Last Wednesday night, we trotted down the Miami Beach Boardwalk past Miley Cyrus wailing away with Wayne Coyne for a small crowd of the most aggressive adults ever to elbow their way past doormen and cops. We weren't interested in actually getting trampled to see Hannah Montana cover the Beatles -- as camp as that sounds. We were heading over to the Delano to the most desirable dance party that coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach, Le Baron.
This year, the roaming and alt-exclusive party was housed underground in the Florida Room now known as FDR Lounge at the Delano. The line was still short since doors didn't officially open until midnight, but that didn't keep a "Real" Housewife from scoffing at us at the door thinking we wanted to go to some magazine party by the pool.
No thanks, lady, not interested in your "chic" shindig. We wanted to dance and laugh and make new friends with smiles on their faces, not sneers.
2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Parisian affair which was created by André Saraiva and Lionel Bensemoun. "I make a place for the artists I like and people who create," Saraiva told New Times in a recent interview, "They are the people who get in and make Baron their home."
Every year, the Le Baron finds a place to present to a very diverse crowd. It's not bottle service, dolla dolla bills VIP, the gathering is real melting pot of every kind of person coming to Art Basel who wants to enjoy their lives to the fullest. "It's not so much about the look, but what you have to tell and the attitude," Saraiva told us.
FDR Lounge is a perfect cave for an upbeat, private, stylish fete. Cell service sucks down there, so all the "Where are you?" texts are silenced until you reemerge into the humid night. It's intimate and fun in its purest sense. From the pierced and braided to the prêt-à-porter crowd, pretension is left behind as you make it past legendary doorman Julio Montero's discerning eye.
Inside, the scene was wild in a mature manner. With a thick streak of blue hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and a colorful bow tie, DJ Greg Boust was bent over the turntables. He's been with Le Baron for the whole ten years. The music is mixed specifically to make you dance. But shimmying isn't the only entertainment at the bar besides boozing.
Le Baron general manager (who ran the nights with Jessica Sulitzer), Miami boy gone New York, the always fabulous and entertaining Armando Alexander even performed his own version of "Purple Rain" with live band Ullmann Cabarock. And of course there were a few stars to peep like Chromeo's David Macklovitch who stood bobbing at the DJ booth.
Alexander said that it's all about the atmosphere. "[Le Baron] is where the true artists and music lovers can come as they are and expect to always have an incredible experience that will forever change their perception on what a fabulous party is. And life is all about perception," he concluded. He also credited FDR's general manager Martin Matas for seven (yes seven!) successful nights.
Like most of you, we're just anticipating Le Baron's eleventh dance party on the beach and practicing our baddest moves while we wait.
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