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As a nearly 20 year Fashion Industry Vet, I've made TheFE my place to cover and discuss everything fashionable from books, to designer ready-to-wear to couture. All aspects of a fashionable lifestyle are included. BIG NEWS: I'VE MOVED TheFE TO WORDPRESS to take advantage of their superior publishing platform. See you there!!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Mercedes -Benz Fashion Week Swim kicks off with TIBI

Mercedes -Benz Fashion Week Swim- the 2010 Collections

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of Tibi runway show, Edward Le Poulin
Images backstage, Richard Spiegel
Image of Dan Lecca, from


IN a season that you’d think everyone would be cutting/scaling-back, IMG’s swim shows are going on in South Beach yet another year. Yes, despite the City’s Convention Director phasing the City’s involvement in these shows out, this round of shows sounds to be bigger than ever. There are more parties, more presentations, which has us making a mental comparison to how New York Fashion Week has been increasingly more spread-out, which we don’t mind a s it mixes things up a bit. What ‘s unfortunate though, is that the show-goers have to make a decision between two shows as occurred last night. We chose the MARYSIA SWIM show at the Oasis venue at the Raleigh over the INCA show at the W Hotel.
The sixty-four thousand dollar question this season concerns the Runway’s Runway King, Dan Lecca. He and his team are on site shooting for Mercedes-Benz as they have been for the past few years but he won’t be releasing the photographs to editors as before. Having “the Dan Download” was one of the best things that IMG ever did and made it possible for us to attend a show in New York’s Forbidden Zone [South of 23rd street, and West of 9th Ave.] AND write up shows we DIDN’T attend that had the same time slot midtown in the tents. A colleague of ours had a conversation with Mr. Lecca and discovered that Mr. Lecca chose to take the high road, and offered to give the photographs to IMG – for free. Astonishingly, they refused his generous offer. The runway’s premiere photographer doesn’t really NEED to be doing this, but he does it season after season, because he loves it. We miss you Dan!

TIme/Place: Thursday night, July 16
The Cabana Grade at The Raleigh Hotel, Miami

BACKSTAGE, Designer Amy Smilovic spoke of her vision as a journey to Indonesia in which shapes were “clean and minimal” and stated, “Bigger shapes [fuller bottoms] can be sexy.” We liked the new more modest bikini bottom in a chevron print, which reminded us a bit of the suits Fifties pinup calendar girls would wear.

Everyone’s feeling eighties after Marc Jacobs showed a directional collection last fall heavy on neon brights. Ms. Smilovic paid homage to the era in her way – our favorite an orange asymmetric dress with rope strap detailing accessorized with giant gold cuffs.

The prints were on the Psychedelic side– think a Sixties acid trip, with the best being a green and white combo.

Playsuits looked sophisticated, especially the coral long sleeve one that could take you to dinner on ship or shore.
We loved: the cafĂ© au lati roulette strapless cover up in chiffon, which would make a good ad, as would the carousel Ikat cover up. Boston-based stylist Gerard Vallecello, a friend of Marc Jacobs’ sitting next to us leaned over towards the end of the show and remarked, “I love her, [Smilovic] she knows how to put everything together. “
Speaking of shopping, once you’re in shape, pick up the hot pink and purple strapless lava bikini. Thinking of it will motivate you through spinning class. You could wear TIBI green crepe de chine lounge pants after you’re done as an elegant alternative to a Terry cloth sweatsuit.
Tip: We love Havaianas, but you’ll look even sexier in a high heeled pair of thongs, like the ones at Tibi.

LAST WORDS: the first 2/3 of the show were strong. Keeping a collection to fewer than 30 looks tends to work best when showing to the press.
To view more Tibi designs, visit

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