His Ocean Drive palazzo may still need finishing touches, but Gianni Versace’s new Jeans Couture boutique in South Beach is up and running.
The Miami flagship opened last week with a huge outdoor block party. Throngs of the designer’s groupies packed into the 3,000-square-foot space filled with Versace’s more casual clothing and his new home things — rugs, dishes, cushions and the like. Even the boutique’s next-door neighbor, ABS, got into the spirit by featuring safety pin Versace knockoffs in its window.
Among those fans on hand, plenty of them in Versace, were Nick Scotti, Victor Alfaro and his twin brother, Pablo, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and Isabel de Bourbon, Eighties icon Dianne Brill, Kenny Scharf, Kal Ruttenstein and Billy Norwich.
On New Year’s Eve, the Raleigh became the most exclusive spot in all Miami — literally — when the phones went out. From 6 p.m. on, all calls to and from the hotel fell on deaf ears and busy signals, until 1994 — and a repairman — finally came to the rescue.
Down the road on New Year’s Eve, South Beach’s young at heart showed up for the party that Thierry Mugler threw outside the Century Hotel. He asked guests to “dress like a whore,” a request guests interpreted pretty loosely. Mugler donned toupee, tinted sunglasses, gold teeth and chains — an authentic Miami Beachcomber. Other looks ranged from chaps in chaps and girls in bikinis to the outright outre. Not everyone was dressed to the pavonines, though — Isabel and Ruben Toledo played it down, as did John Epperson. As Lypsinka, he would be entertaining the troops the next night at Starfish, Miami’s restaurant of the moment, and decided to take New Year’s Eve off.