Bishop Museum celebrates Shaheen legacy

November 20th, 2012
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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

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