!

Sitting pretty, poolside
Just casually sitting by the pool. Photo taken in 2023. ©Theodora Kouts 2023.

And finally, since you’ve humoured me enough by reading about me wearing an evening dress and sitting beside my little backyard pool, I thought I would share with you a few beautiful, inspirational, pools that I have been able to visit and photograph over the years, that you might also appreciate.

Now, if your idea of a wonderful holiday is relaxing poolside with a piña colada or margarita in hand, then these are for you!

Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas, Australia. Photo taken in 2017. ©Theodora Kouts 2023.

The Anchorage, Port Stephens, Australia. Photo taken in 2019. ©Theodora Kouts 2023.

Qualia Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia. Photo taken in 2016. ©Theodora Kouts 2023.

Four Seasons, Limassol, Cyprus. Photo taken in 2022. ©Theodora Kouts 2023.

©Theodora Kouts 2023.

And one last shot, this is a photo of our petite plunge pool at home full of kiddie floats, where we spend a lot of family time over the summer (dressed in more appropriate swim attire, I might add!), creating those little, big, moments that are just as sweet.

Dora xx



Hi, welcome to THEODORA KOUTS® and thank you for taking the time to read my article. I am a fashion designer and dressmaker based in Sydney, Australia. I started my eponymous label in 2016 offering high-end, made-to-measure and custom-made evening gowns. With a sophisticated yet delicate aesthetic being the hallmark of my brand, my pieces reflect an unwavering love of structure, soft silhouettes and subtle detailing. 

Beyond being a designer, I have a background in corporate communications and I am a mum of two (endearingly energetic!) young children. When I am not working or running around with the kids, chances are you’ll find me at a concert or at the theatre, on the tennis court, with family and friends having a laugh, or sitting poolside on holiday! 

You can find out more about me and how I can help you at


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