Archive for November, 2012

Sanrio welcomes "Kitty Mama"

November 30th, 2012

kitty mamaSanrio photo
"Kitty Mama" Yuko Yamaguchi with her baby, Hello Kitty.

Hello Kitty’s “Kitty Mama,” designer Yuko Yamaguchi, is visiting with fans at the Sanrio store at Ala Moana Center, Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, from 1 to 2, 3 to 4 and 5 to 6 p.m. daily.

Guests will be able to meet and take photographs with Hello Kitty and Yamaguchi, in town from Sanrio headquarters in Tokyo.

The designer has guided the brand through various transformations in her 30-plus-year career at Sanrio, and elevated the pop icon’s status around the world. Here's a link to my previous post the last time Yuko was in town: Hello Kitty designer tells all about kitty's past

Activities at Sanrio throughout the weekend including Hello Kitty-themed nail decorating workshops, bento box-making workshops and other unique experiences. The first 50 guests through the door each day will receive a $5 gift card to use at Sephora Ala Moana on any Hello Kitty Beauty purchase.

Makeup artists will be available at Sephora from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, offering minimakeovers using products from Hello Kitty Beauty.

Call 949-2990.

'Project Runway All-Stars': All about androgyny

November 29th, 2012

ivyworkroomLifetime photos
Ivy Higa, with the other designers and new maie models in the "Project Runway" workroom.

"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 5: "You've Got Male" recap

After a break during Thanksgiving Week, "Project Runway All-Stars" returned, challenging the designers to come up with a design both avant garde and adrogynous. After coming up with their designs and cutting their fabric, judge Georgina Chapman came in to deliver the dreaded twist in the challenge.

After announcing that she;s bringing in their models, a line of male models parade in. The designers faces drop because, in spite of their androgynous designs, male and female forms are different and their garments have already been tailored to fit a woman's form.

To their relief, they're told they will use their female models as usual, but must add a second look for the male model. So back they go to Mood to pick up $150 more of materials. Crisis averted.

As mentor Joanna Coles goes through the workroom delivering her critiques, I noticed that Ivy's current design signature has apparently rubbed off on Anthony Ryan Auld. She's been wearing her own designs with blocks of sheer and solid fabric all season, and lo and behold, his garments utilized the same techniques and aesthetic.

prauldIvy's been wearing her own sheer and solid designs, like the one below, all season. I think her aesthetic creeped into Anthony Ryan Auld's creation for this challenge.

ivydesignIvy Higa photo

In the workroom, with so many designers working on pants, there was more concern about "ball room," and when I saw Hawaii designer Ivy Higa's design on the manikin, I was laughimg so hard I didn't hear what she and Joanna discussed. It looked like she had a little too much ball room.

Pants are always problematic, which is why I stick to wearing skirts and dresses. During the judging, for a second week in a row, Ivy ended up safely in the middle of the pack instead of the top. While waiting for results, Joshua McKinley took his frustrations at never being among the top three out on Ivy. She's showing a lot of restraint in not indulging the other designers' trying to bait her into arguments this season.

This week's guest designers were contemporary designers Jason Wu and Robert Rodriguez and I agreed with their observation that Emilio Sosa's designs were so androgynous that they couldn't tell the male and female models apart when they came down the runway together. I wasn't surprised when he won, although I also liked the mix-and-match street appeal of Uli Herzner's tribal-inspired designs. Her outfits were interchangeable on male and female bodies, and would suit more bodies than Emilio's designs, which only models could pull off.

ivyworkIvy at work.

privyIvy's designs looked a little circusy, Chagall- or Picasso-like this week. Or maybe it was just the makeup.

premilioEmilio's winning designs.

pruliUli's designs.

Bishop Museum celebrates Shaheen legacy

November 20th, 2012

shaheen auctionNadine Kam photos
Among the vintage Shaheen garments offered up during the silent auction at "An Evening of HI Fashion" Nov. 17 at Bishop Museum, were, from left, a metallic dress, a ruffled dress, a pake mu'u, an empire waist mu'u, and Asian motif pant suit.

The Bishop Museum hosted an evening of fashion and entertainment during "An Evening of HI Fashion," Nov. 17, celebrating the exhibition "HI Fashion: The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen," which opened Nov. 10 and continues through Feb. 4, 2013.

In giving the introduction to the event, the museum's CEO Blair Collis said that although the museum is not known for fashion exhibitions or fashion shows, fashion is another way people manifest their cultural identity.

Guests were invited to "dress vintage," and that they did, with many a Shaheen garment in the audience or prints paying tribute to the master.

In connecting past and present, the show opened with the Alfred Shaheen Collection by Reyn Spooner, contemporary designs by menswear company Reyn Spooner, whose use of Shaheen prints began in the 1960s.

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shaheen redShaheen's granddaughter Brianna Rose walked the runway in one of his bombshell dresses.

beverly noaBeverly Noa, hired to model exclusively for Shaheen in the 1950s, attended the event, performing a hula to "Kawohikukapulani," before the start of the fashion shows.

A collection of vintage aloha shirts and dresses loaned by Shaheen's daughter, Camille Shaheen-Tunberg, was displayed next, along with a handful of vintage Shaheen garments that were up for silent auction that evening, starting as low as $75. It's too bad I was yammering away with friends, so missed out on some steals!

Closing the show was a collection of beautiful, fluid Shaheen-inspired print garments by Andy South.

I wasn't in town for the exhibition opening, but made up for lost time by checking out the gallery, where an interactive screen allows you to "like" some of your favorite designs. There are so many to choose from, depending on whether you're a fan of the 1950s bombshell or '60s mods or '70s disco groove.

The quantity and diversity of designs would easily fill The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute. Maybe someday its Hawaii-born curator-in-charge Harold Koda would see fit to honor this local legend whose designs once circled the globe.

shaheen jewelryAccompanying each auctioned outfit were matching accessories created by a museum staffer from period materials, such as the carved orange coral hair ornament and earrings paired with the pant suit.

shaheen2Keali i McClellan with Ilana Davis, wearing a vintage Alfred Shaheen bombshell dress that she bought 12 years ago.

shaheen janJoy of Sake's Jan Nagano in her vintage Shaheen.

shaheen andyAndy South also presented a fashion show and wears one of her designs. She's with Margaret Murchie, a former Shaheen model.

shaheen krisKris Tanahara in a vintage mu'u, with Floyd Takeuchi in an Alfred Shaheen Collection by Reyn Spooner shirt, which blends vintage Shaheen prints and contemporary styling.

shaheen reynThe collaboration between Shaheen and Reyn Spooner began in the 1960s. Inside the exhibition gift shop, museum-goers can shop the collection.

shaheen fabricAlso in the gift shop are household wares such as pot holders and table runners utilizing reproductions of Shaheen textiles, as well as yardages, above and below, allowing those who sew the opportunity to create their own vintage-inspired looks.

shaheen fabric2

ITAA presents Waikiki runway show

November 19th, 2012

itaablackNadine Kam photos
This "Dark Shadow" dress was created by one of the national undergraduates participating in the International Textile and Apparel Association's 2012 Creative Design Competition, part of the ITAA's 12th annual conference, that took place at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Spa & Resort last week. The dress comprises 70 yards of tulle.

The International Textile and Apparel Association brought its 2012 conference, "No One is an Island" to the Marriott Waikiki Beach Spa & Resort Nov. 13 through 17, bringing 500 fashion academics to share industry knowledge and innovations, plus designs by undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.

Living so far from major land masses, I think we do suffer from isolation, so it's great to have this kind of national connection and reality check to see how our own college students and faculty measure up to other work being done across the country. It's one thing to read or see what designers are doing elsewhere. It's quite another to feel the garments, see them up close and see their construction, and talk about what's next.

In an earlier post, I talked about judging the competition's Creative Design Competition, and a fashion show that took place Nov. 16 offered the opportunity for participants to see the garments move down the runway. Photos shown here are from the attention-getting undergraduate category of the competition. Other designs that did not make the runway were featured in a mounted exhibition.

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itaa vhs"Film Noir" Hollywood glamour-inspsired gown made of VHS tapes that have outlived their original use.

itaa seafoam"Medusozoa" jellyfish-inspired dress of plastic woven netting with polyester lining.

itaa blue"Coral Reef" featuring vinyl cutwork, machine-made lace, beadwork, jersey knit and batik cotton.

itaa boxy"Corporeal Extensions" cocktail dress aiming to expand on traditional pattern-making and draping techniques.

itaa pointy

This dress is entitled "Racism Embued," communicating the experience of living in a thorny world.

itaa gray"Imeldific Dress" inspired by a 1775 Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty painting of Marie Antoinette's coronation dress, designed for a woman who knows how to make an entrance.

itaa uncaged2"Uncaged" comprises recycled felted sweaters to create a cage overlay strung on metallic thread.

Aloha 'Aina celebrates 2nd year, ready for R Style Social

November 15th, 2012

aloha modelsNadine Kam photos
Alyson Kintscher, center, is in a dress by Tiare Hawaii, with models in Gillia dresses, during a celebration of Aloha 'Aina's second anniversary Oct. 19 at Royal Hawaiian Center.

Aloha 'Aina Boutique's celebrated its second anniversary at Royal Hawaiian Center on Oct. 19, with a showcase of designs by local designers Noelani, Tiare Hawaii, Gillia, MauiMari Ocean Jewelry and Luce & Me.

The boutique will also be among those participating in the holiday edition of “R Style Social” taking place Nov. 16, and you can look forward to Aloha 'Aina offering a 10 percent discount storewide.

The center's R magazine-inspired open house event, running from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will showcase outfits and accessories from participating stores.

Guests are invited to pick up the magazine and an R Socialite Pass at the check-in desk between bebe and the Apple Store on level 1 of Building C. The first 200 customers will receive a complimentary Royal Hawaiian Center water bottle or vanity bag.

Visit each of the participating shops and boutiques to receive R Socialite Pass stamps. Completed passes may be turned in at the end of the night to enter a drawing to win the grand prize of a $500 Royal Hawaiian Center gift card or a $250 gift card. No purchase is necessary to receive stamps.

Other participating stores and specials:

Allure: Complimentary Georgette solid color pareo with purchases over $75

Anteprima: Complimentary limited edition Anteprima tote with any purchase over $450.

bebe: Receive a 20 percent discount on regular priced items. (Must present discount
card that will be handed out in-store during the event. Discount card valid
through Dec.31, 2012.)

Da Kine: Complimentary Da Kine T-shirt with purchases over $75.

Honolulu Cookie Co.: Enjoy a complimentary cookie .

Juicy Couture: Receive $50 off purchases of $200 or more.

Love Renaissance: Receive a complimentary Love Renaissance shoulder bag with any purchase and try the Swaness series cosmetics to receive a trial gift set.

Mocchin: Receive a 50 percent discount on select items.

Princesse Tam Tam: Get a free “tweeker” bra accessory with purchases over $50.

Ranger Sports: Receive 10 percent off the entire store .

Royal Hawaiian Golf Shop: Receive a 5 percent discount on purchases of more than $100.

RHC’s validated parking promotion offers one hour free parking with validation and $1 per hour for the next three hours for a maximum of four hours. After four hours, standard parking rates apply of $6 per hour. Special event parking validation rates are available at $5.

For more information, visit or call Lei ‘Ohu Guest Services at (808) 922-2299.

aloha ownersAloha 'Aina boutique owners Gina Fukeda and Seyon Chan, right, said they never had to alter their local product mix since opening. Customers just "got it." Oddly enough, they're one of the few businesses in Waikiki that show a diverse local product line. Other stores are devoted to single brands or imports from East and West.

aloha dressGillia designer Saori Santo was taking pre-orders for her fall/spring clothing collection. I fell in love with it right away and especially the dress she's wearing, though in the dusty rose color up front.

aloha jewelryMari Diller, of MauiMari Ocean Jewelry, flew over from Haiku to be at the event.

aloha noelaniNoelani, of Haleiwa-based Noelani Designs shows some of her sunrise shell jewelry. Below, she pairs them with colored stones that match the vibrant colors of the shell's interiors. She said the shells definitely don't look like this when she gets them from diving friends. They're dull and covered with ocean crud and need cleaning and polishing to bring out their vivid color.

aloha sunrise

aloha tiareJane Hoskins, right, launched her fall collection for Tiare Hawaii, with model Alyson Kintscher.

aloha keikiJane was thrilled to see this little one in Tiare Hawaii for keiki.

aloha yumSome of the edibles that still looked good. Beef skewers, spring rolls and other heavy pupu were decimated.

aloha panyaDesserts from Panya.

'Project Runway All-Stars': A dress speaks 1,000 words

November 15th, 2012

higaLifetime photos
Ivy Higa works on a monarch butterfly inspired design in Episode 4 of "Project Runway All-Stars."

"Project Runway All-Stars"
Episode 4: "Made in the USA Today" recap

This week's episode hit close to home with the involvement of USA Today and the intersection of new media, marketing and popular culture.

I spent three months at the paper in Washington, D.C., as a feature department loaner in the 1990s when our former Star-Bulletin was part of the Gannett empire.

In this case, "Project Runway" fans from around the world were asked to tween inspiring photographs, and the designers were challenged to turn the picture into a headline fashion story on the runway. Just like a photo, the things we wear can speak a thousand words or volumes about how we view ourselves, our place in the world, our likes, dislikes and fantasies.

Our girl from Hawaii, Ivy Higa, chose an image of a monarch butterfly, as a symbol of transformation and change.

Working in hues of orange and black, she created a solid cropped top with dark short and chrysalis-like flowing diaphanous long skirt.

Entering the workroom, mentor Joanna Coles was assisted in critiques by USA Today style editor Allison Maxwell, who reminded designers that photos convey powerful emotion and that they "want to make sure that translates to garment."

ivydressIvy's monarch butterfly photo-inspired design.

In speaking to Ivy, Joanna said, approvingly, "You seem energized by this competition."

For the first time since the new series aired, however, Ivy didn't make it into the Top 3, but was comfortably safe

Assisting the show's regular judges were Tavi Gevinson of Style Rookie and Charlotte Ronson.

As the winner for his design capturing the lines of a bridge, Anthony Ryan Auld won a feature spread in USA Today.

Sadly, affable Andrae Gonzalo was sent home for a shapeless dress that was a too literal reproduction of a dress in a fan portrait. No one really understood his inspiration or explanation. It was one big questionable moment all around. He just seemed out of his element during the entire competition and said he didn't understand any of the other designers. In his original Season 2, he was surrounded by fellow Los Angelenos John Wade, Kirsten Ehrig, Raymundo Baltazar, Daniel Franco, Guadalupe Vidal, Nick Verreos and Santino Rice, with whom he was more simpatico

arAnthony Ryan Auld's sleek winning design was inspired by the lines of a bridge.

andreAndrae Gonzalo was sent home for this design inspired by a fan, but all he did was literally reproduce her look.

ITAA hosts conference and fashion competitions

November 15th, 2012

itaa entryNadine Kam photos
Lisa McRoberts, from Louisiana, shows "Tropical Paradise," one of the pieces entered in the category of Hawaiian-inspired garment design in the International Textile and Apparel Association's Creative Design Awards.

Five hundred members of the International Textile and Apparel Association have descended upon Honolulu for the organization's annual conference, highlighted by a series of fashion shows and academic presentations that began Nov. 14 and continues through Saturday.

Alas, attendence is open only to  ITAA members, an association of professors involved in the apparel industry.

Conference co-chairs Andy Reilly, from the University of Hawaii's APDM program, and Linda Bradley, of Washington State University's Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles program, were instrumental in laying the groundwork for the conference, featuring dozens of speakers, including Josh Feldman, president and CEO of Tori Richard, one of the keynote speakers.

It's great that they are able to come here and examine what's going on in Hawaii, while presenting informative workshops that allow those in the industry to get a feel of innovations elsewhere.itaaMcRoberts and Linda Ohrn-McDaniel of Kent State University show an undergraduate student's work, "Coral Reef," utilizing vinyl with cutwork and machine-made lace with a jersey knit bodysuit.

Workshops include use and application of the sustainable apparel index, geared toward reducing environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear products; impact of United States imports from China; an examination of the price of Levi's jeans across countries; functional/protective apparel design; and much more.

I was lucky enough to be invited to be a judge in the ITAA's Creative Design Awards. Judging took place Nov. 14 at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa, where designer Jeannie Chun, Hifi co-founder Toby Portner and I faced the daunting task of choosing from among 136 incredible designs. It turned out to be a four-and-a-half hour task, that went that quickly because we were in agreement in most cases. At times, our criticisms as the garments were presented made if feel like "Project Runway." The intricacy of the designs, the handwork, and thought process behind many of the works wowed us.

Judging was blind, so we don't know the identities of the undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members who created the designs, although I recognized some of the designs created by UH students.

There were many pieces we said we wished we could keep, and contest organizer Linda Ohrn-McDaniel, an associate professor at Kent State University, suggested talking to the designers after the fashion show and awards ceremony taking place Friday night at the Marriott. We had to do our judging based on presentation of the garments and photos of the designs on models or manikins. The show will be our only opportunity to see how the garments move and wear on the runway. I'm looking forward to it and will be shooting video for those who can't be there.

For more information, visit

dressPhotos courtesy ITAA

All the judges loved this "Mountain, Cloud and Portrait of a Beauty" Korean-inspired bias-cut dress of naturally dyed raw silk and ramie, entered in the fiber arts professional category. The blue pieces were hand-sewn using gamchimjil, similar to overcast stitch, typically used in Korean quilting, with handpainting.

woven2Photos courtesy ITAA
Everyone from Gwen Stefani to Victoria's Secret have run afoul of Native Americans for their misinterpretation and misappropriation of culture, but we loved this diamond pattern woven tube dress with fringed hem and corset back, and wrap, inspired by Native American hand-weaving.

itaa white"CoVess" is a graduate student work comprising material made of repurposed felt waste.

itaa recycleFellow judge Toby Portner holds up two of our favorite designs in the Professional Awards category. One is a dress made by recycling camouflage jackets and pants. The other is an exquisite digital printed linen jacket.

itaa chunPrior to judging, designer Jeannie Chun inspects garments on the racks. This "Circles" dress was created by a graduate student.

itaa woodAn undergraduate student created this wood dress also incorporating cotton muslin, with detail of the wood slices, below.

itaa wood2

itaa sweaterI was intrigued by this dramatic "Earth Warrior" sweater and bodysuit ensemble inspired by samurai armor, created by an undergraduate student. The description below also shows what it looks like on the body.

itaa notes

itaa leatherAlso loved this undergraduate creation, a tunic made from a men's leather jacket outer shell and men's jean jacket fur lining. (more…)

Tiffany Ala Moana reveals new look

November 15th, 2012

tiffanyNadine Kam photos
Tiffany's new leather goods salon is part of the Ala Moana store's new look, revealed today.

Tiffany & Co. at Ala Moana Center hosted its grand reopening this morning, following a complete renovation that includes new panel artwork, a nearly floor to ceiling chandelier, private showroom and leather goods salon.

I was given a sneak peek yesterday, with a mini tour from none other than Tiffany Leather Collection design directors John Truex and Richard Lambertson, in town for the grand opening and their own peek at the salon that grew around their collection, introduced a mere two years ago, that now encompasses more than 300 items including small leather goods, travel bags for men and women, and a full range of day and evening purses for women.

"Competition is fierce out here so if we were going to do leather, we were going to do leather," said Truex, who was admiring the new salon.

"What they did here is breathtaking. It's so client focused and the collection looks phenomenal in this space," he said, adding that the increased space allows them to show "the more novel, collectible and humorous side of Tiffany."

Truex explained the duo's process of "hanging back and looking at who's peeking in the windows, and asking 'What would she want?' "

They also considered such clientele as the woman who appreciates art and architecture, and asking what she would like to carry. Some of the collection features sleek rectangular and curvilinear Art Deco lines.

tiffany leopardBefore joining Tiffany three years ago, John Truex, above, and Richard Lambertson were considered in the industry to be the go-to designers for animal print leather goods, and they've brought that expertise to Tiffany, introducing animal prints and exotic skins.

The designers brought with them a sampling of the Spring 2013 collection as well, with bright yellow, orange, white and honey hues inspired by Holland, tulips, daffodils and the purity of flowers.

"Coming off the fall political season," Truex said, their feeling was one of cutting loose of the negative campaigns and taking a happy approach to life.

Amen to that.

tiffTiffany Ala Moana's new, shimmering chandelier.

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