At times, the Florida Keys can feel so far away from the rest of the world. Our quiet island-life is full of art and culture with an island-vibe we locals love. But sometimes getting off the rock can be a great way to cultivate your creativity and find inspiration in new things.
A few weeks ago, I attended a four day runway-style fashion show during Miami Fashion Week. The event included the latest collections from over 60 designers from 25 countries and celebrity sightings including the Real Housewives of Miami.
There was an amazing selection of Miami based designers including, Nicolas Felizola, Julian Chang and Viviana G, who were awarded the Miami Fashion ICON Award during the show and amazingly, all three are tied to Miami, either as residents or shop owners. The catwalk was bombarded with the Fall 2013 collections including bridal, evening wear, day wear, swimwear and children’s collections. Nicolas Felizola’s Fall collection featured evening gowns in yellow, orange, black and white patterns, and metallics, proof that vibrant hues and head-to-toe black and white will continue to be trendy this fall. The uniqueness of his designs were evidenced in the distinct necklines and intricate details of lace, beads and brocades. My personal favorite was a dramatic navy lace design over a nude sheath that was a complete showstopper.
Attending Miami Fashion Week made me rethink my take on Miami Beach. I’ve always enjoyed the city but realized I take advantage of this style Mecca way too seldom considering its vicinity to the Florida Keys. Here are a few reasons you should visit the stylish Miami Beach:
Fashion: Although you’ve missed Fashion Week (mark your calendar for March 2014), this summer, Miami Beach will host two of the fashion calendars’ highly anticipated fashion shows —the massive SwimShow, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim and FUNKSHION: Fashion Week Miami Beach. During these events you’ll view awe-inspiring fashion shows and attend stylish events, reason enough for any fashionista to flock to Miami Beach.
Shopping: Miami Beach packs a vast selection of world renowned shops into a mere 18.7 sunny square miles, making it the ideal destination for shopping. There are three main outdoor shopping areas in Miami Beach: Lincoln Road, Espanola Way and Ocean Drive/Collins Avenue. Lincoln Road offers a trendy mix of boutiques including the brand new H+M, plus art galleries and great outdoor eateries for people watching. Just a few blocks away is “Miami’s Best Block”, Espanola Way filled with European-style, pedestrian-friendly streets where you will find unique clothing and handmade jewelry not found in chain stores. Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach offers stores ranging from Banana Republic to Versace. My favorite: Zara, (located at 590 Collins Ave.) is packed with innovative Spanish designs that are on-trend while still affordable.
Cultural Events: In 2013, Miami Beach will host several cultural events you won’t want to miss.
• April 17-21 is the South Beach Comedy Festival where you can see the world’s favorite entertainers and top comedic talent from across the country.
• April 26-28 is the Girlfriend’s Getaway Weekend for sipping, shopping, and spa-ing. Hosted by Ocean Drive Magazine and the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, this event is the perfect weekend getaway for indulging with your girlfriends.
• April 24-28 is the Miami Beach Polo World Cup. Watch men riding horses on the beach and have the opportunity to get dressed up in a preppy spring look. The international polo tournament features teams from around the world and kicks off with South Beach Women’s Polo Cup V Women’s Welcome and Cocktail Hour at the James Royal Palm.
Other upcoming events in 2013 include the American Black Film Festival, the GLBT Film Festival, White Party, Winter Party and Art Basel among many others.
The next time you take a staycation or just want to get away for a night, consider the International style hub that is Miami Beach.