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Carol Ramsey dresses the mobsters, their wives and girlfriends, FBI agents and players that hang out at the Miramar Playa, a fictional Miami hotel that’s home to “Magic City” on Starz. Now, Ramsey is designing the uniforms for a real hotel, the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach in Miami, which is in the throes of a $150 million renovation.
Ramsey has taken her inspiration from the same time and place “Magic City” is set — the Fifties — and the style that characterized the heyday of the resort city. Ramsey’s instructions were for “sophisticated and sexy” clothing for the hotel’s front of house, poolside and Library Bar.
“I approached this in the dramatic sense of trying to create a great playground for hotel guests to enter the world and the aesthetic of Morris Lapidus,” said Ramsey, referring to the celebrated designer who updated the Shelborne in the Fifties. Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, president of the Flag Luxury Group, which partnered with the Shelborne’s owners, the Galbut family, said the property had been turned into condominiums. “It was all hard angles,” she said. “I want to bring it back to its original glamour.
Men in the concierge and guests services area of the hotel will wear slim lapel suits, and women will don scoopneck pencil dresses with cinched waists and puffy pockets in shades of espresso. The pool calls for skimpy cabana-inspired outfits such as short cigarette-girl dresses with crinoline beneath the skirts, and white piqué one-piece sunsuits topped with straw pagoda hats. The Library Bar will feature espresso-colored bubble dresses with beading details for women and button-down shirts with burgundy stripes and trim slant-pocket pants for men. Even housekeepers’ uniforms have been retooled into fashionable taupe “wiggle” dresses with dark red buttons and accents, a departure from typical maids’ attire.
“Accessorizing was really important in the Fifties,” Ramsey said. “Tailoring and accessorizing were key.”
Library Bar servers will wear a triple strand of pearls, which “can make a simple shift look killer instantly,” said Ramsey, who is also designing the costumes for the film “Horrible Bosses 2,” starring Chris Pine. A chunky gold charm bracelet will be worn with short sundresses, and a big flower worn on the shoulder accents the cigarette-girl-style dress. All uniforms will have an embroidered “S” for Shelborne. As far as shoes, Ramsey said a classic Manolo Blahnik pump is perfect for all the outfits. She hopes her designs will inspire a line of similar styles for the gift shop. “I think it would be massively successful,” she said.