Johnny Louis
Behind the scenes at Fashion Week Swim at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim Recap

New York has its Bryant Park, but this weekend South Beach's Raleigh Hotel was ground zero for our Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. And despite the blanket of heat and curl-deflating humidity, hundreds of NY and Euro imports rolled into town to spy the latest in beach and pool wear. MIA's state of neverending summer means that we have our share of local designers such as like Kristina Ashley, Amaya, Carolina Brasil who specialize in the uniform that either gets you splashed, gets you noticed, or both. But this weekend we got a taste of the national brands like Custo Barcelona, Red Carter, and Pistol Panties who are all vying for a spot in our wet and wild wardrobe. The fete started with a bang-out Diesel show last Thursday and ends with today's Xtra Life Lycra Fiber show, but just in case you spent the weekend waiting in line to see the Dark Knight here's what you missed.

Actually, here's what I didn't miss. Between the long lines and numerous checkpoints, there was a lot of stand-and-wait going on and – gasp - many of the shows started on time. But I'll admit, the fact that my Rolex is set to fashionably late may have had an effect too. Either way, the corporate sponsored cabanas and everlasting open bars didn't care so much about time. So as long as you love custom-designed Havaianas, Essie manicures, and enough SmartWater, Fuze, Ola vodka, and Chambord to fill the Raleigh's pool – the weekend still came up roses.

The color palette of the season is jeweled and the shows at Fashion Week Swim brought out plenty of ruby, turquoise, and emerald tones on bikinis, board short, caftans, and of course, the thong. But the celebs in attendance also lent some extra glitter to the scene. Heatherette's Richie Rich was spied runway-side at Shay Todd's Setai show on Friday night rockin' a chic sailor hat and chatting with friends, Lil' Jon chillaxed in the Raleigh lobby before he got crunked up to DJ for the Ed Hardy show, and Dennis Rodman puffed stogies in the penthouse with his homies and a few snow bunnies to do some press after deciding that the pool area was passé.

Check out all the photos from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim here.

- Raina McLeod

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