Hot Couture

She's known for fine fashion, accessories, and perfumes. Hollywood stars Renée Zellweger, Brittany Murphy, and Salma Hayek wear her fabulous frocks to red-carpet events. Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera found her springboard to international fame right here in the Magic City, at the annual Miami Fashion Week of the Americas. This event started as a forum for Latin American style and has grown into one of the hottest couture events nationwide. This year's crop includes fresh, up-and-coming designers from Russia, Italy, India, and the Caribbean in a series of shows that will display international fashion with indigenous flair.

During the day, these visiting fashionistas will press the flesh and further their craft with a series of seminars meant to introduce them to the ins and outs of the American scene. At night they get to watch their striking garments sashay down the official runway for the viewing pleasure of chic locals and industry insiders. The shows have been organized by category, so you can choose which ones to attend according to your personal style.

Sex kittens will go crazy for the lingerie/swim showcase. Pouty-lipped vixens will model the latest in seduction wear from Canada and Colombia. Golden age glamour girls will fall in love with the eveningwear showcase, when gorgeous gowns by Venezuela's Luis Perdono and Marialexandra, Argentina's Maria Aversa, Mexico's Monica Ocejo, and Trinidad's Heather Jones take the stage. Local talent will get a chance to shine at the Miami Designer Showcase. The designers in this category reveal the spicy Latin flavors that simmer in our city, with the hottest clothes from Venezuela's Samy Gicherman and Nicolas Felizola, Cuba's Ivonne de la Vega, and Peru's Julian Chang. Allow style to transport you to Brazil, India, and Colombia with geographically themed runway shows. Italian designer Roberta Scarpa has been honored as the 2005 Designer of the Year, and her forward-thinking, feminine fashions will be feted with a solo show.

Watch students from the Miami International University of Art & Design take their first steps toward making it in the big leagues with knitwear, tailored city suits, and bohemian pieces at the student showcase. The CityStyle fashion and music event caters to our street-chic city. This day of urban fashion features the latest from hip-hop star Nelly's Apple Bottoms line and P. Diddy's Sean John collection. The Reebok celebrity shoe show will inspire sneaker collectors, and the active showcase will turn the spotlight on outfits from Mia Shvili, Taylor and Madison, and Johnny Handsome. After all the sitting, clapping, oohing, and aahing, you can mix and mingle with models, hipsters, and designers at the afterparties, which will take place at choice venues scattered about the always stylish Miami Beach

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Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik