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December 30, 2014

White Hot

You may be under the impression that Miami is all flash and swagger. Sure, there are blindingly-expensive sports cars, celebrities at play, and mega-yachts in the marina. And of course, you saw the city’s graffiti art galore in my previous post. But you can still find moments of quietly elegant design, especially during the day in the Art Deco District before the pulsating neon nightlife takes over. Combine white buildings, yellow accents, green palm trees, and the bluest sky and whaddya get? Some clean and crisp compositions:

View of famed Ocean Drive in the heart of the historic Art Deco District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the district “claims the largest concentration of 1920s and 1930s architecture in the world.”

Gianni Versace’s Ocean Drive mansion where the fashion designer was killed by Andrew Cunanan in 1997. Earlier this year, it reopened as a luxury hotel called Villa by Barton G. (Is his brother Ali?)

The retro-hip Breakwater Hotel. According to the Travel Channel, “Miami Beach architects used beach imagery to create what we now call Tropical Deco. These buildings feature relief ornamentation with whimsical touches of flora and ocean-liner motifs…”

Iconic silhouette and powdery clouds: the Delano Hotel at 1685 Collins Avenue. Philippe Starck renovated the 1947 property which was once the tallest building in Miami.

The Webster boutique housed in a flamingo-pink-trimmed Art Deco building. It’s probably the most expensive retail shop in South Beach: Lanvin, Balenciaga, Dior…

Exclusive capsule collection by Chanel for the Webster. (How gorgeously glam would these outfits look with a tan?)

Color blocking: the pastel lines of the Parisian hotel.

Besides white-hot architecture preserved from the past, we also saw white-hot contemporary art exhibitions at the Bass Museum:

The entrance to the Bass Museum of Art.

Sculpture by Fernando Mastrangelo called “Medallion.” It’s made of sugar. (Jaw-dropping, right?)

Money bags: “Temptation” by Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset as part of the GOLD exhibition. It’s made of epoxy resin and covered in a thick layer of 24-carat gold. The artists are arguably best known for their subversive “Prada Marfa” installation in Texas.

Portraits of celebrated architect Peter Marino clad in his trademark black leather. The “One Way: Peter Marino” exhibition showcases his projects as well as pieces from his personal art collection and six specially-commissioned works. Marino is best known for designing signature retail shops for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior.

Taking a break sitting on a bench that looks like a gigantic bar of soap from LUSH. (At least it didn’t emit a cloying fragrance from 100 yards away.)

Up next: final farewell shots from South Beach…