I've covered Fashion Weeks from New York to Paris to Sydney — none are as much fun as Miami Fashion Week Swim. The shows don't start until the late afternoon and run through the night followed by countless after parties (there were two nights where I had sit-down dinners around midnight). While parties may not be as high budget and the fashions may not always be high-brow, the approach is so lighthearted and fun that you can't help but love it — even if you're running on an empty stomach for 12-plus hours or find yourself seated next to a front row creeper who makes a point of commenting on every model's body.
In a nod to the growing importance of the swimwear category, select shows were live-streamed via Everything but Water, the largest swim and resortwear specialty retailer in the U.S., and viewers had the opportunity to pre-order looks from the runways.
Here's a look at some of the most memorable Miami Fashion Week Swim 2014 happenings.
It rained so hard and for so long on Day 1 of Swim Week that streets were flooded to the point where you couldn't even cross. This didn't stop any of the events, however, which all quickly turned into tented affairs.
All of the official shows took place at The Raleigh — Miami's equivalent to Lincoln Center for the week. Fittingly, if you got hungry or antsy there were cookies, cigars and $7 cups of coffee for sale.
Waiting to Get In
Checking in and waiting for shows to start is a tedious process that can take upwards of 40 minutes. When this is where you're waiting and people are constantly offering you cocktails, coconut water and Evian, it's not so bad.
Speaking of lines, things would be a lot more streamlined if the publicists running the shows and events opted for iPads instead of paper lists...just a suggestion!
Most people associate Fiji with Fashion Weeks, but Evian was making a big push in Miami. Their newly redesigned bottle was at nearly every major event.
Roxy Kicks Off the Shows
Roxy celebrated its 25th anniversary by hosting the official kickoff party. DJ Chelsea Leyland was on hand along with a slew of smiling models. I tend to thing of Roxy as a tween brand, but there were a number of great printed separates and colorblocked bustier pieces.
Agua Bendita Backstage
Agua Bendita was inspired by Sienna Miller's punk look at the Met Gala for this season's collection, which translated into a bold smoky eye. Global lead makeup artist for Smashbox, Lori Taylor Davis, told me that the idea was to look like the models went to bed with their makeup on, woke up and put on eyeliner. As for hair, TRESemmé stylist Tyler Laswell created a textured faux undercut style using three key products: TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray, TRESemmé TRES Mega Firm Control Gel and TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hair Spray.
Agua Bendita's show was an eclectic mix of leather, military-inspired and trompe l'oeil pieces.
Beach Bunny Backstage
TRESemmé stylist Tyler Laswell drew inspiration from the eye-catching suits, creating two distinct hair looks. To complement the bright neon colors in the collection, he chose a bold, high ponytail reminiscent of Madonna's signature sleek ponytail from the early 1990s. Influenced by the metallics and prints, the second look was a high, faux-hawk fishtail braid with a safari beach chic feeling. The key products used were: TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protection Shine Spray, TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum, TRESemmé TRES Mega Firm Control Gel and TRESemmé Fresh Start Color Care Dry Shampoo. As for makeup, Colorescience's Michael McCarthy created a natural, sun-kissed look with a smoky black eye.
This season's Beach Bunny collection stayed true to its name with teeny tiny bikinis and plunging one-piece looks.
Bright colors, vibrant prints and bold accessories ruled Dolores Cortes' show this season.
Mara Hoffman Backstage
One of the coolest hair looks was at this season's Mara Hoffman show where TIGI global creative director Nick Irwin weaved camel decorations, sourced from the Middle East, into the models' hair. Smashbox ditched the usual black smoky eye look for a bright eye inspired by Hoffman's travels. Skin was kept sunkissed and brows were groomed straight.
Inspired by India, Resort 2014 had Hoffman's signature eye-catching colors and prints. The best pieces were kaleidoscopic colored and finished with tassels, mirrored embroidery and other ethnic-inspired adornments.
By the time I got to the Chloe show — an hour late (i.e. just in time for the show to start) — it was so packed they weren't letting anyone into Soho Beach House where it was taking place. Thankfully, I was there with Miami-based writer Jon Warech who went to high school with the girl manning the door — the show was worth the squeeze.
Half the fun of Fashion Week is people watching. Miami had lots of men like this front row...
Style Saves Swim
One of the most buzzed about events of the week was Style Saves Swim. A charity fashion show and event, which took place at Soho Beach House to raise money for clothing to dress local underprivileged students in South Florida. Ford models took to the runway wearing designer pieces from CABANA (the beachwear trade event), looks from swim retailer ATRIUM and Miami-based men’s swimwear line Crasqi. The event, now in its third year, was spearheaded by stylist Rachael Russell and a group of well-known philanthropic fashion-minded Miami professionals including Ashley Jordan Spitz and Cece Feinberg.
Intermix Celebrates 20 Years
Intermix has been celebrating its 20 years in the business with events across the country. Their Miami Swim Week event with its beach views, racks of clothing and fashion-inspired Belvedere cocktails, did not disappoint. There was also a pop-up, shopable to the public, with a portion of proceeds going to benefit Techo.
Every major hotel had a day party going on at one point or another featuring countless brands and retailers.
Runway images via MBFW Swim.