Miami Swim Week 2016 officially kicked off on Thursday night at the Funkshion tent located on Collins Avenue, across the street from the W Hotel.
Around 8 p.m., Liliana Montoya sent out models on the catwalk. The designer bases her line from Miami but manufactures the products in her native country, Colombia.
“[I was] inspired by nature — water, the different elements that the air brings,” said Montoya of her mermaid-inspired collection.
“You are going to see a lot of colors, and you’re gonna see elements from nature,” Montoya said. “You have oranges. You have reds. You have purples, and then you start seeing the colors of water: blue, purple and then you finish this amazing journey at the sun with golds, sequins, blacks and solid swimsuits.”
Backstage, models sprinted from wardrobe to hair and makeup; stylists were scattered everywhere working their magic with their curling irons, brushes and sprays. The show was running over an hour and a half behind, and the designers were stressed.
The Art Hearts Fashion show began at 9:30 p.m., with swimwear from Erik Rosete, who showcased his metallics heavy collection titled “Vortex.”
“It’s a crazy, trippy, retrofusion, Barbarella-inspired bikini line that I’m debuting here in Miami,” Rosete said.
The Brazilian line, Ca-Rio-Ca Swim, made an entrance with two capoeira dancers and two samba dancers, wearing traditional Brazilian carnaval outfits.
Then followed Furne One, who shocked the crowd with his sexy, over-the-top designs.
The Dubai-based designer, whose fans include Heidi Klum, Amber Rose and Shakira, offered up suits that were anything but minimalistic.
“I wouldn’t even wear that to the beach,” said front-row attendee Lia Mira, of the lacy and sequined pieces. “I’d wear that to the club.”
Down a few blocks at the Delano was Ocean Drive’s party for cover girl Martha Hunt. The Victoria’s Secret Angel, stepping out in out in a silky, burgundy J. Mendel dress, said she was planning to try to sneak in a swimsuit show or two.
“You guys and your Swim Week,” laughed Hunt, 26. “Miami is such a perfect place for it. So sexy and hot.”
CATERINA BALZANO & MADELEINE MARR