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First Look: Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton

Fresh off its NYC debut, the collection arrives in Miami on July 19.

July 17, 2012

After an exclusive launch on July 10 in New York City, the Yayoi Kusama capsule collection for Louis Vuitton will make its South Florida debut on July 19 at Aventura Mall. Created under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs, the collection includes a whimsical assortment of clothing and accessories with Kusama's signature polka dots and mid-century flair.

Playful pumps, colliers, and cuffs are among the chic staples found in the collection. Fans of the collaboration can also download the Vuitton-Kusama mobile application to add Kusama's signature dots to their photographs and upload their transformed snaps onto the brand's microsite. A Kusama-inspired window installation will be unveiled at Louis Vuitton Aventura on July 23. 18501 Biscayne Blvd., #511, Aventura, 305-866-4470



Caviar Hot Spots

Where to indulge world-class caviar on National Caviar Day, this Wednesday.

July 17, 2012

Gazapacho topped with crostini and caviar at The Dome

Bella Beach Club
Mediterranean-inspired beach club Bella Beach not only offers a supreme caviar selection, but one that you can enjoy with your feet planted in the sand and the salt air all around. Options sold by the ounce include a Kaluga Huso Supreme roe ($225), Onix Royale Osetra ($175), and Siberian Osetra ($150). 18001 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles, 305-673-3878; bellabeachclub.com

The Dome Restaurant & Caviar Bar
Last week, Coral Gables restaurant The Dome launched an exclusive line of vegan caviar (made of seaweed) in conjunction with new summer menu items. Traditionalists will prefer the caviar small plates and platters, though. Start with caviar-topped oysters and smoked salmon rolls and then splurge on a platter of Caspian or Kaluga caviar. Platters are served with crème fraîche, truffle scrambled eggs, toast points, and blini. 271 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-648-4999; thedomemiami.com

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana
Twin chefs Nicola and Fabrizio Carro recently rolled out a three-course caviar tasting menu at their Northern Italian restaurant for $140 per person. The Carros brothers have paired Agroittica Lombarda caviar with crispy bruschetta, pink shrimp bisque, and carnaroli risotto with Maine lobster. If you’ve never tried caviar, this is a great way to get your palate familiar. Wine pairings are also available for an additional charge. 1014 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, 305-531-4833; quattromiami.com



Swim Week Shopping Events

Two fashionable fêtes hit the Swim Week lineup.

July 16, 2012

Guy and Girl Boutique

Ready, Set, Swim
Wednesday, July 18, 7-10 PM
Join online retailer Miinto.com at Emena Spa inside the Buena Vista Building for a shopping and spa extravaganza. Local fashion bloggers Kelly Saks and Lori Riviere will be on hand as guests peruse pop-ups like Karess Swimwear. Reyka Vodka and SNAP will pour complimentary libations while Emena offers mini spa treatments. Miinto will also present a runway show and gift the first 40 guests with a $15 Miinto shopping credit. 180 N.E. 39th St., Suite 223, Miami; rsvp@itmarketingconcepts.com

Summer Sample Sale at Collins Park
Sunday, July 22, NOON-8 PM
Swim Week's annual pop-up sale returns to Collins Park, offering shoppers an unbeatable selection of clothing, swimwear, lingerie, and accessories. Maya Swimwear, Ole Unlimited, and Tori Praver are just a few of the swim brands that will be featured under the tent. Items from the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection, including pieces by Nicole Miller, Donna Karan, and Oscar de la Renta, will also be on sale with all proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association. Guests can cool down courtesy of Real Sorbet Truck, get braided by Blo Blow Dry Bar, and enjoy a free yoga class complements of Green Monkey. 21st and Collins Ave., Miami Beach


What You Missed: RAW Artists Showcase

More than 20 indie artists, designers, and musicians did their thing at last week’s event.

July 16, 2012

Gumby art by GiveWave

Underground artists, designers, and musicians took to The Stage for the July 12th edition of Mixology. Produced by RAW, a national independent arts organization, the packed showcase gave over 20 hand-selected artists the opportunity to exhibit, sell, and promote their unique works.

Vizcaya Swimwear teamed with Make N Style for a sultry runway show, bilingual rockers Malayera performed, and GiveWave took guests inside the secret life of Gumby (yes, that Gumby). RAW's next Mixology meeting is slated for August 9. 170 NE 38th St., Miami



Dinner Plans: Katsuya at the SLS Hotel

The LA import's new SoBe outpost flaunts Japanese flavors with a fiery kick.

July 13, 2012

Next door to the whimsical world of José Andrés at The Bazaar, master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi diligently crafts sushi, sashimi, robata, and entrées at his eponymous restaurant, Katsuya. Upon entrance, guests are greeted in Japanese and ushered through the sleek, minimalistic black, white, and lipstick red dining room designed by Philippe Starck.

Katsuya's menu is rife with signatures dishes, which feature fresh spins on simple ingredients. The crispy rice with spicy tuna layers thin slices of savory tuna on top of seared rice chunks, creating a chip-like outer rim that delightfully contrasts its moist filling.

As entrées go, the Kobe filet with foie gras is outstandingly tender and topped with a smooth plum wine reduction. The miso-marinated cod is beautifully presented alongside softly steamed broccolini and potato. More must-trys include the baked crab handroll and creamy rock shrimp. For dessert, the Japanese doughnuts with raspberry sauce are not to be missed. 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-455-2995



Weekend Recommender: July 12-15

The Arsht Center transforms into a disco inferno, Kaskade rolls in, and more.

July 12, 2012

Kaskade will perform at Klipsch Amphitheater this Saturday

Mixology Art Show  
Thursday, July 12, 8 PM
Local artists, musicians, and designers will showcase their latest works during indie arts group Raw: Natural Born Artists’ Mixology event. Furor Moda, Jesse Stark, and Trek6 are among the evening's presenters. Presale tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. Cocktail attire is strongly suggested. The Stage, 170 N.E. 38th St., Miami; rawartists.org

The Donkey Show
Friday, July 13, 7:30 PM & 10:30 PM
Grab an oversize afro wig and those old disco dancing shoes and head to opening night of The Donkey Show. Led by a cast of over 20 aerialists, acrobats, and roller skaters, this interactive disco spectacle transports guests to the days of Studio 54. Tickets begin at $35. Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org

Equinox Beach Volleyball
Saturday, July 14, 10 AM–12 PM
Hit Miami Beach's pristine sands for Equinox's new beach volleyball class. Professional volleyball player and Equinox instructor Andreas Olesen will guide players through a two-hour session, complete with boot camp drills, partnered exercises, and a closing match. The free weekly class kicks off this Saturday. RSVP to Christopher.Grys@equinox.com. Between 7th and 8th Streets, Miami Beach; equinox.com

Kaskade at Klipsch Amphitheater
Saturday, July 14, 6:30 PM
Kaskade brings his "Freaks of Nature" tour to Bayfront Park's Klipsch Amphitheater. Panic Bomber, FareOh, and Alvin Risk are slated to open the Saturday night show. General admission tickets are $39.50 and can be purchased at livenation.com. 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami



Bastille Day Planner

Weekend events to feed your inner Francophile on La Fête Nationale.

July 12, 2012

Pommes frites at Angelique Euro Café

Angelique Euro Café
Friday-Saturday, July 13 & 14
Bastille Day diners will be treated to gratis pommes frites with any lunch entrée on Friday and Saturday. On Bastille Day (Saturday), the café will offer live music and a special three-course menu with wine selection. Escargot, bouillabaisse, and coq au vin are among the evening's Parisian plates. 117 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-529-9922; angeliqueeurocafe.com

Chalk Miami
Saturday, July 14, 10 PM
Miami Beach's ping-pong mecca will host an "Absinthe Minded" Bastille Day bash. Guests can enjoy complimentary Champagne and absinthe cocktails from 10 to 11 PM, a pop-up crêperie, and a video montage by O’Cinema. Resident DJ Tom LaRoc and guest DJ Grace Jones will bump French-imported beats until the wee hours. 1234 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-532-8662; chalkmiami.com

National Hotel
Sunday, July 15, 12–3 PM
The National's Sunday brunch will put a special spin on classic French staples like coq au vin, fruits de mar, and charcuterie. For $49 per person, guests can savor these French flavors as well as unlimited flutes of Perrier-Jouët. After brunch, hit the beach for a private pétanque tournament. 1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-532-2311; nationalhotel.com



Happy Hour at Get2BFit

Get ready for a dance cardio ladies night with mocktails, smoothies, and swag bags.

July 12, 2012

Swap your calorie-laden Friday night cocktailing with Get2BFit’s new weekly Happy Hour Fitness series, which kicks off Friday, July 27. The ladies-only course features an hour of high-intensity dance cardio followed by a 15-minute abs session. Classes will be led by local personal trainer and lifestyle guru Janette Janero.

Participants at the kick-off course on July 27 will take home an exclusive goodie bag filled with beauty and wellness essentials. Get2BFit's in-house health stand will also serve-up discounted mocktails and fruit-filled smoothies. Guests may purchase individual class tickets at $15 each or nab the five-week bundle for $60. (6-7:15 PM) 3250 N.E., 1st Ave., Miami


Film Focus: 'Voters in America: Who Counts'

CNN’s Don Lemon and actor Jesse Williams discuss the documentary on Florida’s controversial House Bill 1355.

July 11, 2012

Don Lemon and Jesse Williams at a panel discussion on Voters in America: Who Counts

A new documentary airing on CNN this Sunday (July 15) shines a light on pending Florida voter legislation that could keep important minority and youth votes from being cast in the next presidential election. The hour-long special, Voters in America: Who Counts, premiered to Miami audiences at June’s American Black Film Festival, where CNN anchor Don Lemon and documentary narrator Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) led a panel discussion with producers Geraldine Moriba and Robert Ruff. If passed, the new legislation (House Bill 1355) will eliminate one of the two Sundays during early voting days (popular with minorities and students), enforce a tight 48-hour window for community groups, like the NAACP the League of Women Voters, to submit new voter applications, and make upwards of 80 other changes to Florida’s election laws. We talked to Lemon and Williams offstage to learn more about the film and the bill.

What made you want to get involved with this documentary, and the discussion today?
JESSE WILLIAMS: I had the opportunity to lend my voice to something that would cross generations and also educate myself in the process. It couldn't have come at a better time, with the election coming up. The stakes are extremely high and Florida is an important state.   

DON LEMON: My simple answer is I work for CNN. If you want to see the best documentaries on television, they are on CNN. This is an important issue coming up in an election year. People have real issues when it comes to voter fraud and suppression. We'll be choosing the leader of the free world, the president of the United States, so there are fewer things that are as important.

Some have argued that Florida's swing state status is not as crucial as it was during the 2008 election. Do you agree?
DL: Florida is very important, especially when you look at what is happening now with immigration and when you talk about the number of electoral votes it has. One of the vice presidential candidates on the Republican side could come from Florida in [Senator] Marco Rubio. [In 2008] we didn't think, at least I didn't, that the nation could be so partisan and so divided, and it is even more divisive now. It's unbelievable. When you talk about politics, or even report on it, the number of negatives you get from both democrats and republicans is just amazing to me.

JW: It's getting out of hand. It is affecting lives at this point. It's consistently more divisive and has turned into a battlefield. This was an opportunity for us to try and heal that divide, with information and arming people with wisdom. It's not just about the polls, it's about being informed on the many, many moving pieces that are involved in our policy making.

What about the inherent goal of House Bill 1355 to prevent voter fraud?
JW: There is certainly some merit [to the bill]. But it's not about bad guys or good guys, it's about information

What’s the best course of action for inspired viewers of the film?
DL: The best way to do something is to carry your butt to the polls and vote. Everyone should vote; it is a right as well as a privilege.

*Update: CNN's Voters in America: Who Counts has gone back into production and will not air on July 15, but rather in September. Jesse Williams' narration will not be featured.



After Hours Art Shows

The Frost stays up late to welcome two new exhibits.

July 11, 2012

Spinning Around by Pepe Mar

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University (FIU) will open two exciting new exhibitions at next week’s Target Wednesday After Hours (July 18) reception. The first, entitled "This and That: Unconventional Selections from the Permanent Collection" will highlight some of the museum's standout pieces. Each compilation is tied together by an aspect of unconventionality, either through physical manipulation or the use of multiple media. Works by local artists Jillian Mayer, Guerra de la Paz, Pepe Mar, and Bert Rodriguez will be displayed in the show that runs through October 21.

The night’s second debut, "Shared Threads: Maria Lino's Portrait of a Shipibo Healer," is an introspective film compilation captured in Pucallpa, Peru. For "Healer," Lino traveled to Peru for eight months, stringing together a visually captivating portrait of ancient artistic traditions and cultural ascendancies. Lino's installation is sponsored by Latino Magazine and will run through September 30. The evening will also feature light refreshments, sounds by FIU's Radiate FM, and guided tours. (6-9 PM) 10975 S.W. 17th St., Miami


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