Archive for August, 2012

Sanrio and Yogurtland team up for sweet offer

August 16th, 2012

sanrio cupSanrio photos
Free frozen yogurt will be served up courtesy of Yogurtland and Sanrio Aug. 21 at the Waikiki Yogurtland location.

Fans of Hello Kitty may want to drop by Yogurtland at the Pacific Beach Hotel, 2490 Kalakaua Ave. on Aug. 21.

Hello Kitty and Sanrio are wrapping up their cross-country “Summer Vacation” celebration launch with a party hosted by Hello Kitty and Badtz Maru from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Yogurtland Waikiki.

Guests dropping in that day will be treated to free frozen yogurt served in a specially designed Honolulu Yougurtland cup accompanied by a Badtz-Maru spoon.

Additional co-branded items will be available for purchase, including a Hello Kitty plush toy ($13.50) dressed in a Yogurtland uniform, along with key chains ($3.99 each), buttons, tote bags and coin purses showing Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru, Little Twin Stars and TuxedoSam.

Sanrio Yogurtland SpoonsSpoons based on the Sanrio characters.SANRIORubber keychains available while supplies last.

When recycling wasn't an art, but a necessity

August 15th, 2012

kawakamiNadine Kam photos
Barbara Kawakami in the Conservation Lab of Bishop Museum, with children's kimono dating to the 1920s. Masked by the floral design of the kimono at left is the circular cross insignia of the warring Satsuma clan.

When we turn our old clothes over to Goodwill, Savers, the Salvation Army, a consignment store, cut them up to make bags or quilts or reshape them into some other garment, we can feel a sense of pride that we're doing something good. These days, the idea of recycling or upcycling our clothing is treated like a badge of honor, political or environmental statement practiced for the benefit of society and the health of the planet.

Of course the idea is not new for Hawaii. The idea of repurposing scraps started on the plantations. Only, back then, there was no do-gooder motivation at work. It was all a matter of necessity at a time when wages were pennies per day and there was never enough to feed a family of eight or 10, much less clothe everyone in new apparel once every season, or more, the way we shop for ourselves now.

We've come a long way, and not necessarily for the better in regard to fast (read: cheap) fashion that promotes wastefulness and the continual churning of one's closet.

You'll have the opportunity to slip into the plantation era mindset when “Textured Lives: Japanese Immigrant Clothing from the Plantations of Hawai‘i” opens at the Bishop Museum Aug. 18. The exhibition was organized by the Japanese American National Museum from the collection of local historian Barbara Kawakami, who started her search for plantation clothing in 1979.

Non-flash video link

The search was difficult because of the nature of collecting the exquisite. As daily wear from people who owned few pieces of clothing, the garments had been discarded as rags over the years, and Barbara said she was lucky to have rescued a few treasures from rag boxes, in addition to garments that had been destined for thrift shops. She was able to donate about 260 pieces to JANM in 2004. Prior to that, the museum had no plantation clothing collection of its own.

Barbara said she had looked for a local organization first, but none had the capacity to manage such a vast textile collection. She's happy now that JANM was able to invest about $150,000 in tending to the garments, shoring some pieces up with mesh, and even managing to remove some of the red dirt muddying the hems of floor-length kimono worn by girls trudging through Kauai's dirt roads.

The exhibition will continue through Oct. 15, 2012 to the first floor of the Castle Memorial Building, telling the stories of Japanese immigrants in Hawaii.

Kawakami, who went back to school only after raising her family, found herself in the right place in the right time, just when the oral histories of real people, as opposed to kings, queens and presidents, was becoming popular. As a Japanese speaker, she was able to record more than 250 interviews with issei, members of the first generation of Japanese families who arrived in the Hawaiian islands between 1885 and the early 1900s. For the most part, they had never told their stories before because they didn't feel their experiences were of consequence.

It was also a time when many were moved off of plantations and homes into senior housing, and discarding unnecessary belongings in the process. If she had not started the project that is continuing with her still writing her second book, at age 90, this rich history would likely have been lost.

Opening festivities, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. are as follows:

9 to 9:20 a.m.: Taiko Center of the Pacific performance
9:30 to 10:15  a.m.: Showing of "Textured Lives" video, wit JANM representatives John                         Esaki, Audrey Muromoto and Akira Boch speaking about plantation life and the development of the exhibition, and Allison Arakawa-Sears performing holehole bushi.
10:30 to noon: Showing of "Picture Bride," a film inspired by Barbara Kawakami's research.
1 to 2 p.m.: Panel presentation on the preservation of immigrant history with moderator Betty Lou Kam and panelists John Esaki (Japanese American National Museum), Jane Komeiji (historian and scholar), Michiko Kodama-Nishimoto (University of Hawaii Center for Oral History) and Karleen Chinen (The Hawaii Herald).
2 to 3 p.m.:  Okinawan Obon Dance demonstration.

plantation1Sashes on the kimono of girls too young to wear obi were graced by emblems featuring their mothers' embroidery.

plantation2The dark color and design of this fabric reflects an adult's kimono that was cut and repurposed for a child.

kawakami2Barbara Kawakami with two full sets of of women plantation worker designs, from scarves to leggings and on the left, homemade tabi. The tabi on the right were purchased at Arakawa's, founded in Waipahu in 1909 by Zenpan Arakawa. The store closed in 1995.

pkasuriLayers of patching and stitching helped laborers prevent their few garments from falling apart.

pkasuri2JANM's conservators reinforced the kasuri fabric with supporting mesh that allows us to see the lived-in condition of the garment, while stabilizing it.

Fashion for the young set at AirBuggy

August 14th, 2012

air1Nadine Kam photos
AirBuggy founder and President Meiko Iida, right, with store manager Seiko Jackson.

If there's a new mom in your life, check out AirBuggy at Waikiki Beach Walk. From the looks at the glitzy new boutique, specializing in jogger strollers and infant apparel, you'd never guess its creator's humble origins.

Meiko Iida, CEO of GMP International, said she wanted to open her first American boutique here as a thank you to Hawaii, where, while on vacation 17 years ago, she first spotted the American baby jogger, and was buoyed by the idea of spreading the joy of walking and traveling with kids. At the time, she was searching for something to do, as a divorcée who was broke without prospects beyond retail work. She set a goal of bringing the jogger stroller concept to Japan.


The covered strollers, in many colors, run about $480.

Speaking through an interpreter, she said she was able to borrow $39,000 through a government program in Shibuya aimed toward helping women establish themselves in business.

With the money, she began importing the stroller to Japan, and they became an instant hit. But in Japan, people pressed her for a lighter, safer and more compact stroller. When the American company couldn't offer the smaller wheels and canopy her customers wanted, she bought a sketchbook and struggled to draw new designs based on customer requests, before traveling to Taiwan on her own to look for a factory that could produce the stroller.

She launched AirBuggy in 2000 and the brand quickly spread throughout Asia, including Tokyo, Kobe, Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul, while also meeting the high safety standards set by the United States, England and Germany.

The boutique is on the second floor at 226 Lewers St., open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call 533-9070.

air3The jogger on the right is for pets. A 3-in-1 jogger is convertible, allowing one to carry baby, and switch to a pet or groceries when your child can fend for him/herself.

airfirst2Among items available at the shop are First Dress infant shirts ($22) with the cutest designs.

airdesignDeTour International managing director Takahiro Hirashima, designer of the First Dress line of infant wear. After taking a look around Waikiki, he says his next collections may feature Hawaii-inspired designs.

airfirstMore First Dress designs featuring swans, elephants and an animal alphabet.

airstorageCute storage.

airtotesCute carryalls.

airfinger puppetsFinger puppets.

airbarettesBarettes for older girls.

airbabyKeiko Mikuni with her son Falcon, who may be a customer for infant apparel and accessories, including sunglasses, carried at AirBuggy.

air2Kaiwa's Mitsue Momai serves up drinks at the grand opening event. For a look at some of the food catered by Kaiwa, visit my other blog, Take a Bite.

Beauty spot: Burberry's London look

August 12th, 2012

bfaceBurberry photos

The Olympics are over, but if you're still in a London state of mind, look no further than Burberry Beauty to channel your inner Brit.

For Fall-Winter 2012, Burberry is offering a sophisticated, muted palette that starts with longwear "Velvet" foundation ($54) that wears like a weightless, protective second skin.

The Sheer Eyeshadow collection features muted shades such as "Gold Trench," "Dark Sable," "Mulberry" and "Porcelain White" to highlight. They're $29 each.

Finish with Burberry Lip Cover, a soft satin lipstick that over coverage and color fidelity in such natural lip tones as "Nude Rose," "Sepia Pink" and "Mocha Glow," at $30 each.

Find the line at DFS Galleria Waikiki's second-floor Beauty World.

beye2Burberry sheer eyeshadow in "Mulberry."


Burberry soft satin Lip Cover in "Sepia Pink."

Beauty spot: M.A.C classics back by request

August 5th, 2012


You voted for your favorite M.A.C shades and three winners in categories of classic lipstick, lipglass and eye shadow will come back for an encore, available online starting Aug. 6 while supplies last. Here are the colors and the number of votes they received.

Lipsticks will be available from Aug. 6t.
Lipglass from Aug. 8.
Eye shadows from Aug. 13.

Vote for next Smashbox lipstick

August 1st, 2012

smashboxWhich of these hues is you? Smashbox is letting you have a say in picking its next "Be Legendary" lipstick.

Smashbox Cosmetics is giving fans the chance to vote on the next shade of its "Be Legendary" lipstick, "Pretty Social."

You can vote by visiting on Facebook and Liking Smashbox Cosmetics, which will reveal a trio of color choices. After voting, the number of votes each received to date will be revealed.

Last day to vote is Aug. 7.

Those who cast votes will get early access to the winning color before it hits stores.

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