When July hits and the humidity and temperatures heat up in Miami, you know it's officially time for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim, a five day extravaganza of bikinis and beaches. This season marks my third trip down to check out the swim shows, but if there's anything I've learned about Fashion Week in Miami, it's that no season is quite like the other.
Friday 8:00 am. I wake up early to finish packing, crossing clothing items like jean shorts, maxi dresses and bathing suits off my list as I double check my suitcase. These looks are so different from my outfits for Fashion Week in New York; Miami is a whole different experience. I grab a coffee for the road and head to the airport.
3:oo pm. Bienvenido a Miami! I race through the airport to meet my car - TRESemme invited me down to cover some of their shows and they sent a swanky driver to pick me up. As we drive from the airport to South Beach, he shows off neighborhoods and talks to me in Spanish. I can understand but I can't speak, providing a mental note to get back into
language classes for both Spanish and Italian when my schedule calms down a bit.
4:00 pm. I check into my beyond luxurious hotel, the SLS Hotel South Beach, and drop my bags in the all white room before snapping a quick picture. As I take in the ocean front view, I decide to order room service. I have a half hour before I'm expected backstage at Agua Bendita with TRESemme, so I need to get ready and eat lunch/dinner at the same time. I decide on Cuban sandwiches with a Parisian twist - they're served on a croissants! So adorable and equally as delicious.
4:45 pm. Fed, dressed, and ready to go, I head to the Raleigh Hotel and immediately walk backstage to chat with TRESemme's head stylist, Tyler Laswell about the Agua Bendita look. I learn that he was inspired by Sienna Miller's hairstyle for the Met Ball this year, putting a bit of punk style into a beach atmosphere. As I watch his team prep the models and put the hair accessories in place, I'm inspired to rough up my own tresses and add a few accents to my strands!
6:00 pm. As the models are called into first looks, I walk to the front of house to find my seat for the show. Though I've been afforded a look at hair and makeup, I didn't peek at the bikinis backstage; I'd rather see them for the first time as the models walk down the runway. While I wait for the show to begin, I Instagram a few backstage shots and sip an Evian water - the brand redesigned their bottles for the first time in over a decade, just in time for Fashion Week!
6:45 pm. Agua Bendita's collection has a slight "bad girl" vibe which immediately makes me think of Rihanna. There are tasseled accents, a touch of tribal influence, and a wealth of sexy straps.
7:20 pm. My first show complete, I'm due backstage for Beach Bunny. I run into Laswell again, who's working on getting the models ready again. Where the last show had a bit of punk and a touch of grunge, Beach Bunny's gone girly. Instead of sticking to one look, Laswell designed two high ponytails, and accented one with a massive braid. As we chat about the looks, he stuns me with a serious fact: he had to buy 1,100 feet of extensions for the show - these girls are getting serious locks!
8:00 pm. Time for Dolores Cortes! The collection is full of bright colors and bold designs. I immediately fall in love with the last few numbers that come down the runway - versions of the same design, with standout floral accents. After the show, I walk around the deck of the Raleigh Hotel's pool; vendors like TRESemme, Ipanema, and Polaroid sunglasses have set up shop for fashion show guests to check out.
10:00 pm. While Fashion Week in New York ends around 8, it continues in Miami till late in the night. The last show for Friday is Beach Bunny, which boasts a front row including Chrissy Teigen and Irina Shayk. Afterwards, I head to Hyde Beach at the SLS with some friends for the after party. Where New York has rooftops, Miami has pool parties and I'm not complaining.
Saturday 10:oo am. Up bright and early for Tory Burch's brunch with bikinis! She took over the backyard pool of the Shore Club for an intimate look at her resort collection. I run into Lexi of Glitter andPearls and Alyson of The Average Girls Guide and we decide to grab brunch back at the SLS. Over eggs scrambled with avocado and dripping iced coffees, we chat about the upcoming shows in New York, summer vacations, and everyone's plans for the rest of the day.
3:00 pm. Today I'm the lucky girl getting outfitted with a TRESemme look! A hair stylist comes up to my room at the SLS and before he gets down to work, I show him the outfit I'm planning to wear that evening. Since it's hot and sticky in Miami, my only request is that my hair goes up, off my neck, leading him to decide on a deconstructed topknot. He slicks my hair back to the top of my head, fishtail braids two sections of it, then wraps it into a topknot and secures with a million bobby pins. I know it'll be an adventure to get out, but it looks beautiful and is sure to stay in place through the night!
5:00 pm. Before the shows begin for the evening, I stop by the Soho House for the Asos party, which is on the roof and affords a stunning view of South Beach. On my way home, I pick up a Greek salad, knowing there will be no time for dinner later.
8:00 pm. This year, Mara Hoffman is the Mercedes Benz Presents designer and had the chance to outfit a car in her signature prints! It's been sitting outside the Raleigh during the shows and I may or may not have taken a picture while sitting in the car! As usual, she delights with her swimsuit designs, mixing that festival, Coachella feel with beach-y vibes.
9:oo pm. Straight from Mara Hoffman, I grab a seat at Vix in the Oasis. There are more coverups in this show than any before, which I so appreciate. A vacation or trip to the local beach isn't complete without a great dress that will take you from the beach to the bar!
10:00 pm. Always a crowd pleaser, I make sure to arrive at Cia.Maritima early. As I sip another bottle of Evian - gotta stay hydrated! - I catch up with friends and talk about the trends of the season. So far it's all about crop top swimsuits, sleeved bikini tops, and cut outs galore. Cia.Maritima shows off beautiful one pieces, another huge trend this season - including one that could easily be worn as a top with an A-line skirt.
Sunday 11:00 am. After I (sadly) check out of my room at the SLS, I plop myself down on a lounge chair alongside the pool at the hotel. Before my shows that afternoon, I order a Caesar salad and iced coffee for lunch, along with a glass of rosé and fruit infused water. #HowManyDrinksDoesOneGirlNeed? Apparently, I snagged the perfect spot - Nanette Lepore, Oakley, and BCBGeneration are happening right in front of me. Only in Miami can you attend a fashion show in your bathing suit and it's completely acceptable.
3:00 pm. After watching my final runway show of the season, I quickly change into my traveling attire and hop in the car to head to the airport. Another season of bikini trends down, it's time to head home to New York!