Sizzling Summer Soirees

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On August - 18 - 2011
Criselda Breene, Lara Shriftman, Kate Betts, Sarah Harrelson, Iran Issa-Khan

Criselda Breene, Lara Shriftman, Kate Betts, Sarah Harrelson, Iran Issa-Khan

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Everyday Icon at Mister Collins

Last Tuesday, amid tropical storm warnings and torrential downpours, a stellar group converged at Mister Collins inside ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa for the launch of fashion journalist and style guru, Kate Betts’ celebrated book, Everyday Icon, Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.  At the elite gathering, hosted by a very svelte, Lara Shriftman; Iran Issa-Khan, Sarah Harrelson and Criselda Breene, the charming author mingled with guests and shared anecdotes about the arduous process behind writing and rewriting her book (20+ revisions) and chatted about the book’s behind-the-scenes accounts of the First Lady’s fashion statements. Strikingly dressed like a style icon herself, Betts wore a summer caftan by Jeannie McQueeny, pants by Derek Lam and RK Reed Krakoff heels.  Betts’ beautiful six-year old daughter was also dressed to the nines at the party. 

Notable guests such as designer Lady Genie Nuttall and Lord Brabourne, former Victoria’s Secret model Ines Rivero, interior designer, Sam Robin, hoteliers Jonathan and Criselda Breene, anchorwoman, Belkys Nerey, Alejandra Torres, Pedro and Fernanda Domit, Amanda Church, Gary and Dana Shear, Ashley Turchin, Michael Breene, Lauren Beall, Carolyn Travis, Hernan Arriaga, Anne Owen, John Lin and Fabio Lopes, and Cheryl Stephenson enjoyed  signature Grey Goose vodka cocktails paired with a savory summer menu treats from Mister Collins, which included to-die-for pretzel bites, mushroom burgers, seared tuna and shrimp cocktails.  Upon departure guests were gifted with some super swag:  a chic, ultra-sleek Stephanie Johnson wristlet pouch filled with items that included lots of goodies AND a pair of Converse (The Chuck Taylor® All Star®) in white leather.



Women in Cages

On Thursday, more than 200 guests gathered to see Women in Cages at Cafeina.  And while most of these gals have quite a wild side, they were not actually in cages for the VIP cocktail reception in honor of photographer Jordan Michael Zuniga’s latest exhibition, to the dismay of many an admirer.  Zuniga’s striking works, the sale of which benefits People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)  feature gorgeous subjects such as: Tracy Wilson Mourning, Brooke Hogan, Ines Rivero, Katrina Campins, Elaine Lancaster, Pachi Lake, Michelle Pooch and Tara Solomon, who demonstrated that they’d “Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur” (PETA’s campaign slogan) by posing in their birthday suits for the photos, with a couple of exceptions, such as Tara Solomon, who posed in leopard printed lingerie and Elaine Lancaster, Zuniga’s favorite subject, who wore pants for the shoot.

At the cocktail, Brooke Hogan was joined by her dad Hulk Hogan, who caused a stir by playfully covering up Brooke’s private parts on the pictures and theatrically pretending to choke Zuniga for photographing his daughter in the buff.  The party coincided with Hulk’s 58th birthday.  Hulk’s wife Jennifer McDaniel, was also present.

 Zuniga and Hulk’s ladies presented Hulk with an enormous cake with his name in silver lettering on top.  The birthday cake was Vegan, as was all of the food served at the event, in keeping with PETA’s mission.  One of the evening’s highlights came courtesy of Cafeina owner, Ivette Naranjo, who playfully got inside the cage on display to conduct an interview with a local reporter.  Notables in attendance at the VIP preview: Tracy Wilson Mourning, Katrina Campins, Tommy and Michelle Pooch, Brian Long, Richie Rich, Victoria’s Secret model, Ines Rivero and Pachi Lake.

The Hogans have reportedly received some flak from the worldwide media, as a result of the photos but Brooke fired back via Twitter asking the press to leave her alone.  Her photo sold for $5K at the preview. Brooke joins a long list of celebrities who have stripped for PETA in an effort to stop cruelty towards animals including Pamela Anderson, Natalie Imbruglia and George Clooney’s ex Elisabetta Canalis.

After the reception at Cafeina, Brooke Hogan and several other VIPs headed to the Breakwater hotel on South Beach for a private after party.

The sensual exhibition will be on display through September 10 and 80% of the proceeds from all sales will be donated to PETA.  


A Taste of Brazil

Artefacto, one of the design pioneers to bring Brazilian influenced decor to Miami celebrated culture and style at its new showroom in Aventura recently.  Inspired by Copacabana Sidewalk in Rio, models in Zingara’s sophisticated Brazilian cut bathing suits, welcomed guests to the 40,000 square foot showroom of contemporary luxury for a night of music by top Brazilian DJ Fred Smiliansky, aka DJ Fred,  who spun carnival and Bossa nova sounds, as Miami’s most influential Brazilians enjoyed ethnic bites and Leblon Cachaca signature drinks.

More Brazilian-themed fun is planned for Tuesday August 23, as Ocean Drive magazine hosts “Taste of Brazil” in Downtown Miami on Vizcayne’s newly decorated 100,000 square foot pool deck overlooking Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach, to promote the magazine’s July/August issue in which 6 Brazilians were profiled.   Expect to meet most of these stars at the party, including globally recognized artist Romero Britto, Claudio Faria- owner of Ornare Funiture, Leticia Leite- director of communications at Peixe Urbano, Lipe Medeiros- founder of SoFi Property Group, Marcus Panthera- founder of Mega Model Management, Ricardo Dunin- founder and president of Flagler Group real estate development, and Wanessa Ribeiro.


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