City Guides   Almanac    Agency   About    Press    Contact

Miami: The fashion & friendly guide

Just when we're wishing that Tom Wolfe invent a scream for the "Fabuloussss!!!!!!!! Glam' Chucu Chucu Magic City!!!!!!", we got it. A 700 page pamphlet-saga where Art Basel Miami Beach plays the vortex of all the energies sweeping the high rise skyline of Biscayne Bay. As painted in "Back to Blood", the fair is that carnival for billionaires, which reinvent each December, the Miami Dreamland of the late 80s. When Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh were embodying the glamour and excess of South Beach with the "Trinity" - Christy, Naomi, Linda - on the golden sand of the Ocean Drive beach. Gianni Versace was having breakfast every morning at the News Café, corner 8th Street, remembers designer Esteban Cortazar who, as a child, used to live above. Each New Year eve, the limos were pulling over his Casa Casuarina - a few blocks further - delivering a daily ratio of Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna… The weekend parties were all over the place, accessible for $39, 2-hour flights from JFK. That vava-voom glitz was busting at the Ingrid Casares & Chris Paciello night club Liquid, on Washington Avenue. "The gay nightlife was a blast. A spontaneous expression of the Miami creativity through colors and flamboyance of the drag-queens scene on the background of art deco & streamline modern buildings." In 1995, the Steven Rubell & Philippe Stark's Delano on the Collins Avenue shore "was the most arresting setting and bold venture north of South Beach", recalls stylist Lisa Marie Fernandez. "It looked huge, and really displaced all the scene. Calvin Klein was there. Gianni and her supermodels were chilling out there. They were playing classical music by the poolside. It was like the St-Tropez of the 60s". Bliss pre-tabloid life…

For the international visitors, the scene still hold its own, provided you know where to watch. There's always a celebrity, a brand new Herzog & de Meuron, a rooftop infinite pool, a TV serie filming in sight. No matter that Miami didn't make the cut in a recent "Bloomberg Business List" of 50 best cities in America. Here, you feel right at the crossroads of Latin America. A jigsaw of Cuban, Columbian, Peruvian, Argentinean or Brazilian cultures. The indie art life is still electric, currently expanding to seedy Little Haiti, that Iggy Pop's neighborhood. There's a post-Scarface symptom that leaves open wounds like Overtown. For the conscious visitor, it shuts down the Glitzy Ghetto Sun Fab' mythology played loud everywhere else. And nowadays, fashion is more embodied in the 40 to 50 emporiums of institutional luxe due to open in Design District, than the fun, sun stylin' of yore. No matter what. "Miami, say its fans, will always much more vibrant than Hollywood, which looks glam'… But is not!!". C.S.

The Fashion Guides, 2018