Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim
Day 1: July 19, 2012
Lisa Blue Opening Show
At Cabaña Grande, at The Raleigh Hotel
1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Notable attendees: Christina Milian, Brooke Burke, David Chavret (remember Baywatch?), Real Housewives of Miami reality stars.
Better than: A geography lesson in high school ... if only because of the scantily clad models.
It's almost expected for a fashion show to run fashionably late in Miami (hello, Miami time). But a show that starts 43 minutes late? That's a bit much, even for us. But Lisa Blue didn't seem to disappoint the masses last night -- even though she did disappoint us.
Only one thing is ever really expected from a runway show: a theme or pattern for the collection. Last night's show (designed by former model and current animal rights activist, Lisa Burke) had too many themes to count, though, the most prevalent being "Year of the Dragon," "60's pinup girl," cutesy cowboys, and night gowns. We can't make this stuff up.
The show began with very tanned models somberly, and very slowly, walking down the runway with gold-leafed crowns and headpieces, soft curls, and a soundtrack that was just plain depressing. They were paying homage to "the call of the whale" (part of Lisa Blue's brand motto) it seemed, but this whale has tribal tattoos on his tail and likes his models with Grecian-inspired swim pieces that aren't made for flattering tan lines. Go figure.
The whole thing lightened up a bit when Dancing with the Stars ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff (you know, the hot one that dated Mario Lopez for a while) came out and strutted her stuff ... literally. Fully dressed in salsa-themed attire that Carmen Miranda probably wouldn't be caught dead in, models added a little bounce to their step, a few more dancing down the runway as the theme was abruptly changed to cowboy hats, surfer girls, and plenty of nightgowns/sexy sleepwear. (Who can really pull off this look at the beach? Not many, we assume.)
Glittery pumps wouldn't be our first choice for swimwear (or our second, third, or fourth, for that matter), but that seemed to be the only thing (kind of) tying the collection together. That and metallic cha-cha heels.
Next on the roster? Another brief intermission segueing into Aretha Franklin's "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." and one of the few redeemable portions of the collection: The '60s pinup. Sure, it's been done. A lot, even. But the sweet touches, sailor stripes, and floral prints were well executed, and with the exception of the pieces with pinups actually printed on them -- would anyone wear that? -- it pretty much saved the collection.
But wait, there's more. A large drum hit the stage next, with a "John Wai Kung Fu Academy" banner displayed, and a group of people come out propping a large paper dragon on sticks, motioning it around as it chases a "ball." Wait, what? At a fashion show?
This opens the floor for pointy hats, lingerie-looking swimwear (more on the lingerie side, really), dragon prints, and Egyptian makeup. We didn't really get that collaboration, either. Some models wore wings (probably as a nod to Victoria's Secret). Some models wore horns on their heads. Hey, one even rocked a feather-laden mohawk, knee-high leather stiletto boots, and bondage-inspired arm bands. She looked really angry.
Designer Lisa Burke herself closed out her own show, walking down the runway in a bikini top, booties, a mini sarong, and headpiece. We get it: If you've got it, flaunt it, and Lisa Burke definitely has a killer body for her age (or any age, really).
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