Best of Art Basel 2018

Bike in grand style with this rideable illuminated bamboo, Swarovski studded bike pictured above with 24 karat gold accents . By Michael Peterson for Illumcycles, it was at the Faena Bazaar.

 

Just when I think there can’t possibly be anymore events, happenings and fairs in Art Basel Miami week, 2018 turned out to be the topper. It’s probably easy to do a week of 24/7 art, design, food and lifestyle happenings and never repeat an event or a venue.  Fortunately, some of the offerings launched this week will become permanent, and many of the museum shows are around for the first quarter of 2019. I’ve indicated which you’ll be able to see beyond the Fair week.  In any case, here are some of my favorites in fashion, design and art this year because they’re highly creative, fun, handsome, clever, skillful, or all of the above.

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Fashion Wow For Rice and Beans

Who said food can’t be fashionable? Fashion and food are an irresistible combo. The oh so talented students from Miami International University of Art & Design brought the irresistible Latin flair to The Setai Hotel in Miami Beach earlier this month as they unveiled a one-of-a-kind, high-couture collection of garments for men and women made exclusively using products from Goya Foods. Following several months of arduous work and ingenious designing, the aspiring designers used more than 20 cases of canned beans, 50 cans of juice and 100 packages of dried beans, rice and other grains to create the outfits for this eye popping fashion show. Be sure to click on the arrow in the main image gallery to see all the fashions.
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Zenith Art & Fashion

A much welcome new addition to the Miami art gallery and boutique scene is Zenith Art and Fashion. There are no fewer than 38 fashion designers and emerging and established artists represented from over 24 nationalities. Fashion Institute of Technology grad and co founder Carla Cid de Diego is one of the designers. The Spanish American womenswear designer’s creds include crafting costumes for the Florida Grand Opera and Duende Ballet Espanol Exclusive to Zenith, she designs limited-edition leather handbags in precious metal cages crafted by her father, Fernando Cid de Diego. Her father’s metalwork is owned by the likes of Queen Sofia of Spain and the White House (bought by the Clinton Administration). These are serious, handsome handbags, part of a collection of wearable art and accessories. Plus, Zenith has an 8,000 square-foot outdoor sculpture garden which can be rented for events.
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Violet & Grace

One of the best curated fashion boutiques in town happens to be Violet & Grace in the 1Hotel South Beach. The clothes and accessories for men and women in this boutique on Miami Beach are perfect for a Miami sophisticate’s day at the beach or night on the town. The shop is the creation of German born model Ina Lettmann who has appeared in campaigns for Victoria’s Secret, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. She describes the fashion as combining feminine with an effortless sexy, yet edgy touch. A few blocks away is another shop well worth a visit, the boutique in the W South Beach.
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INIVA African Concept Store

INIVA Miami caught my eye when it was in Wynwood. But now in a sparkling new shop in Upper Buena Vista, its treasures of fashion, art, design and home decor really shine. Plus, put it on your list as one of the better gift shops Miami. The African concept store is described as traditional Africa meets Modern Africa. SAndra Bellon, stylist and Sophie Pozmentier, designer, have a discerning eye and taste, and have put together a handsome collection from ten artists, associations and craftsmen from Gabon, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal and Cameroon.
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Fab New Miami Boutiques

Wonderful is the only way to describe Upper Buena Vista. It’s described by the architects as a “community driven lifestyle destination where specialty retail, hospitality and wellness coalesce, embracing Miami’s culture and injecting it with global flare”. Picture this: lush vegetation and huge trees including an 80 year old banyan tree, their leafy canopies almost embracing the single story shops ressembling Japanese temples, thatched roof huts , and expansive windows that allow you to look into the fashion and décor finds inside. And finds there are, in 21 tasteful retail shops, including micro and petite boutiques. The concept is to offer affordable space for emerging designers and entrepreneurs. Then there are the complementary services – food, coffee bar, cryotherapy, hair, nails and beauty bar, tattoos and more. Here’s a short rundown of my favorites (and there were plenty), with a short description of each. This is not to be missed.
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Shirlanka, New Fashion Boutique

A welcome new addition to the fashion boutique scene is Shirlanka in Wynwood, with a collection from 20 different, up and coming designers from New York, Los Angeles and Colombia. The beloved baby of former architect and Colombian fashionista Shirley Gutierrez, she handpicks all designs with a view to clothes, hats, handbags, shoes and jewelry that work on the job, at a pool party or for a fancy evening out.
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Miami Swim Week 2018

Miami Swim Week 2018 closed last week and it was bigger and better than ever with runway shows, exhibits and parties galore. What may surprise you is that this is the most prominent swim week in the US. Not only were there bathing suits and beach wear for men and women, but beauty products , accessories (lots of hats), and even beverage (coconut waters). Designers from Bali and Crete to Brazil, France and the UK were represented. Here’s a photo gallery of some of my favorite pieces from designers well worth checking out online with links provided.
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