By Nadine Kam
Norah and Delia Ephron's "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," based on the 1995 book by Ilene Beckerman, is playing at Manoa Valley Theatre and will be entertaining to anyone who loves fashion.
If you have the time, you might want to check out Manoa Valley Theatre's production of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," a series of 28 monologues about the way clothes weave their way through our lives, presented by a cast of five women.
Each one of them related easily to the testy relationships between parents and daughters due to clothing choices, romances starting with a certain dress, and clothing that marked loss, as when main character Gingy relates how her father took her clothes shopping upon her 13th birthday, her first after her mom's death. Because she couldn't choose one of the two dresses she liked, her father compensated for their shared grief and loss by getting her both.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. July 23, 24 and 25. Visit www.manoavalleytheatre.com.
Projected illustrations during the production accompany main character Gingy's storytelling.
Actresses Victoria Gail-White, Bree Bumatai, Stacy Rae, Lauren Murata and Lisa Barnes couldn't help but share their own stories with each other, and filled me in on some of their favorite pieces of clothing:
Bree Bumatai's favorite accessory, an attention-getting two-toned faux leopard hat.
Lauren Murata lived in this gray hoodie until she wore it out, but below, the "Phantom of the Opera" ensemble she put together as a 5-year-old—incorporating her mother Anne's hat and boots—should have been a big clue to her future on stage.
Victoria Gail-White shows the silk robe she created after her mother's death, with the idea that she could wear it in heaven. It bears a hand-marbled tree of life design.
Lisa Barnes favorite piece of clothing was the perfect black wool sweater that she said made her look amazing and went with everything. For her, it was better to look good than feel good, because she was itchy and miserable every time she wore it. Maybe to pretend otherwise was good practice for an actress!
Stacy Rae was a 7-year-old Beatnik in a black cowl sweater that made her feel sophisticated when she wasn't quite sure what a Beatnik was. She only knew her parents didn't like them. She wasn't allowed to have long hair, so a fake ponytail added another element of the forbidden to this snapshot.
Director David C. Farmer's interest in fashion led him to the production. A Poiret boutonnière finishes his ensemble.
Save for concert T-shirts, I don't link articles of clothing to specific events. I go out all the time so it's not like there's this one big party or occasion that involves going out and buying something special.
I'm also not particularly big on the concert T-shirt because I don't like wearing words and logos (too literal) and I don't like wearing advertising (even if it is for my favorite bands). I figure I've bought five band tees in my life: U2 "War" tour; INXS black, purple gray tie-dye tank because it was really nice; Sacred Rite because Mark Kaleiwahea was my guitar teacher and set me on a metal streak; Dead Milkmen because cows and milk were cool before tokidoki; and most recently ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, which I bought direct from frontman Conrad Keely when I saw them in New York's Webster Hall. He's also an amazing artist who also did the artwork himself.
My Trail of Dead T-shirt. I was soooo happy to see my favorite band in New York because, even though they have roots in Hawaii, they'll probably never play here. This is not the place for their kind of music.
My favorite clothes are often the ones that get away, like this Dior starfish dress from John Galliano's last official collection. I saw it at a trunk show here last spring, and couldn't stop thinking about it, though the $11,000 or $12,000 price tag put it out of reach. Then I found it marked down to $5,000 in fall at Woodbury Common, but didn't get it. My husband said he would buy it for me but I couldn't see spending that much on a dress. I still think about it, but honestly, when and where would I ever wear this?
Among my favorite clothes now are three silk chemises exactly like this, but in a different print, from Swedish brand Odd Molly. I like the granny touches they bring to their garment. This piece has tiny bow details, embroidered seams, embroidered monogram, and each one comes with its own lace and ribbon storage envelope. So comfy and pretty to lounge around the house.
This was also among my favorite pieces from the Fighting Eel spring 2009 collection. I love the banana print. So fun. Fashion should, above all, be fun.
This is another of my favorite dresses, Rodarte for Target. I have it in this black, and peach. The peach is very princessy, girly and again, fun.