Worlds Collide: BLT, WMC, Tennis, Fashion and Fundraisers

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 2 - 2009

pamela-anderson-frido-van-mossel-and-richie-rich-backstageMore than 600 of Miami’s A-listers toasted acclaimed restaurateur, Laurent Tourondel, of famed New York’s BLT, as in Bistro Laurent Tourondel (get it?) at the grand opening of the southeast outpost of the eatery last Wednesday. BLT Miami, at the iconic Betsy Hotel, shares the same distinctive style and tastes of its older sister but with a sexier, swankier South Beach vibe. Lucky guests at the opening savored Tourondel’s signature dishes and desserts. The food just kept on coming! Celebs seen noshing on the endless nibbles: Burn Notice actor, Jeffrey Donovan, (to whom people kept referring as “the Burn Notice Guy,” warranting the nickname, “B.N.G.),” Melrose Place hottie, Andrew Shue, Real Housewives of New York City’s Ramona Singer, and Ingrid Hoffman of the Food Network. Other notables included art collectors, Rafael and Marijean Miyar and Bruce and Kathryn Orosz; designer, Alison Antrobus, financier Alan Randolph, fashion designer, Rene Ruiz, and Jonathan Plutzik and Lesley Goldwasser Plutzik, principal owners of the Betsy Hotel.



Miami Socialholic

In a Rich Man’s World

Abba’s Rich Man’s World was just one of several songs that composed the soundtrack to Richie Rich’s fashion show on Friday night at the Fontainebleau. Other songs which conveyed Rich’s message included Money, That’s what I Want, Material Girl and Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. Rich, formerly of Heatherette, unveiled his latest collection during Rock Fashion Week 2009, (ahem, a “spin-off” of FUNKSHION). The whimsical show, hosted by Elaine Lancaster, featured pink balloons, bubble-gum-inspired whimsical outfits, slinky cat-suits, flirty prom dresses, t-shirts emblazoned with Pamela Anderson’s face, and lots of animal prints. The models danced, smiled, twirled, mockingly blew kisses and showed of their exaggerated, colorful accessories, many of which were shaped like giant dollar signs, in keeping with the theme. Pamela Anderson joined Richie Rich onstage at the end of the show and hugged and kissed and kissed him some more! Backstage, Rich went on and on about Anderson, his “muse,” gushing about how “she’s so much fun, loves to make people happy and is such a great mom.” When asked what makes her happy, Anderson, (looking a lot like a living caricature of Hanna Montana) thoughtfully responded, “My bangs.” Wow! Move over Deepak Chopra! Later that night, Fergie celebrated her 34th birthday with a bash at LIV, alongside husband, actor, Josh Duhamel, Wilmer Valderrama and fellow members of the Black Eyed Peas. Erstwhile superstar DJs, Steve Aoki and DJ AM took turns at the turntables at Blade.

Green with Funkshion

Models, celebrities and VIPs packed the fashion shows during Funkshion, on South Beach last week.   The Green Fashion Show kicked things off on Wednesday and the show’s eco-friendly message permeated the entire week- even the food was “green,” supplied for free to all guests by Pizza Fusion an organic pizza chain in South Florida so committed to the environment that every delivery is made with a Prius! For those who saw the big armored truck with the lit up VAULT sign in front of the tents (and driving around SoBe) and thought, “WTF?” it was neither filled with gold nor money, but with something much more valuable.  The VAULT was the official transportation for all of the models all week long!    From Miss Universe and Miss USA to models from around the world, this truck was party central all week!    Funkshion’s co-producer, Matt Heien, quips, “Who needs cash in a truck like this when you have super models inside? I feel like we just robbed a bank with a note to the bank teller stating, “Give us supermodels and no one gets hurt!”

Steppin’ Out

Nicky Hilton, along with Wyclef Jean, Romero Britto, and Akon joined forces on Saturday night at the SSN Stepping Forward Foundation Gala at the Gansevoort, sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka. The celebs mingled and enjoyed performances by teen dancing troupe, The Untouchables, and Sean Kingston, who performed several songs, including Beautiful Girl, which got everyone on their feet and singing along. On the same night at the Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian, guests got lots of satisfaction at Jade Jagger’s renowned, branded summer Ibiza party, Jezebel, the name of which stems from Jagger’s middle name. Voted the best party during WMC by South Beach locals (in an informal, biased poll), the glowing, glamorous-yet-earthy daughter of Mick Jagger, who inherited the her parents’ best genes, hung out with friends, posed for photos and showed off her new collection of clothing and jewelry in the hotel’s poolside cabanas. Inside the hotel, musician, Perry Farrell, of Jane’s Addiction and his wife, Etty, danced and sang on the bar.


Celebrity Sightings

Paris and Nicky Hilton hung at Mokai on Thursday for Paul Oakenfold’s performance during the Front Page party. Award winning singing sensation, Maria Carey, posed for photos and cheered on husband, Nick Cannon, as he spun at Cabana One on Friday night. On Saturday night, Miami native-turned-Ungaro-chief-designer, Esteban Cortazar partied at Bella Rose with fellow designer, Richie Rich, PR guru Paul Wilmot, famed fashion photographer, Pablo Alfaro and hunky NYC socialite/Miami restaurateur, Fabian Basabe. At the club’s Black Sunday party, DJ Steve Aoki and The Bloody Beetroots performed while LA It Boy, Donovan Leitch, was “murdered.” Attendees of Will Castro’s red-carpet event for Unique Auto Sports on Sunday included rappers Fat Joe, and Busta Rhythms (not Rhymes), Miami Heat stars Jermaine O’ Neal and Dorrell Wright, New Orleans Saint, Jonathan Vilma, Shawn Merriman of the San Diego Chargers, DJ Irie, and White Boy from VH1’s hit show “I Love Money.” Spotted at the Webster during the Femme Fatale DJ series: DJ Cinnamon, DJ Baby Dre of Miami Ink and DJ Gabby of NYC’s LOVE Parties and Les Coquettes, designer Tory Burch with boyfriend/ music mogul Lyor Cohen, and R&B singer, Cassie. Watching the tennis matches at Sony Ericsson: Colombian hip shaker, Shakira, Latin crooner, Chayanne, Vogue editrix, Anna Wintour, NFL players Bryant McKinnie and Thomas Jones, rapper, Common, and singers, Kelly Rowland and Wyclef Jean.

Earlier in the week, designers Russell Simmons, Caroline D’Amore, Abi Ferrin, B. Michael and Lei Marco showcased designs at the Fontainebleau;

Dr. Mc Dreamy, a.k.a., Patrick Dempsey, raced at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and NYC HousewifeRamona Singer, was spotted at Kung Fu Sushi at the Catalina Hotel and at the BEST Tennis Sony Ericsson Kickoff party at B.E.D., hosted by Ocean Drive magazine. Chef Todd English surprised guests at the grand opening of The Wine Bar at the il Lugano Hotel. Celebs on the scene last week for Miami Fashion Week included actress, Sofia Comparini; stage, movie and television star, Alejandro Chaban; actor Gabriel Porras; television personality, María del Carmen Sojo; actress and former Miss Panama, Patricia De León; actor Vincent De Paul, Mexican actress Angelica Celaya; diva, Elaine Lancaster; and Grammy Award winning songstress, Albita, who wowed the crowd when she sang her newly released hit, “Mis Tacones” (“My Heels”).

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Mary Jo Almeida-Shore,Jose Almeida,Maryanne Salvat
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