Edge

Ooooh, la, la: M-80 does a “Striptease” with lots of heavy petting

Bombs exploded Friday and this time Bush had nothing to do with it.

Miami’s M-80 fashion boutique teamed up with the limelit scenesters of Revolver fame on Friday and into early Saturday by bringing them a fashion show like no other. Co-owners Anna Diaz-Balart and Maria Barracco, looked equally stunning as they mingled within the night’s throng of sexy models. The unique concept behind M-80 – which offers carefully selected vintage and independent labels – bring a collection to the fashion muses of Miami unlike any other. Not to mention the energetic cred and classy sociality they’ve brought via art shows, fashion nights and concerts to the surrounding Design District scene.

Before a performance by musical guests Mount Sims, hundreds of people were meshed together on the second floor of Soho Lounge, awaiting the unexpected from Diaz-Balart and Barracco. What followed was a chic exploration, delving into female sexuality, surpassing the risquE of Madonna’s prime without all the trash. Dubbed as a “Striptease,” models did it all on stage, playfully fondling one another while striking poses.

Every element of a fashion show, from the dressing to the undressing, went down on stage instead of behind, arousing the audience. Indeed, between the models getting dressed to then undressing, nothing was left to the imagination. For starters, three models appeared minimally dressed, with sheer panties and breasts exposed sans a squared piece of tape shielding their nipples. After girls’ lips intimately met they pretended to ask for redemption – a decidely outrageous dash of religion that was not quite as well-planned as it looked.

“These models were all performance artists for galleries all over the city. They are amazing people with great stage presence and weren’t picked just because they had great bodies. The concept behind the show was to take what’s normally backstage to the front- stage. You’ve never seen dressers backstage dressing models. It was the best way to show the maximum number of outfits with the least number of models, and with the least amount of time. It was just an interesting element. It was a striptease fashion show and we are the only ones doing it. Its not a theme – just an M-80 style,” says Diaz-Balart.

“The show was a good representation of the store – it was very editorial. It was the image we carry in the store. We just practiced the fitting and had no rehearsals. As time went on, it just improved. The models just went nuts – the show was entirely them.”

Of course, music also played an aphrodisiacal role – this is Revolver. With sinful electroclash cuts by Avenue D – “Do I Look Like a Slut?,” the Faint, and Electric 6’s “Danger (High Voltage),” booming over the crowd, it was only a matter of time before some heavy petting.

While M-80’s style knows its history, the preferences on display repped a new path. Borrowing from the edginess of the late ’70s and excess of the early ’80s, this isn’t just vintage, as the showcase embraced a bigger and better way of life twisted with hip modernity. Vintage denim skirts were paired with vibrant silk scarves used as tops. Clothes by independent label Liberty Phoenix were deconstructed with raw edges to form beautiful printed cotton skirts and dresses. M-80 closed with girls wearing T-shirts by Rock-It adorned with sequined appliqu

September 16, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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