I packed my carry-on with all the catalogues of the 2010 swim season and nearly broke my arm transporting it home.

Miami is amazing to me. I am a people watcher and South Beach is a rainbow of self-entitled beasts and beauties. Seersucker tailored rhinos and brown swans in pale dresses swagger down the street in soft herds. Breathtaking decadence knocks the wind out of me, and I stand in line for the next punch.

The gloves are cocktail purses, door lists, wristbands, and media badges. The ropes are velvet. The bottled water is four dollars, but once you get in the ring, everything is free. Chambord cocktails are sweet and cold and the Nivea products kept everyone’s skin soft and smelling wonderful. My very gracious friends Walt and Nicola loaned us their condo so we had a cool place full of wonderful art between running to the beach and working the shows.

What is new? The Wolfsonian presented stunning posters of vintage bathing beauties. The history of Jantzen was well curated and I wished there was a book in the gift shop to keep in birdies.

Hardware was heavy, hammered, and functional: golden sailor hooks and deco braids looped through asymmetrical bottoms at Caffe– an amazing Columbian line debuting at the show. Red Carter, so Miami, was punk circus at the Raleigh tent. Marysia was stunning- buff and peach ruffles with contrasting coral reversible bottoms. Our favorite rep., Cherise, showed us the Huit swim season- more mod detailing and a perfect yellow bikini.

Kuschcush brought beautiful trims and matte jems- a huge cheerful navy beach bag with a wallet tucked inside, sweet stripes, and lighthearted resort wear. Gottex delivered digital rainbows embellished with sequins and glass beads/ off the shoulder sport glam. Aqua di Lara debuted glossy materials with stunning simplicity- we took the plunge and ordered three very signature pieces. Shan, a long standing Canadian company, showed elegant menswear and perfectly shaped contoured one pieces for full bodies. Vitamin A brought green and blue in Pucci nostalgia, fitted and flowing silk cover-ups and familiar hooped connections.

We picked up a subtle new designer: Kathleen Cook– soft lavenders and pale greens with carved stone hardware with gold trim- a fold down brown and magenta bikini. Dineila surprised us (again) with black cover-ups that draped like silk and well-built high-waisted sets with laser-cut layered prints. Shay Todd delivered aggressive femininity and 80
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