You might not have noticed, but the Magic City has a wee bit of a poverty crisis going on these days. Half the county is behind on its mortgage and Miami's homeless can't even get their hands on unwanted LeBron jerseys.
So imagine our surprise when we caught wind of last night's Versace fashion show at the luxurious Icon Brickell downtown -- an event advertised as heralding "the return of glamour to real estate."
In addition to more models than a Kanye West bubble bath, the show featured a $91,000 purple chinchilla coat.
Where's Patches when you need him?
The event was sumptuous (We had to dust off our Bernie Madoff Modern Dictionary for that one), replete with La Marca prosecco, tuna sashimi, chocolate covered strawberries, and a 15th floor view of the Miami River.
Three leggy models donned Versace's latest designs and perched atop shiny black pedestals to mark the start of Fall Fashion Week here in Miami.
The party also celebrated a recent flurry in downtown luxury real estate sales, most notably at the Icon itself where 60 percent of the swanky apartments have now been sold including 175 units in the past three months.
But the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and constant thump of techno music couldn't keep out the harsh reality facing most Miamians. Some guests said the event seemed pared down compared to years past.
"I thought there would be a real runway," said Patti Silverman, a speech pathologist who bid $400 at a synagogue charity fundraiser to attend the fashion show. She was delighted with the clothes, which she said were less embellished, "more classic, and easier to wear" than in previous years.
"But if there's a recession, the prices don't reflect it," she added. Top of the list was a knee-length purple and black chinchilla coat worthy of Miami's finest pimps -- yours for a cool $91,000.
There was also a black evening dress for $8,180, leather boots for $1,750, and a pair of platform shoes for $1,200.
John Chao, a consultant who designs green homes and private movie theaters, said downtown real estate was still suffering with prices 40 percent below their peak.
"Events like this are needed now more than ever," he said, before grabbing a glass of prosecco, scooping up a mini cupcake, and putting his arms around the models for a photo.
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