White sands, clear skies and the chance to ride the waves. We’ve wanted to visit Miami ever since Kim and Kourtney took the city by storm back in 2009 for their Keeping Up With The Kardashian spin-off show. Although the sisters may have left the city, and their DASH boutique store now officially shuttered forever (G.B.N.F) – there’s plenty of reasons to visit South Florida’s cultural epicentre. One of those reasons is to head on over for Art Basel Miami, which is officially opening today. Celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, USA’s most prestigious art fair will showcase over 7000 artworks across the city. But at $65 a ticket, attending Art Basel is a rather expensive gander. Before you splash out on a ticket, you probably want to know what you’re spending your wonga on? We’ve got you covered. With some serious fashions kicking off last night at Kim Jones’ Pre-Fall 2020 show, we decided to curated 10 fashion-themed must-sees from the art fair you must pay your attention too.
1. Harry Nuriev fills a couch with Balenciaga clothes
Forget the DFS January sales, this Balenciaga clothes-filled couch by Harry Nuriev is the only settee you should have your eye on. Taking Nuriev two months to whip up, the sofa is made from upcycled materials from the artist’s previous works, as well as Balenciaga deadstock. Popping with colour and some of our favourite prints crafted under Demna Gvasalia’s tenure at the brand – if you’re going to be a couch potato, you might as well be one in style.
Where: Miami’s design district
2. Bibliotheque Blanche Be@rbricks at the Hello Miami pop-up
Fashion’s favourite toy is getting a makeover. Or should we say make-under? The Hello Miami pop-up will be flogging a chorus of Be@rbricks decorated by Bibliotheque Blanche. With a feature-less face and body, each set of ears splashed in a different semi-opaque colour. Release your inner child, or should we say inner hypebeast, by collecting them all.
Where: 180 NE 40th St, Miami, Florida 33137
3. Bode’s Pop-up Shop
After opening her first, 800-square-foot retail space in New York’s Chinatown a few weeks ago, Emily Bode is furthering her audience’s shopping experience into Miami. In collaboration with temporary retail space platform Appear Here, Bode will have its own space during the shopping frenzy of Art Basel with the brand’s long-term partners Green River Project providing the furniture. Artisanal, one-of-a-kind pieces made in heritage technique are what made us fall in love with Bode – and now even the hot, beachy Floridians can get themselves a piece of it.
Where: 2621 Northwest Second Avenue
4. Berluti furniture collaboration with Laffanour Galerie Downtown
When you think of Berluti, what springs to mind? For us, it’s brilliant hues, unbeatable tailoring, and that gorgeous Venezia leather. The latter has become synonymous with the Parisian house, and for Art Basel, creative director Kris Van Assche had Laffanour Galerie Downtown in dousing 17 pieces of furniture in the stuff. A folding screen, a day bed, a bench and a gaggle of different chair silhouettes are coated in buttery leather, each in different hues. Ketchup-y reds, royal blues and Frankenstein greens – we’ll have one in every colour.
Where: Miami’s design district
5. Versace presents South Beach Stories
With another upcycling furniture venture, Versace has granted New York interior designer Sasha Bikoff access to their archive to create a collection of pieces. Picking a favourite is basically like picking who of your two children do you like more, but we have a particular fondness for the velvet chair which bears a particular resemblance to the marine-life-motif from Versace’s SS93 collection. What would make it better? JLo perched on top, with a cuppa, dishing on all the Hollywood gossip. A girl can dream…
Where: 140 NE 39th Street
6. Miu Miu and M/ Marbles stools
In an ode to Miami’s palm-tree-lined streets, Miu Miu have teamed up with M/ Marbles to create a giant stool made from walnut and palm-wood. Toying with materials commonly used in the luxury fashion market, the pairing of used rubber and glass accents which spell out Miu Miu in vivid colour. This isn’t the first time the two parties have come together, coming together to create catwalk presentations in the past. It’s a fashion and art match made in heaven.
Where: 40 Island Avenue and 3246 N Miami Ave
7. FENDIFRENSIA Scented Baguette
The Fendi Baguette has always sounded delicious – now it’s about to smell rather divine too. Teaming up with Maison Francis Kurkdjian, the Roman luxury house has mastered a “three-dimensional distinctive creation where touch, smell and sight take on all their meanings.” The pair have collaborated on a gender-fluid FendiFrenesia eau de parfum which is reminiscent of musky leather undertones. Capturing the spirit of the perfume, a few drops were splashed onto film paper doused in Fendi’s signature shade of yellow, before being exposed in development baths – with the final result captured by artist and photographer Christelle Boulé. This image is then transferred onto a gaggle of Baguettes and Nano Baguettes which are also sprayed in the FendiFrensia – sold exclusively at the Fendi Miami Design District boutique. They say three’s a crowd, but a ménage-à-trois has never smelt so good.
Where: Fendi, 150 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
8. Thom Browne’s Palm Tree I
Also looking to Miami’s greenery is Thom Browne, who has created a 21-foot-tall palm tree to be exhibitioned during Art Basel. Palm Tree I is wrapped in the designer’s favourite fabrics including seersucker, pincord and gingham oxford; fully doused in candy-coloured pinks, yellows and greens.
Where: The Moore Building, 191 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137
9. Virgil Abloh’s Sculpture at Jade Alley
After a three months break away from the spotlight due to health reasons, Virgil Abloh is back with a bang. Fresh from the announcement that he will curate an exhibition of new work in January with Galerie Kreo, Abloh will also be showing his art in Miami. A sculpture, which will be on show in Jade Alley, sees a gas station sign sinking into the concrete terrain. The piece asks the viewer to “question the relationship between commerce and communication.”
Where: Paseo Ponti, 56 NE 39th St, Miami, FL 33137
10. Loewe’s Chance Encounters
Loewe is no stranger to Art Basel. 2019 will mark the brand’s fifth iteration of Close Encounters, an annual exhibition that brings together artists from different fields. Taking centre stage this time around is Hilary Lloyd – a British artist who was the brains behind the set design for Loewe’s SS20 menswear show. On this occasion, her work is met with that of the late ceramicist whose semi-abstract forms contrast against Lloyd’s graphic work. “Hilary Lloyd’s work is perfectly attuned to the contemporary moment and the way in which we engage with the visual world around us. It will stage a striking dialogue with Ewen Henderson’s bold materially-rich work,” says the brand’s creative lead Jonathan Anderson. This is one not to be missed.
Where: LOEWE, Miami Design District, 110 NE 39th Street
by Paul Toner
Art Basel Miami takes place December 4th to 8th.