His name was James Deering, and to me he was the Great Gatsby of Florida. Ever since he first laid eyes on this beautiful place, he filled it with glamour, even though construction took place between 1910 and 1922, a time of political, economic and social turmoil.
As you enter the estate, it’s impossible not to feel the European vibe, and the walls whispering stories of how much this place might have meant to the dream-maker behind it.
The stories that speak to me the most, are love stories. He must have been in love with someone… who was that someone, and why didn’t he ever marry?
Sadly enough, Mr. Deering’s health began to fail even before Vizcaya was completed. He died on board a steamship that traveled from Paris to the United States in September of 1925, leaving the property to his half-brother, Charles, who died two years after he inherited it.
This journey through Vizcaya, will take you through the love story that my mind has built around this man, and this estate: it starts with me being him, and is followed by the journey of the woman who owned his heart, yet wasn’t able to share her journey with him during that specific lifetime.
Currently, I am honored to be a Cultural Ambassador to Vizcaya, and we built this journey together in the hope that it will spark your curiosity to visit the unique estate, embed yourself in the stories it carries, and maybe motivate you to help us preserve it for many generations to come by joining us at the Vizcaya Ball, becoming a member, or donating as much as you wish to.
Hurricanes have been rough on this incredible place, and we have to make everything in our power to preserve its beauty.
All the dresses you will see on the following days, are by Naeem Khan, who is now based in Miami, and the jewelry is from Chopard. The photography is by Celia D Luna.
And this is where the journey begins.