Up Late: Surf and Turf Soirées
Dirk Desouza reports on this summer’s model-laden, surf-sailing, wine-gushing, rock ’n’ rollicking celebrations.
July 02, 2012
Amid torrential rains, storms spewing icy, nickel-size hail, and choppy seas, the Volvo Ocean Race tacked and jibbed into Miami for a two-week stopover to give its world-class seamen a relaxing respite during the rugged round-the-world sailing challenge. Six multimillion-dollar sailing vessels—shinier and sleeker than a Marni clutch, and sponsored by the likes of Puma and Telefónica—docked by the American Airlines Arena and threw a big-racing village party. But it was the Camper ( the Spanish footwear giant) with Team Emirates—sporting the most visually dynamic boat, liveried in reds and purples—that really knew how to party, chartering a four-story, vodkastocked spectator yacht for 150 sunburned VIPs, who also stayed and partied at the Viceroy Miami hotel for three days. Camper even rented Villa Vecchia, the circa-1928, $20 million, 18,000-square-foot private waterfront mansion on Pinetree Drive, to throw an intimate dinner party in its grand ballroom.
Within days of hosting Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell’s exceptional solo acoustic set and Wilco’s rollicking sonic rock jam, The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater hosted the legendary alt-artrock gods Jane’s Addiction, led by Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell and Ink Master’s Dave Navarro. Part circus—with a pop-up tattoo parlor, hair salon, and magician anchoring the lobby—and part epic rock extravaganza, Marshall stacks ruled as the band summarily and triumphantly annihilated the audience with hits and heaviness. Seminude, princessattired backup dancers dangled from the rafters as Farrell guzzled wine and soul-screamed his way through “Been Caught Stealing,” “Mountain Song,” and “Jane Says,” but it was the kick-your-teeth opening notes of “Ocean Size” that triggered the genuinely violent stage-front mosh pit and crowd surfers. At once tribal, primal, visceral, and relentless, punctuated by the brutal last note of “Stop!,” the band was proud and shirtless, the exhilarated crowd was soaking wet, and within moments, the lobby bars hummed with “Now that was a rock concert!” Hands down—show of the year.
When the Miami real estate market nosedived in 2008, lavish, budgetbe- damned condominium opening parties seemed to die along with it. (Cue the violins.) But as Paramount Bay’s Lenny Kravitz-studded opening party and Ocean House South Beach’s über-fête proved, they’re back. Ocean House has just 18 massive, house-size units, so it stocked its party with models, models, and more models: strutting by the pool, pouring Laurent-Perrier and Stoli, serving caviar (and serving cat-looking plastic surgery victims). The intimate, well-behaved, and beautifully dressed crowd was indeed VIP, the guest list having been “triple-distilled,” as one proud PR rep put it. DJ Irie cranked off the beats from a residence balcony overlooking the pool, while Tara Solomon carefully curated models-with-commoners photo-ops. Did I mention there were models?
Last but not least, magnums of vintage 1979 flowed alongside mountains of lobster-laden paella under the stars as Jordan Wines, the California grape-smashers with killer Cabernets and Chardonnays, celebrated their 40th anniversary with civilized whispers on the Soho Beach House rooftop with about 75 VIPs. The dapper John Jordan, the cowboy-booted playboy CEO of the winery, flew his own Gulfstream jet to Miami along with a bevy of blondes and his private chef. Next stop: Manhattan.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY RODRIGO GAYA/WORLDREDEYE.COM (KULHANJIAN, JINGCO); MANNY HERNANDEZ (PETRILLO); RYAN TROY/WORLDREDEYE.COM (CERVERA); AINHOA SANCHEZ (SCHWARZ)