Express Brought Exclusive Spring Sneak Peek to Raleigh Hotel
Let's face it. Runway shows in Miami are about as hard to find as a straight man on Lincoln Rd. Although our "Cuban cousin" community is slowly ascending the fashion ladder of life, we're still no New York, and forget about coming close to Paris. However, in every shadow there is light, aka when massive retail chain Express selected our very own Magic City as a docking station to preview its Spring 2014 collection at the Express Yourself Miami Runway Show.
Photo by George Martinez
"Anti-trendy" Wynwood kids and trust-fund babies alike came spillin' in by the dozens to the sandy backyard of the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach. Arriving felt a lot like pulling up to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim, but without all the cluster-fuck mayhem of five different PR companies not getting their shit together. Instead, the line situation was rather civilized. One single-file line curved around the corner of 18th Ave, and the sight of people throwing elbows - or chancletas - was no where to be found.
When admittance was granted, stilettos, despite their blatant altitude, were gradually filled with grainy remnants and their heels sunk deep below the man-made quick sand. Guys who looked like they just parked their teal Vespa right outside, dressed in rolled up chinos of every shade and sat on ottomans on the outskirts of the beachy plains; their counter parts in wide-brim hats, bralets, and high-waisted midi skirts. It was confusing to distinguish the models from the normal folk, casting the confused to the farthest reaches of the Twilight Zone.
To the left, a long line formed -- rivaling the line to get in -- to screen bespoke t-shirts from the Three Fold Apparel booth with the help of blogger P.S. I Made This. The booth provided an assortment of multi-colored tees by Express. The choice was yours to iron verbiage such as "Can't stop, won't stop," "Selfie in SoBe," and "Let's party." After the iron maiden stamped its seal of approval, you were able to further customize the tee with knick-knacks ranging from safety pins to jewel-tone bedazzlers. The former seemed to be the less cheesy path traveled.
Photo by George Martinez
On the opposite side was a beauty station with double vanity mirrors, where girls from Candy Coat Nail Boutique filed down jagged-edged nails and spruced up matted beach waves.
While custom tees assembled and knots detangled, the audio of hard beats with a mellow tempo penetrated the air -- A-Trak made his presence known. The Canadian turntablist and record producer went easy on us in the beginning with loungy tunes and '80s renditions care of Debbie Deb.