By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Renee Nobriga in pearls by Kensei.
It's always a treat to see one of Kensei's rare jewelry fashion shows and though I planned to be in town for his Oct. 28 "Art of Jewelry" event, I had a plane reservation to Washington, D.C. at 4 p.m. the day of the show. On making my plans, I thought that would be enough time, but of course it's not because we're told to be at the airport two hours ahead of our flights.
Then, Hurricane Sandy hit and my flight was cancelled, along with vacation plans in D.C., and New York. So I was able to catch the entire show instead of leaving early.
Kensei staged a theatrical show in three segments, with artful styling from head to toe. Given his Chez Kensei renown as a hair stylist, models' hair was designed to work with specific jewels, head pieces and hats.
You hear about musical virtuosos, able to play every instrument on their recordings, and it's like that with Kensei, whose expertise extends from hair to clothes styling and jewelry design.
Given the multiple layers of clothing, jewelry and accessories, every piece was carefully laid out back stage. I was there before the show started, and was admiring some of the pieces, being careful not to disturb the arrangement.
Considering the amount of work it took to dress models between segments, vocalist Yvonne Iversen was tapped to keep the audience entertained.
The event was a benefit for the American Heart Association, and Kensei and show producer Dale Young presented a $5,000 check to the association at the end of the program.
Lesli Yano, Director, Special Events for the American Heart Association, back stage before the fashion show with the garments that were to be shown with Kensei's jewelry creations, below.
Hair by Kensei.
Pono Fernandez in a Southwest-style ensemble.
Karen Vance in an ensemble inspired by "Madama Butterfly."
Courtney Coleman in black fringe.
I love the layered brooches.
The American Heart Association was the event's beneficiary.
Kensei, left, with Leilani Keough, show producer Dale Young, and the afternoon's emcee Cathy Lee.
Kensei with the winners of drawings for two of his jewelry creations.