Elie Tahari and MOCA

Fashion and Art converge in Bal Harbour

Elie Tahari, Bonnie Clearwater, Jose Alvarez

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) partnered with artist Jose Alvarez to host the opening of the Elie Tahari boutique at Bal Harbour Shops. The Miami fashion event combined society with art and style to create an eclectic environment where attendees had the opportunity to meet Elie Tahari in person.

The party was in full swing when I arrived and a server immediately handed me a glass of champagne – a nice beginning, to say the least. Tahari was standing close to the entrance and greeted me as I entered. He’s a very charming man with an inviting smile and I felt completely at ease in his presence.

Standing a few feet away was MOCA’s Bonnie Clearwater. She looked dashing in her flowing Tahari dress that featured bold and colorful prints. We chatted briefly about some of the upcoming events at MOCA and the success of their recent Pop Bollywood. She explained how the current in-store event came to pass and how fortunate MOCA was to partner with a designer as talented and respected as Tahari.

Luckily, despite the demand for his attention, Tahari took a few moments to talk with me behind the curtain of a dressing room where we could momentarily escape the chaos of the shopping frenzy.

“Miami reminds me of happy times,” he said. “I used to come here many years ago and always had a great time.”

Elie Tahari, surrounded by a small contingent of his adoring clientele.

Both the Elie Tahari men’s and women’s lines echo the evolution of Miami. The spring line is aptly named “Urban Tropical” and is influenced by Tahari’s love of architecture and design. This title, which features two words that are seemingly unrelated, could not be more fitting for Miami, a transformed city whose urban center has risen high in our tropical surroundings.

As for Tahari’s inspiration: “I think the mood of the times is the biggest inspiration,” he said. “Different moods, different times – this collection has a lot of color, a lot of print.”

The spring collection is vibrant and empowering, which works to counteract the negative feeling of our current economic climate. Another big inspiration for the collection is Tahari’s wife, Rory, whom he met in 1998. Since becoming the vice chairman and creative director, the company has seen great success.

“My wife made me a list that I should be focused on,” he said. “Modern, sophisticated, clean, beautiful and sexy.” These design elements fit perfectly with MOCA’s image. The opening night pairing was a perfect fit, and the event was a complete success.

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