By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Kahala Mall stylist competition winners Gabby Herrera, right, and Calisa Yun with two of their models, from left Te'a Leong and Mildred Schwarz, in colors reflecting the team's Miami theme.
Congratulations to Calisa Yun and Gabby Herrera, winners of Kahala Mall's 2012 Stylist Challenge on March 17.
The 2nd annual competition gives students of Honolulu Community College's Fashion Technology program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Apparel Product Design and Merchandising program the opportunity to gain some real-world styling experience by working with mall merchants, with the guidance of Ryan Brown and Tyson Joines from Wilhelmina Hawaii.
Calisa and Gabby's win marks the second in a row for a UH team. Both schools had two teams. Also from the UH were Kahea Montgomery and Hayley Hisaka.
Representing HCC were Facebook poll winners Randy Leaño and Melanie Ruaburo, and the team of Kitri Rowland and Leina Kelly.
Like last year, the stylist/designers had the opportunity to dress a professional model, a beauty queen, a "real woman" represented by members of the Junior League of Honolulu, and a child. Of course the little girls were hambones who stole the show!
This year, though, the teams were given the opportunity to interpret the spring trends and come up with their own theme, to present a cohesive collection. I was one of the judges, along with MidWeek's Yushing Ting, Hifi's Melissa May White and Honolulu magazine's Alyson Helwagen, and the themes made it easier to judge when all the models were on stage and you could see how pieces worked together.
It's one thing to have cohesion in a single designer's collection, but much more difficult when you're pulling pieces from a variety of stores, so the students had a lot of legwork in advance of the competition, but it all came together beautifully.
As the winners, Calisa and Gabby will be assisting me on a fashion shoot. Looking forward to it!
HCC's Kitri Rowland and Leina Kelly with models in their Africa-themed collection.
Kahea Montgomery and Hayley Hisaka with models, including Miss Hawaii USA 2012 Brandie Cazimero (second from left), in their Caribbean-themed showcase.
HCC's Melanie Ruaburo, center, and Randy Leaño, with their collection based on movement in the form of flowing chiffons, fringe and scarf accessorizing. As a shortie, I'm a big fan of movement.
Floral arrangement with green apple for the judges.
Event emcees Crystal Pancipanci in a maxi from Adore and Jessica Hoffman in maxis from LBDB.
Because it was St. Patrick's Day, shoppers turned out in green, including Teru Miki and her kids, from left, Katsuki, Miruki and Kiwi. Kahala Mall's carpet design might also be considered shamrock-like.
Reinforcing the green theme, I found this praying mantis in my yard. Haven't seen any of these in years, and very rarely one this big clinging to my baby mango pot.