Taravision: A Style Diary by Tara Solomon
The Miami insider celebrated the opening of Hairspray and the holidays.
Any excuse to wear a big wig is win-win for us, and opening night of Hairspray at the Arsht Center – the first Broadway show to return to Miami since the pandemic — was the perfect reason. I assured Gino Campodonico, the performing arts center’s Senior Director of Communications, that my Titian red “Ginger Grant” flip wig was more wide than vertical — lest he move our center orchestra seats somewhere less desirable to not obstruct other theatergoers’ views – and started planning my look.
High 1960s or maybe something demure with a retro inspo that would honor the theme yet not embarrass the husband…? Undecided, I texted Martina Borgomanero Basabe, whose style radar is always spot on, and learned she was considering adding a punk element to her look, which sounded like fun. She ended up wearing an ensemble so stylized that only she could get away with it – a pearl-studded, oversized distressed jeans jacket over silver lurex cigarette flares, both by Forever 21 (every fashionista’s secret weapon), with black-and-white trainers and a fabulous silver leather Roger Vivier chain-strap bag. Her husband, Fabian Basabe, wore one of his timeless uniforms: A white Western shirt, black blazer, black jeans, brown suede bucks – a combination of Tom Ford and Fay by Tod’s – with a tangle of semi-precious bead bracelets by Tres Glam Jewelry by Lisa Gastineau on his watch hand.
My black-and-white, nip-waisted, collared dress with a full skirt by Moschino looked the Hairspray part yet didn’t cross over into “Cartoon,” unlike the Ginger Grant flip wig, which did, and was unceremoniously removed by Mr. D’ in a very Neely O’Hara-Helen Lawson catfight moment minutes before we walked out the door. We comprised on a turban.
No turbans were allowed, though, on Christmas Eve, no matter how festive, for the annual holiday party that Mr. D’ and I hosted at Casa D’Annunzio. (I did wear vintage, however, which he didn’t seem to mind, probably because it was sequined with a thigh-high slit.) The dress code was holiday glamour, which didn’t stop fashion icon Barbara Hulanicki from wearing her signature all-black rock vibe – Balmain double-breasted blazer and leggings a perfect pairing. Super stylist and my Women of Tomorrow monthly co-mentor Elysze Held wore a lipstick red sweater by Belgian designer Bernadette of Antwerp that had cutouts at the upper arm and a large bow at one shoulder – a modern holiday classic that was so amazing she “paid retail” for it, she confided. Gallerist Gloria Porcella, who reminds me of an Italian version of Edie Sedgwick but without the destructive behavior, wore a silver sequined minidress by Retrofete that was pure It Girl.
For New Year’s Eve, something shiny or satiny or glittery is pretty much de rigueur for women, and it’s always interesting to see how that gets translated. At a house party to ring in the new year, hosted by The Basabes at “Shiloh” – their 1940-era Mediterranean home named after the Brad and Angelina offspring – we saw all the above, including Fabian’s mother Maryann Basabe in a classic black satin St. John pant suit (so elegant) and guest Poliana Alencar, a Brazilian femme fatale, effortlessly chic in a gold-sequined mini slip dress that should only be worn by someone as thin and toned as she. The men either came in trendy sweaters or knit shirts, such as Poliana’s boyfriend, model Jason Morgan who wore a pullover by Orlebar Brown, or full-on tuxes with bow ties, such as Mr. D’ and our dapper host, Fabian.
When choosing very practical footwear to go with my ethereal rose gold Marchesa frock (block-heel Gucci loafers – the better to navigate the steps and backyard pavement at Shiloh), I was reminded of the brilliant lyrics from Hairspray’s catchy finale number, “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” — written by songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Michael Wittman, and delivered pitch-perfect by the incredible Andrew Levitt aka Nina West (from RuPaul’s Drag Race) as Edna Turnblad — which pretty much sums up my attitude on turbans, loafers, sweaters with cats on them, and other expressions of style that not everyone understands (insert Dancing Girl emoji):
“You can’t stop my happiness, ’cause I like the way I am
And you just can’t stop my knife and fork when I see a Christmas ham
So, if you don’t like the way I look, well, I just don’t give a damn!” — You Can’t Stop the Beat
Tara Solomon has been documenting Miami since the late 1980s, covering style, philanthropy, society and modern culture. She has written for publications including The Miami Herald, Elle, In Style, Food & Wine, People en Espanol, Vogue Latinoamérica, and German Vogue. Newly married, Tara chronicles her domestic life on Instagram at @tarasolomon. (Photo by Olga Miljko.)