When we think of Miami, popped bottles, deep tans, and MTV: Spring Break come to mind. But scratch the surface and you'll uncover a postcard-ready destination du jour, replete with prime vintage, Gatsby-era architecture, and a mean ropa vieja. Take a peek at some of our beachside snapshots as well as our favorite four shops with wares that go way above and beyond your typical string bikini. Vamanos!
This golden-lit consignment shop resembles a boutique, with its pristine presentation of new and vintage staples from powerhouses such as Pucci, Gucci, Dior, and Chanel. Jean Marie, who opened the shop in 1996, also has her own line, Puglia, in which she reconstructs designer vintage pieces into one-off dresses, bags, tops, skirts, and bikinis.
Curated by Steven Giles, this latest installation in the BASE triad of insistently hip showcase shops isn't just for the boys. Steer clear of the men's clothing and footwear to scour the conceptual amalgam of music, media, wadgetry, and new-wave furnishings (a lamp made of lightbulbs, anyone?). Known for its "constant state of flux", the space also plays house to music, art, and photography fetes.
Owner Madeleine Kirsch, formerly an interior decorator, shows her taste for space in this 10,000 square foot shop in North Miami Beach. A century of style is studied in the curated vignettes showcasing evening wear, furs, and separates by the likes of Pierre Balmain, Pierre Cardin, Bill Blass, and Balenciaga. Frequently rented out for special occasions, the shop's clientele includes costume designers, stylists, and in-the-know sartorialists.
alchemist, 438 Lincoln Road, 305-531-4653.
Chock-full of fashion-forward, high-end wears, this boutique attracts Miami's fabulous set. Stocking masterpieces from Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten, Jil Sander, and Alaia, the shop makes a powerful argument for why 2009 ain't so bad.