Style / Insights

Nicholas Kirkwood Has Miami on His Mind

Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood finds inspiration in the dynamic culture of 1960s South Florida.

February 04, 2013

FROM LEFT: Nicholas Kirkwood for Peter Pilotto silk heel ($1,295); Ocean-blue suede heel ($1,100)

The fashion world has been abuzz about Nicholas Kirkwood for the past several months: The 32-year-old shoe designer scored the highly coveted task of designing footwear for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, took home the British Fashion Awards’ Accessory Designer of the Year Award for a second time, and debuted a devilishly stylish collection of men’s shoes during last month’s men’s Fashion Week. Not unlike his British compatriots, Kirkwood’s design aesthetic is innovative—albeit radical—and his eponymous shoe line is known for its intricate embroidery and dramatic silhouettes. “I design for the girl who appreciates an architectural construction, someone who doesn’t necessarily follow the norm or what they’re being told to wear in the fashion magazines,” he says. For spring, the collection features a highly conceptualized wave motif, iridescent stones cheekily resembling sea foam, and a generous amount of colored metallics. “The color palette is made up of very vibrant, pastel colors reminiscent of early ’60s Palm Beach,” Kirkwood explains.

Miami’s Art Deco architecture appears not only in the collection’s bold hues, but also in geometric cutouts, sculpted heels, and zigzag patterns. In addition to Kirkwood’s signature sky-high stilettos and ladylike flats, the label is debuting a new 55mm heel. “Last year was really high or flat, but this season, we are introducing a new heel height. It is a balance between fashion and comfort. It is very hard to make a mid-height heel appealing, but I think this structure will really appeal to the fashion girl and to the function girl,” asserts the designer, who will make a personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue at Bal Harbour Shops February 6. Standout styles include a bright-blue open-toe slingback with an aqua wave spanning each side, and a black and white cuff stiletto with a basket-weave toe-box and similarly colored beaded laces. Saks Fifth Avenue, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-1100


Amanda Tamis Introduces P2 Pilates

The co-owner of P2 Pilates studio is changing the way Miamians approach aging and wellness.

January 30, 2013

Amanda Tamis in her Pilates studio

Consider it a Noah’s Ark of healing: Amanda Tamis’s P2 Pilates, which opened in August inside Miami Beach’s U-Fit Health and Performance gym, fits exactly two of everything: two Reformer machines, two Cadillac Converters, two Polestar-trained instructors, and a practice that artfully combines both traditional Pilates and physical therapy exercises. “My partner and I joke sometimes that it takes two of us to teach an exercise,” says Tamis, who shares the space with Karen Schachter, a vinyasa yoga and Pilates instructor who, like herself, trained at Polestar Physical Therapy & Pilates Center.

“I was overweight as a kid, and in high school I got into working out,” says Tamis. She eventually went to Cornell University as a sculpture major, but fitness remained a part of her life. Tamis discovered Pilates while working in a gym in Santa Barbara, California, after college. In those days she was a step instructor and personal trainer, but Pilates helped her regain her core strength and get back into shape following the birth of her now 11-year-old twins. “I feel all lined up, like everything is in place. I don’t have pain,” she says. “I feel like I should, like my joints are aligned.”

That experience led her to use Pilates in a therapeutic setting. For two years, she helped patients with spinal, hip, knee, or shoulder injuries as a Pilates instructor at South Florida Spine Institute’s Pilates rehabilitation program at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “My background is physical therapy, so I felt as though I had a lot to give,” she says.

Tamis realized that although most of her patients had improved physically, they still needed a place where they could work out safely—from seniors who have specific needs addressed in a custom exercise regimen to people who have been discharged from a hospital but still have medical conditions to look out for. “The way I teach makes a 65-year-old woman feel like she can come in for an hour of exercise and not have issues,” she says of her style.

With a clientele ranging in age from 20 to 80 years old, Tamis finds it crucial to modify workouts carefully. Using different pieces of equipment, including the Cadillac, Reformer, Wunda chair, ladder barrel, and spine corrector, she is able to precisely control the client’s efforts, benefits, and risks. “Everything starts to hurt after 40, and you just can’t work out the way you used to,” she says with a laugh.

Tamis herself is showing no signs of slowing down. She teaches anywhere up to eight hours a day, five days a week, and still makes time to run, spin, and lift weights. She follows a Paleo diet, and is teaching her three young children and husband (local Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations at Carnival Cruise Lines) to eat healthier, too. “I got into working out years ago,” she says. “It’s a lifestyle for me.”

—virginia gil
photography by gary James


Del Toro Teams with Local Artists

Del Toro caters to its loyal Miami clientele with a long list of local endeavors.

January 14, 2013

Light denim studded slipper, Del Toro ($375)

Originally a men’s-only footwear label, Del Toro has evolved into a full-fledged line of accessories with an impressive reputation for merging fashion and art. In the fall, the brand debuted its Artist Series, a collaboration with Miami artists on limited-edition styles for Wynwood Art Walk. Del Toro then recently revealed another creative installation by local and international artists to fête the launch of its first boutique. The shop showcases leopard-printed sneakers for women, color-blocked suede wing tips for men, brightly colored woven belts, baseball caps, and patterned socks, as well as a striking collection of leather goods, including backpacks, wallets, and tech cases, that will launch soon. 2750 NW Third Ave., Ste. 22, Miami, 305-571-8229


Man of Style: Gaston Siciliano

For tattoo artist Gaston Siciliano, less is more.

January 14, 2013

Shirt, Armani Exchange. Jeans, Diesel. Watch, Rolex. Shoes,
Steve Madden

Argentina-born Siciliano has been tattooing since age 15. Today, his body art empire includes shops like Unfamous Tattoo Culture, and he also designs tattoo equipment via Fallen King Irons.

Describe your style: “Simple, leaning toward minimalist designers—Hugo Boss, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein.”

Favorite watch? “Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Milgauss. It’s clean yet edgy with its green crystal and ‘thunderbolt’ second hand.”

Any other accessories? “I am not a fan of overdoing it. Other than my watches, I wear a white-gold replica tattoo-machine necklace that one of my artists designed for me.”

photography by Joshua Prezant


Swarovski Lincoln Road Gets a Facelift

Swarovski’s remodeled Lincoln Road boutique shines a little brighter.

January 07, 2013

Tangara bib necklace, Swarovski ($850).

A combination of white lacquer, stainless steel, crystal, and mirrored accents make up Swarovski’s Crystal Forest, a glittering wonderland of fashion jewelry, watches, and home accessories. Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, the Japanese artist who took home Design Miami’s third Designer of the Year Award in 2007, the incandescent space’s textured walls appear to be reflective prisms, and are complemented by two one-of-a-kind Schonbek chandeliers—a tribute to the singular Art Deco architecture of Miami. The luxury label’s boutique will stock all of the brand’s classic crystal items, as well as the Spring/Summer 2013 collection of exotic green, fuchsia, turquoise, and lilac baubles inspired by a tropical paradise. Capturing the vibrant spirit of Miami, the collection includes the bold Trema cuff, which features embossed, golden leather resembling reptile skin; the Toya necklace, finished in a lively, aquatic color palette; and the Tangara bib necklace, a geometric collar that executes the current tribal trend brilliantly. 734 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-538-4877

photography by Nathan Valentine


Back in the Day Beauty Trends

Take a look at what we thought made us beautiful back in the day.

January 07, 2013


The thing about beauty trends from the last two decades is they aren’t ancient enough to be retro, yet they’re old enough to be humorously outdated. Although we can ask, “What were we thinking?” the horror is we actually remember.

For example, we can lambast poor Vanilla Ice for his high-top fade, but almost every guy who watched the exploits of Kid ’n Play in the House Party movies mutilated his hair. And remember when everything was millennium this and Y2K that? Garish makeup combinations and frightfully orange spray tans became prevalent as women hoped for a pop of color while wearing all those shiny, silvery fashions that just screamed faux-future.

Since the ’90s and ’00s, spray tan technology has vastly improved, as have hair extensions and keratin treatments. Even Madonna’s veiny, muscular Ray of Light arms went the way of the beeper. As she said at last year’s Golden Globes, “I’m not really doing Pilates anymore. I’m just dancing.”

—suzy buckley woodward
photography by manny hernandez (starr); ron galella/ (vanilla ice); steve granitz/, lopez, hilton)


Dior Homme Puts Navy in the Spotlight

Dior Homme's new light collection reflects a maritime military theme fitting for Miami's coastal man.

December 31, 2012

Navy DH soft shopper, Dior Homme ($2,800)

Building on his military-inspired collection for Fall/Winter 2012, Dior Homme designer Kris Van Assche has created the Spring/Summer 2013 line called Light, based on Naval influences, with pieces presented predominately in dark blue. Shown in Paris in June, the collection debuts in stores this month—perfectly timed with the opening of Dior Homme in the Design District on December 1—with the rest of the line continuing to roll out throughout January and February. The collection reflects navy blues with a timeless blazer as the starting point and fresh takes on the classics in the other fitted, linear pieces, such as a doublebreasted jacket, bomber jacket, peacoat, windbreaker, and parka. Plush sweaters and finely tailored slimming pants round out the clothing offerings, featuring signature details like ribbed collars and cuffs, vertical pockets, and drawstrings; all buttons are engraved with Dior’s coat of arms. Masculine accessories, crafted in sumptuous leather and also presented in a rich navy hue with red-stitch detailing, marry well with the elegance of the clothing offerings, apropos for a seaside city such as Miami. 161 NE 40th St., Miami, 305-571-3576



Blogger Style: Tuxedo Chic

Miami style blogger Annie Vazquez takes a cue from Annie Hall.

December 17, 2012

Dress by Romwe, Tuxedo blazer by Three Dots, pumps by Steve Madden, vintage handbag.

Annie Vazquez (aka “The Fashion Poet”) is a Miami fashion blogger with a flair for shopping on a budget, discovering new designers, and trend spotting. Follow her on Twitter @anniecvazquez, add her blog to your daily reading list, and look for her weekly outfit posts on


Consignment Goes High-End

The RealReal helps the city’s most fashionable ladies shed their designer brands for profit.

December 03, 2012

Kochman inside Lea Black’s closet

No one is more enthusiastic about fashionable Miamians’ last season’s designer clothes than Brooke Kochman. Be it a Chanel handbag, dated harem pants relegated to the do-not-wear pile, or couture best left to the runway, Kochman—South Florida merchandising manager for The RealReal—is determined to unearth these styles of yesteryear and find them homes via the website’s high-end consignment shop.

“I love going to people’s houses and helping them sort through their closets,” says Kochman, who’s been the sole merchandiser in the area for the site since July. “It’s really like a cleansing experience, and people feel good when they purge.” Kochman’s role means combing through clients’ wardrobes to select new or gently worn designer pieces from labels such as Prada, Christian Louboutin, and Louis Vuitton. Her clients range from teenagers to socialites to celebrities (recently, she found herself in Real Housewives of Miami star Lea Black’s closet), but she’s keeping tight-lipped. “It’s complete closet confidentiality—I would never tell anyone’s hidden secrets,” she says.

Beyond the stylish scavenger hunts she goes on almost daily, the former special events director’s passion is people. “My background is not in fashion, but I really love networking and building relationships,” she says. On a typical day, Kochman is in and out of clients’ closets, traveling to homes as far north as her hometown of Boca Raton. “People become obsessed. I’m obsessed! And I’m on [the site] all the time,” she offers. Kochman is surprised by the number of referrals she’s received in such a short time, which has placed Miami as one of the company’s fastest-growing markets.

Unlike other online auction sites, The RealReal inspects and authenticates each item before putting it on sale. “Our standards are higher than you’d find in local consignment stores. We pick the best of the best based on our designer directory and what our audience is looking for,” explains Julie Wainwright, CEO of The RealReal. Since launching in early 2011, the San Francisco-based retailer has generated more than 100,000 members and has enlisted 14 merchandisers across the country, with 10 more slated to join by early 2013.

Sellers make 60 percent of the sale price of each item sold, which increases to 70 percent once they’ve sold $1,500 worth of items online. Kochman has put her clothes to work for her, which, she says, has only intensified the obsession. “This is not my normal life; I’m a mom with twin girls who are 18 months old. But I’m loving being a part of something that’s huge and exciting,” she says following a whirlwind merchandising trip to the West Coast. “I really didn’t have a fabulous closet until the The RealReal came along.”

—virginia gil


Accessorize Your Holiday Manicure

BaubleBar and Essie create matching nail polish and bangle trios with holiday sparkle.

November 15, 2012

Let your hands do the talking this season with wrist-wear to match your manicure. In a unique and colorful collaboration, BaubleBar fashion director Shoshanna Fischhoff has designed a limited edition set of chic bracelets to complement the winter collection of Essie nail polishes. The sets are available exclusively on

Each of the six Essie lacquers are paired with a matching bracelet, and shoppers get to add two additional bracelets of their choosing to complete the set ($50). Polish selections— with fun names like Butler Please and Where’s My Chauffeur—range from sparkly metallics to bright holiday hues.

For a fancy dress holiday party, channel old Hollywood with classic red polish and Baroque-style bangles, or amp it up with bright blue polish and a gold studded bracelet and tassel wraps. Each set arrives complete in a luxe pouch, making them perfect for gifting or tucking into a stocking. 

—Jaimee Capili

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