Fashion Miami Kicks Off With Gen Art Fresh Faces

Click here to view photos from this event.

Usually, Riptide cares as much about fashion as we do about feel-good stories, but we were sort of curious about the retooled Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach -- now called Fashion Miami -- which took over the custom-built tent raised for last year's Design Miami in the Design District. The area itself is becoming quite a fashion destination, with stores that rival those at the Bal Harbour Shops, including Adidas Y-3, Duncan Quinn, and Christian Louboutin.

But we're here to talk about Fashion Miami, not hype up the Design District. So let's get this show on the road. Huzzah!

When we arrived, we were greeted by throngs of people trying to get in. Luckily, press access sped things up for us, because Riptide really hates waiting in line. Once inside, we checked in and were handed a white card with "H1" scribbled on it.

Not knowing what it meant, we asked one of the girls working the event.

"You've got Anna Wintour seats!"


apparently, Riptide is moving on up and finally getting some respect in this

town. As the publication known for questionable advertising, we

aren't accustomed to such luxuries.

After a couple of free

glasses of wine, we took our seats in the front row, at the end of the

runway. Normally, we don't give a rat's ass about Miami's who's who, so we

couldn't exactly tell you who enjoyed the same privilege, but we

did spot Riptide's BFF and (former?) Miami Social cast member Ariel Stein.

Anywho, the whole point of Gen Art's Fresh Faces event is to introduce up-and-coming designers. The collections to grace the runway, in order of appearance, were Duskin, Lialia, By Smith, Fernanda Carneiro, Romina Heighes, and Whitney Eve by Whitney Port (the Hills cast member who is now enjoying her own MTV spinoff called The City).

Unfortunately for Duskin and Lialia, they seemed to be afraid of color. We understand these were the fall 2010 collections, but do women really need to dress in such drab colors just because there is a chill in the air? We'll give Duskin a pass because of its New York roots -- blacks and grays seem to be the city's uniform -- but Miami-based Lialia shocked us. How can you live in this town and omit all color?

The hit of the show was easily By Smith. Her designs were whimsical pieces inspired by bygone eras, sort of like Victorian-meets-mod with lots of color. To top it off, the models were accessorized with vintage jewelry and hats that belonged to Smith's great-grandmother.

And then there was Whitney Eve by Whitney Port. Oh lawd, where to begin? Let's just say we're pretty sure the Hills alum wouldn't have been invited had it not been for her TV pedigree. Riptide applauds all the Miami-based designers for staying away from Miami fashion clichés such as plunging necklines and coochie-cutters, but Whitney Port seemed to fall into every single one of them despite not residing here.

"I'm so disappointed, because I know she would never wear any of that," one spectator said. We don't know about that, but our eyes were offended. Sorry, Port, don't quit your day job of shooting scripted reality shows.

Besides By Smith, other winners of the night were Gen Art and Fashion Miami, which put on one hell of a production, even if the fashion was a bit of a letdown. Miami's quest for fashion-capital legitimacy continues, but if everyone could put on events with such high production values, we probably could get there much quicker.

If you missed last night's event, don't fret -- Fashion Miami continues tonight through Saturday at the same location, NE 39th Street and First Court.

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Jose D. Duran is the associate editor of Miami New Times. He's the strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's cultural scene since 2006. He has a BS in journalism and will live in Miami as long as climate change permits.
Contact: Jose D. Duran