As autumn arrives on the shores of South Florida, best-dressed locals and travelers don an array of fresh fall styles befitting the season. Whether sunbathing on pristine beaches or sipping cocktails at Acqualina Resort & Spa, one thing is clear: In Miami, you want to stand out.
“That’s what I love about Miami fashion,” says Jeannette Kaplun, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of the bilingual blog Hispana Global. “People like color, and you don’t need to be afraid to mix and match different trends and have fun with fashion.”
In Miami, bold colors and prints are a year-round affair – as seen in collections by acclaimed local designers. And despite consistently warm weather, trends from around the world still manage to merge into the fashion, often in unique and unexpected ways.
“If you travel to a colder climate like London right now,” says Kaplun, “you are seeing a lot of faux fur, jackets, and leather, but that doesn’t translate very well to Miami because it’s so warm. [However], I’ve seen many very stylish women wearing pleated leather miniskirts that don’t make you hot if you pair them with t-shirts. People are not afraid to play with fashion.”
Oscar Carvallo Paris, Photo: Miguel Leon
This fall, Kaplun loves the abundance of floral dresses and blouses to be found in Miami, as well as Victorian-inspired styles, midi skirts, Bohemian embroidery, and accessories from boots to belts. She foresees the cold-shoulder trend going out of style to be replaced by one-shoulder apparel (not off-the-shoulder), and despite the seemingly heavy fabric, one unexpected trend that Kaplun recommends is velvet.
When worn as a tank top with jeans and heels or as a dress with thin straps, “It’s a nod to a fall trend, but it’s still Miami style so you’re not melting underneath a velvet coat. It’s a way to wear the trend but adapt it to Miami’s reality where the weather is still really warm.”
Along with transforming styles to suit Miami’s climate (fashionable thigh-high boots are out of place until the slightly cooler temperatures of late November or December), Kaplun believes that much of what appears on the runway needs to be adapted for the real-world.
“I love showing trends on real women,” she says. “I’m a busy, working mom, so I try to bring the trends from runway to reality. There’s high fashion out there that many women cannot use or wear in their day-to-day setting because it would be too fashion-forward.”
Ruffle Set from the Couleur Collection by Michelle Meler Studio
For beautiful, elegant dresses, she recommends Oscar Carvallo Paris, and for youthful, mix-and-match designs, she likes local designer Michelle Meler for fall. (Check out the jumpsuits.) As for eye-catching accessories – which never go out of style in Miami – Joanne Stone combines gold and crystal in jewelry that has a chic, almost unfinished look.
“If you’re going to go with a statement bracelet or a statement necklace,” says Kaplun, “I highly recommend downplaying the earrings. Choose one accessory to go with.”
Some of her favorite accessories of the season include crystal- or pearl-accented belts from designers like Gucci – with the pearl trend actually having started this summer and easily transitioned into fall with everything from modern bracelets to handbags showing delicate pearl detailing.
“I love anything that’s very feminine,” says Kaplun, noting that her favorite fall outfit would be a long-sleeved floral dress in a sheer fabric paired with boots, or for a younger look, fishnets and short boots. “The idea is to show a little bit of skin through the see-through fabric – the chiffon or silk – but still be very elegant and not show too much, which is a problem that sometimes you have with Miami fashion.”
When planning a trip to Acqualina, she highlights the packing essentials: beautiful swimwear, a tunic cover-up, stylish flip flops, and something elegant to wear for dinner at Il Mulino.
“A little black dress with fringe to make it fun will always work” – along with red lipstick, she says. “Bring a nice clutch so you’ll be ready for dinner, and then if you feel like exploring the clubs in South Beach or going to trendy places, you’ll feel like a local.”
Featured Photo: Nicolas Stipcianos