Spring Fever

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On March - 19 - 2009

Spring time on South Beach gives a whole new meaning to March Madness, with the throngs of sunburned spring breakers drinking themselves, and their textbook money, into oblivion, vying for the already scarce parking spaces and pining to get into clubs that wouldn’t even want them if they were of age. “Dorothy, you’re not in Gainesville anymore.” But fret not, despite the surge of college kids on our sands, there were still plenty of high-end, star-studded events and celebrity sightings over this past week, not to mention the upcoming Miami Fashion Week and Funkshion, among the largest and most unique fashion events in the country, to keep us locals feeling somewhat at home.

What a Rush

Kim KardashianKim Kardashian served as the gorgeous and gracious hostess for Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation‘s star-studded Art For Life Miami Beach gala to benefit art programs for disadvantaged youths at the Fontainebleau on Saturday. Despite Kardashian’s inability to pronounce the word, “philanthropic,” the reality star has demonstrated her commitment to the organization by answering, “Yes,” time and time again when asked for support, explained Danny Simmons. This year, Kardashian auctioned off the dress she wore when she met Prince Albert of Monaco. No word on what happened while she was in the dress or if there’s any incriminating evidence on it, (ala Monica Lewinski’s infamous blue Gap dress). Kardashian’s dress is still on the auction block, in case you’d like to run some tests on it before you get it dry cleaned. Other items up for bid at http://www.charitybuzz.com through March 24, include VIP passes to Beyonce’s upcoming tour; a meet and greet with Kanye West; portraits of Will Smith and Morgan Freeman by celebrated photographer Robert G. Zuckerman; a trip to Four Seasons Great Exuma; and a roundtrip seaplane excursion for eight courtesy of V1 Jets.

Honorees at this year’s gala, which was chaired by Forge owner, Shareef Malnik, included Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the Rubell Family Collection and Jeffrey Soffer, Chairman of Fontainebleau Resorts. A visibly surprised Alonzo Mourning, was given a congratulatory tribute on the retirement of his Miami Heat jersey and an award for his numerous philanthropic endeavors through Alonzo Mourning Charities. Celebrity attendees included, charming actress Vivica Fox, who assured us that the upcoming Curb Your Enthusiasm season will be the funniest yet; extra crispy actor-turned-author, George Hamilton; New Orleans Saint/Kim Kardashian-beau, Reggie Bush; Miami Dolphin, Brandon London; former Mexican President Vicente Fox and his wife Marta (no relation to Vivica); Miss Africa USA 2008-2009, Nyasha Zimucha and legendary soul singer Betty Wright.

michael-capponi-and-genevieve-lakeUpstairs at the Fontainebleau, in the Glimmer Ballroom, the Wellness Community held its 8th annual Heart & Star gala, co- chaired by real estate developer/hospitality entrepreneur/ nightlife impresario, Michael Capponi. What the event lacked in celebrity muscle, it made up for in elegance and glamour. Over 400 VIPs gathered to support the Wellness Community, which provides services and support to families living with cancer. Among the A-listers in attendance: CBS-TV’s chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn; Alan and Diane Lieberman; South Beach publishing magnate, Jerry Powers; CEO and founder of Niche Media, Jason Binn; attorney Danny Weiss and his wife, arts activist Merle; Brazilian neo-pop artist, painter and sculptor, Romero Britto; and Rock Band, founder, Lee Dahlberg. Among the top-selling items in the live auction were: a custom painting by Romero Britto, a chance for a young basketball fan to be a “ball manager” on the court during a home Miami Heat game and a full day aboard Capponi’s yacht, complete with gas, food and drinks. Because two of the most well-respected nightlife impresarios, Shareef Malnik and Michael Capponi, chaired galas on the same night at the same time, a number of socialites were forced to shuttle between the two, much like Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses. Leaving them to wonder, “Doesn’t anybody own a calendar around here?”


The official Art for Life Miami Beach after-party took place the next night at the Forge’s Soul Kitchen, where guests Queen Latifah, Indianapolis Colt, Dwight Freeney, Kansas City Chief, Larry Johnson, San Francisco 49er, Vernon Davis, Arizona Cardinal, Darnell Dockett, Dallas Cowboy, Marion Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Antonio Bryant, and congressman, Kendrick Meek feasted on traditional Southern cuisine. Hosted by, you guessed it, Russell Simmons and Shareef Malnik, the event raised additional awareness and funding for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

Fashion Forward

In its eleventh year, Miami Fashion Week, the largest international fashion showcase in the United States, starts today, March 19, and runs through March 22. This year, the International Culinary Arts Pavilion will be introduced in conjunction with the fashion shows, a fortunate occurrence, since nothing makes us hungrier than watching gazelle-thin models sashay down the runway. Seriously though, the pavilion will feature a different celebrity chef each night, creating delectable treats inspired by the native countries of the designers being showcased. How cool! As if that weren’t enough, Italian vineyard, Casa Vinicola Zonin, will pair wines with the delicious tasting menus. Best of all, the public is invited to attend the fashion shows and the International Culinary Arts Pavilion tastings, both happening at the Wynwood Art District’s SOHO Studios.  Ticket for the fashion shows and Culinary Arts Pavillion are available now at www.miamifashionweek.com/Tickets.

More fashion comes our way next week as Funkshion: Fashion Week Miami hits runways next Wednesday, March 25 and runs through Saturday, March 28. Kicking off Funkshion next Wednesday night is an eco-friendly runway show by Green Fashion Miami, in which all of the models are contestants and title holders from different pageants including Ms. Universe, Ms. World, Ms. Earth, Ms. Intercontinental, and Ms. Latina International. Whew! Who knew? The best part of Green Fashion is that the five collections being showcased are made of recycled, eco-friendly and sustainable materials. To get tickets go to www.greenfashionmiami.com. For info and tickets to all of the Funkshion events, go to: www.funkshion.com.

In the Cosmo

cosmo-photo-for-babes-bollywood-bubble-qOn Saturday, Cosmopolitan Magazine hosted its second annual Bikini Bash, during which 700 bikini-clad women gathered on the beach at Nikki Beach club to spell the words C-O-S-M-O and N-I-V-E-A on the sand, while Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Vincent Laforet, snapped an aerial photo from a helicopter above. The final photo will appear in Cosmo’s August 2009 issue. Actress, Kristin Cavallari was on-hand as was swimsuit designer, Shay Todd, who provided the bikinis worn by the models in the shoot.

Celebrity Sightings:

Andy Garcia held an after party at Club 50, at the Viceroy after the debut of his documentary, Cachao: Uno Mas, at the Miami International Film Festival. The hot Cuban actor treated guests to an impromptu bongo performance and enjoyed a Gurkha Cigar, with which he toasted in lieu of a drink. Actor Willem Dafoe, and filmmaker, Abel Ferrara attended Ferrara’s 2007 Go Go Tales at the Colony Theater. Demi Moore was present at the Regal Cinemas South Beach premier of her short, Streak, on Friday evening. Pamela Anderson stopped by China Grill Fort Lauderdale following the Animal Adoption Rescue Foundation gala late on Saturday night. According to a reliable source, she was very friendly, telling fans about PETA and posing for photos. Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush lounged by the pool and sipped champagne with friends Warren Sapp and Terrell Owens at Shore Club’s Shore Thing Sundays party.  Also on Sunday, top ranked PGA golfers Sergio Garcia, Luke Donald and Dustin Johnson partied at SET, along with Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan. Hulk Hogan was spotted getting in his black SUV on 13th Street on South Beach on Monday, with a tall, tanned, young blonde, probably girlfriend, Jennifer McDaniel or his daughter, Brooke, (hard to tell, as the two are almost identical).

As published in the SunPost on March 19, 2009.

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