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.
Spring Break Escape: The Cove Atlantis
Save hundreds in airfare and dodge Miami’s onslaught of spring breakers in one fell swoop.
March 07, 2012
The Cove Atlantis
Looking to escape the unruly spring breakers who will soon descend on our fair city? The Bahamas are a near (45-minute plane ride) and picturesque option, made all the more enticing by the resort wonderland that is The Cove Atlantis. Through March 23, The Cove is offering a special getaway package (from $449 per night) that includes a $400 airfare credit for stays up to 6 nights or a $250 airfare credit for stays up to 4 nights, plus an ultra-luxe experience pass, good for one shallow water dolphin encounter, one sushi and sake sampler at Nobu, four gratis cocktails, and one spa credit. Circumventing Miami’s spring break fever might just be the smartest move you make all year. Reservations can be made here
Hot Property: Step Inside Casa Mare
The DS Team gives us a tour of the $11.9 million crown jewel of Dilido Drive.
March 07, 2012
When it comes to real estate, all signs point upward for South Florida. As Miami’s real estate market begins to bounce back from the recession, we discuss the uptick with The DS Team principal Dina Goldentayer, who works the Miami Beach luxury home beat at ONE Sotheby's International Realty.
What is the hottest property in your portfolio right now?
DINA GOLDENTAYER: Casa Mare at 34 W. Dilido Drive, listed at $11.9 million. It is truly the most magnificent property on the Venetian Islands, offering a perfect balance of Bali, Art Deco, and modern themes. There are also custom, handpicked finishes throughout the space. In addition, it offers over 100 feet on the water and direct Downtown Miami views.
What are the current market trends?
DG: A limited supply of inventory in top neighborhoods is causing a shift to a seller's market.
Which neighborhoods would you describe as “real estate gold”?
DG: South of Fifth, North Bay Road, Venetian Islands, and top-tier oceanfront condominiums
Why is now the time to buy?
DG: Simply said, the market is moving up and the 'deals' are being redefined.
The DS Team at ONE Sotheby's International Realty, 119 Washington Ave., #102, Miami Beach; 305-799-7697
MediRocks: Jewelry That Saves Lives
Aliette Vazquez makes stylish medical alert jewelry that kids and adults never have to hide.
March 06, 2012
Vazquez with a MediRocks bracelet
After being diagnosed with epilepsy, Aliette Vazquez set out to create fashion-forward medical alert jewelry with her line, MediRocks. Here, the Miami native shares her story and explains why MediRocks is particularly helpful to children and teens with severe medical conditions.
What led you to create MediRocks?
ALIETTE VAZQUEZ: MediRocks was the result of my personal need. After developing epilepsy, my doctors instructed me to wear a medical alert. [But] the medical alert jewelry I found was generic and geared toward an older customer. Epilepsy I can handle, but tacky accessories is a no!
What kind of materials do you work with?
AV: We use natural material, such as white brass. It is then dipped in 14-karat yellow or white gold. We also use genuine leather and fun stones, like tiger’s eye and wooden beads. And everything is made in the USA!
Apart from the style factor, why else do you think there is such a need for MediRocks?
AV: MediRocks helps all the kids who have severe allergies, diabetes, and [other afflictions]. If they feel comfortable and ‘cool’ with their medical alert, they will be more inclined to wear this life-saving accessory and create awareness around them.
New Exhibit: Dalí Miami
A new exhibit celebrates the trippy and beguiling genius of Salvador Dalí.
March 05, 2012
Montre Molle, 1971, by Salvador Dalí
More than 200 privately owned pieces of Salvador Dalí’s work will be on display during “Dali Miami” (March 7–11) at the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District. “Miami is the hub of Latin American art,” says Reed V. Horth, president and curator of Robin Rile Fine Art gallery, who curated the exhibit and further noted that a great many Miami artists trace their inspiration back to Dalí.
Among the 200 works Horth culled together for the exhibit are Montre Molle (1971), a Daum glass version of Dali’s signature melted clock, and a bronze Venus de Milo with Drawers, Horth’s personal favorite piece, which was conceived in 1964 and cast in 1988. “Freudian drawers opening to the unconscious,” says Horth, interrupt Venus’s sensual and feminine body. One of twelve editions, the piece shows Dalí’s preoccupation with Freud and his later shift to a more traditional approach, based on the Classical and Renaissance periods. Another notable piece on display is the Dragon/Swan/Elephant (1969) sculpture, which represents three animals in one composition.
On the VIP opening night, chef Adrianne Calvo of Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar will prepare flavorful dishes from Dalí’s own recipes. The exhibition is being produced by Michael Rosen, president and CEO of Colored Thumb and an integral figure behind many Miami art exhibits, including Art Basel. 4040 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, 720-771-0600
More Choo Space at Jimmy Choo Bal Harbour
Jimmy Choo’s South Florida popularity results in a new—and bigger—boutique at Bal Harbour shops.
March 05, 2012
Iris sandal in woven tan napa leather and suede, Jimmy Choo ($1,495). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-3656.
When Jimmy Choo opened its Bal Harbour location in 2006, little doubt existed that the label would experience anything other than immediate success—still riding high as a go-to shoe referenced often in Sex and the City, these must-have heels with the sexy pointed toes and stiletto styling caught on quickly among Miami women. So when a larger space became available at Bal Harbour late last year, the shoe label leaped, happy to stretch out a bit and offer a more comprehensive look at the world of Choo. Indeed, increased square footage allows the label to offer looks heretofore unseen in the store, such as ICONS, a capsule collection inspired by styles from the Choo archives (the strappy Iris, left, is from Jimmy Choo’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection).
This past January, the doors opened on the new boutique. Inside, a series of rooms have been crafted to evoke the glam feeling of a 1940s boudoir, complete with tufted seating, mirrored tables, and crystal chandeliers. And that’s intentional, says Jimmy Choo CEO Joshua Schulman. “We have always considered the store to be our ‘jewel box,’ with a high level of personal service,” he notes. “We’re now thrilled to welcome our loyal clientele back to our new location, where we can show our complete collection.” With so many options at hand, a woman’s right to Choos just became that much more fun.
AG Jeans design director Mark Wiesmayr and stylist Jeanann Williams on denim's cultural footprint.