Miami Fashion Week

Bikinis, Tees and Couture, Oh My!

© Venessa Monokian / MFb

Miami Beach International Fashion Week kicked off its 13th year last night with the Lingerie/Swim and Miami Style Showcases. And the desingers brought their A-game, as the crowd that packed into the Miami Beach Convention Center was treated to one stunning runway show after another. 

Day to Night

The lingerie/swim showcase proved what we all know about Miami: skin is in. The show opened with Miami native Raye's Maddsexy lingerie, which certainly lived up to its name. Models took to the runway in lack leather corsets, high-wasted hot pants and lots of lace. Hollywood-glam curls and sky-high heels accessorized each look. The standout pieces were a sheer bodysuit with red feathers lining the top and bottom, and a black bikini that cris-crossed at the neck and back with small chain detail on the derriere. Maddsexy. 

Venessa Monokian / MFb© Venessa Monokian / MFbBrazil’s Zella Machado Swimwear showed lots of brightly colored teeny-tiny bikinis adorned with bows. Metallics reigned supreme with pink, blue, army green and red solid colors mixed together to create eye-catching pieces. The crowd went crazy for a sexy black and gold bikini that stretched over each shoulder to create zig-zag effect. This suit was perfect for an afternoon of Miami’s favorite pastime of see-and-be-seen cocktails by the pool. 

Next up was USA’s Adventure Fashion’s swimwear line, which was all about bright neon colors in simple, classic cuts. Designer Eugene Jones showed lots of two-tone suits, blue on blue, purple on purple, and kept it simple with the classic one piece plunging v-neck open back style we are seeing everywhere. 

The star of the show by far was Kanomi swimwear. This Venezuelan line switched it up from the glammed-out bikini-and-heels look everyone else was showing and kept it all about the beautiful bathing suits. Models pranced down the runway barefoot, rocking one stunning suit after another. This line was all about floral patterns, mixed colors, prints and strategically placed ruffles. The suits were fun, flirty and provided a different take from everything else we’ve already seen a million times. The must-have suit from this collection was the floral print one-piece with bright turquoise ruffle embellishment along the deep v-neck cutout that plunged from the bust to the belly button, which was just tunning.

Kanomi Swimwear / Venessa Monokian / MFb© Venessa Monokian / MFbKanomi SwimwearKanomi also showed cover-ups, a Miami staple and closet necessity. There was a long yellow fringed cover up that we were drooling over, along with a fluid, silky, floor-length black and white patterned cover up. Must. Have. This collection was on a whole other level from the rest-every single piece was incredible. Expect to see a lot from Kanomi in the future.  

USA designer De Lancre showed a collection of black & white bikinis, one-pieces and shimmery mixed patterns and colors. These suits were seriously small, you’ll need lots of time in the gym to pull off this look. Each suit was accessorized with a chunky necklace and super high heels. Very Miami. 

The show closed with Brazil’s Sambarela Swimwear, which showed lots of graphic prints and bright colors. One-shoulder one pieces and lots of black and white stripes and solids showed up on the runway. The most memorable piece from this collection was a graphic-print cover-up hoodie that doubled as a floppy hat. 

There were a few trends we spotted throughout each of the collections: blue and white bikinis and one pieces with red accessories (a must have for whatever poolside 4th of July celebration you’ll be attending), and the 3-strap, chain like detail on each side of the bikini bottom. While this isn’t the most practical look for tan lines, it’s a sexy and flattering cut on most figures.

Home Grown Fabulosity 

Next up was the Miami Style Showcase, featuring Florida's best emerging designers. The show kicked off with an opening prelude by Somy Ali of So-Me Designs. Created entirely in support of No More Tears, an non-profit that Ali founded in 2007. The collection was an array of printed t-shirts displaying positive messages like Love Wins.

GooRoo Baby showed their collection of children’s clothing using adorable baby models that really got the crowd going. Frilly, colorful skirts with plain white t-shirts, boy’s linen sailor suits and simplistic white dresses and tops for girls were the gist of this collection.

Next up was Erin Healy and her chic collection of cocktail dresses in textured fabrics with clean and sophisticated cuts. Standout pieces were the gold high-wasted shorts and the black mini dress with the burst of peacock feathers on the bust.

Zula Studio / Venessa Monokian / MFb© Venessa Monokian / MFbZula StudioArefeh Mansouri showed lots of shimmery minis and variations of dresses in the same color and fabric. The blue sequined sleeveless mini dress with the high collar was the most exciting piece in this collection.

Zula Khramov was a standout collection. The show opened with a simple, white mini dress accessorized with a dramatic, sparkly headpiece a la Lady Gaga. There were lots of nude-illusion fronts and backs, and everything mini, mini, mini. The best pieces were a one-shoulder purple mini dress and a silky, grey dress that looked so simple from the front but displayed an unexpected sparkly leaf-like detail along the back.

Art of Shade provided some of the most memorable runway moments of the night with their theatrical turn down the runway in future-forward clothes. Lots of creams, blacks and greys, and mini dresses with jackets. The overall look was chic, modern and daring.

Cesar Rosario’s collection definitely gave the runway a Latin vibe as models marched down the runway in tulle skirts, corset dresses and black and lace dresses. The best pieces in this collection were the silky, white long dress with feathers, and the one-shoulder nude floor-length dress with pale coral rosette embellishment along the skirt, with a seriously high slit. Sexy!

Closing the show were Miami's top designers Julian Chang, Petit Pois by Viviana G., Samy Gitcherman and Nicolas Felizola. Julian Chang’s menswear collection showed some serious skin, as models walked the runway in strategically placed strips of fabric. Also big in Chang's collection were the large sunhats that finished off outfits that combined bold colors with breezy simplicity.

Samy Gitcherman / Venessa Monokian / MFb© Venessa Monokian / MFbSamy GitchermanVivianna G's Petit Pois collection was a standout among the top Ready to Wear desingers. Her pieces were more subdued than normal with subtle frabrics in greys and creams.The collection was full of wide-leg pants, printed dresses, and mini dresses, and sheer tops that looked just as wearable as they did beautiful.

Samy Gitcherman presented his show-stopping coture collection Fall collection he calls "Waiting for the Train." Models were decked to the nines in killer dresses reminicent of 1920s women's flapper costumes. We'd tell you they were fab, but the pictures speak for themselves.

Lawyer-cum-photographer-cum-designer Nicolas Felizola closed out the show with the first menwear line of the night. Male models strutted tailored fashion-forward suits. His women's haute-couture designs proved why he was named Best New Designer at the 2008 Miami International Fashion Week, and has become so beloved in the Miami fashion scene.

After the shows, the party crowd headed over to Plunge at the Gansevoort Hotel for the first night's after party. And today, designers are already preparing for what's sure to be another great night of fashion at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Stay tuned!

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SPProductions @
01:46PM on March 06, 2011
Art of Shade rocked the show! Love the Image at the top! Vintage Black Couture meets modern times. Incredible detail on the layering of the detachable train. Performance was Spectacular and unexpected. Miami Fashion needs more of this.
11:23AM on March 05, 2011
Those photos by Venessa Monokian are fantastic! Keep 'em coming!
nico @
07:38AM on March 05, 2011
nice job with the photos!
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