From Wraps to Raps

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On January - 29 - 2009
Photo by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

South Beach saw a miscellany of events last week, including a designer-hosted boutique opening, hip-hop performances, book signings, comedy acts, restaurant launches and even a Chinese New Year. This week promises to be no different, with a fundraiser for our furry friends, the Super Bowl and its requisite parties, and a Marlins preview, not to mention the upcoming Lingerie Miami, featuring supermodels in their bare necessities. It just goes to show you, there is something for everyone in our fair city.

It’s a Wrap

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, the mastermind behind the iconic wrap dress that has graced the wardrobes of just about every woman for the past 36 years, was on-hand to christen the newest outpost in the DvF luxury lifestyle brand at her new boutique at the Shops at Bal Harbour last Thursday evening. Von Furstenberg described the women in Miami as “hot” (not to quote the monosyllabic Paris Hilton). This is truly a compliment coming from von Furstenberg, a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2005, who is currently serving her second two-year term as CFDA’s president. Von Furstenberg went on to tell reporters that she is “deeply inspired by women and she designs to inspire them.” Built to resemble a jewelry box, the new boutique is one of only five in the United States, and the 29th store to open worldwide. In addition to hundreds of Miami’s most fashion forward, guests in attendance included von Furstenberg’s son, Alex, with fiancé Ali Kay, model/journalist Candela Ferro, supermodel Elsa Benitez, Bal Harbour Shops Director of Marketing Cheryl Stephenson and celebrity facialist Tracie Martyn. Collectively, the shopping event generated more than $15,000, and a portion of the proceeds benefited Women of Tomorrow, founded by multiple Emmy-award winning journalist Jennifer Valoppi, who was also in attendance. Each guest left with an adorable vintage Wonder Woman tee, and one lucky shopper won DvF’s Piggy Wrap Bold bag from her spring 2009 collection, priced at $1,495.

Florida Room’s Got Soul

Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group De La Soul performed a concert at Florida Room’s one-year anniversary party on Friday night (technically Saturday morning, as they didn’t go on until about 2 a.m.). Best known for their eclectic sounds and quirky, surreal lyrics, the group had the quirky and eclectic packed crowd singing, jumping and even break-dancing for about two hours to songs such as “Me, Myself and I and “A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturday.” The party coincided with the birthday of Josh Wagner, Florida Room’s GM, who was serenaded by De La Soul’s hip-hop version of “Happy Birthday.”

Book It

In addition to the usual hootenanny taking place at the Fontainebleau’s hotspots, the hotel is hosting a series of book signings this week. On Tuesday, Laurence Leamer signed his novel, Madness Under the Royal Palms; Thursday, Jan. 29, Steven Gaines will sign his South Beach tale Fool’s Paradise; and actor-turned-author George Hamilton will sign Don’t Mind if I Do on Saturday afternoon. At the Loews on Thursday, Alonzo Mourning is hosting a luncheon and book signing for the release of his book, Resilience.


Now Open


Hed Kandi Lounge officially launched its tapas menu last Thursday. The tiny dishes incorporate molecular gastronomy — think home-ec meets chemistry. Checking out the bizarre bites: Notorious actor Charles Malik Whitfield, author Brian Antoni, famed DJ and producer Erick Morillo, and boys-about-town Alexis Mincolla and Fabian Basabe.


Hot Housewives and their Skivvies


The hottest ticket this fashionable season is Lingerie Miami, coming up on Feb. 7 at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. Not-so-desperate Housewife Eva Longoria Parker will host (no, we’re not sure if she will be in her undies) with Veronica Webb. Lingerie Miami is the first show of its kind, showcasing exclusive luxury lingerie designs, to add to our existing hot fashion weeks which include Funkshion, Miami Fashion Week (coming up on March 19) and Mercedes-Benz Swim Week. Confirmed guests at Lingerie Miami include acclaimed best-selling author/speaker Deepak Chopra, former Apprentice winner Sean Yazbeck and Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi. For a mere thousand bucks, you too can join in the fun.

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