Blending coastal elegance with the vibrant cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, Miami Fashion Week has always been at the height of resort style. This year, the fashion mainstay takes the spotlight from May 30 to June 3 just moments from Acqualina Resort & Spa.
“Miami fashion is its very own animal,” says Ginger Harris, the writer behind Miami fashion and lifestyle blog Electric Blogarella. Harris has spent more than a decade working as a fashion, beauty, entertainment, and pop culture journalist and editor for publications like Visit Florida, Z-Life Magazine, and Miami Magazine – and currently serves as UrbanDaddy’s Miami editor.
“What most people can wear throughout the year, we can’t because we simply don’t have the temperatures in which to do it,” she says. “People look toward Miami Fashion Week for when they’re going on vacation, when summertime comes. We control that hot weather vibe.”
Drawing inspiration from Bohemian, rock and roll, and the 1950s, Harris defines her own style as vintage, saying, “I feel like the way that you dress is the way that you present yourself to the world, the way that people perceive you and understand you. It’s a form of artistic expression.”
In Miami, she keeps things light and airy in the summertime and gravitates toward pieces that can transition from day to night, like a one-piece swimsuit that can act as a bodysuit when paired with evening attire. Inspiration is all around, but one source that is constant is the runways at Miami Fashion Week, where talented local, national, and international designers showcase their high-end creations each year.
“I’m expecting to see a lot of sets [at the shows],” says Harris of the matching two-piece outfits that have been trending lately. “I think that really colorful, bold sets that have a lot of florals in them are something that are going to be sticking around.”
The character of the city heavily influences design, she notes. From the cultural impact of nearby Latin America and the Caribbean to the vibrant graffiti in artistic enclaves like Wynwood, Miami is a mecca for creativity that only continues to encourage rising artists and designers.
“We’re a melting pot,” she says, “and that melting pot produces itself in how colorful we are.”
From Latin American cultures, Miami designers have adopted a gauzy, breezy style and accents like ruffles inspired by flamenco clothes – “It’s all about movement and color” – while Wynwood brings a mismatch of patterns, colors, and designs that transition easily from the walls lining the streets to clothing.
In addition to the playful, retro sets, Harris hopes to see more high-waisted garments and ‘90s influence on stage.
“You’ll find a piece that you really like,” she says of shopping for the styles around Miami, “but I love to see how the designer pairs it together with a pair of shoes or accessories. What was their actual vision for that piece?”
And when it comes to incorporating Miami’s tropical vibe, she believes the trend this year is all about tassels and pom poms, saying, “I think that those fit in so well with Miami!”
At the height of the festivities, Harris recommends attending one of the stylish galas like the centerpiece Miami Fashion Week Benefit Gala hosted by Antonio Banderas on June 1.
Held at the historic Alfred I. DuPoint Building, this glamorous annual charity gala is known as the most celebrity-filled night in Miami. Guests can expect high-profile performances, delectable cuisine, a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Nicklaus Children’s Health Foundation and the Fundación Lágrimas y Favores, and of course, incredible fashion.
“[Miami Fashion Week] is a time to get even more dressed up than normal,” says Harris, noting that there is great style in the city year-round. “It’s a time where you can play with your fashion and do something a little bigger and a little broader and a little more noticeable. You can really test it to its limits.”
All Miami Fashion Week runway shows will take place at Ice Palace Film Studios, with a full schedule to be released in May.
Featured Photo: Milly Jane Harris
Body Photos: Milly Jane Harris; KarGar Ohh Snap