The author Dee Trillo ready to tackle Miami Swim.

From an outside perspective (or in this case, our Uber driver), Swim Week may seem to be nothing more than an effortless sea of glamour, parties and gifts (which in some part are all bikinis), but do not be deceived – it is neither for the ill-prepared, nor faint of heart.

The climate – and chaos – make for a tropical jungle of photographers, editors, models, designers, style bloggers, touch-ups, photo shoots, events and hair appointments of which one must maneuver with strategic ease and agility. Miami-native and Swim Week expert Dee Trillo is no stranger to this, so we asked her to give us a brief run-down of the social scene, parties and favorite R&R (rest & rejuvenate) hot spots.

“For over 10 years, Miami has been the official home of swimwear forecasting, and since the inception of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, the city has become the main hub for style experts, connoisseurs, designers and buyers looking into the latest trends in everything from swim, resort and athletic wear. To say that the week is overloaded with gorgeous models, amazing bikinis and never ending shows, presentations and events, is an understatement. However, for those covering it for blogs and other media publications, it can make for a truly intense experience!

View from Soho House rooftop. Photo by Gloria Tran.

A regular day for me begins with a private penthouse breakfast at the Soho House with Tory Burch. to view her latest resort collection – its Mediterranean blue prints inspired by the painter Milton Avery are breathtaking. The cool rooftop breeze and iced mimosas were a welcome relief from the blazing outdoor heat. Intimate and meticulously decorated, with suited-up servers providing delectable breakfast delights, the brunch won me over in both style and taste!

Classic brunch items were served – in miniature. Photo by Steffy Kuncman.
Tory’s pineapple-print tunics and suits were all the rage. Photo by Steffy Kuncman.

The second brunch of the day was a chic Tiki garden rendezvous with ASOS. We loved all the items hung à la laundry line – as if waiting for guests to toss on post-surf or mid-coconut picking. We enjoyed a hearty family-style buffet brunch with adorable foliage-printed take-home clutches for each of us.

Asos’ selection was full of fun, colorful (sweet n’ sporty) pieces.

The next event was a poolside BBQ with Wildfox (because bloggers need to refuel on champagne and macaroons, duh!) while shopping. I culminated my journey with an Intermix charity focused soiree with Style Saves, at Delano Hotel, because even fashionistas have a do-good conscience!

Enjoying Wildfox with my blogger wing-women Steffy and Daniela!
Joselin R. and Ria Michelle find solace in the shade at Wildfox.

At barely 3pm, I’ve got 4 events under my belt for the day (to say the least), filled up on plenty of food and downed enough mimosas mixed with Keurig to stay wired for the rest of the day (and possibly the next morning). I’ve also carried about 15-pounds of swag bags across 4 different hotels, beginning to realize that there could be such thing as too much of a good thing.

After unloading at a friend’s nearby hotel, it’s time to hit the shows – which begin on-site at 5pm and can end as late as 11pm. By the time you’ve waited in line, collected your tickets for each of the shows, found your way backstage for the beauty & hair stories and designer interviews, and explored the sponsors’ cabanas (Ipanema to the rescue when feet are dead): your 4’ heel-wearing tootsies will be utterly drained. Plenty of hydration, adequate rest and comfortable shoes (make those heels wedges instead of stilettos at the very least) are a must if you want to make it through 5 more of these in 100-degree weather. But if you do, then give yourself a toast – you have officially made it through the hardest part of Swim Week!

First show at the Oasis – Frankie's Bikinis!
Backstage with some of the models for Frankie’s Bikinis.

And now – the after parties! This is where (most of) the work is done and it’s time to unwind, mingle and catch up with old friends and new. The RVCA Women's x Beach Riot show and the Guess See Differently Poolside Shindig were a few among many.

The drinks menu at #RVCARIOT.
The shot-callers – Linda Kovacs of DFM, Andrea Hellebuyck of RVCA Women’s and Nicole Hanriot, owner of Beach Riot.
Giant towels for guests to dry-off (and keep) at the Guess Pool Party.
Wooden Chinese fans are always a hit at hot summer soirees.
Miami fashion blogger Juliana Marques showing off her boyfriend and new pair of Guess glasses.

Aside from all the to-do’s, the fabulous (and maybe not so fab) gift bags, blisters, heat strokes and tiny little setbacks (let’s not forget the thunder dome that held us all hostage at the Oasis post-Maaji Swimwear), Miami Swim week is an amazing time to mingle with some incredibly talented people. It’s where we can take a closer look at the intricacies of the designs before they hit the stores and find stories that can inspire someone across the globe. The experience is fascinating, interesting, chaotic, hectic, inspiring, fulfilling, exciting, and draining, all at the same time. Nevertheless, the mere fact of even talking about it is humbling – and noting short of blessed. This is the power of media and fashion, and I’m sure Miranda Priestly wouldn’t hesitate to agree!

Stylish lounges at the SLS South Beach. Photo by Gloria Tran.

Before signing off, I felt it was my duty to share (as a seasoned Miami Swim Week pro) my top go-to spots for surviving the incremental heat, partying with celebs and looking flawless while doing so:

Do stay at the Delano Hotel. It is gorgeous, steps away from the Raleigh Hotel headquarters, a one-stop destination for amazing food – hello Brunch at Bianca! – and the perfect place to party with their in-house FDR private club. Get outfit ready for all the events and shop the latest uber-chic pieces at Monc Boutique. Their inventory is not only affordable but very curated, which means you won’t find yourself wearing the same clothes as 5 other random girls (aka social death at fashion week)!

Get your nails did at Miami-inspired nail-art at Marilyn Monroe Spas and select from their beauty line, which includes Marilyn’s signature red bold lipstick. Take it from the owner of a curly, frizzy and unruly mane, Blo Brickell is the place to go for a great blow-dry after if you want to keep your locks flawless and humidity-free for the rest of the day.

Even though Swim Week is crazy busy, there are still some pockets of time for relaxing, having fun and of course – eating! I love Seasalt and Pepper, with its gorgeous views and scrumptious food. It has also become a celeb favorite for those looking to enjoy beautiful Miami. If you’re not too tired, you can follow dinner with drinks at Touché Rooftop Lounge (atop E11ven) or some dancing at Story Nightclub, also known as home to the BEST DJs in the world."

We hope you enjoyed this post and to make it out soon to this beautiful oasis by the sea – rain, thunderstorm or shine. Hasta Luego from Miami, baby!

South Beach at dusk. Photo by Fashion On Rock.

Dee Trillo is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle expert. She has been a columnist for NBC, and on-air host for Yahoo TV and Fashion One TV, and is the bilingual blogger for The Haute Frugalista. Dee has been featured on Telemundo, CBS, Fox News, Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Style Network, Teen Vogue, Latina Magazine,, Societe Perrier, and many other on-air, online and print outlets. Connect with her on social media @hautefrugalista or [email protected].