Friday, March 30, 2007

Vogue Eyewear Fashion Show@ Karu & Y

Through my jet lag haze I managed to attend the Vogue Eyewear show at Karu and Y's Tottem Gardens last night. Like beauty itself most fashion shows are blessedly brief in a fleeting, now you see the gazelle-like models, now you don't kind of way. But watching a fashion show for sunglasses requires a modicum of concentration since the model's clothing never really changes, just their eyewear. So it was nice that the models were a playful bunch, sporting lots of pink bikinis and ultra-bronzed limbs. Giselle hosted and aside from a breathy introduction where she invited everyone to love "Vohgh" sunglasses, she held court in one of the roped-off cabanas. The weather was perfect and the Tottem Garden space was quite pleasant with plenty of room to mingle after the temporary runway was dismantled. There were plenty of models and the modelizers who love them in attendance. The only caveat was the minuscule appetizers proffered by be-striped waiters. Why does Karu even bother to put food out at these things when they literally have like 4 bites of something per tray? And everyone walked away with a gift bag of - you guessed it - Vogue sunglasses.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Stained Shirt Chic

Israeli designer Shay Alkalay has found an ingenious way to disguise stains - clear plastic stickers. The iron-on "stickystains" turn unsightly spots into quirky doodles. A creative way to save besmirched clothing. More info here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A 2-Week Falafel Break

Apologies for not posting, I have been out frolicking in Israel for the past two weeks. It was wonderful and fantastic as always. The country is preparing for Passover and that was nice to see. Reminds me of the ambient nature of being in a Jewish country. This photo was taken in Tel Aviv's Basel neighborhood, a fiercely trendy locale with cafes and design stores. And some Bauhaus gems like this beauty. More to come...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tottem Gardens Grand Opening @ Karu & Y

Finally, finally all of Karu & Y event spaces/lounges/outdoor gardens/restaurant were open. And what a fantastic way to celebrate than by inviting all 4,000 of your nearest and dearest to partake of the mega-fun at this mega complex. It was an exercise in excess and a contest of simultaneous events. There was a fashion show by Marc Bauer, 2 sushi chefs churning out a constant array of fresh rolls in a cabana in the outdoor courtyard, champagne flowing out of nook and cranny, two gorgeous cheese and crudite tables 'neath the Chihuly chandelier (above) and a huge hot buffet flanked by feathered Island dancers doing some kind of tribal routine near the seared tuna. If you were an ADD party-goer, this was the event for you.

Karu & Y wouldn't be out of place in Vegas, a place where high rollers would feel at home. Judging by the long line of luxury cars idling for the valet station on NW 14th st, they may also have plenty of takers in Miami too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wolfsonian Party on Bacardi Plaza

The rum and other spirits were flowing. The gowns were magnificent. Belkys and Louise from Deco Drive were there (among other Miami gliteratti). There was a fresh mojito station, a dessert buffet that included mini-creme brulees, fresh cream and berries and chocolate truffles.

Last Saturday night the plaza overlooking Biscayne Blvd never seemed more glamorous. And the star of the show of course was the Bacardi building's massive mosaic-tile facade. An enduring Miami classic.

Friday, March 09, 2007

This Weekend: Organic Dinner and Free Theater

Saturday - Art and Design Night and the premiere of Pink Zebras, a play by Vanessa Garcia and The Krane (15-minute performances will take place once per hour from 6pm-10pm) at 4 Projects Sales Center 3814 NE Miami Court, Design District.
Sunday - Dinner in Paradise. It's awesome. I know this first hand. Get thee to the organic farm! The guest chefs at this month's culinary collaboration are Kira Volz of Creek 28, Maria Frumkin of Duo and Sandee Birdsong of Tantra.

Miami Film Fest Gala Opening

It was a night filled with the glare of the spotlight, the flash of the paparazzi and the classic elegance of black and white. Miami’s glorious Freedom Tower was the fitting venue for the opening gala of the Miami International Film Festival last weekend. All aspects of the event, from the d├ęcor to the beverages enhanced this tribute to Miami’s successful celebration of international film.
The evening’s theme, “Black Book/White Night/Hot Film” highlighted the opening film that preceded the event, Dutch film maker Paul Verhoeven’s dark WWII drama Black Book which was screened at the lavish Gusman Theater earlier in the evening. The dress code for the evening was black tie and white attire and everyone obliged, including the guests of honor Black Book director Paul Verhoeven and actress Carice van Houten.

The pleasure was in the details as gala goers were greeted with espresso martinis by black-tie waitstaff as they glided into the grand entrance of the landmark building and made their way to the event space on the second floor. High-top tables were outfitted in black and white patterned fabric. Tables were lit with glass jars festooned with actual film, giving the light a dewy glow. Black and white film stills from inconic movies were blown up and placed throughout the venue, providing the only dramatic touch to the minimalist event space.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Setai and Eat Your Steak!

Last night I had a chance to check out The Grill at the Setai, the new mini-restaurant at the Zen chic hotel. It features a hearty protein-packed menu. There are no foams, gelees, emulsions or reductions here. It's straightforward food that is fresh and unfussy. Imagine the hearty fare you’d find a Tuscan winery, except throw in a dash of South Beach glamour.
A platter of fresh antipasti greets you at your table. Persian feta shares company with langurian olives, semi dried tomatoes and grilled eggplant. Helming the grill is Setai executive chef Shaun Danyel Hergatt. He's an Aussie, and can throw more than just shrimp on the barby. It's a global grill with Floridian stone crabs, lobsters from Maine and scottish salmon. Four bone rack of New Zealand lamb and Niman Ranch steaks are accompanied by a bevy of sauces including argentinean chimichurri, bernaise and wild mushroom cream with brandy. I tried the salmon and was impressed with the huge portion. The cream sauce features chewy earthy morel mushrooms, a pleasant surprise.
Enconsced between the hotel’s mother of pearl bar and the enormous reflecting pool courtyard, the 48-seat dining room is airy and sophisticated. Setai designer Jean Michel Gathy outfits the room with 20-foot high ceilings, pressed metal tables and the mingling of slate, brick and teak.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Free Israeli Movie - Thursday March 8

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival is hosting a free movie under the stars in Historic Downtown Hollywood this week and every 2nd Thursday of the month. The Israeli film "Left Luggage" will be screened this month. It's a touching and emotional story of Chaia, a rebellious philosophy student who is struggling to come of age. Her relationship with her parents, both concentration camp survivors, is strained, and she finds herself unable to accept her Jewish identity. Admission is free.
Thursday March 8, 7pm.
Anniversary Park
Hollywood Blvd. and 20th Ave., Downtown Hollywood

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rag Trade: Like Your Hip Sister's Closet

Stopped by Rag Trade last week and was very impressed. It's is a funky consignment store
run by eco-conscious, entrepreneurial, and friendly Stephanie. You can bring clothes in to trade (for cash on the spot!) or peruse the store's great selection of new and vintage finds. I love the store's green philosophy, which manifests itself in pleasantly surprising ways. For instance, instead of having your purchases bagged in one of Rag Trade's biodegradable bags, you can put a plastic coin in the baby Buddha (above) and owner Stephanie will donate the cost of the bag to a charity at the end of the week. I was also loving the store's colorful decor, eclectic furniture and neighborhoody feel.

I traded in a couple tennis skirts, a BCBG embroidered skirt, a vintage dress with a patent-leather belt and a quirky-printed top. In addition to the second-hand clothing, Rag Trade also carries brand new indie-designed clothing from England and local designers in Miami. And there is some great swapped clothing on those racks - I spied some Marc Jacobs and Diesel in addition to plenty of obscure brands. It was like raiding your hip older sister's closet. I went looking for something unique and I found it in the form of a turquoises top with a fabric flower applique by Sugar Rush - only $6. So ladies and gents (Rag Trade also has a men's section) go through your closets and bring in those things you know you just never wear but make sure it's all cleaned and preferably not mega-mainstream brands (no Old Navy here). And next time you're in the Design District stop by Rag Trade, the selection's always changing and at the very least you get to meet Stephanie, a great addition to anyone's roster of Miami peeps. You can tell a lot of thought was put into this business, and if it's any indication of where our generation is headed business-wise, it's just plain awesome.

Rag Trade is located at 4600 NE 2nd Ave. Design District, Miami. (305)573-1478

Friday, March 02, 2007

This Weekend: Chocolate, Film, Design Legends

This weekend is ridonculously busy with everything going on in this little swampy city.
Here are some picks:
Friday - Kick-off of Miami International Film Festival. And Wolfsonian tribute to Design Legends.
Saturday - Late Nite Party @ Bacardi Plaza with the Wolfsonian. And Purim party 8:30pm at Chabad of Midtown Miami.
Sat & Sun - Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden.
Sunday - Andy Warhol Lecture @ MAM 11am. I'm gonna need approx. 3 mimosas to get through that one...

Paul Verhoeven @ Miami Film Festival

The Miami International Film Festival opens tonight with a film by rogue director Paul Verhoeven. A description of Black Book from imdb:
Set during the end of WWII, Black Book is the story of a Dutch Jewish girl who narrowly survives the war in Holland. She joins the resistance to find out who betrayed her family after all of them were killed in an attempt to reach the liberated south.
I've been impressed with Verhoeven ever since Starship Troopers , a fanstastically campy/smart movie, the best kind. And of course there's Total Recall and Basic Instinct. The man is a masterful and quirky filmmaker and we need more people like him in the film world. At the press conference this morning a the Shore Club he and the film's lead actress Carice van Houten shared some details about the making of the film.
On shooting two scenes in Israel, one at the Dead Sea and the other at a kibbutz south of Tiberias: The producers didn't want to spend the money to shoot in Israel but Verhoeven insisted. After five months of haggling they got the green light (and funding). They shot the scenes in June 2006, a few weeks before the conflict with Lebanon broke out.
According to the director, Black Book is the most successful R-rated movie in Holland today. (The only other successful R-rated film in Holland was Spetters, also directed by him in 1980.)
On why he chose to tell this story: What happened to resistance fighters and collaborators after the war was surrealistic, and these were questions Verhoeven had since his youth, growing up in post-WWII Holland.
Carice on working with Verhoeven: He's got this mixture of the curiosity of a young boy and an intellectual...And he's very impressed with women's breasts. It's good to be a woman around Paul.
Verhoeven: It's true...ever since I was 13 I have thought women's breast were the most beautiful things in the world. And I love women.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Upcoming Art-tastic Lectures

Florida Design Legends Tribute | March 2, 2007
At the Lincoln Theatre on Lincoln Road, the Wolfsonian will honor five individuals and one corporation for their exceptional contributions to design and design education. Those honored have strong Florida connections, with local histories dating back more than a quarter century. Honorees are Florence Knoll Bassett, Michael Graves, Nasir and Nargis Kassamali (Luminaire), Dan Paul and Tupperware Brands Corporation. The Master of Ceremonies will be industrial designers Carl Gustav Magnusson. Date: Friday, March 2, 2007
Hours: 7 – 9pm
Location: Lincoln Theatre, 555 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach
Tickets: Free and open to the public
Additional information: 305.531.1001

Conversations with Miami, Part 2
| March 8, 2007
Last month, art insiders got together at Locust Projects for a talk on Miami’s art scene. It became so popular everyone decided to continue the dialogue. Engage in stimulating conversation tonight with Miami’s insiders. The evening will cover the topic of Public Institutions: Museums and art spaces and their role in today’s market. Questions like how they remain relevant and how art galleries and collections relate to public institutions will be addressed. Date: Thursday, March 8, 2007
Hours: 8pm
Location: The Moore Space, 4040 NE 2nd Avenue, 2nd floor, Miami Design District
Tickets: Public welcome, free
Additional information:

Art Talk with Michael Danoff
| March 14, 2007
The Warehouse is hosting an evening of conversation on contemporary art with Michael Danoff. He is VP at Lehman Brothers and Director of the Art Program at Neuberger Berman and Lehman Brothers where he directs their international art collection and advisory services. Michael’s insight will surely make this evening memorable. Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Hours: 6:00pm collection opens for viewing; 7:00 lecture begins.
Location: The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, 591NW 27th Street, Wynwood Art District
Tickets: Free of charge but seating is limited. Reserve at 305.576.1051 or
Additional information: