Gale Force Gatherings

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On June - 5 - 2009

Frederic Dechnik Laure Heriard Dubreuil Iran Issa Khan Nicola Siervo and Sam RobinHurricane season kicked off this week, bringing with it storms and sweltering weather and putting the kibosh on many an outdoor event.   But even the rain and extreme heat could not keep celebs, athletes and VIPs away from the Eden Roc Hotel on Friday night, where Cindy Taylor and all-pro Redskins football player, Santana Moss, celebrated A Night at the Eden Roc: Reloading Life through the World of Fashion which featured  Frederick’s of Hollywood and Bullets 4 Peace fashion shows.  For a little while, the party seemed a bit “cash bar,” being that guests had to actually pay for their drinks, which were not included in the ticket price, but as temperatures heated up poolside, the event became downright scorching, once the fashion shows began, thanks to models strutting down the floating runway wearing next to nothing.  After the Frederick’s of Hollywood show, actor Steven Bauer addressed the crowd, channeling Sylvester Stallone at the end of Rocky IV, (when he gives the inspirational speech to the Russians- If I can change, and you can change…blah…blah…blah) mumbling about his new show, the Santana Moss foundation and Bullets 4 Peace, we think, as he was virtually unintelligible.  Next came one of the most unusual and visually stunning shows we’ve had the pleasure of watching, as designer Raffi Anteby presented his jewelry collection, Bullets 4 Peace, in which he uses actual bullet casings to create unique works of art.  Instead of the casings being recycled into new bullets, used for destruction, they are artistically revamped with silver and precious stones, promoting “peace” through fashion.  It’s a stretch, but we’ll take it.  What was unusual about the show, which began with shirtless buff boys in combat gear, carrying fake semi-automatic weapons, was that the models were completely naked, except for a tiny g-string, patent leather boots and the jewelry.  Each model’s body was painted to match the unique design of the piece of jewelry she was wearing.  Towards the end of the show, the “soldier boys” made a reappearance, only to be thrown into the pool by the body-painted girls- peace wins! Get it?  Afterward, Anteby presented the adorable Santana Moss with an original piece and the airbrushed models, along with Anteby and Cindy Taylor sang Happy Birthday to Moss, who was celebrating his 30th.   Guests at the bash included Academy Award-winning actor, Lou Gossett Jr., New York Giant, Sinorice Moss, designer, Donald Pliner and his wife Lisa, designer Lei Marco, Michele Pommier, and the Eden Roc’s David Siguaw.  Proceeds from the event benefitted the Santana Moss Foundation, which brings awareness economically disadvantaged communities in South Florida, and around the country, while working to enrich the lives of children and families in these communities through education, health and sports initiatives.

While showing off items which actually cover the human body, The Webster drew quite the VIP crowd to its grand opening on Monday.  With a caviar café and three floors of stunning clothes and accessories for women and men, the Webster inaugurated its permanent locale with a soiree that was more bash than boutique opening.  It seemed everyone we’ve ever met anywhere (with the exception of those traveling abroad) braved the elements and slippery steps to celebrate and marvel at the pricey designer duds.  The party was only supposed to go until nine, but was still hopping after ten o’clock, due perhaps to the free flowing Grey Goose and the “Webster Cocktails” (a mix of vodka, champagne, and Remy Cointreau violets and pearls), and the fact that it was actually indoors, where temperatures are actually bearable. Among the many notable guests at the Webster grand opening: Lennox Louis, Aaron Young, Louis Morais, Danny Santiago, Nathan Browning and Rebecca de Ravenel, Red Carter, Markus Ketty, Craig Robins, Iran Issa Khan, Sam Robin, Louis Aguirre, Michy and Leticia Grendene, Jonathan and Criselda Breene, Shareef Malnik, Ugo Colombo, Gary and Dana Shear, Robert Wennet and Mario Cader-Frech, Nicole Lozano, Michelle Areces-Zandy, Ariel Stein, Hernan Arriaga, Gigi Ganatra and Alex Duff, Tommy and Michelle Pooch, Donald and Lisa Pliner, Jillian Jacobsen-Altit, Alejandro Chaban, Cynthia Olavaria, Kevin and Rebecca Bruk, Tony Goldman, Mehmet Bayraktar, Ricardo Dunin and Stefanie de la O, Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, Walid & Susie Wahab, Brooke Soffer, Andrea Aberegg,  Laura Bucellati, Alison and Mark Zhuk, Sanford Ziff, Hello Campos, Dr. Julio Gallo, and Kelly Gold.

Summer Steals:

Throughout the month of June, Club 50 at Viceroy Miami will continue hosting Art Viceroy, this summer’s free weekly Tuesday night series which presents local artists in the disciplines of video, performance, sculptural and installation art. Guests are invited to take in the sweeping views of downtown Miami, sip cocktails from Ruinart and mingle as they enjoy the art.  Next Tuesday, June 9, will feature the work of Argentine graphic artist, Karin Garcia, who incorporates characteristic decoupage design combinations to transform tired furnishings into dramatic treasures. On June 16, video artist Venessa Monokian will showcase her work.

For a local healthy and economical option, check out Canyon Ranch Grill’s “Nourish” prix-fixe menu series which will focus on heart health during the month of June but will feature a different health topic each month. The $36 per person menu is a bargain and includes dishes teeming with antioxidants, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and other anti-inflammatory ingredients that are essential for decreasing risk of heart disease.

Another great deal for those of us who are in stone crab withdrawal and seeking another crustacean on which to feast is Smith and Wollensky’s annual Summer Lobster Special, which runs through Labor Day, and includes a slew of menu items prepared with fresh Maine lobster, including an amazing offering of a 2.5 pounder for only $39.  The menu kind of reads like a scene out of the movie Forrest Gump, lobster salad, lobster Mac & Cheese, lobster soup, lobster mashed potatoes…

Celebrity sightings:
Brooke Shields was seen shopping at the Inca boutique at the Gansevoort South last week.  Matt Damon partied at LIV on Saturday night.  Latin singer, Paulina Rubio shot a cover for Glamour Latin America at Icon Brickell and dined at Donatella Arpaia and Chef Michael Psilakis’ Eos restaurant at the Viceroy with a group of ten, including her mother, Mexican actress, Susana Dosamantes.  Rubio looked stunning in her red gown at the Heart Deco Ball at the Eden Roc on Saturday night.

Back in Black

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 23 - 2009

Lance BassRoy and Lea Black upped the hip factor once again at their annual Power of Hope charity gala benefitting the Consequences Program and Bay Point Schools, held at the newly revamped Eden Roc Hotel, (which is sure to bring some stiff competition to it’s next door neighbor), as evidenced by the crush of people gathered around the red carpet to catch a glimpse of the many celebs promised to make an appearance.As usual, the Blacks delivered, hosting a perfect evening replete with stellar performances and a guest list to include: Lance Bass, Dennis Rodman, Joe Francis, Craig David, Mario Barth, Jeffrey Donovan, Moon Bloodgood,. Vicki Gunvalson, Elaine Lancaster, Richie Rich, and Bernard Hopkins (and those were just the VVIPs who DIDN’T perform)!

The night started off with a lavish reception in the Eden Roc’s swank lobby, and resembled a “Taste of the Beach,” with mini food stations set up from some of the area’s favorite restaurants including, the Setai, Bova Prime, and 8 oz Burger Bar to name a few.Grey Goose lounges were conveniently stationed throughout the lobby surrounding the extensive silent auction, because the evening’s liquour sponsor knows there’s nothing like a buzz to get people bidding!People were having such a great time during the reception that event staff struggled to coax the crowd into the ballroom when it was time for the dinner to begin.

During the four course meal, Roy Black got on-stage and said, “Thank you for your money and thank you for your time.That’s my line,” but then gave an inspiring speech, in which he encouraged guests to be generous by saying, “Better to be smart on crime than tough on crime, before introducing a Bay Point School’s graduate who is now attending Barry University and working in a law firm.Next, Lea Black took over for the live auction, and was relentless on the mic, working hard to get the attention of the noisy, talkative crowd.The Texas-native would be a welcomed addition to the Bay Point School’s award-winning staff- if she can wrangle over 1, 000 rowdy socialites on a Saturday night, imagine what she can do with a bunch of teenagers!To be cliché:“Don’t Mess with Texas!”At one point, Roy got back on the stage and quipped, “The only way to keep her (Lea) contained is to get her off the mic. “ Lea managed to raise top dollar amounts for auction items including the Jeffrey Rackover diamond earrings worn by Maria Conchita Alonso during her performance, a spot on the waiting list for the first 2010 Rolls-Royce EX200 from Braman Rolls Royce in Miami, a speaking part on Burn Notice, VIP tickets to the Indianapolis 500 and VIP tickets to the Heavy Weight Championship in Las Vegas among other terrific items.Lea also boasted about the Power of Hope Gala, which was put on for a mere $35, 000 and raised $1.4 million.Not bad for a night’s work.

Several superstars performed throughout the evening, including:Elvis Crespo, Craig David, Jencarlos Canela, Alto Reed, Maria Conchita Alonso, and comedienne, Heather McDonald.The crowd did not seem to mind that there wasn’t a dance floor, especially when Patti LaBelle (back by popular demand for a second year) took to the stage and belted out “Hey Sister Soul Sister…” which got everyone on their feet and dancing between the tables.LaBelle followed her performance of Lady Marmalade with a touching rendition of Over the Rainbow.The crowd showed no intention of leaving well after midnight, when Lil Wayne, took over to sing a few songs.DJ Irie capped off the exciting night, spinning his usual, addictive music.

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