Taravision: A Style Diary by Tara Solomon

This week, she captures other Miamians at New York Fashion Week.

Chloe Pearl with models in Chloe Pearl Lingerie at Runway 7 (Credit_ Kamilla Polese)

It may have been New York Fashion Week, but Miami was in the house. When Mr. D’ and I were in New York for Fashion Week’s fall 2022 collection shows that just wrapped, we didn’t get homesick for a moment – except for missing Queen Macy, our adorable chocolate Himalayan cat, of course – because we were constantly surrounded by residents of the 305. From back of house to designers both established and debuting, Miami had a front row center seat at NYFW.

At Runway 7, the fashion vertical platform that both manufactures collections and produces runway shows, more than 30 designers presented showed over two days at Sony Hall in midtown New York. In charge of all production? None other than John Martinez of John Martinez Productions, one of Miami’s most talented fashion professionals who works with the biggest names (Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, and Silvia Tcherassi, among them) as well as running production for Paraiso, Miami Beach’s official Swim Week.

Winner Desislava Simeonova greets the audience with her models at SohoMuse x Runway 7 Present RunwayMuse during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Runway 7)

At Runway Muse, a national student design competition presented by global networking site SohoMuse and Runway 7, a pair of South Florida design students took two of the top three top honors. Student designer Desislava Simeonova, a senior at the Fashion institute of South Florida in North Miami, was crowned grand prize winner for her two edgy, modernist looks in the runway competition, hosted by SohoMuse founder and president, the glamorous Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin (and yes, she is related, in case you are wondering) and judged by fashion insiders including Miami resident and CFDA member designer Naeem Khan.

Other South Florida design students vying for the three coveted prizes of having their first collection produced and presented at a fashion show in September 2022 at Runway 7 for the S/S 2022 collections were Jamie Avadis and Belkys Costa, both from Istituto Marangoni Miami, and Eve De La Font, Yvari Toussaint, Helen Troshyna, and Alyssa Saleel from THOS Fashion School of Design in Boca Raton.

Closing out Runway 7 at New York Fashion Week was a designer showcase of three shows – each with a strong Miami connection — that was so thoroughly entertaining, we didn’t want it to end.

Influencer and Miami hometown girl Chloe Pearl debuted her eponymous line of flirty, 1990s-referenced lingerie in a Marie Antoinette-inspired fashion show with lithe models in candy-colored wigs parading down the catwalk to a French-pop soundtrack. At just 17, Chloe Pearl is the youngest designer to debut at New York Fashion Week, an honor she shares with Colombian designer Esteban Cortazar — also from Miami — who debuted his collection in September 2002 when he was also 17. (Mr. D’ and I were fortunate to have been there for those early-aught festivities, which included a private invitation to Anna Wintour’s home – for Esteban, not for us, alas.)

Designers Carmen Vils and Lautaro Garcia de la Peña walk the runway at Runway 7 Debuts Fall 2022 Collections during New York Fashion Week on February 11, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Runway 7)

Pearl, whose mantra is “Be the Love of your life,” is the daughter of South Florida real estate developer Todd Glaser, a friend since the 1990s, although I didn’t realize that until months after she and I met at Barbara Hulanicki and Carlos Betancourt’s art event at The Betsy back in the summer of last year. Bonding over our mutual love of fashion as a form of self-expression, naturally… And yes, the fact that my circle is getting increasingly younger is not lost on me LOL.

Also on the runway was Gaucho – Buenos Aires, a fashion-lifestyle brand from Argentina that will be opening its first flagship store in the Miami Design District this spring. Actor Neels Visser walked in the show, his steely Nordic looks making gaucho hats, leather tote bags, and ponchos for men completely plausible. Gaucho’s new Design Director Lautaro Garcia de la Pena, who divides his time between Buenos Aires and Miami, took his runway walk in one of collection’s luxe leather jackets, rendered in a shiny jet black, giving us a new must-have for our fall wardrobe list.

Avantgarde Miami fashion designer Dope Tavio also presented looks at Runway 7 as one of six featured designers in nightlife impresaria Susanne Bartsch’s runway event entitled “LOOK,” where she debuted her first fashion collection, Bartschland. The global style icon, a frequent face in Miami Beach for decades, brought new meaning to the expression “slay the runway” with a fashion show reminiscent of her famous club nights – the catwalk populated with performers as models, including famed drag queen Scarlet Envy.

A love letter to nightlife in the 1980s and ‘90s, the Bartschland collection featured modern silhouettes – including sleeveless catsuits, leggings and hoodies – made of fabric printed with collages of La Bartsch’s club flyers and other ephemera from back in the day. For her finale, the nightlife queen made the grandest of runway walks — sitting atop the shoulders of a bicep-blessed male model.

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