Archive for February, 2012

Dressing for Oscar Night 2012 at Halekulani

February 28th, 2012

KristenNadine Kam photos
Kristen Chan, in Isaac Mizrahi, was my pick for best dressed at Oscar Night America 2012, hosted by the Hawaii International Film Festival at the Halekulani Hotel. She's with her husband Michael.

Not that it's a competition or anything, but just like Hollywood's red carpet, one does tend to pick favorites. So it wouldn't be a red carpet without a best dressed and a wardrobe malfunction (among the men) to liven things up.

Richard Turbin walked down the red carpet at Oscar Night America 2012, hosted by the Hawaii International Film Festival at the Halekulani Hotel, arm in arm with Rai Saint Chu and looking as dapper as usual, but as he came closer to the photographers, he was a little reluctant to be photographed because his new cummerbund had come undone. It was Honolulu Pulse photographer Kat Wade who came to his rescue, getting down on her knees to cinch him up.

TurbinRichard Turbin gets a cummerbund adjustment.

My favorite gown of the evening was worn by Kristen Chan, who said that during Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart appearance here in fall 2010, the actress invited her to the 2011 SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards, for which Mariska had been nominated in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her role on "Law & Order: SVU." (The award went to Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife.)

Mariska was being dressed by Isaac Mizrahi, who offered to dress Kristen as well.

"He sent me three beautiful couture gowns," she said, but she ended up picking the one that reminded her of vintage kimono fabric, streaked with gold. "It fit perfectly, but you know I'm not too tall and these gowns are made to fit models."

She was able to call a friend and have the dress hemmed overnight, forming a little train, to wear to the awards ceremony in L.A. a year ago, and the Oscar Night red carpet provided the perfect excuse to wear it in Hawaii.

I loved the combination of color, drama, sophistication, fabrication and the element of exclusivity.

Feb. 26 was a rainy day, but that didn't put a damper on red-carpet dressing thanks to valet service under roof at the Halekulani, where the event was held. Women didn't have to worry one bit about the hems of their gowns getting dragged in puddles.

Once inside the Halekulani Ballroom, guests enjoyed a film-inspired menu created by Halekulani executive chef Vikram Garg, with photos posted on my other blog, Take a Bite.

Of course everyone in the room was rooting for multiple wins for "The Descendants," and guests cheered when director Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon won the award for Best Adpated Screenplay based on Kaui Hemmings' book. Even if it wasn't meant to be as far as a Best Picture Award, it was a great party and Hawaii got a lot of good mileage out of the publicity that has surrounded the film for months.

50Representing "Hawaii Five-0" were Erika Kauffman, Steve Boyum, guest director Jerry Levine, Kona Carmack, Angie Laprete and producer Peter Lenkov.

Oscar29Celia Kenney, who played Reina, the friend of Matt King's (George Clooney) daughter Scottie in "The Descendants," arrived with parents Ed and Kristen Kenney. The entertainment gene may have skipped one generation with Ed pursuing his passion for food, but now Celia may follow in the tradition set by her grandfather Ed Kenney and grandmother Beverly Noa.

HagiAlso in the film was Kim Gennaula, who played Scottie's school counselor. She's with hubby Guy Hagi.

AsnerHIFF executive director Chuck Boller, right, with actor Ed Asner and his wife Nancy Asner. Ed was in town as a special guest in an episode of "Hawaii Five-0."

Oscar16Richard Turbin and Rai Saint Chu before cummerbund incident.

Oscar26Susie Fried, with Rick Fried, wore one of the most striking gowns of the evening, by Gucci, with dramatic cutouts at the side and somewhat sinister metal hardware.

HerenikoJeanette Paulson Hereniko, founder of the Honolulu International Film Festival.

ballroomBanners bearing the Oscar silhouette lined the Halekulani Ballroom, where a film-inspired menu awaited. Food details at my Take a Bite blog.

HalekulaniHalekulani COO Peter Shaindlin and his daughter Lana.

Osca3Oahu Publications Vice-President David Kennedy with wife Fiona and Oscar.

clooneyYoshi Yoshikawa, in Louis Vuitton, was among many to pose with a cardboard cutout of George Clooney.

South jacketA jacket by Andy South was among the many items available in the HIFF fundraising silent auction.

Oscar1John Michael White with Qi Marie, in a Marquesa gown.

Oscar5Adriane Flower in a Tadashi gown.

BergerMan in black John Berger with Taylor Wily.

Oscar27Event chair Umma Berkelman, with Jason Kim, center and Kaleo del Sol, who sang during an intermission from the Oscar broadcast.

Oscar10In Louis Vuitton at left and right.

Oscar2Photographer Jeannemarie Viggiano took a break from the red carpet for a photograph with designer Steven Boyle.

CarlisleMayor Peter Carlisle.


KandellLloyd and Sherri Kandell and their entourage.


NashimotoFrom left, Noriega Moriya in Calvin Klein, Masako Nashimoto in Issey Miyake, Anthony Gambino and his wife Erina.

Oscar23Michael and Kristen Chan with Joey Caldarone, back for a while, from New York. Joey's high-low ensemble included an Esprit jacket and Etro shirt worn with denim. (more…)

3 months later, a grand opening for Fighting Eel

February 27th, 2012

Fighting EelNadine Kam photos
Nine years and going strong, Fighting Eel founders Rona Bennett, left, and Lan Chung celebrate their second store in Kailua.

Three months after opening their Kailua boutique in mid-November, the onset of the busy holiday season, the women of Fighting Eel finally had time to celebrate the occasion with a grand opening party and fashion show that took place Feb. 25.

Honolulu fans braved the gray weather to make the drive over the Pali for the event, which included a fashion show of spring 2012 styles by Fighting Eel, Baby Eel designs and other lines and accessories carried at the boutique. During the sidewalk runway event, the second generation FE girls, including co-founder Lan Chung's daughter Ava, who stole the show.

Among those in the crowd were LeSportsac director of sales Cindy Eastman and hair guru Paul Brown, who's soon to be FE's neighbor.

Non-flash video link

Now into their ninth year and going strong, I asked co-founder Lan Chung the secret of their success after we had been talking about other partnerships that have fizzled in much less time, and her reply was, "No drama."

Of course the familiar story is that she and Rona Bennett were working at Agnes b. at Ala Moana Center, where they found they shared similar interests and aims in fashion. They were roomies while getting their fledgling company off the ground, and to this day share similar goals and vision.

Rona said it's to the point where they have a sort of telepathy that few can understand, except for one person they hired, who, if they said, "You know the ...," she'd be like, "Oh yeah, I know."

Not that it's all been smooth sailing, they've had to make some tough production decisions to make over the years, as well as enduring market crashes that led to closing of many boutiques that carried their line. It was a difficult time, but they persevered, and here they are with boutique No. 2, and who knows how many are in their future?

FE kidsSecond generation Fighting Eel clan walk the runway in Baby Eel. Leading the way is Lan's daughter Ava Sky Agor.

FE KailuaFrom left, Yasmin Dar, Lan Chung and Kerrie Inouye, who manages the Kailua store.

FE storeInside the boutique, with children's swimwear in the foreground.

FE1Yasmin Dar on the runway. (more…)

DVF boutique hosts warm-up to 'Sacs'

February 22nd, 2012

Junior League1 Nadine Kam photos
From left, members of the Junior League of Honolulu Monica Jennings, Lizette Chan-Zahn and Jennifer Dotson show copies of Diane Von Furstenberg's book, "Diane: A Signature Life."

The DVF boutique at Ala Moana Center welcomed members of the Junior League of Honolulu for a private party Feb. 17 in advance of JLH's "Sacs in the City" fundraiser coming up on Girl's Day, March 3.

Women browsed the colorful display of Spring 2012 designs to find something to wear to the event to show their support for the designer who has shown an interest in Hawaii's arts and culture scene. During her visit here last fall, she contributed $10,000 to EuroCinema Hawaii.

Diane Von Furstenberg is the featured designer for the luncheon fashion show highlighted by a silent auction of luxury handbags and other merchandise, which raises funds for the organization's community work.

On the runway at the Sheraton Waikiki will be 24 designs from the DVF Spring/Summer 2012 New York runway.

Tickets for the event, taking place 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., are $95. Visit for more information.

DVF shop Corinne Kesteloot shows one of DVF's  isle-ready maxi dresses.

Junior League4 Jojo Watumull tried on DVF's tangerine-colored sequin dress.

Junior League5 BFFs Jill Misawa and designer Andy South, who apparently has been working on an accessories collection. I recognized his south-directional logo right away. Now that's good branding!

DVF guests Lindsey Muraoka and Leilani Soon.

Junior League Mrs. Hawaii Christie Oclaray with Junior Leaguer Lisa Haeringer and Mrs. America Lara Fonoimoana, who will be emceeing the "Sacs in the City" event March 3. (more…)

A new URL for Fashion Tribe

February 22nd, 2012

Nadine Kam photos
Back stage at the Alice Temperley Spring 2008 fashion show at New York Fashion Week in September 2007, toward the start of my blog journey.

Welcome to my new home at

Thanks to all those who followed Fashion Tribe at for nearly five years. Those who have been reading since August 2007 know Hawaii has enjoyed an incredible fashion journey over these years, with the rise of many a young designer.

A lot has happened in the newspaper business as well. I started this blog with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2007, coinciding with my first trip to New York Fashion Week.

Now, 938 posts, 266 videos and countless photos later, the blog has become a repository of local fashion shows, stylish soirees, international designer visits and stories of the people, boutiques and designers who comprise Hawaii’s vibrant fashion community.

In being able to get the word out, we’ve also seen a renaissance in Hawaii style, from the runways of Dior to Proenza Schouler, as well as local collaborations with the likes of Barney’s Tokyo and New York’s progressive Opening Ceremony.

In 2010, the Star-Bulletin’s parent company, Oahu Publications, purchased The Honolulu Advertiser to create one paper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser — but my blog retained its old Star-Bulletin URL. Now it’s time to embrace the change.

Past posts will still be at the former address, but rather than risk losing any of the posts and media, I’ll be starting anew at the new address. In the blog world, it is really starting over. At risk is my spot at 25 in Blog Rank's Ultimate List of the highest ranked blogs in Hawaii, at the 9 spot in Hawaii for number of pages indexed by Google, as well as being in the top 32,000 of blogs in the world at Technorati. Hey, I started at being within the top 1.2 million, so I've liked seeing that number shrink over the years.

So, I have some work to do. I hope you’ll add this address to your browser, Google Reader, or now, Flipboard, because there’s a lot more fashion news to come!

Andy SouthThe year I started, Andy Southiphong was still a student at Honolulu Community College who had yet to shorten his name and hit national television.


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