Archive for July, 2012

'Love, Loss, and What I Wore' at MVT

July 19th, 2012

woreCourtesy images
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

wore1Projected 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:

worebreeBree Bumatai's favorite accessory, an attention-getting two-toned faux leopard hat.

worelaurenLauren 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.


wore vicVictoria 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.

worelisaLisa 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!

worestacyStacy 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.

wore farmerDirector 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.

trail TMy 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.

diordressMy 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?

oddmAmong 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.

wore bananaThis 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.

rodarteThis 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.

Bikini time at Lujuria

July 18th, 2012

lujuriaNadine Kam photos
From left, Jessica Andrian of San Lorenzo, Chris Akin, Laura Grace D'Angeli, Michelle Van Veenendaal of LBDB and Lujuria—The Fashion Experience producer Jose Santamaria posed for photos after the "Wet the Bikini" pool party edition fashion show July 15 at The Modern.

Sunday was hot, hot, hot, the perfect weather for Jose Santamaria's "Wet the Bikini" pool party edition of Lujuria—The Fashion Experience, at the Modern, complete with a bikini and resort fashion show, heavy on the bikini part.

In one of the biggest shows of its kind, event host and producer Jose Santamaria, of JS Enterprises, sent more than 100 looks down the runway, including swimwear, coverups and casual wear from LBDB at Kahala Mall, and San Lorenzo Bikinis, and hats from Straw Garden.

Sitting with photographer Rae Huo while taking pictures of the runway, she asked me, "Would you wear one of those? Did you ever have a body like that?"

"Yeah, maybe when I was 16 through 22. It was all downhill from there."

Or, I used to say that when I was 22; the real downhill, I learned, was after 33.

At any rate, I'm more in the market for coverups, not bikinis!

Non-flash video

l10Artist Colin Andrew Wood, who was working on this board on the spot, took time out to pose with models, from left, Katherine Laethem, Crystal Douglas and Kaitlin "Goose" Hamilton.

l12Laura Grace D'Angeli walks the show.

l13This was one of the biggest pool and resort shows I've seen here, with 100 looks shown.




l9Catherine Martin showed up appropriately dressed in a colorful duckie inner tube.


Fall styles on sale before the season starts, at Nordstrom

July 17th, 2012

nordstromNadine Kam photo
Those with a Nordstrom credit or debit card are being granted Early Access to screened shopping areas with the newest fall pieces, priced at 50 to 60 percent less than regular season during a pre-season Anniversary Sale that officially starts Friday. Nicole Ogawa-Yukitomo opens the curtain to the Designer area on the third floor.

Why wait for the next end-of-season sale when you can shop fall early, beating East Coast fashionistas in wearing the latest styles all season long?

Nordstrom is starting its anniversary sale beginning 8 a.m. Friday, with fall’s hottest trend items priced at about 50 percent to 60 percent off regular season prices through Aug. 5. I got a sneak peek today, and spotted some things I wouldn't mind picking up, like Kate Spade and Cole Haan handbags, and checking some tags, saw Burberry check flats for fall are marked down from $325 to $199. Prices will go back up to normal Aug. 6.

An exclusive new collection of M.A.C bags and kits illustrated by London-based artist Julie Verhoeven is one of the exclusive Nordstrom anniversary items.

In the cosmetics department, a number of exclusive items are being offered as part of the anniversary sale, including Dior’s A Purple Revolution Anniversary Color Collection eye shadow palette ($48) and Les Violets Hypnotiques nail enamels ($23 each), and M.A.C Illustrated bags and kits by London-based artist Julie Verhoeven.

Those paying with a Nordstrom credit or debit card are being granted early access to shop now. Look for the veiled sections within departments, including men’s, children’s, handbags, shoes, accessories, designer and beauty. Also included are such popular brands as Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone, Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, Rebecca Minkoff, Boss Black and Diesel.

The curtains come  down Friday, when everyone is welcome to shop.

nordbootsFall's boots.

nordwrapsScarves, wraps and winter berets available in the second-floor Accessories department.

nordearlyThe curtains come down Friday, when everyone is welcome to shop early for fall.

nsaleNordstrom photos
Halogen merino wool topper with toggle closure, in gray; also in black, ivory, dark earth or eclipse, $98.90 beginning July 20, going back to $148 on Aug. 6. Exclusively in Fashion Accessories at Nordstrom and Hue stretch denim leggings with pockets, cotton/polyester/spandex, deep red; also in medium grey or midnight rinse, $25.90; after sale $39. In Hosiery. Rebecca Minkoff  Desire leather handbag, in mustard; also in black or charcoal, $328.90; after sale $495. In Handbags.

TBD_HIN_2PC_037.tifHinge and Paige separates are running $58.90 to $229.90 during Nordstrom's anniversary sale from July 20 through Aug. 5. On Aug. 6, prices go back to regular season prices of $88 to $348. In t.b.d. at Nordstrom.

Hifi Pops Up at Surf Line Hawaii Ocean-Lifestyle store

July 17th, 2012

surf2Nadine Kam photos
Hifi member designers featured at popup boutique within Surf Line Hawaii Ocean-Lifestyle Store were introduced by Hifi co-founder Melissa May White, right.

Surf Line Hawaii/Jams World Hawaii and Hawaii Fashion Incubator (Hifi) hosted a launch party July 11 for their first store-within-a-store collaboration, Hifi Pops Up at Surf Line Hawaii Ocean-Lifestyle Store.

Fifteen Hifi member designers' merchandise is prominently displayed right at the front of the store, and I thought their jewelry, accessories and clothing for men, women and children meshed perfectly with Surf Line/Jams World and other lifestyle apparel, active wear and ocean gear.

The Hifi roster: 1979, Arkotec, the BASE Project, Ecolicious, JenStone Jewelry, Katrina Langford, Maui Thing, Mamanu Kids, Organik, Salty Girl Jewelry, Sasaki Bags, Soluna Designs, Stir Crazy, UMEE, and Vers Hawaii.

The pop-up continues through Aug. 11, and a strong response may lead to more collaborations in the future.

The Surf Line store is hard to miss at 411 Puuhale Road, across the street from OCCC. I was worried about the parking situation, but neighbor Electric Union graciously allowed guests to park on their property. The owner keeps birds, and I love birds, so I made a detour to meet his ringneck parakeet, a giant compared to the green ones flying around, and he was proud to announce his bird loves to eat chicken! So do my parrots!

surfmMamanu Kids apparel photographed against the backdrop of Surf Line's towering display of  vintage motorcycles.

surf floorThe Hifi Coop's decoupage floor is replicated at the popup.

surfhiLooks like carved wood, but it's not! The BASE Project bracelets are carved from recylced PVC.

surfsuitsThe vintage style of 1979's swimwear.

surf1Henry Kapono Kaaihue was shopping with his wife Lezlee.

surf5The always stylish Lesli-Ann Yano, in Marc by Marc Jacobs.

surf4UMEE designer Deena White Tearney shows her "From Hawaii With Love" T-shirt. In the background is Retail Therpy, Hawaii's Cori Mackie, who designed the Hifi display.

surf3Mom to be Katrina Langford, left, picks up some tips from Mamanu Kids' Anna Zinn. (more…)

Makkuro Makkuro pops up this weekend

July 13th, 2012

makkuro bracelet
Makkuro Makkuro photos

Five young designers will share their handmade togs an finds at Makkuro Makkuro, a weekend pop-up in Kakaako.

It's good to see some recent graduates of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Honolulu Community College fashion programs working together on a new pop-up, Makkuro Makkuro, one way to reach the broader shopping public.

I'm glad to see newly minted HCC graduates Ryan Ota and Ramie Sagisi participating in the venture. They presented great collections and I think every girly girl will flock to Ramie's dreamy, ethereal designs.

Other familiar faces are Reise Kochi (HCC, 2010), Aron Luangphinith (UH, 2011), and Erika Enomoto (UH, 2009).
The designers will be offering clothes they’ve made and collected, handmade accessories and leather handbags, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 14, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 15, at 687 Auahi St. (between Keawe and Coral streets).

Keep up at or

makkuro neck


Date with a princess

July 12th, 2012

marie-chantalNadine Kam photos
Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece is in town to mark the first anniversary of her children's boutique in DFS Galleria Waikiki. Families are welcome to share the birthday cake tonight.

mckidsMarie-Chantal photo
Pieces from Marie-Chantal's fall-winter 2012 collection, including
this Cord dress and zip cardigan, will start arriving in mid-August.

The Marie-Chantal boutique is celebrating its first year in Hawaii with a free first birthday party tonight at the DFS Galleria Waikiki, and families are welcome to join the fun between 7 and 9 p.m.

There will be complimentary mini cupcakes, face painting, balloons, music and bib embroidery. Then, at 8 p.m., Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece will make an appearance, posing for photos with keiki and cutting a birthday cake.

DFS Galleria Waikiki is at 330 Royal Hawaiian Ave. While there, check out the fabulous windows and displays, some highlighting the work of University of Hawaii at Manoa Apparel, Product Design and Merchandising seniors, who were invited to come up with little black dresses inspired by luxury handbags.

mccoatMarie-Chantal photo
Marie-Chantal Flick coat.

dfswindowOne of the windows featuring a collaboration between DFS and University of Hawaii fashion students and graduates. It's great to see the retailer taking notice of the students' work. There are some beautiful windows that come out of similar collaborations in New York between retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, and the students of Parsons.

Although the princess was here last year for the boutique grand opening, I was in New York so missed it, but I got to catch up with her this morning and learned about her fondness for Hawaii stemming from her frequent travels here as a child, as the daughter of Robert Warren Miller, a co-founder of DFS.

So of course I had to ask her if, with her dad's stake in the company, if she had the inside track to bringing her boutique to DFS, and believe it or not, she said she was never one to pull the relationship card.

In growing her 10-year-old brand, she stuck close to home at first, opening three shops in London, and said, "I could go to my father for advice, but he really wanted me to do it on my own. He knew how difficult it would be, and what he was doing, retailing, is very different from manufacturing."

With her entrepreneurial streak, she initially thought of launching a cosmetics business, but as a mother of five, three at the time, she was persuaded to look at children's clothing just before the market took off.

dfs1DFS Galleria Waikiki is beautifully dressed for tonight's celebration, including with this floor-to-ceiling display. The illustrations were done by French artist Jean-Pierre Busson in advance of a "How Do I Look?" beauty event to take place in September. Should be huge!

"At the time, it was difficult to find a one-sop shop with everything you needed, from casual to party clothes and everyday wear," she said. Today she offers everything from outerwear to underpinnings, and while her inaugural collections were innocent and sweet, as her children grew older, they became more trend driven.

Her 16-year-old daughter has since aged out of her clothes, but Princess Marie-Chantal said otherwise, her children never complained about wearing her collections. "My kids, they were good, but I think I have good taste. I knew what feels good and I want children to feel fantastic about themselves."

Part of knowing what feels good came from knowing what didn't, and the princess said she grew up in Hong Kong where it was difficult to find children's clothes, and the clothes they did find were scratchy and stiff.

She said her mom had to go to Europe "to get us the pretty clothes. There was Cacharel, Daniel Hechter and Rose of London, I remember all the names."

Topshop and Topman coming to Nordstrom

July 12th, 2012

topshop1Photos courtesy Nordstrom
Designs from Topshop and Topman are coming to Nordstrom.

Anglophiles rejoice! Nordstrom announced today that it will be launching Topshop and Topman at 14 Nordstrom stores—including the Ala Moana store—and on beginning the week of Sept. 10.

Nordstrom will become the only large U.S. retailer to sell a broad assortment of the British fashion brands’ merchandise in-store and online. Otherwise, you would've had to go online or head to New York, Chicago or Las Vegas to shop this side of the Atlantic. (A Los Angeles outpost will open in Spring 2013).

Nordstrom will carry a full selection of the hottest looks for both men and women, as well as limited-edition pieces exclusive to Nordstrom. An expanded merchandise selection will also be available on

Topshop and Topman are known for an individualistic, eclectic approach to style, with an aesthetic that's not for fashion wallflowers or beginners. It'll be interesting to watch how people incorporate the pieces into their wardrobes and see if it injects a little more life into street fashion.

Can't wait to see the collection! I love Brit style.


Other Nordstrom stores to welcome Topshop/Topman are:
Barton Creek Square (Austin, Texas)
Burlington (Burlington, Mass.)
Chandler Fashion Center (Chandler, Ariz.)
Dadeland Mall (Miami, Fla.)
Garden State Plaza (Paramus, N.J.)
Irvine Spectrum Center (Irvine, Calif.)
Oakbrook Center (Oakbrook, Ill.)
Phipps Plaza (Atlanta, Ga.)
The Plaza at King of Prussia (King of Prussia, Pa.)
San Francisco Centre (San Francisco, Calif.), Topshop only
South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, Calif.), Topshop only
Southcenter (Tukwila, Wash.)
Valley Fair (San Jose, Calif.)



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Target + Neiman Marcus team up for holidays

July 10th, 2012

Now, this will be interesting. Two retailers at opposite ends of the price spectrum—Neiman Marcus and Target—are teaming up for an unprecedented collaboration involving 24 designers.

The Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection will feature an eclectic and diverse mix of more than 50 limited-edition gift products that will range from $7.99 to $499.99, with most items less than $60. Not sure yet what those gifts will be, but the roster of designers certainly caught my eye. They are:

targetAlice + Olivia
Band of Outsiders
Brian Atwood
Carolina Herrera
Derek Lam
Diane von Furstenberg
Eddie Borgo
Jason Wu
Judith Leiber
Lela Rose
Marc Jacobs
Oscar de la Renta
Philip Crangi
Prabal Gurung
Proenza Schouler
Rag & Bone
Robert Rodriguez
Thom Browne
Tory Burch
Tracy Reese

All of the designers are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Target and Neiman Marcus are donating $1 million to CFDA to demonstrate their commitment to fostering design talent.

The limited-edition holiday collection will be out Dec. 1, at all Target and Neiman Marcus stores, as well as online at and Will let you know as soon as the first photos emerge! For now, here's a preview video:

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