JAM AT MAM: Bringing Miami Culture to life

A once a month happy hour event at the Miami Art Museum, JAM at MAM is an opportunity for art enthusiasts to view highlighted art exhibits while lapping up cocktails and slipping bits of sushi and hors d’oeuvres down their highly bejeweled throats. As a break from the expected, this month’s JAM at MAM advertised a trinity sure to attract crowds: art, music and fashion, in addition to a sponsorship by Miami beverage favorite, Bacardi.

Vibrant, bright, and absurdly energetic Ash Rana and JD Natasha’s combined bill for JAM at MAM attracted an enormous crowd comprised of fashionistas, museumgoers, and those with a flair for individualism. Intermingling in the crowd were various members of the press, some of Miami’s noted professionals, and a few social untouchables, all eagerly awaiting the debut of Miami- based designer Ash Rana’s Spring/Summer 2005 Japanical Collection.

After a few Bacardi and cokes and some impromptu break dancing to the raging house beats, the models filed onto the runway, taking the catwalk in a flurry of color. Using chiffon, silk, cotton and some linen, the striking wardrobe grabbed every on-looker’s attention with winged sleeves, low necklines, and artistic hemlines. Amid the flashbulbs the crowed cooed as each model confidently strutted the strip, the multitudes practically drowning out the music. The 30-minute display of style proved once again that Ash Rana truly has taste in design, delivering a solid collection of Japanese-inspired spring looks. His pieces can justly be called art.

Not to be out-staged, local Latina singer/songwriter JD Natasha fed off the energetic crowd and delivered a body moving performance, after the scene on the catwalk. Serenading the crowd with ballad “Tanto,” the budding songstress promoted her debut album, Imperfecta. Decorated in a jean mini complete with safety pins and a purple glittering heart-shaped guitar, Natasha’s act promoted screams of “We love Natasha” and “Go Girl” from the audience.

By nine o’clock the crowd was waning, finishing its last Bacardi and somethings, ready to hit the scene; after all, JAM at MAM does occur on a Thursday. However, the spectacle of art, music, and fashion combined proved that pockets of Miami culture do exist, despite the “South Beach” reputation.
Joanna Davila can be contacted at j.davila1@umiami.edu.