The Two Riviera’s – Miami Beach Swim Week & Bastille Day in Nice, France. A Study in Contrasts?
photo by Actor -Photographer Michael Lee Merrins, Los Angeles-allfashion.press
photo of Cristina Parovel and Bryan Pena, by Erick Acuna Photography
vector international pictures
Correspondent for AdAvenueGroup, allfashion.press, new-release.press
Miami Beach/FL July 15, 2016 The 34th annual Swim Week Miami Beach un spooled last night with all the attendant hoopla and fanfare. Euphemistically known as the ‘other Riviera’ posh fashion-centric events, gatherings and runway shows on location throughout the seaside resort were in full swing.
Concurrently, another Riviera community with a celebration underway (Bastille Day July 14, 1789 – Frances’ storming the Bastille Prison and a Day of Liberation from tyranny) was disintegrating in the historical seaside destination of Nice, France into a scene of mayhem, crushed baby strollers and scores of citizen fatalities.
Against the pale of one more insidious act of terrorism; live reports from Nice’s bloody sidewalks pinged and lit up the night at the ‘W’ Hotel, Nautilus and countless other South Beach venues. Thousands of guests had just arrived to participate in the 2016-2017 edition of Fashion Swim Week. The reports of dreaded and mounting fatalities kept pouring in with guests gripped by an undercurrent of concern that was palpable.
While lovely’s languished in au courant swim wear, lace to geo minimalist resort wear, little black dresses and sexy stilettos, the global set of fastidious fashionistas imbibed icy drinks in the melting midnight humidity with attendant glitz, glamour and posturing. All eyes were on the runways, chock-a block with collections from Mia Marcelle, HAH-Hot as Hell, Kahos, Robb & LuLu and Roberto Cavalli.
The prevailing mood from the ‘W’, ‘Soho House’, ‘Nautilus’ and Hilton Bentley combined with the packed plethora of pop-up tents (most notably Funkshion) and fine dining spots such as Klima de Barcelona, was ‘as horrific as what is happening in Nice is, ‘the show must go on’. According to Bryan Pena, of BP Media Partners and Brand Ambassador of aged Rum Barceló, “The terrorists can only win when we cease to stand up to them. The best vengeance is living life to the full without fear.”
And what a show it is! For four days, July 14-18 of dawn to dawn, by-invitation-only gatherings, the 2nd annual Swim Week sans the participation of IMG and Mercedes Benz Brand in control, Swim Week is now thriving as an equal opportunity free for all destination showcasing fashions’ unknowns, emerging to fashion elite designers and buyers with representation from over a 100 countries.
When IMG announced that the million dollar sponsor, Mercedes Benz, was bowing out in 2014 the news with concerns that SWIM WEEK was D.O.I. The converse is true. In fact, the confab is growing exponentially in its new incarnation. With the freedom to be endlessly creative in the spirit of anything goes (provided the branding bucks to underwrite a place on the Swim stages is available) Swim Week in its a sundry configurations, attendant global media, public relation firms and fashion production companies have turned up the heat on the occasion. The agenda serves as a showcase for a global reveal of world’s 300 + plus , in demand swimwear, resort and some sport collections.
SWIM WEEK in Miami is running like a suntan oiled machine with an unwieldy number of moving parts.
The lynch pin is this is the upper crust’s, fashion cognoscenti and modeling elite’s ‘must attend’ on a calendar of annual migrations to Paris Fashion Week, Berlin-Bread & Butter, Las Vegas/Magic , Milan with Miami Beach just preceding New York Fashion Week in September.
On a side note for all those with plans to be in New York for Fashion Week on September 15, make sure that the emerging designers Art Institute New York Fashion Week is on your ‘save th Date’ calendar. The designer to watch is Rene Mejia (right with Vanessa styling a Swim Week Show for OMG) with his collection of ‘Taking Flight’ inspired by a painting of Degas, ‘the Ballerina’s’.
Buyers, Designers, and the lauded guests watched the quick rotation of fashion shows and entertainment with the likes of Kent Jones taking the stage with his #1 Hit, ‘Don’t Mind’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n49qi-dU9IE , Kent Jones pictured backstage, photo by Michael Merrins.
In spite of the attendant ribald party activity, Nice’s and the French Riviera were heavy on everyone’s hearts and minds.
The prevailing attitude was best articulated by Michael Merrins, Los Angeles based actor and celebrity photographer,
“In the face of terror we must soldier on. Even coming out to something as seemingly frivolous as a showcase of trendsetting designers or a Marathon in Boston or a club of celebrants redefining gender in Paris or Orlando we must not be living in fear. Or, the terrorist will have won. ”
“Living in fear or being cowered by events of which we, the citizen’s have no control defeats the very goals for which we believe, that is freedom of expression, trying to live by the rule book and co-exist in peace,” comments Cristina Parovel, Italian actor and aspiring producer with JC Gomez, Environmental Inspector for Siemens and VP of CoMoDeco Homes.
A 360 degree glance around the guests, made up of a bevy of the most beautiful people in the world (inside and out) is a vivid indication that SWIM WEEK has embraced cultural and ethnic diversity as the way of now and the future,” observed Nick Kavallieratos, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and Onofre Rodriguez, Hewlett Packard Enterprise of Greek and Argentine descent respectively.