Mercedes Fashion Week – SWIM 2015

Arnab Kar

Designer Aguaclara Swimwear – Photography by Arnab Kar

MIAMI, United States — It was my third year at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2015 in Miami as a photographer and this time around, I was delighted to represent the FG Magazine at this event. The MBFW-Swim, Miami is not only considered one of the world’s top swim wear shows, but unlike New York fashion week or fashion weeks in London and Paris, it is a place where swim couture meets Miami fiesta with gorgeously tanned legs on the runway and equally good looking stylishly dressed guests. The runway tents are at the popular Raleigh Hotel’s backyard by the hotel pool with a cocktail bar and lounges for the guests to relax. The event was held from the 17th through 21st July 2014 and it also happened to be the ten year anniversary of MBFW-Swim.

MBFW swim is held in 4 different venues. The “Cabana Grande”, which is the main and the biggest tent, the “Oasis” a slightly smaller tent, the “Penthouse”, smallest of the four tents on the top floor of the Raleigh Hotel and the “Raleigh Pool”. The top designers usually get the Cabana Grande as it has the largest seating capacity with approximately 390 seats: 104 seats on the front row and 50 standing.

Soon after collecting my press-pass from the IMG (the company which organises MBFW) media-room, I went straight to the back of the hotel towards the tents but I was suddenly greeted by a heavy downpour of Miami summer rain. After waiting for thirty minutes or so the rain finally subsided and along with other photographers and media, I finally managed to get to one of the tents and line up for the show in the media queue.

Day One

The first day featured eight talented designers in a back-to-back line-up. I wanted to focus more on designers with vintage collections as it would sync with the FG theme of the month “A Blast from the Past” focusing mainly on timeless vintage styles and inspirations. For the occasion, I chose to cover Wildfox, Jankele and Aguaclara Swimwear, among other designers.

The media-raiser which is at the end of the runway have spots with mark-ups reserved for big magazines and in-house photographers, the rest of us were a sort of a crush of humanity with photographers fighting for the best spot they can get to snap the best shot. Soon after the guests were seated, the show started and the first pair of perfectly tanned legs emerged on the runway. The runway was beautifully illuminated by great lighting balanced for photography.

Arnab Kar

Designer Wildfox – Photography by Arnab Kar

Arnab Kar

Designer Wildfox – Photography by Arnab Kar

Arnab Kar

Designer Wildfox – Photography by Arnab Kar

Wildfox Couture is an American vintage-inspired women’s knitwear brand. Childhood friends Emily and Kimberley Gordon are the creative force behind Wildfox which draws inspiration from the late 80s and 90s fashion styles, Barbie, vintage Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues and supermodels of the era. Key trends in this collection include zipper details, neoprene, high leg one pieces and sexy thong bottoms. The fabulous soundtrack used at the show included melodies reminiscent of the 80s and 90s which created a true party vibe. The collection has a very vintage-chic meets pin-up girl vibe and the signature fairy-like flower crowns on most models. Soon after the show, I headed backstage and managed to take few photos of one of the designers and some photos of the backstage after-show chaos.

Arnab Kar

Designer Wildfox – Photography by Arnab Kar

Day Two

Day two started with a cafe-cubano to fuel up for a long day of photography at a little Cuban cafe in “Espanola Way” located conveniently half a block away from my apartment. A quick mention about the “Espanola Way”, which I had discovered last year with one of my designer friends. Although it is located in the city’s Art Deco District, the area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France. It is said that Al Capone frequented the Clay Hotel there and it has also been a location for numerous hollywood movie scenes.

Day two seemed as crowded as the previous day minus the rain. I was able to get into some of the shows like Mara Hoffman, CM CIA Maritima and Maaji. All these shows featured an excellent array of colourful and stylish swimwear collections. Mara Hoffman’s designs were inspired by her recent trip to Guatemala for its multithread textile. CM CIA Martima’s designs were in colours of fuschias, oranges and electric blues in swim and lounge wear. Maaji’s designs were inspired by the equestrian world, sporty Derby style; certainly a refreshing turn from the typical beach fare.

Day Three

On day three, one of the shows I wanted to cover was Jankele, a brand where its designer Jacqueline Popovic hand designs delicately embroidered swimwear. The show was at the penthouse on the 18th floor of The Raleigh in a relatively small area indoor salon room with an outdoor ocean view terrace, opened up especially for this event. As soon the show started, what struck me the most were the models. They had a very natural look, barefoot and not necessarily 5’10+ like at the other shows. Soon after the show, I managed to meet the designer for a quick photo op!

Arnab Kar

Designer Jankele – Photography by Arnab Kar

Arnab Kar

Designer Jankele – Photography by Arnab Kar

Day Four

My day four which was also my last day at Miami started with my usual routine for breakfast. As I was later driving to the venue, I noticed a fellow photographer walking and offered him a ride. On our way, I was amazed to learn that he was a seasoned and a well known photographer called Randy Brooke and was the house photographer through Wire Image for IMG for the first year when IMG first started the MBFW in Miami 10 years ago. Needless to day, Randy shared with me all sort of interesting facts about the fashion week which I throughly enjoyed. The last day seemed a bit less crowded maybe also because it was a Monday. One of the shows I wanted to cover was from Aguaclara Swimwear and its fantastic Peruvian designer Liliana Villalobos. Aguaclara’s collection is a mix of animal prints showcased in natural and fantasy colours as well as high definition digital prints with works of art.

Arnab Kar

Designer Aguaclara Swimwear – Photography by Arnab Kar

Arnab Kar

Designer Aguaclara Swimwear – Photography by Arnab Kar

Arnab Kar

Designer Aguaclara Swimwear – Photography by Arnab Kar

Finally after covering the last show “Indah” it was time to pack up for an early flight back the next day. This was the first time I had actually stayed all the four days of the event and I also wondered why I like to go back there every year. The answer was easy, it is not just for the high profile shows with the top designers which are executed with precision, but it is also the fantastic location with stunning beaches and great food, and a city with an energy like few others in the US. At MBFW-Swim, Miami you can meet energetic people of the fashion world and other talented photographers, and perhaps the most gorgeous models I have seen on any runway, which is always every fashion photographer’s dream! And I left the Raleigh knowing I will be back.

Photography by: Arnab Kar | Website: www.arnabkarphotography.com
Arnab Kar About the author

An MBA senior software consultant with a passion for photography loves fashion, Fine Art and landscape photography. Drawn towards painting, sketching and music, he works with world-class models and clients.

Comments

  1. Rajesh Raman :

    Very nice article and got a feeling of being physically present during the entire four days of the show. The photographs were great and the lighting and the subject were just perfect. Good job! Keep them coming……

    • Elizabeth Deheza Elizabeth Deheza :

      Thanks for following us Rajesh. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed this reading! We will bring more stories from ‘behind the scenes’.

    • Thank you Rajesh! Glad you enjoyed the photos and reading about the event. Although busy, it is definitely a fun experience for photographers who get an opportunity to cover the MB Miami Swim week! 🙂

  2. Nicely written and very informative! I felt as if I were there.

  3. Absolutely loved this post and all photos! So informative!

    • Elizabeth Deheza Elizabeth Deheza :

      Thanks for following Kate! We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed this article. The second part of this article will be published at the end of the month with exclusive interviews to models and designers from this event. Stayed tuned!

    • Thank you Kate. Hopefully more stories and photos for fashion lovers like you.

  4. Thank you for the mention 🙂 And great job 🙂

    • Paula, glad you helped me discover ‘Espanola Way’. Loved the ambience there..had to mention you! :))

  5. Morgan Fogle :

    Arnab, I loved reading your article and your photographs are stunning! As a reader, I feel you told a great story; I enjoyed the incorporation of your personal opinions and preferences. I can’t wait to see what is next for you! P.S. I loved all of the vibrant colors being shown in the retro look!

  6. Brilliantly written article with brilliant photography. Excellent multimedia use incorporated into the article. However, I’d recommend video and additional hyper-link imbeds for increased models recognition and visitor engagement. If approved by them of course. My digital media hat is on. 🙂
    You have the knack for story-telling my friend… personal, insightful, and passionate. Keep doing what you love!
    Best,
    Dee Fitzwater

  7. Deepak Singh Manki :

    Love the narrative style of the the article and the day by day recount of your experience made me feel I was there. Very well supplemented by the photographs.

  8. Quality, Arnab. Great photos, well written piece.

  9. Wow!!
    One of the best I have read in the recent past on Fashion and Photography.
    Very interesting to read account of a true professional with such diverse accomplishments. People working with you are very fortunate.

  10. Susie Smith :

    Very well done Arnab Looking forward to seeing more of your editorials and photos in the very near future. Excellent photo quality, amazing photography

  11. Great read and awesome photographs! I experienced swim week all over again.

  12. Wonderful article!

  13. As always, your photos are amazing and I loved the article. Well done!

  14. Sanjukta Roy :

    Well written article Arnab, and brilliant photographs! I especially like the smaller personal details in the article, they make me connect with your experience as a fashion photographer at what appears to be a fun fashion show.

    All the best for your future assignments and hope to see many more photographs by Arnab Kar!

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