Events / Insights

Up Late: Socials Swarm Chanel; Avicii Plays Polo

Our man Dirk DeSouza reports back from this season’s hottest fêtes and celebrations.

July 09, 2013

Chanel, the haute French marque that makes fashionistas’ moisturized knees buckle, held the swankiest, most exclusive of fêtes at its Bal Harbour flagship. The occasion? Socialites Criselda Breene, Michelle Rubell, Nikki Simkins, and Jenny Wilensky Zalkin helped the house celebrate the grand reopening of the boutique, which the brand calls “one of the most beautiful Chanel boutiques in the world” now that its fanciful renovations are complete. Imagined by starchitect Peter Marino and finished with intricate art installations by Marc Swanson and Liza Lou, the ambience connotes handbag heaven—never have I seen more collection-worthy Chanel bags in one place at one time. And the stunning, exclusive crowd was VVVIP, dressed to the sparkling nines, surrounded by metronome-precise trays of petit tenderloin hors d’oeuvres and Veuve Clicquot flutes bombarding us like canary-diamond-colored missiles. The Chosen Ones, including a radiant Alison Sokol Zhuk, then repaired across the street to the J&G Grill at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for a preposterously decadent multicourse wine dinner, a hip LA DJ spinning electro, giggly toasts raised.

On the peachy beach between the W South Beach and The Setai, the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup galloped into town, filling shores with cantering Arabians, sweaty helmets, and popped polo collars. Four nonstop days of tournament revelry ensued, thousands of grandstand-shaded spectators partying their saddles off, dancing to Avicii house beats, flanked by countless free-flowing Grey Goose (Cherry Noir, anyone?) stations, the spectacle speckled with hotties in derby hats and flowing sundresses. This unabashedly happy crowd—buzzed, sun-kissed, and randy—hooked up in tent nooks, the graceful brawn of the horses to blame. Leaving no sand grain unturned, ponies thundered past to and fro and mallets whipped ’round, thrilling sponsors like MasterCard and The Raleigh hotel ( the latter being half of The Raleigh/Comcast team), which enjoyed ringside tables stocked with bottles and models. Artist Stephen Gamson mugged in Tom Ford shades as a white-guitar-clad Jimena Fama halftime-crooned, the gorgeous Julieta Velez beaming nearby. Post-match, the parties raged on at Hyde Beach and the Mondrian South Beach.

Fancy dinners can be figurative journeys, but literal journeys delightfully exist, too. Such was the case with Milagro Tequila’s Mixologia, an orchard-to-cocktail evening at Paradise Farms. VIPs limo-bussed from The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar to Homestead’s most beautiful of five-acre working farms, greeted by sweet organic cocktails and Paradise owner Gabriele Marewski’s loving embrace. Dinner started with an edible-flower seminar led by Marewski, a sensory hike through lush, herb-strewn grounds. At dusk, Forge chef Dewey LoSasso emerged, presenting fresh course after course of vegan delights as a guitarist serenaded us slightly asunder and stars emerged. Milagro Tequila’s very own Jaime Salas tutored the agave-fueled tastings, leading venture capitalist Carl Kruse, publicist Omar DeWindt, and man-about-town Scott Katsaras on a five-hour journey into taste-bud bliss.

photography by JIPSY CASTILLO (MIXOLOGIA), Mitchell Zachs (salinas, cope, ponies)


Charity Register: June/July 2013

Five opportunities to give this summer.

July 02, 2013

Cause: Efforts to provide personalized outfits to underprivileged children on their first day of school.
President and founder: Rachael Russell
Event: Third annual Summer Fashion Show fundraiser, Style Saves Swim, Friday, July 19, at 9 pm, Soho Beach House 

Cause: Easing access to food in order to end childhood hunger in America.
Event chair: Chef Allen Susser
Event: Taste of the Nation South Florida, Thursday, July 25, at 6 pm, Loews Miami Beach Hotel

Cause: Grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
Event chair: Meagan Malo
Event: 15th annual Dream Date auction, Friday, July 26, at 7 pm, Exit 66 

Cause: To advocate for children who are abused, neglected, or abandoned and who are involved in dependency proceedings.
Event chair: Marling Obando
Event: Mad For A Cause, Saturday, August 17, at 11 am, the Miami Beach Resort

Cause: Education and support for people living with autism and other disabilities.
President and CEO: Luanne Welch
Event: Small Miracles luncheon, Friday, August 23, at 11:30 am, Jungle Island


Charity Register: May/June

Best Buddies Friendship Walk, Claws for Kids, and more causes to celebrate.

May 02, 2013

Cause: Create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Founder/chair: Anthony K. Shriver
Event: Friendship Walk, Saturday, May 4, at 8 am, Huizenga Park, Fort Lauderdale

Cause: Inspire and enable young people, especially those in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens
Committee chair: Judy Kramer
Event: Second annual Claws for Kids, Sunday, May 5, at 11:30 am, Joe’s Stone Crab

Cause: Provide direct services of food, clothing, shelter, addiction counseling, behavioral health and job training, and healthcare to the poor and homeless of South Florida
President/CEO : Dr. Paul R. Ahr
Event: The Auction, Saturday, May 11, at 6:30 pm, The Coral Gables Country Club

Cause: Advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment
Honoree: Don Shula
Event: FedEx/St. Jude Angels & Stars Gala, Saturday, May 18, at 7 pm, JW Marriott Marquis Miami

Cause: Prevent child abuse and neglect by valuing children, strengthening families, and educating communities
Cofounder/chairman emeritus: Jorge A. Plasencia
Event: Miami Celebrity Domino Night, Saturday, June 15, at 8 pm, Jungle Island

Cause: Improve the lives of South Florida youth through educational and extracurricular opportunities that may not otherwise be available to them
Founder: DJ Irie 
Event: Ninth annual Irie Weekend, June 27–29, various locations/ times


Charity Register: April 2013

Six opportunities to give back this month.

April 01, 2013

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Cause: Find cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases through research and treatment
Event chair: Michael Epstein
Event: Sixth annual Nautica South Beach Triathlon, Sunday, April 7, at 5:30 a.m., Lummus Park

Women's Fund of Miami-Dade
Cause: Empower women through advocacy and funding for innovative initiatives that build equality, foster social change, and create community partnerships
Event chairs: Judy Chorlog, Kristin Francisco, and Aletha Player
Event: 2013 annual luncheon, Power of the Purse: 20 Years of Solutions, Friday, April 19, at 11 a.m., Jungle Island

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
Cause: Enlighten, educate, and entertain our community through transformational arts and cultural experiences
Event chairs: Swanee and Paul DiMare
Event: Seventh Anniversary Gala, Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m., John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall

Kristi House
Cause: Heal and eradicate child sexual abuse
Executive director: Trudy Novicki
Event: Seventh annual Breaking the Silence Luncheon, Friday, April 26, at 12 p.m., Jungle Island

American Cancer Society
Cause: Eliminate cancer as a major health problem by prevention, saving lives, and diminishing suffering through research, education, advocacy, and service
Event chairs: Pedro and Madeleine Munilla
Event: Centennial Gala 2013, Saturday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m., Trump Doral Golf Resort & Spa Miami

Florida Heart Research Institute
Cause: Stop heart disease through research, education, and prevention
Event chair: Bob Arnold
Event: Heart of a Chef, Sunday, April 28, 3–7 p.m., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden


Up Late: The XX and Football Fêtes

Dirk DeSouza reports back from French retail mansions and football fêtes.

April 01, 2013

We don’t visit shopping malls much for “Up Late,” what with the can’t-stop-won’t-stop nonstop action that megaclub VIP sections, hotel rooftops, and Bluewater yacht events consistently deliver. But not even the most jaded VIP could resist this mega-deliciousness: the incredibly important grand opening of Louis Vuitton Aventura. So about 500 hand-chosen sartorial superiors red-carpeted their way inside the cavernous, indescribably opulent two-story mecca of leather, jewels, glass, wood, and sex. Not just any new LV store—this one’s considered a maison by bigwigs, because of both its size and installations of art, which adorn every wall, encapsulating the Apple Store-like glass circular staircase and reminding mortals that very expensive consumables abound. Speaking of art, Debra Scholl, one of Miami’s most important collectors, hot off her multimillion-dollar 300-piece art donation to the Pérez Art Museum Miami, sipped endlessly flowing Dom Pérignon aside a bespectacled Craig Robins, the visionary behind Miami’s Design District, LVMH’s retail development partner, and boyfriend of Jackie Soffer—whose family owns Aventura Mall itself. A DJ did her duties on a podium as exclusively male models passed fancy nibbles and trays of Dom under hot lights. Power publicist Lauren Gnazzo scampered about, movie-star-smiling and air kissing the likes of The Webster’s Cedric Aumonier and socialite Dana Leigh Shear, while I slipped deep into the good night. Trés chic.

The XX, the red-hot group of British shoe-gazing mood rockers, rolled into The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for a spectacularly sold-out show. Dubious-aged, Breakfast Club-esque fans of all ilks—the dweebs, the jocks, the hotties, the indie outcasts—chanted and heart-hurted their way through hours of droning, syncopated, circuitous tracks. Super mopey, blackclad Kelly Osbourne-looking guitarist Romy Madley Croft and grim-faced Third Reich-hairdoed bassist Oliver Sim mumbled their way through endless downtempo beats and faint harmonies. Two hours later, when Sim finally cracked a smile, the crowd went wild, and even YoungArtsSarah Arison felt the love, if for one shining split second.

The Super Bowl conjures visions of brawn, brutality, bright lights, quirky commercials, and land acquisition gaming, so it came as a strange surprise that Champagne Krug, the deeply civilized bubbly many consider simply the world’s finest, held a gridiron-themed fête on the Gale South Beach hotel’s rooftop. Grande Cuvée downright rained on a select 75 VIPs who enthusiastically gathered on a bright, chilly night, while Krug CEO Margareth Henriquez, freshly landed from Paris, toasted the likes of billionaire developer/art patron Jorge Pérez and star chef Ingrid Hoffmann. No Super Bowl party is complete without photo booths, copious pizza, baton-twirling cheerleaders, and marching bands, and Krug didn’t disappoint. The crowd was transported to New Orleans with live jazz renditions of “When the Saints Come Marching In,” a jiggling hottie dance team powerjamming to Jay-Z and Beyoncé tracks, and general halftime mayhem. The good times then rolled downstairs, deep into the Gale’s Rec Room, for a postmortem drink.

photography by Jason Koerner (the xx); (birbragher); seth browarnik/ (benharrouch, shear)


Charity Register: March 2013

Six opportunities to give back this month.

February 25, 2013

American Heart Association
Build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke
Event chairs: Ernesto and Sylvia Perez
Event: Miami Heart & Stroke Ball, Saturday, March 2, at 6 p.m., InterContinental Miami;

Women of Tomorrow
Cause: Motivate and empower at-risk young women to live up to their full potential through mentoring and scholarship opportunities
Philanthropic and gala chair: Marisa Toccin
Event: 2013 annual gala, Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m., Mandarin Oriental Miami;

Americans for Immigrant Justice
Protect the basic human rights of immigrants at local, state, and national levels
Dinner host committee cochairs: Dorothea Green and Kimberly Green
Event: Dare to Dream, Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m., InterContinental Miami;

Little Lighthouse Foundation
Cause: Support children and families who face medical, educational, emotional, and financial challenges
Founders: Rob Sena, Aaron Resnick, Charlie Venturi, and Aracibo Quintana
Event: Hearts & Stars Gala, Saturday, March 9, at 8 p.m., Terra Veritatis;

Children's Bereavement Center
Cause: Enable children and families to acknowledge change and integrate loss with healthful grief and mourning
Event chairs: Janá Sigars-Malina and Mona Adams
Event: Rockin’ on the Green, Saturday, March 16, at 7 p.m., Ransom Everglades School;

American Red Cross South Florida Region
Cause: Prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors
Event chairs: Tom and Marie-Ilene Whitehurst
Event: 31st annual American Red Cross Ball, Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m., The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami;

—Dirk DeSouza
photography by


Miami Made Festival Returns

Programming includes works by local playwrights and choreographers, as well as a pop-up at the Riviera South Beach.

February 12, 2013

Good, God, Go by Letty Bassart

The fifth season of Miami Made will take place from Tuesday, February 26 through Sunday, March 3, celebrating works-in-progress produced, created, and performed by Miami-based artists. The six-day celebration will feature a pop-up event at the Riviera South Beach hotel and several performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center's Carnival Studio Theatre.

The program kicks off with two showcase nights at the Riviera, where guests will partake in an interactive reality TV spoof. Thursday (February 28), things head inland to the Arsht for a stage reading of Fear Up Harsh, a work based on America's fascination with military honors and awards. Friday (March 1) welcomes Dinner Partiers (Ironic and Themed), a play about couples caught in sticky social situations and the pressures of marriage and friendships. On Saturday (March 2), choreographer Letty Bassart presents Good, God, Go, complete with a marching band, 50-piece sculptural installation, and live vocalists. Closing the festival will be a play by Mark Della Ventura, Gabe Hammad, and David Michael Sirois, Two-Merz, which follows two brothers who’ve just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

All Miami Made Festival events are free and open to the public. Admission to the Riviera events are first come, first serve. Arsht center performances are general admission seating with tickets available at the box office at 10 a.m. the morning of the event. Rivera South Beach, 2000 Liberty Ave., Miami Beach; Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami



Charity Register: February 2013

Six opportunities to give back this month.

January 30, 2013

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
Cause: Develop and rapidly apply the most promising research to treat and cure those living with diabetes
Chairpersons: Sandra Levy and Sonja Zuckerman
Event: 39th annual Love and Hope Ball, Saturday, February 2, at 6:30 p.m., The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Cause: Save tropical plant diversity by exploring, explaining, and conserving the world of tropical plants
Chairpersons: Swanee DiMare and Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa
Event: Gala in the Garden, Saturday, February 2, at 6:30 p.m., Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Cause: Care for those in need, and advance the unity, values, and purpose of Jewish people in Miami, Israel, and around the world
Chairpersons: Mojdeh and Robert Danial
Event: The Main Event, Thursday, February 7, at 5:30 p.m., Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Children's Home Society of Florida
Cause: Protect children at risk of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and find loving homes for them
Event chair: Ana Hernandez
Event: Pink & Blue Gala, Saturday, February 9, at 7 p.m., InterContinental Miami

Voices for Children Foundation, Inc.
Cause: Ensure that every abused and neglected child in Miami- Dade County has a court-appointed guardian ad litem, plus financial assistance and other resources
Honorary cochairs: Brittany Lopez and Christian Slater
Event: Be a Voice, Inspire Hope Gala, Saturday, February 16, at 7 p.m., Mandarin Oriental, Miami

New World Symphony
Cause: Prepare gifted graduates from distinguished music conservatories for successful careers in symphony orchestras and ensembles
Gala chairs: Sari and Arthur Agatston
Event: 25th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, February 23, at 6 p.m., New World Center


Art Basel Miami Beach Recap

We sent our man Dirk DeSouza on a rabid dash through all things social during ABMB. See if you can keep up.

January 30, 2013

Day 1—Tuesday
Even in a Champagne-sweating, event-driven party town like ours, nothing touches the electric chaos, the delicious sensory overload of Miami’s preeminent excite-fest that is Art Basel. I launched my journey at the jam-packed kickoff soirée for Serafina restaurant at the Dream South Beach hotel. Nothing like walking into a room full of stylish, worldly, and moneyed non-Miamians to start the race. Yet there were familiar faces, too: Flanking the DJ on the gorgeous Deco patio were Steven Worth and girlfriend Maria Borges, steps away from publicist Lyndsey Grimes Cooper and husband Dr. Matthew Cooper, and sultry Brazilian model Regina Sil. Only in Miami does a restaurant opening prioritize bubbly over food, so I scampered across to David’’s Café for a bite to fuel my impending efforts.

A quick taxi ride took me to the Interview magazine/Sotheby’s fête at The James Royal Palm hotel, the newly refurbished Collins lodge where socialites Tara Solomon and Swede Victoria Shvets partied alongside the New World Symphony’s Nathalie Cadet-James and Iva Kosovic on the pool deck, the temperature perfectly crisp, and everyone dressed in their New York best. Next stop? The downright amazing White Cube gallery party at Soho Beach House, where Russian billionaire Dasha Zhukova commingled with half-billionaire artist Damien Hirst and Soho founder Nick Jones. Enormous platforms covered the pool, with gazelle-like girls tossing their hair, dancing, smoking, dressed in obscure Belgian designer duds, and drinking with reckless abandon, just as the script calls for. By 2 a.m., I scurried to the Le Baron popup party at the Rec Room at the Gale South Beach, a sardine-packed basement romp where a trio of French-cum-Chinatown NYC DJs spun tribal house, disco, and Lou Reed classics with such aplomb that even nightlife fixtures Louis Aguirre, Alan Roth, and host Josh Wagner were sent into aural bliss until almost sunrise.

Day 2—Wednesday
Designer Stella McCartney held an intimate lunchtime British tea and Champagne party at Miami’s preeminent celebrity bastion of fashion, The Webster. Actresses Marcia Cross and Lori Loughlin browsed frocks aside our town’s most stylish women, sipping Veuve Clicquot and nibbling petit fours, while polished hosts Cedric Aumonier and Laure Hériard Dubreuil laughed and milled. Moments later, the Webster rooftop hosted an equally fabulous celebration for Valentino, with models Greta Jimenez and Anna Herrin strutting to the beats of Los Angeles DJ Lola Langusta while Martha Stewart perused the crowd. As night descended, the Design District ascended, with French fashion house Dior Homme putting on an impossible-to-get-into screening of Bruce Weber’s short film Can I Make the Music Fly at the Moore Building.

Day 3—Thursday
Legendary dress designer Diane von Furstenberg held an über-private lunch at Soho Beach House’s Moroccan-themed seaside tent, where I savored bubbly, lobster, and lamb chops alongside Chelsea Handler, André Balazs, Paris and Nicky Hilton, and supermodel Stephanie Seymour’s teenage socialite sons, known as the Brandt Brothers. Next stop was a VIP bayside party at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach for yet another Weber creation, his latest book, All-American Volume Twelve: A Book of Lessons, where true legends Calvin Klein and Donna Karan paid their respects and golden retrievers (of course) scampered about during a picture-perfect sunset. Taxis and packed causeways finally led me to the extraordinary lights and sound production that VH1 conjured for indie band Metric, which played to a thousand VIPs, including Annie Vazquez, Rob Sena, and nightlife pioneer Carmel Ophir, at the enormous Scope Art Fair tent in Midtown Miami. This wasn’t a South Beach crowd; the indie downtown kids were out, enveloped in a world of vocals, guitars, and LEDs, living in the moment. What a night!

Day 4—Friday
I started on the mainland and toasted my way east: In the Design District, Harper’s Bazaar’s popup shop, aptly named ShopBazaar, infiltrated the Buena Vista Building with dancers and superchefs Bobby Flay and Michael Schwartz sipping vino. Next stop: The Standard—yet again—for Terrywood, photographer Terry Richardson’s book-release party, where rapper Azealia Banks utterly killed, as a camouflage-tuxedoed Pharrell Williams, Stacy Keibler, Kelly Osbourne, and Demi Moore showed for the snapper. It seems Terrywood’s meticulously crafted guest list was all about Los Angeles and New York, which makes Basel kind of like a safari across a human Serengeti. Car service, please, to the SLS Hotel South Beach’s Hyde Beach for Hublot Watches’ impenetrable blowout party for nouveau-Expressionist artist Domingo Zapata. Near the Ferrari-lined pool, billionaire Micky Arison partied with Entourage actors Jeremy Piven and Adrian Grenier, and power publicist Ryan Hattaway milled about in a sea of hotties. After-hours I made off to Le Baron’s next popup party, at Nikki Beach’s cavernous Pearl Restaurant & Champagne Lounge—the trio this time spinning funk, deep house, and French folk songs as the star power of Beyoncé and Jay-Z startled revelers until the wee hours. Baselites by this point were running on fumes.

Day 5—Saturday
Barely alive, I hit the Sagamore’s VIP Brunch, the annual lovefest that helps close out Basel week. Hotel owners/art collectors Cricket and Martin Taplin greeted guests as General Manager Brian Vujnovic ran the show, securing drinks for Sean Yazbeck and Casa Morada hotel owner Lauren Abrams. This last of the Basel mornings was made gentler with breakfast cocktails, great conversation, and the breakfast of Basel champions: Nutella-stuffed crêpes. Smiling, exhausted faces abounded, each sporting hints of relief that this always epic week was almost over.

—Dirk DeSouza
photography by neil rasmus/ (leyland, ragone); david x prutting/ (balazs)


Temptation City

Burlesque spectacles, earnest chanteuse serenades, and other bubbly-laced fêtes around town.

January 07, 2013

Orchid, a mesmerizing spectacle that’s part Cirque du Soleil, part bawdy burlesque, and part Moulin Rouge, commandeered a grassy plot in the Design District for an opening-night VIP performance. Some 500 of Miami’s who’s who gathered in the Pleasure Garden, a carnivalthemed outdoor mini-city of sorts—dotted with comfy tables, lounge couches, Champagne bars, and a gorgeous Michelle Bernstein pop-up restaurant—beside a huge, ornate, 19th-century European performance tent, which was packed and imported just for the show. Actress Kelly Lynch, wife of Magic City producer Mitch Glazer, mingled with Magic City actress Dominik Garcia- Lorido and Russian/French actress Olga Kurylenko, an actual bona fide Bond Girl. Once the show started, it was a doozy of song, dance, contortionism, flaming pasties, aerial acrobatics, and a compelling storyline of good versus evil in a garden of temptation. Proud producers Martin LaSalle and David Schwarz were on hand, while director William Baker, who has worked with Rihanna and Britney Spears, weaved his girls’ pop tunes into the storyline, along with Guns N’ Roses, Massive Attack, and Gloria Estefan. Veuve Clicquot and Belvedere Vodka flowed endlessly during intermission, as Jennie Yip, Christina Getty-Maercks, Arin Maercks, and Paul Bacardi milled about. Actor Christian Slater and girlfriend Brittany Lopez s tood f eet away a s I a sked D esign D istrict visionary Craig Robins, flanked by Jackie Soffer, how exactly he lured so many luxury boutiques away from Bal Harbour Shops. His answer? “They love the community we’ve built here. They want to be associated with that excitement, that community.” On this night, during Orchid, no truer words were spoken. Bravo!

Russian-cum-New York chanteuse Regina Spektor, the anti-folk singer/ songwriter hero for legions of earnest girls, thoroughly serenaded The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater. Bright-red lipstick abounded as she sauntered onstage and dazzled with a humble-then-soaring, angel-voiced a cappella tune that got the party started, the wowed crowd squealing with joy. The Fillmore always makes for great people-watching, but this 2,000-person gaggle was overwhelmingly female, with high percentages of androgyny, refreshingly dubious sexual orientations, and more nerdy girls than an NYU student library. Spektor was surrounded by a three-piece backup band so incredibly subdued that one could have mistaken them for orchestral accompanists—but this was by design, for this critical darling is a real-deal solo act star. Imagine a theater full of energetic disciples, with the crystal-clear concert sound amplified so intentionally low that, even mid-song, one could hear other fans’ offhand comments. Legendary concert promoter Woody Graber wrangled photographers Jason and Carrie Wiesenfeld, who wandered over from Hibiscus Island and swayed to the tunes, while hip- scene-stalwart Veronica Gessa, fiercely clad in Bowery-black leather, unwaveringly studied Spektor’s every move. The songstress twinkled her majestic Steinway & Sons grand, singing her heart out for two hours. World-class music again comes to Miami.

What do you get when you mix red-hot hotelier Sam Nazarian, rocker Lenny Kravitz, designer Philippe Starck, celebri-spawn Rumer Willis, and a sea of genetically blessed, sartorially conscious, absolutely buzzed revelers? One of the best hotel grand-opening parties in memory occurred when SLS Hotel South Beach officially (well, second-officially after its spring fling) opened its sparkly doors on a starry, clear, zero-humidity night with downright magic in the air. In this home of the brave and land of the free, “free” hit a delicious apex as Perrier-Jouët bubbly, Grey Goose, and José Andrés’s The Bazaar and Katsuya food endlessly flowed all night for 1,000 people. Beside gangs of superfreaky, Victorian-wigged street dancers wowing the crowd, Nazarian flew It band Capital Cities i n f rom L os Angeles to poolside electro-rock the house in a good-times way reminiscent of MGMT’s killer synths and harmonies. The crowd had more than its share of young/hot fashionistas, as model Danielle Hamo, Victoria Consolo, The Webster’s Sofia Champalanne, and aspiring fashion designer Monica Exposito absolutely dazzled.

Swedish retailer H&M lovingly refurbished the historic Lincoln Theatre, former home of the New World Symphony, for its flagship South Beach outpost and rightly celebrated with a star-studded street party. It was theater, alright: Hundreds of VIPs lined up outside the gargantuan digs, begging overwhelmed publicists to get onto the red carpet. But alas, the fire marshal had intermittently shut the place down. Meanwhile, the likes of Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford, Glee’s Matthew Morrison, The Real Housewives of Miami’s Adriana De Moura, and rapper Flo Rida basked in paparazzi before Flo Rida hit the stage with a mic, swigging a bottle of Dom Pérignon, and proceeded to tear the place up. It’s a strange sensation for a concert to be thrown in a boutique, surrounded by tops, purses, and skirts, but the soaring, stunning store was indeed open for business, selling frocks amid open bars on multiple levels; the likes of Gingi Beltran, Soho Beach House’s Guy Chetwynd, and model Dashil Hernandez browsed and socialized while rap blared and blared. By the time the open bars shut down for good, a smiling Lauren Reskin, owner of hipster hangout Sweat Records, had her bag of coveted clothes, ready for the next big party.

—dirk desouza
photography by Seth browarnik/; seth browarnik/ (capital cities, starck); alexander tamargo/getty images for h&m

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