By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore and Maryanne Salvat
Nary a deluge nor flood could keep the fashion forward from the tents at the Raleigh hotel for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim (MBFWS) shows. Arguably the best week of the summer, MBFWS brought five days of designer runway shows, presentations and parties to Miami Beach from July 18 through July 22. The palpable excitement of the eager crowd could be felt throughout the Raleigh on Thursday, July 18, as models, designers, journalists, stylists and chefs posed and mingled beneath umbrellas for the kick-off party that took place poolside and featured a Roxy PopSurf Runway Show. Nearby, on the covered terrace, the delightful, Mercedes-Benz Presents designer Mara Hoffman, showed off the most coveted item of the week- a colorful, striking E-Cabriolet convertible, which Mercedes-Benz wrapped in a new print from Hoffman’s 2014 resort collection. Hoffman and guests, including model, Chrissy Teigen, posed in front of the car throughout the evening-many longing to hop in and go for a spin. The party went on past its official end time- with lots of excited chatter and a crowd who refused to let a little (or a LOT) of rain dampen their moods, and set the tone for one of the best weekends of the year.
Since the looks and parties were even hotter than the steamy summer temperatures- we’ve decided to highlight our favorites in two different editions of The Fix. Be sure to check back next week for more sizzling Swim Week stories and celebrity sightings.
One of the most anticipated shows every season is that of New York City based Ready-to-Wear and swimwear designer Mara Hoffman, who debuted her Resort Swim 2014 collection on Saturday, July 20. The stunning kaleidoscope of a show, featured Indian references through the prevalence of the Ganesh print- in bright colors, inspired by the ancient spiritual figure representing creativity, knowledge and the removal of obstacles. Styles included a maillot, a halter bikini with tassels, and a racerback modal mini, as well as a new addition to the swim line, a fully functional surfing rash guard- a welcomed addition to fashionable swimwear.
We loved the garlands, cover-ups, weekend bag, beach bag and mirror-embroidered maxi dresses with matching bikinis. The laser-cut pieces, new to Hoffman’s repertoire, including a high-waisted bikini with bandeau top, tank one piece, mini dress and beaded neck maxi dress drew applause from the crowd.
According to Hoffman, “This collection was inspired by the mythology and mysticism of India, shown through vivid colors and prints. If I had to pick one word to describe the collection, it would be “Shakti” which means sacred force or empowerment.
The styling for the show included beautiful colorful garlands and tassels strewn throughout the models’ hair. The show featured make-up by Lori Taylor for Smashbox, hair by Nick Irwin for Catwalk by TIGI, nails by LVX, shoes by Michael Antonio and styling by Richard Ruiz. Hoffman also collaborated with e-commerce site L-atitude to create a limited edition capsule collection of accessories consisting of three styles including: an Indian tribal Thakur Spike Bracelet and Bandaru Necklace which are all available in black, magenta, and lime. The neon thread and embellished
pieces were inspired by vintage market finds which L-atitude’s buying team had previously unearthed in the jewelry bazaar in Jaipur, India.
Front row VIP attendees included Linda Fargo, actress, Perrey Reeves, designers: Nanette Lepore, Naeem Khan and Tori Praver; Alexia Echevarria and Davis Factor, Smashbox founder.
For the first time, the Mara Hoffman Resort Swim 2014 show was viewable live in real time, thanks to Everything But Water’s first ever runway live stream from Miami Swim Week. Hoffman also designed a limited edition tunic to demonstrate this idea of “convertible fashion’ – an easy, versatile piece to take you from the beach out. The tunic and pouch set launched exclusively at Miami boutique Alchemist and are available for $50.
L*SPACE by Monica Wise
Celebrity-favored swim brand L*SPACE by Monica Wise showcased its 2014 swimwear collection on Sunday, July 21. Models styled with gold glitter dipped fishtails strutted the runways modeling a combination of pastel color palettes along with gem-toned prints creating an elegant and sophisticated collection. Models flaunted breath-taking accessories by jewelry designer Rodrigo Otozu. Audience attendees included Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Melissa and Joe Gorga and Real Housewives of Miami’s Marysol Patton and Alexia Echevarria.
Colombia-based swimwear brand, Maaji gave a whole new meaning to the words, “pirate’s booty” as gorgeous models in exaggerated pirate hats strutted down the runway showing off their perfectly toned bodies on Sunday, July 21. Maaji made its MBFWS debut to a packed house which included international supermodel, Carissa Rosario, and The Real Housewives of Miami’s Adriana de Moura and Alexia Echevarria.
Maaji’s 2014 “Chimeric Wayfarer” collection combined boho and nautical inspired trends with an unexpected mixture of prints, textures, and cutting-edge silhouettes. Head designer Juliana Londoño and lingerie designer Nani Valenzuela incorporated a bright, compelling assortment of prints and innovative cuts in Maaji’s new collection of women’s swimwear, lingerie, and first-ever swimwear collection for men. The selection for women including flounce tops, bandeau style bikinis, and underwire bustier tops are completely reversible (four suits in one) for added versatility.
Luli Fama is consistently one of the most sought after shows during Mercedes-Benz Swim Week. Designers Lourdes Hanimian and brother-in-law Augusto Hanimian tend to captivate audiences with their over-the-top presentations encompassing all of what Miami is about: nightlife, sultry heat, and a great time. This year Luli Fama opened the show with salsa dancers, Arismary Garbey and Darcy Ima and Musicians, Taylor Bird, Adrian Gines and Michael Mejia, setting the tone for the runway, embracing the designers Latin roots and staying true to the essence of Miami. Eye-catching designs from ceramic prints, dancing florals, tie dye, animal prints and crochet patterns in bold colors mixed with the flare of island culture graced the runway as models strutted to a playlist including: Carlos Vives, Pitbull, and Bruno Mars.
Following the show guests were invited to join the designers at nightclub, Baoli Miami, where they were treated to Luli Fama inspired cocktails from Herradura Tequila, Chambord Vodka and Vita Coco. The live performances continued on as the staff danced on top the flame-engulfed bar.
Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge
We would be remiss without mentioning one of the “happiest places on earth”, the exclusive Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, a posh suite on the 7th floor of the Raleigh hotel. A welcomed respite from the frenzy, the Star Lounge was once again, the VIP destination of choice. Guests including Perrey Reeves, Naeem Khan, Mara Hoffman, Linda Fargo andMarysol Patton and Alexia Echevarria, were all seen enjoying refreshments and conversation in the lounge.
Basketball star Dennis Rodman held his own front-row fête while bikini-clad models took their final walk of MBFW Swim 2014 at the TARA, Ink. 3rd Annual Closing Capsule Show on Monday night at The Raleigh Hotel. Rodman, who came as a guest but was a near-participant by the show’s finale, sat alongside designers Lisa Pliner and Shay Todd, Baldwin babes Hailey and Kennya, and actor Damien Dante Wayans while singer Princess Pia Maria sauntered down the runway at the Lolli show in a neon maillot and Jeffrey Campbell Lucite-heeled booties filled with doll heads.
Seen in the VIP section of the Chloe show at SOHO House during Swim Week were HGTV star David Bromstad, Real Housewives of Miami Lisa Hochstein and Adriana de Moura, actor Vincent de Paul, ex-Aerosmith guitarist Aleks DeCarvalho, socialites Dana Shear, Ruby and Gian Bacardi, and Hailey and Kennya Baldwin.