Man of Style: Donald J. Pliner
The famed shoe designer and Miami resident shares his sartorial flair.
April 09, 2012
Jacket, Balmain. Shirt, Yohji Yamamoto. Jeans, AG Jeans.
Shoes, Donald J Pliner
For more than 45 years, Miami-based designer Donald J. Pliner has traveled the world and mastered the art of shoemaking. And while the style aficionado’s wardrobe reflects that of a jet-setter, comfort might just be his top priority.
What are your go-to wardrobe items?
A great pair of pants with a blazer of some sort and very fabulous shoes. I wear primarily Yohji Yamamoto jackets. My shirts are mostly Yohji, Costume National, or Balmain. That’s really my uniform.
Adriano Goldschmied, Prada, or Neil Barrett jeans.
Whose style do you most admire?
I think Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Yohji Yamamoto are beyond. What they do is something that is very accessible in every way.
Who influences your style as a designer?
I knew Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles when I first started in the business. How they’ve all emerged—that’s where my inspiration comes from.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JIM ARBOGAST; DOG GROOMING BY GROOMING LOFT
Kelly Wearstler Comes to Coral Gables
Meet the Beverly Hills designer and shop her gorgeous new line at Neiman Marcus this Friday.
April 05, 2012
American tastemaker Kelly Wearstler will be making a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus Coral Gables on Friday, April 13 to show off her spring 2012 collection. In addition to the new art-inspired women’s ready-to-wear line, Wearstler is also the interior design mind behind The Tides and The Viceroy’s jaw-dropping décor. Based in Beverly Hills, Wearstler’s aesthetic embodies all things glamorous and breezy. Expect boldly bright blouses, dresses, and shorts, as well as bubbly and small bites. 12 PM–2 PM. 390 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables; RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or 786-999-1006
Openings: The Orchid Boutique on Eighth Street
The popular swimwear shop blossoms with a second location.
April 03, 2012
Fact: Miami women can never have enough swimsuits or cover-ups. Lucky for us, The Orchid Boutique recently opened a second outpost on Eighth Street. Joining its Brickell sister, the shop is brimming with beach staples, such as chic bathing suits, hats, breezy tunics, bags, and accessories. Stocking styles from more than 23 swim brands, locals and tourists alike can scoop up exclusive labels like Doppia, Malai, Maui, SABZ, Sav Summer, and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada. Established lines by Nanette Lepore, L*Space, Vix, and Beach Bunny are also in-store. 224 8th St., Miami, 305-397-8994
Wellness Week Returns
Kick back, relax, and unwind with an entire week of spa and wellness offers.
March 21, 2012
agua at Delano
Attention all spa fanatics: commencing March 19, Miami welcomes Wellness Week 2012 (through March 25). For those of you feeling knotty by nature, the weeklong program offers half-price treatments, or flat $50 rates and complimentary community wellness programs at participating spas, fitness centers, and yoga and Pilates studios. Soothing sanctuaries such as Bellezza Spa, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami, Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach, and agua at Delano (ABOVE) are all participating the relaxation roundup.
An Unforgettable Evening at Juvia
The restaurant scores high marks for its French service, sophisticated fusion cuisine, and drop-dead gorgeous views.
March 19, 2012
The terrace at Juvia
New penthouse eatery Juvia is bringing a whole new flavor to the 1111 Lincoln Road garage rooftop. Stepping out of the building’s private elevator and into the 10,000 square-foot restaurant, diners are led through the terrace lounge, anchored by a remarkably lush, Amazonian-inspired plant wall, and into the main dining room amid sweeping views of Miami Beach.
Elsewhere in the dining room is an open kitchen and casual seating that belies the restaurant's truly French service. With a mix of Asian (executive chef Sunny Oh), French (executive chef Laurent Cantineaux), and South American (owners Jonas and Alexandra Millan) flair, the menu has a bevy of seafood dishes, such as rock shrimp served in a spicy curry sauce and a sea bass so delicately prepared that it melts in your mouth.
Owners Jonas and Alexandra (famous for Bonito restaurant in St. Barths) named the restaurant after a nut tree in their native Brazil. For their culinary team, the pair chose Cantineaux for his pedigree as a protégé of Daniel Boulud and Oh for his ten plus years experience running the kitchen at Nobu South Beach.
The menu changes regularly, but French delicacies can be found in the form of pork confit and feather light foie gras. And an iceberg salad topped with pancetta, figs, gorgonzola cheese, and flaky lobster salad is pure heaven. Also stellar were the side dishes: vegetable cassoulet, freshly grilled vegetables, and sweet and savory couscous.
The impressive cocktail menu boasts specialties such as pear sangria, made with sauvignon blanc, Asian pears, and St. Germain, and Juvia’s signature Purple Rain, a combination of vodka and purple Peruvian corn. Take your cocktail at the bar inside the main dining room and you might just be treated to a stargazer’s view, courtesy of a retractable roof.
Save room for dessert. Treats such as the chocolate candy bar and apple tart with homemade ice cream are well worth the indulgence. 1111 Lincoln Road
photograph by Ivan Nava
Miami-Made: Varelli Jewelry
We can’t get enough of local designer Liliana Aguilera’s cool leather cuffs and adorable pendants.
March 14, 2012
From whimsical charms to chunky rings, Varelli jewelry has Miami style down to a science. We spoke to the local line's 32-year-old designer, Liliana Aguilera, to learn more about her inspiration and the next big jewelry trends.
Where did the name “Varelli” originate?
LILIANA AGUILERA: It’s a tribute to my sisters and the critical role that each of them has played in my life. It’s a combination of their names, which are Viviana, Ariana, and Eliana.
What makes your designs so special?
LA: I’ve found that my designs are most successful when they are the direct result of something that inspires me, such as love, my guardian angel, or a moment in my life that was particularly special for me.
|Lucky Charm necklace ($75) by Varelli|
How does your Brazilian and Bolivian heritage manifest itself in your collection?
LA: With nature. In a nutshell, Brazil contributes exoticism and Bolivia contributes romanticism.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
LA: I use 18K gold plate, cotton cords, leather, crocodile, and a variety of stones, such as turquoise, pink quartz, and amethyst.
What are the big jewelry trends this spring?
LA: Bright colors, exotic combinations, and bold pieces with contemporary flair.
What do you think is Miami's best-kept secret?
LA: Rik Rak Salon on Brickell Avenue. I just love to be pampered. [I can] have my hair done, while sipping champagne, followed by a little bit of shopping—all in the same place
Available at Aurum Collection, 5760 Sunset Dr., 305-668-0221; varellidesigns.com
Waxing Sartorial with Carolina Herrera
The designer talks ball gown flourishes, fashion treasures, and the bare necessities of good style.
March 13, 2012
As per usual, Carolina Herrera was the picture of poise and elegance at the grand opening of her CH Carolina Herrera boutique at Bal Harbour Shops. The designer wore a chic black and white pleated skirt (from the CH Carolina spring collection) with a black button-down shirt to the opening, where guests perused the diffusion line's apparel and accessories for women, men, and children. With boutiques in Boca Raton and Coral Gables, the Bal Harbour shop marks the Venezuelan designer’s third CH Carolina Herrera foray into the Florida market. We sat down with the lady of the hour to chat about her proclivity for ball gowns with pockets, words of wisdom that she lives by, and her most prized fashion possession.
Your fall 2012 collection showed many gowns with pockets. Is that a personal favorite design touch of yours?
CAROLINA HERRERA: I love [pockets]. They are very useful. I usually do pockets in my dresses because when I go out I only carry my lipstick, and I always place it in there.
You’ve been designing under your label for 31 years. As a designer, and a brand, what is the key to longevity?
CH: I’ve been very consistent in the style I wanted to show, which is sophisticated and elegant. My clothes are for the women of today: An independent woman who isn’t afraid of being glamorous, chic, and elegant—and who wants to be admired by both men and women.
What is your most prized fashion possession?
CH: There are so many. I don’t know any woman who has only one. You go out to buy a pair of shoes and then you see an evening gown and you forget about the shoes. You don’t need it, but it looks beautiful hanging in [your] closet.
What about essentials? What should every woman stock in her closet?
CH: I think every woman should own a dress, a pencil skirt and a gown. It’s important to dress for your age and figure.
Designers are embracing social media and even live-streaming their shows in order to give the public instant access to their latest work. What is your take on fashion's digital renaissance?
CH: I think it’s fabulous. At this moment, fashion is so exciting because of the publicity, the internet, and the fact that people can sit in their houses and see the shows.
What is your mantra?
CH: Always leave room for fantasy.
Over-the-Top Indulgence at Remède Spa
Schedule some serenity at the just-opened St. Regis Bal Harbour’s lavish spa.
March 12, 2012
For a serious dose of downtime, head to Remède Spa at St. Regis Bal Harbour. The 12,000 square-foot spa spoils its clients with creature comforts such as Champagne, Jacques Torres truffles, and Kashwere throws. For glowing skin, indulge in the Remède Customized Facial ($175 for 60 minutes) performed by aesthetician Marisel Barbeito. Inspired by the international Laboratoire Remède line, the treatment cleanses, exfoliates, extracts, massages, and moisturizes the face with radiant results. 9701 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, 305-993-0600
Dining with a View
Miami’s eight most treasured waterfront dining options.
March 12, 2012
Gibraltar at the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa
With its outdoor seating facing the twinkling lights of downtown, Café Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami may just have the best water views in the city. Chef de cuisine Eduardo Quintana serves up Asian-infused dishes such as a Thai omelet, Singapore noodles, and fresh, innovative sushi worthy of that hotel’s luxurious brand.
500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami, 305-913-8358
Stunning ocean views, three types of tableside guacamole, and 85 brands of premium tequila (expertly poured by a master “tequilier”) await diners at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne’s casual, beachfront, tiki-style eatery. Chef de cuisine Andres Parlange, from Chiapas, Mexico, presents a regional Mexican menu of classic dishes such as pork rib carnitas and queso fundido with flour tortillas. 455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne, 305-365-4500
Crazy About You
From the people behind Spanishand Cuban-owned Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita, this Brickell waterfront spot has a patio looking out on Brickell Key and Virginia Key, plus a cozy-chic interior with lots of clean lines, raw wood, and leather. Its sliding prix-fixe menu gives you a range of price options, and specializes in robust Latin takes on Mediterranean fare (the misoglazed orange roughy is to die for). 1155 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami, 305-377-4442
Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market
This no-frills downtown spot on a wharf-filled stretch of the Miami River is half fish market, half restaurant. Pick out a whole yellowtail snapper from the market’s cold case, then have the chef grill it to smoky perfection. Also delicious: Garcia’s famous stone crab claws, creamy she-crab bisque, and fresh Florida lobster tail with a side of plantains. 398 NW North River Dr., Miami, 305-375-0765
Jutting out into Biscayne Bay at the tip of Grove Isle, this romantic restaurant has 180-degree views of the water, with intimate outdoor tables tucked between palms along torch-lit pathways— a setting that’s delivered a “yes” to all but one of the many would-be husbands who’ve proposed there in the last three years. The menu is seafood-intensive, and brunch shines with unlimited Champagne and mimosas, and an extensive raw bar.
4 Grove Isle Dr., Coconut Grove, 305-857-5007
As elegant as it gets, Il Gabbiano offers a terrace with views of the mouth of the Miami River and Brickell Key, attentive waiters in white jackets, and exceptional Italian cuisine. Hunks of Parmesan, garlic bread, and fried zucchini come gratis before the main event, with notable dishes such as homemade ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms in a black-truffle Champagne sauce. Dinner ends with a traditional shot of housemade limoncello.
335 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-373-0063
Daytime-only La Piaggia is a little slice of St-Tropez in South Beach, complete with a jet-set clientele, three-hour lunches, and gallons of its fabulous house rosé from owner Robert Pascal’s Côtes de Provence vineyard. Enjoy views of Government Cut while lingering over traditional French Mediterranean fare such as grilled dorado with ratatouille. There’s also a new five-course prix-fixe Saturday brunch.
1000 South Pointe Dr., Miami Beach, 305-674-0647
“Rusty” no longer applies to this Virginia Key institution, thanks to a recent $9 million makeover producing a second-floor ballroom, an elegant, warm dining room, and a new outdoor patio with fire pits by which to enjoy spectacular Miami skyline views. A “small plates” menu offers charcuterie, sliders, and sea bass ceviche, while entrée highlights include whole fried snapper and tagliatelle. 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne, 305-361-381
PHOTOGRAPHS BY T HRILLIST.COM (GIBRALTAR); THINKSTOCK.COM (CIGAR)
Five Questions With: Brad Goreski
The celebrity stylist and reality star discusses his new book, his not-so-stylish days, and his Miami book signing.
March 08, 2012
Brad Goreski credits his great team (currently a personal assistant, two styling assistants, and some managers) for all of the high-profile styling and television gigs he’s worked on since leaving Rachel Zoe. In addition to his new Bravo show, It’s a Brad, Brad World, Goreski has been keeping himself busy styling Jessica Alba, blogging for Details, and, most recently, writing a book. We caught up with the stylish author in advance of his Born to Be Brad: My Life and Style, So Far book signing (March 8) at Books & Books on Lincoln Road.
Tell us about your new book and why you decided to make it both a biography and a style guide. BRAD GORESKI: The initial idea was a style book, [but] I thought that was too obvious for me. I felt like, at 34-years-old, I’ve lived so many lives. If you are facing challenges with your family, or with drugs and alcohol, or you’ve been bullied and you’re afraid, you have that fear that you’re not good enough to do anything. I had all of those things happen to me and those are actually the things that, in the end, made me stronger and propelled me to go forward.
What will your fans be surprised by as they read the book?
BG: I think people will be surprised by the photos and reading the stories on some of [my old] outfits. It hasn’t been all refined tailoring, bowties, and studded shoes. I went through crazy hair dying phases. I rummaged through clothes that cost 25 cents a pound. I made my own clothes for a while. I still feel like a chubby kid from Port Perry, Ontario. And if I can get from that small town to Hollywood and New York and Milan and Paris and sitting front row at fashion shows, I believe that anybody can.
What are your opinions on Miami style?
BG: In Miami, people have more of a license to dress a little bit crazier, a little sexier, with a bolder print or brighter color. I like that about Miami. I’m also a big fan of people just kind of going for it, and I feel like people really do that here.
Which runway trends are best for Miami in the spring?
BG: Color. I know Miami loves color. The spring/summer runways were very much about pastels—almost like a tray of macarons. There’s a return to femininity for spring. Allow yourself to be girly and pretty and feminine in the summer, walking along the beach in a little chiffon sundress. Let the wind do the work for you.
What do you have planned for your Books & Books event?
BG: I’m excited to meet people. I’m always happy to meet people on the street and talk with them and take photos. I’m just as excited to meet them as I hope they are to meet me. Bring it on, Miami. I’m ready to meet as many of you as possible.