Shakers and Shopping Parties

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On November - 2 - 2011

Bonnie Clearwater, Angelo Ricasa, Ivonne Ronderos, and Meredith Becker

By:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

MOCA Mystery Dates Kick-off

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) young, hip “Shakers” threw a bash for 400 at newly minted Miami Beach lounge The Well, to kick-off ticket sales for their annual highly-anticipated, Mystery Dates fundraiser, to be held on November 12.  On the soggy evening, the artsy patrons came out in droves to fill the relaxed yet stylish space and enjoy Grey Goose vodka cocktails, while chatting excitedly about the upcoming Mystery Dates event, which consists of a series of glamorous dinner parties held concurrently at the homes of private art collectors and designers around Miami.  The mystery is that guests have no idea as to where they will be dining until the night of the actual event.

Buzzy Sklar, the genius behind the Burger and Beer Joints, who co-owns The Well alongside Forge owner, Shareef Malnik, was joined by Mystery Dates Co-Chairs Joshua Dunkelman, Zubin Nagpal, Erin Newberg, Ivonne Ronderos and Carolyn Travis who welcomed Mystery Dates sponsors Claudio Faria of Ornare, Ian Tracher and wife Allison Semancik and Angelo Ricasa for the fun-filled cocktail party.  Mystery Dates dinner hosts Robert Blumenthal, Felipe Grimberg and Eduardo Ojeda discussed party plans with MOCA Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater, and fellow dinner hosts Gloria and Sergio Leyva, Kathryn and Dan Mikesell and Adriana and Michael Stein. Other dinner hosts include:  Jason Atkins, Tania and Robert Bassan, Sam Burstyn, Olympia de Castro and Gustavo Hernandez, Dale and Richard Newberg, Hal Philipps, Dr. Leigh Silverton, and Billy Weisman.    After dinner guests are invited to a late night rendezvous at The Setai.  Adding excitement to Mystery Dates is MOCA’s newest member, Hollywood actor Christian Slater

Mystery Dates 2011 is co-chaired by MOCA Shakers Zubin Nagpal, Erin Newberg, Ivonne Ronderos, Carolyn Travis and Joshua Dunkelman, who lead a dynamic committee comprised of Tara Solomon, Nick D’Annunzio, Suzy Buckley, Lana Bernstein, James Wark, Tiffany Rosen, Bernardo Ortiz, Bill Kearney, Carol Adrianza, Craig Dell, Karen Gilinski, Marcia Anderson, Maura Dominguez,  Meredith Becker and Lexing Zhang. Tickets for Mystery Dates are $175 and may be purchased by calling 305 893 6211 or visiting




Iran Issa-Khan, Austen and Sarah Harrelson, Marnie Howard, and Michael Leondas Kirkland

Iran Issa-Khan, Austen and Sarah Harrelson, Marnie Howard, and Michael Leondas Kirkland

Dinners by the Dozen (or half-dozen) 


A “shaker” in the world  of  design, Michael Leondas Kirkland celebrated his October birthday-week between  the freewheeling-meets-formal mise-en-scénes of Miami and New York City, beginning at Red Light Restaurant, hosted by D. Ashlee Harrison and Juan Carlos Molina who flew in from New York for the weekend, where a dozen guests, including yours truly, Marnie Howard, Josette Wys Katz, Edison Lozada, and a few others, dined on chef Kris Wessel’s New Orleans cuisine aside Miami’s Little River all but under the 77th Street bridge. 

The following evening at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Chef Jeff McInnis’ newest restaurant, Sarah and Austin Harrelson hosted an intimate dinner for six in Kirkland’s honor: among guests; Iran Issa-Khan, Barbara Becker, Sam Robin and Howard.   After a Southern feast, Kirkland surprised the table with a box of macaroons from Ladurée – Paris.   

In Manhattan the following night, a Bogart and Bacall meets bohemian milieu set the tone in the 21 Club’s bar room, where guests played musical chairs throughout the evening and pondered the history of the very room that Hemmingway once frequented with its ceiling-scape of endless toys.  Kirkland held court with his friend and muse Nell Rebowe and Henry Hargreaves, while Harrison and Molina mingled with Julia Noran and Charles Cohen and across the giant round table Steven Barrow-Barlow chatted with Ashley Turchin, who just moved from Miami to New York City. 



Christy Martin and Jilian Sanz

Choo on This 

Haute Living magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue, Bal Harbour joined forces to celebrate Jimmy Choo’s nationwide “Shoeology” initiative. Created as a fun, interactive way to aid women in really honing in on their shoe personalities- the event included a tailor-made questionnaire that pushed women to really explore what they are looking for in a shoe based on their unique personality traits and lifestyle. Once completed, the answers were studied by the evening’s shoe expert–in this case, Haute Living’s National Fashion Director, Jilian Sanz—who gave each guest a tarot card describing  his/her shoe personality and which Jimmy Choo styles were the perfect match. Ladies took their ideal matches for a spin after stepping down from the animal print throne on which they sat while their cards were read, trying on their shoe mates in any and all of their several implementations.

“I think getting the customer involved in their own thought process is an important part of what it’s all about,” says Sanz. “This experience not only allowed for women to truly understand who they are and what they’re looking for, but it really gave Saks the opportunity to better understand their own customers’ greatest shoe desires—and that information is invaluable. A lot of men came by as well…perhaps just to watch women try on the Choos, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I learned they themselves were Choo devotees; their men’s collection is on point.”

Hosting alongside Sanz was the stunning Christy Martin: shoe collector, to say the least, stellar interior design talent, and the drop-dead-gorgeous wife of famed Terra Group COO David Martin. And while Christy measures in at about a cool 5’10” sans stilettos, she was the first of the guests getting up in the big girl shoes.  Champagne and fine cheeses acted were the perfect complement to shoes that were in the spotlight. 



Gail Meyers, Beth Tasca, Suzy Buckley, Daniela Swaebe, and Nadine Curmi Borgomanero

Gail Meyers, Beth Tasca, Suzy Buckley, Daniela Swaebe, and Nadine Curmi Borgomanero

Tod’s Signature Collection Soiree 

 Last Wednesday, the Italian boutique of luxury leather wares, Tod’s, celebrated the launch of its new Signature Collection with a cocktail hosted by Nadine Curmi Borgomanero, Suzy Buckley, Gail S. Meyers, Daniela Swaebe and Beth Tasca.

While shopping amongst a hand-picked crowd of Miami’s finest including: Laura Buccelati, Dr. Julio Gallo, Francesca Halpryn, Nina Johnson, Lisa Murray, Carole Seikaly, Marcela Novella, Dana Shear, Sheila Elias Taplin and Sonia Trussardi, guests enjoyed chilled cocktails and tasty bites.  The Signature Collection along with Tod’s fall / winter 2011 – 2012 collection were on display for all to ogle and buy.  A portion of the evening’s proceeds benefited the Miami Art Museum. 

photo credit: World Red Eye Productions



The Kronfle Family, Jeffrey Himmel and Patricia Anton Himmel

The Kronfle Family, Jeffrey Himmel and Patricia Anton Himmel

Violetas Boutique opens in the Gables 

Patricia Anton Himmel and Patricia Kronfle hosted a cocktail to fête the unveiling of their new home and décor boutique, Violetas, located in the heart of Miracle Mile. 

In honor of the grand opening, Mayor Jim Cason and Mark Trowbridge from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce presided over the ribbon-cutting ceremony and presented the Coral Gables seal to the mother-daughter duo.  “We were overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve received from the Coral Gables community and the tremendous outpouring of support at our grand opening celebration,” expressed Himmel.

  Friends, family and fans including Briggs Solomon, Hilda Morello, Marlene Pernetti, Nadine Borgomanero and Yoli de Uribe filled the elegant boutique to shop for unique collections from around the world.  A portion of the evening proceeds benefitted IKF Wonderfund – a program of The Jackson Memorial Foundation.

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