Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach kicked off last week with A*MUSE by Richie Rich, and alongside him, his muse Pamela Anderson. How designers like Lacroix are filling for bankcruptcy protection while Richie Rich continues to get funding for his lines -- first Heatherette, and now A*MUSE -- will forever be a fashion mystery. Better designs and talent were on display at the Carol City flea market than at that spray paint fest. The only A*MUSING part of the show was how Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson chose to ignore her age and the effects of gravity and instead took her turn on the catwalk to squeeze into her fit-in-1992 Baywatch bathing suit. Thankfully, later that evening Pamela Anderson held court at The W South Beach's PETA benefit more appropriately clothed.
The main event of day two was the Red Dress show, held at The Setai. The Red Dress show was presented by Go Red For Women through the American Heart Association, which educates women about heart disease. Loren Ridinger played host while various Miami socialites walked the runway including Katrina Campins from the soon to be defunct Miami Social and Anchal from America's Next Top Model (It's good to see the girl working, but I wonder how long she can keep that bit going).
Funkshion provided an intelligent route for emerging designers through their show with Fashion Group International at the Bass Museum of Art. Mariano Lumbi, winner of last year's Emerging Designer award, showed a full collection of avant garde dresses that were expertly tailored and adorned with intricate geometric details. Abi Ferrin followed with "Fashion with a Purpose." I love the purpose to this collection, but I wish she also delivered some design. The collection was simply too "Miami" and filled with pastelly florals for Spring. Really groundbreaking stuff.
Back at The Setai for Spring 2010, Nicole Miller showed how it's done with a recession proof collection filled with must haves such as a double lapel jacket, an updated little black dress, an asymmetrical roushed dress and a flirty romper. Hopefully the other designers were in the audience taking meticulous notes.
Closing day started at The Bass Museum of Art with Rio Soul, a collection of graphic filled sportswear pieces with a Brazilian twist, and it was like watching a car crash between Christian Audigier and Lulu Moon. The collection was beyond pointless and should remain a wholesale business. Please, no more runway shows when you have nothing to show. Liquid Metal followed with a bold and sensual collection, lots of leather, chain mail-like tops, high waist denim and an overkill of liquid metal accessories.
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Honestly, Funkshion should have started and ended with one show -- Fragolina Pompadour. Her presentation surpassed all expectation and was was actually able to capture the spirit of a New York Fashion Week. The models, hair, makeup, music, production, setting all came together for the second actual fashion show of the week after Nicole Miller. Fragalina Pompadour showed a superb collection of swimsuits worthy of the finest sand in St.Tropez. The collection brought us back to the '50s but with a modern twist, colorful yet whimsical in design.
After 13 seasons on the sand and some competition from Rock Fashion Week, it may be time for Funkshion to re-evaluate its position, maybe take a season off, and come back refreshed as this season was the worst to date. If you missed it, check out the videos on Funkshion's YouTube channel to judge for yourself.
-- Posha Paris