Three days into Art Basel Miami and a clear frontrunner has emerged as the epicenter of the annual art fair’s notorious nightlife scene. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Ian Schrager’s sparkling and spread out new hotel, the Miami Beach Edition, has been the rendezvous spot for the galaxy of artists, curators, fashion plates, models, finance bros, off-duty PR flacks, journalists, nightlife personalities and general hangers on who’ve helped make Basel more famous for its parties than its art.
On Tuesday, W Magazine hosted a party for their annual Art Issue that served not only as the unofficial kickoff to Basel, but also the introduction to the spellbinding new jewel in Schrager’s already robust crown. The event took place out back, in sprawling, hilly backyard area complete with the requisite pool and cabanas and hanging lights criss-crossing the premises. To get there, guests had to walk through an all-white, highly polished lobby that was so alive it felt like the final destination. Outside, Dev Hynes filled the lush environs with minimalist romance pop, while hordes of party goers who weren’t carrying the event’s coveted purple coins tried to hustle their way in.
But it wouldn’t be Miami without a place to dance your face off, and that’s exactly what Schrager, who co-founded the original Studio 54, had in mind when he created the hotel’s subterranean club simply and perfectly called The Basement. This place insane. Multiple rooms, bursts of day-glo color everywhere, a bowling alley, and yes, a skating rink. (Don’t ask us how anyone can expect tipsy people to lace ’em up and go for a spin, but on Tuesday night some pro figure skaters put on quite the show for some Instagram-crazy onlookers.)As for the music, it’s been expertly curated so far. Legendary dance music figure DJ Harvey kept the dance floor packed early into Wednesday morning, and last night, London’s mighty Horse Meat Disco helped celebrate Yabu Pushelberg, the design firm responsible for the Edition’s seductive aesthetic, and filled the club with a healthy dose of costumed oddities and music fans who mingled with bold faced names looking to stretch out their night for as long as possible.