Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Miami Nice

I've been in Miami since Monday. I'm here for a huge international travel and tourism conference that I go to every year. It's always in the biggest and best cities, and this year is no exception. Today I had some time off work in the afternoon, and I decided to do a bit of shopping around South Beach, where I'm staying, and also to check out one of Miami's most amazing vintage spots.

I've been to the city once before, but I didn't do much shopping then - mostly clubbing and beach lounging - so I decided to take advantage of being a solo traveler and spend some time walking around. Barney's Co-Op was having a sale on some great pieces. I loved an amazing skirt by Alexander Wang, $but 700 is a bit out of my price range. Some great Marc Jacobs pieces caught my eye, and so did one bag, a little Malababa gathered-top pouch on a long strap that came in fluorescent pink and yellow. Super cute. I was also excited to see Malin+Goetz products in the store, and was happy to know that we are lucky enough to have access to such goodies at Trocadero in little old Omaha.

I hadn't been in a Diesel store in years, but strolled in the South Beach location. I loved a pair of black patent flat sandals, but sadly, the 7 was too small, the 8 was too big and there wasn't a half size available. I used to go absolutely nuts over Diesel; I had quite the collection of their jeans, tops and jackets back in the day. Last week I took my final pair of Diesels I had left to my local consignment shop; I think I might have finally outgrown their funky pieces and graduated to a more classic style. As I walked out of Diesel, I ran into a slobbering crowd of paparazzi outside a store next door; some celebrity was shopping inside. I couldn't see who it was, though I did take in a pair of fabulous shoes and a pair of tattered jean shorts on whomever she was. Maybe Lindsay Lohan? I didn't hang around to find out.

South Beach is a mish-mash of high and low stores: for every Barney's there's a surf shop selling knockoffs of what's in the windows of the fancier store. I skipped most of these outposts and instead headed into my standby, American Apparel, where I got a black viscose "sexualitee" and another "sexualitee," this one navy with a vintagey dolmen sleeve. I'd never seen these pieces in Omaha, so I figured I'd snag them while I could.

After lunch, I hopped in a cab and my very chatty driver took me to C. Madeline's, a store that I'd frequented enough online to know that it was going to be absolutely awesome in person. And it was. The store's tag line is "One of the Fashion Wonders of the World" and it lives up to it. The store is 10,000 square feet and the clothes are separated by decade - the 1940s to the 1980s - and in some cases, style - there's one area called "bohemian." At the front of the store are racks and racks devoted to vintage Chanel, and there's handbags to match. A gated off area in the back of the store is devoted to couture and otherwise amazing pieces, it was here that I found my purchase: a big silk vintage Yves Saint Laurent scarf that even the beautiful sales girl said looked good around my neck. Many of the items in the store are available on C. Madeline's Web site, where you can buy them online. I fondled lots of things: vintage bags, a quilted Chanel and a Fendi Spy bag, some Hermes scarves (of course the one I wanted was $400) and some amazing Herve Leger bandage dresses.

If I lived in Miami, a place like C. Madeline's would be hard to resist. Its a beautifully curated store where each piece is perfect for someone. I brought my camera and captured some images of the view from my hotel (amazing) and some of my finds, but I forgot my camera cord. I'll post them when I get home tomorrow.

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