The nature and exclusivity of high-end, world-famous Miami nightclubs is like that of anything world-famous and exclusive: the status, sights, style and general posh atmosphere and ambiance that can only be described as, for lack of a better term, baller. Partying on South Beach has always meant that you will be surrounded by beautiful people wearing boutique couture, taking lines off the bar, ordering Grey Goose on the rocks, all having their senses stimulated to the background ambiance chosen by some of the most desired DJs in the world. Boiled down, it was all about entertaining the statuesque trend-fuckers that were lucky enough to have been spotted by the promoter on a Saturday night; and to be one of the chosen ones, the clothing must fit the environment. At most nightclubs, dress codes are understandably posh, sexy and non-negotiable...until recently.
Dress to Impress... What Does that Mean Anyway?
What happens when the boundaries and ideas of what is fashionable and classy are dramatically changed? It is undeniable that the fashionistas of today dwell in an alternate reality when compared to the fashion trends of the early 2000's. The simple explanation for this is as follows: for as long as anyone can remember, fashion has been linked with music, but more importantly and specifically that of the rock star musician, the cutting edge of cool, those who are fashionable, unique, and riddled with an air of ageless youth and reckless abandon. These musicians and artists have based their subcultures around the idea that they aren't trying very hard, at all for as long as the idea of the nightclub has existed. 2010 seems to be especially friendly to the idea of genre/decade bending mash-up that the 20-somethings who don't exactly care about what you think of them seem to get off on. Like it or not, a bunch of out of touch with the rest of the world, effortlessly cool, super socialites from the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn have been writing the rules for the last five years, and the fashionistas have finally and firmly latched on, exploited, and cashed in on anything and everything hipster. (Think of Russell Brand and the Mac Guy melded together after an adventure to 1979 in Hot Tub Time Machine).
This is where things have began to change within the ideal of class via clothing. What started as thread-thin thrift store finds, and men squeezing into their girlfriends Calvin's, has exploded into an all out free-for-all to see how much you can spend and still look the part of a nonchalant disaffected starving artist. It is not uncommon for ripped up stone-washed denim from Saks to go for $400-$500 bucks a pair, cover your ribcage exposed torso with an Armani undershirt for $99, and add a pair of limited edition Chuck Taylor's for $350, and voila: you're walking around in nearly $900 worth of clothes that may or may not slightly resemble what you wear to do yard work (but infinitely cooler and presumably more expensive). But still, who says that this sort of thing can pass as an example of acceptable and classy wear to these venues? The talent, that's who!
Some of the biggest names in the scene right now, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Girl Talk, typically sport the same threads and attitudes as their brethren from Brooklyn. Moreover, the type of high-energy concert atmosphere that they bring to the venues is not in any way shape or form conducive to the incredibly delicate, nonfunctional and ultimately uptight clothing of yesteryear. Can you imagine trying to dance (no, I mean REALLY DANCE) while wearing the your tightest and most suave Egyptian cotton shirt and Japanese silk ingrained slacks? Not only would you ruin them within 10 minutes, your dry cleaning bill would be so ridiculous you'd need to to invest heavily in one of those steam-only washer/dryers from LG.
Some may turn their nose up at the trend and hold their breath and distressingly and collectively scoff at the simplistic concept behind the clothing, but not since the '70s has there been such an emphasis on self expression through wearable art. Dressing down (subjectively speaking) in comparably casual kicks explores a different kind of push to have a good time, within adorning yourself with something familiar yet fashionable. The rules are set by those who can capture the attention (and the money) of those willing to swallow the throwback intention and creativity of the trend, all while creating unique and impressive, high quality and expensive clothing all while keeping it low key and functionable. These same trend followers just happen to also hit the the beach and 11th Ave in Downtown Miami on the regular. Luckily for the the trend followers and sneaker enthusiasts, SET, Mansion, and Nikki Beach are following suit and relaxing those super stringent fascist dress code guidelines a bit in the best interest of its ultra posh (and wealthy) clientele and allowing the cooljunkies and protohipsters a chance to lace up the Nike low top vintage remakes in red on red (only 259 pairs ever made and you've got the documentation, artists signature and credit card receipt to prove it), slam four $60 shots of Hypnotiq and dance their asses off, looking damn good while they're at it.