Thursday, December 11, 2014

Palm Beach and Miami Social Diary

During Miami's Art Week, Len Blavatnik and Alan Faena celebrated Art and Architecture with an oceanfront Argentine asado highlighting Studio Job and Rem Koolhaas/OMA's design for the Faena Forum. It was such an entertaining diversion, I forgot about Miami traffic. Actually, it was simply sensational, making me a new fan of Francis Mallmann, the renowned Buenos Aires cook who is as accomplished as he is affable. The Faena District's Norman Foster + Partners-designed residential towers have been sold out since April, including the $60 million penthouse.
Haute Design: Christian Siriano @ Neiman-Marcus PB + Rem Koolhaas & Studio Job @ Faena SoBe
By Augustus Mayhew

On Friday in between intermittent showers and offshore winds, I opted for two luncheons focused on two of the world's most imaginative designers — Christian Siriano and Rem Koolhaas. After all, Palm Beach and Miami Beach are only 75 miles apart. And yet, considering their divergent attractions, they might as well be 75 light years. Though these resort destinations once shared a similar architectural and cultural history, today's Palm Beach asks, "Must we be Modern?" while South Beach declares, "How much more Modern can we become?"

It's been six years since Siriano was cast as one of Project Runway's prodigious breakout designers. During that time he appears to have achieved impressive commercial success. And yet, unlike so many other storefront logo brands, I sense there is something so extraordinary about Siriano's uniqueness that puts him in a world of his own.
Christian Siriano flanked by two of his show-stopping designs at Neiman Marcus. I stopped by the store the day before the fashion show and took a few snaps. On the right, a polyester/silk strapless striped origami wrap gown.
Whether or not Rem Koolhaas is the world's best architect, at the moment, is something that will continue to be argued when his fascinating Faena Forum buildings are finished on Collins Avenue. Last March, I toured two decades of Koolhaas' works in his native Rotterdam from his early 90s Kunsthal museum to the mixed-use 2013 De Rotterdam. Interestingly, De Rotterdam is located on the Wilhelminapier next to Norman Foster's World Port Center. The incomparable work of Siriano and Koolhaas makes the world much more stimulating.
CS overlooking the Neiman Marcus skylighted central atrium.
A hand-painted Siriano blouse that was not part of the fashion show.
Palm Beach – Friday afternoon – December 5
Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Luncheon at Neiman Marcus featuring Christian Siriano


The Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Luncheon recognized its former gala chairmen, including: Beverly White Yeager, Sylvia James, Grace Marie Champ, Mary Boykin, Ruby Rinker, Ellen Cunningham, Darlene Jordan, Andrea Stark, Jane Pontarelli, Marilyn Tracey, Diana Ecclestone, Tom Quick, Kathy Bleznak, Susie Dwinell, Katy Amling, Susan Malloy, Ross Meltzer, Mary Freitas, and Eddy Taylor, among them.
The Cristafaro's team had champagne trays waiting for the luncheon's 75 guests.
Clockwise from above: Danielle Hickox Moore, luncheon chairwoman, and Beth Pine, vice-president and general manager of Neiman Marcus Palm Beach. Because Danielle is running for a seat on the Palm Beach Town Council, the Shiny Sheet photographer could not photograph her; Nancy Reynolds, a former gala chairwoman; Blair Kirwan and Betsy Turner, a former gala chairwoman.
Solange Knowles, Lady Gaga, and now, Tiffany Spadafora Cloutier photographed recently wearing Christian Siriano. Former Mayor Lesly Smith. Smith's daughter Danielle Moore was the luncheon's chairwoman.
Annie Falk and Kathryn Vecellio.
Nicole Watson and Micah Ford.
Before the Siriano fashion show, NM presented some of its recent arrivals: Oscar de la Renta, left, and Stella McCartney clutch, right.
All eyes turned when Christian Siriano's latest dresses and gowns were shown ...
A leaf motif ball gown. The day before, I snapped a close-up of another version of the leaf motif gown with a satin bodice and semisheer organza skirt overlay.
The detailing on this aquamarine dress was of note.
Kae Johnson.
Carol Digges.
Christian Siriano and Angela Vecellio.
Coming to Neiman Marcus Palm Beach
Manolo Blahnik, the sole of fashion. A Manolo Blahnik trunk show and an in-store appearance by handbag designer Edie Parker are scheduled next week.
Miami Beach - Friday afternoon – December 5
Len Blavatnik – Alan Faena asado for Art & Architecture: Studio Job+ Rem Koolhaas/OMA


As I motored Palm Beach to Miami thru several cloudbursts in less than an hour, I should have known as the sun and blue sky reappeared, something would go amiss. I turned onto the Julia Tuttle Causeway, a usual five-minute crossing onto 41st Street took nearly one hour, arriving uncharacteristically late, for me. Nonetheless, the event was so well organized and everyone in a good mood that I soon forgot the crawl it took to get there.
At the head table, our host, Alan Faena, left with the white hat, a Buenos Aires hotelier and real estate developer whose showplace Collins Avenue development is under construction. With the success of his mixed use formula Faena Buenos Aires, Faena is recreating the same motif and scale on Miami Beach.
Alan Faena.
The al fresco luncheon was held on the sales office (The Collaboratory) terrace overlooking the ocean.
Argentine chef Francis Mallmann with grilled pineapples, ready for slicing on a plate of a no less than fabulous chocolate dessert. In addition to his Buenos Aires restaurant and restaurant in nearby Uruguay, Mallmann's 1884 restaurant is located in a winery near Mendoza, Argentina. Known for his open flame "gutsy meat-led cooking," Mallmann is the author of Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way and Mallmann on Fire.
Francis Mallmann, AD's Doris Chevron, and NY art journalist Paul Laster whose "Counting Grains of Rice with Marina Abramovic at Design Miami" in the NY Observer was entertaining.
The FM brand highlights the traditional Argentine open fire cooking where Mallmann and has staff of 30 worked their magic. Mallmann's restaurants appear on several Ten Best in the World lists. While I was hesitant when I saw Blavatnik and Faena were having Mallmann open an Argentine gaucho grill in their new hotel, I found everything superb, including the array of salads and desserts. Afar, the once Versailles Hotel nears completion of its makeover.
The open fire with a view toward the sold-out residences designed by Norman Foster + Partners that are still under construction.
The staff was impeccable; the Perrier-Jouet pour was uninterrupted.
With Miami traffic in perpetual gridlock, guests arrived by whatever means available.
Jan Rothschild, sr. vice-president for communications at The Barnes Foundation. Jérôme Sans, Paris-Peking, curator of One Way, the Peter Marino exhibit at the Bass Museum.
PAPER magazine's Mickey Boardman, Kim Hastreiter, and Drew Elliott. The night before, PAPER celebrated its highly-publicized BreaktheInternet.com issue with a rooftop reception at Herzog & de Meuron's 1111 Lincoln Road.
Seen assisting guests, Pablo De Ritis, left, vice-president of culture and community relations for Faena Rose.
At the tables
Faena Collaboratory
The Faena District contains the designs of Sir Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Shohei Shigematsu, Brandon Haw, Bill Sofield, Baz Luhrmann & Catherine Martin, Studio Job, Juan Gatti, the talents of Francis Mallmann, and the incomparable landscape architect Raymond Jungles.
Inside the sales office/Collaboratory, models of the finished buildings.
A view of the district between the ocean and Indian Creek Drive.
Sir Norman Foster's residences building in the center reminds me of his design for the World Port Center in Rotterdam.
The former Saxony Hotel, upon completion of the makeover.
The Faena Forum, Rem Koolhaas/OMA, architect.
The Faena Forum, Rem Koolhaas/OMA, architect.
Inside the Faena Collaboratory.
3:10 pm at the Fountain of Youth artwork, Studio Job. 2014.
Alan Faena bring his out of this world Buenos Aires to Miami Beach.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.

Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland – Reflections on Palm Beach.