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Accessories: Pretty in Punk

Tom Binns-designed accessories are a lovely dichotomy.

April 20, 2011

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Spike cuff ($450); 24K gold-plated short safety pin earrings ($150); tangled necklace ($1,025); 24K gold-plated short safety pin necklace ($125)

Founded in 2004, Tom Binns accessories offer a smart combination of classic elements and provocative, anti-establishment edge. Together with CEO Cristina Vierra, the brand has developed an impressive celebrity following, including Beyoncé, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga. Since his debut, Binns has garnered prestigious awards including the 2006 Accessory Designer of the Year from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the 2008 British Fashion Council (BFC) award for Best Accessories Designer and the 2010 Elle Style Award for Best Jewelry Designer. Last year during Art Basel Miami Beach, The Webster held an exhibit of his one of a kind pieces and continues—thankfully—to carry his line. The Webster. 1220 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-7899


Easter Brunch Best Bets

Where to sip Bellinis and savor elegant brunch fare on Easter Sunday.

April 20, 2011

Poolside dining at Mondrian South Beach

We’re of the mind that holidays should be celebrated with as much ease and elegance as possible. And while hosting an Easter brunch at home is a lovely way to go, it’s usually not so enjoyable for the host. Whether you’re gathering with family, friends or both, these two Easter brunch buffets have as much charm and gastronomically pleasing options as one could ask for.

Asia de Cuba
When: April 24, 11 AM to 3 PM
Menu options: Choose between traditional brunch dishes, like waffles with Chantilly cream and berry compote and heartier Cuban favorites, like ropa vieja with cumin chive pancakes. Lighten things up for dessert with a fresh fruit tart or lemongrass flan.
Libations: Unlimited sake sangria ($25) will flow all afternoon long.
Price: $59, per person
Poolside at Mondrian South Beach, 1100 West Ave.; mondrian-miami.com

Blue Door Fish
When: April 24, 11 AM to 4 PM
Menu options: Nosh on chilled oysters, charcuterie and snow crab before moving on to pancakes with hot apple chutney, or the more savory beef tenderloin with potato gallette, poached pear and gorgonzola cream. A sushi station, carving board and dessert buffet will also be available.
Libations: Drink as many passion fruit Bellinis ($25) as your heart desires.
Price:  $75, per person
Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Ave., 305-674-6400; delano-hotel.com

—april walloga


Photo Exhibit: A Lens On Haiti

An exhibit of photographer Patrick Farrell’s photos of Haiti opens eyes.

April 20, 2011

Patrick Farrell, The Miami Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, has been documenting the distress and devastation in Haiti since the hurricanes in 2008 and the earthquake in 2010. “My Heart Won’t Let You Go: A Photographer’s View of Haiti”—a collection of photographs showing at AE District through May 28—captures the raw, emotional moments that the country has endured. Proceeds from the exhibit will benefit the award-winning Haitian dance company Ayikodans, which is led by choreographer and Haitian activist Jeanguy Saintus. The company, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, has a small dance studio outside of Port-au-Prince, and is on the brink of losing the property. AE District, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-571-5122


Wines of the World

Las Vacas Gordas boasts an impressive wine list to go with its delicious fare.

April 19, 2011

If you’re searching for a restaurant that offers delicious food and a singular wine selection, look no further than Argentinean restaurant Las Vacas Gordas. Owner Luis Gajer is an avid wine collector on the hunt for world-class wines to add to his extravagant glass cellar, which is showcased proudly in the Las Vacas Gordas dining room. With superior and varied wines from top vineyards, appellations and vintages, Gajer sources rare gems including the Miami Beach eatery’s private label, which hails from the highly acclaimed Mendoza region in Argentina. France, Germany, Spain, Chile and the US also represent, and wines from the likes of Screaming Eagle, Faustino and Opus One appear on the list. 933 Normandy Dr., 305-867-1717   

—michelle colombo


Get Dropped

Our favorite looks from Big Drop’s new summer collection.

April 19, 2011

Check out four of our favorite pieces from Big Drop’s summer offerings.


Crocodile Rock

Lacoste partners with Catherine Malandrino.

April 18, 2011

FROM LEFT: The Sweat Love ($165), Mini ($165), and croc bag; the Pointelle Polo ($200) and Palazzo ($165); the Pointelle Polo ($200) and tube dress ($245)

Iconic French sportswear brand Lacoste has collaborated with Catherine Malandrino to create Lacoste + Malandrino. The collection brings a modern feminine style to the traditionally sporty, masculine line. The collection includes draped dresses, flirty skirts, colorful fitted tops and the mandatory polo. For Miami, the Pointelle Polo ($200) in white is ideal for warmer days. Most pieces in the collection retail for $150 to $300. Shoppers can find the line at Lacoste in Bal Harbour or Aventura Mall—just look for the kissing crocodiles logo. Lacoste, 19575 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 661, Aventura, 305-933-9948; 9700 Collins Bal Harbour, Suite 263, Bal Harbour, 305-867-0530


Earth Day Dinner at Area 31

Chef E. Michael Reidt gives a five-course nod to Mother Nature.

April 18, 2011

The terrace at Area 31

In celebration of Earth Day (April 22) Epic Hotel Miami’s Area 31 will prepare a special five-course organic dinner ($55) featuring ingredients from local farmers and purveyors. The Earth Day menu will be available through April 22 and will offer an optional organic wine pairing ($35).

First Course
Green crunch vegetable salad with watermelon radish and rhubarb vinaigrette

Second Course
Heirloom carrot soup with chickpea fritter and Hanni’s goat cheese

Third Course
Toasted quinoa with poached quail egg, smoked tofu and pickled spring onion

Fourth Course
Braised farro with kale, creamed adzuki beans and roasted oyster mushrooms

Fifth Course
Staff-picked carambola with passion fruit and caramel


This Weekend: Learn to Paddleboard

The Standard schools Miami on the chicest way to work a surfboard.

April 14, 2011

Fitness-minded celebrities, like Jennifer Garner and Cameron Diaz, have become fast fans of paddleboarding, the stand-up sport that swept the nation last summer. Miami paddlers can now perfect their stance at The Standard Miami Beach's new weekend stand-up paddleboarding lessons. Classes ($40; $30 for members) are held on Friday from 4 to 7 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 7 PM. If you hit the Friday class, make sure to stick around for The Standard's Sunset Bayside Happy Hour



The Borscht Film Festival Returns

Miami's underground filmmakers come up for air in this local indie film fest.

April 14, 2011

A burgeoning local filmmaker and mastermind of the Borscht Film Festival, Andrew Hevia talks about this year’s fest and the state of Miami’s independent film scene.

Tell us a little about Borscht.
ANDREW HEVIA: Borscht is a film festival run by filmmakers. We don't just show movies, we make them. We've managed to highlight some of the best filmmakers in town and we've been able to work with some great ones.

What’s the film roster like, and which are you most excited about?
AH: Besides mine, I'm super excited about a couple. You’re not supposed to pick favorites; Chlorophyl by Barry Jenkins is an incredible movie. Otto and the Electric Eel is hilarious and bizarre. La Pageant Diva is one I'm super curious about; directed by Franco Parente and produced by Jon Kane, it's the top talent on Miami's local scene.

Tell us about your film, Death Springs Eternal?
AH: It's about a 500-year-old conquistador. He found the fountain of youth with Ponce de Leon and has spent the last 500 years searching for the one thing he can never have: death. So now he just wanders the city filled with boredom.

Do you think Borscht has had a hand in the independent film renaissance in Miami?
AH: I would like to think that we're a part of the emerging culture, yeah. I feel a lot of it has to do with this twenty-something generation of Miamians coming back to the city instead of leaving right away for more established scenes. I’d like to believe it's because it's possible to have an impact here.

The Borscht Film Festival runs through April 23.


Store Find: Design Box

The charming boutique Design Box holds a trove of international treasures.

April 12, 2011

A sampling of the colorful pieces found in Design Box

On a quiet side street in the lush bayside village of Coconut Grove, you’ll find Design Box, a small shop full of treasures collected from all over the globe that opened in May of 2010. Vintage keys from France, Pakistani pendants and Indian stationery sit next to pieces from local artists. Herbie Parets is the aesthetics entrepreneur behind this charming emporium, and we asked him a few questions.

Were you always into the arts and decor?
HERBIE PARETS: Yes, since I can remember I have always had an inclination towards all things beautiful and out of the ordinary. My interest in art and art history spiked during high school and continued through college and my adult life.

What made you open your shop in Coconut Grove?
HP: Many reasons. I’ve lived in the Grove all of my adult life and really love the sense of community. I felt that the Grove really needed something like Design Box, somewhere where you could pick up a gift for a dinner party or find a great decorative piece or come in and simply be inspired.

Where do you find your pieces?
HP: I find lots of pieces in my travels abroad. But I also find lots of things here in the US, and lots of the art and jewelry is by local artists from our community.

How often do you travel?
HP: I try and take one to two over-seas trips a year.

What is your favorite country to shop in?
HP: I absolutely love India. It has great pieces that have so much history and at the same time have newer pieces that are new but read as contemporary with an ethnic twist. They also have lots of European pieces in South India that are really amazing.

How do you ship things back safely?
HP: I often come back with lots of suitcases—my India trip last year had nine in total. Other times I get local consolidators to ship larger, delicate pieces to me.

Do you ever accept requests from clients for certain pieces?
HP: Absolutely. I’ve been able to procure many things for customers over the last year.

I know you started out decorating homes. Do you still work on those projects?
HP: Yes. That is actually what I do from the back office of Design Box. I am currently working on a home in Miami Beach, an apartment in New York and finishing up two units in Venezuela.

What’s the best advice you can give someone who’s starting out with a new apartment?
HP: Think about your priorities. How do you want to use the space? Measure and create a floor plan. Start off with the large pieces first—like the sofa, dining table, bed, night tables. Gain inspiration for the look from your favorite things. Aesthetics is always important for me, but comfort is just as important.

Design Box, 3094 Fuller St., Miami, 305-644-9400

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