Archive for April, 2013

Beauty spot: PicoSure speeds up tattoo removal process

April 22nd, 2013

tattooNadine Kam photos
Morgan Bell about to get the first treatment toward removing an unwanted tattoo.

There's new technology available to quicken the pace of tattoo removal. InkOff.MD's W.Y. Chung, M.D. says PicoSure laser technology renders all previous lasers obsolete.

The doctor is the first to bring the FDA-approved PicoSure laser to Hawaii, one of only three centers in the nation to have the device that halves treatment time and removes difficult colors like blues and greens.

It's a godsend for those whose job prospects have been limited by the one- to two-year period it can take to remove a tattoo. With the PicoSure, Chung said most patients will see up to 75 percent of a tattoo removed in their first visit, and complete removal in three or four treatments in the course of three or four months, vs. 10 treatments over one to two years for a typical 6-square-inch bicep tattoo.

The device uses pulse duration, or pressure waves to break up the ink into smaller particles than previous lasers, with less heat, so patients feel less discomfort. The analogy given is comparing old ink size to pebbles, and new ink size to sand, which enables the body to flush it more rapidly.

The doctor gave a quick 8-minute demonstration of a patient's first treatment on April 16.


InkOff.MD is a new business unit of the Vein and Skin Center of Hawaii, at 1600 Kapiolani Blvd. #808 (the Pan Am Building). Call 949-8346.

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tattoostartBell's unwanted starfish over floral design.

tattoofrostingThe laser at work.

tattooendIn about 8 minutes, blues and greens are dramatically lightened.

Microsoft bringing Macklemore, Neon Trees on opening day

April 20th, 2013

macMacklemore, right, and Ryan Lewis.

Microsoft is sending along a few friends to help celebrate the opening of its retail store at Ala Moana Center on June 13.

The grand opening ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m., and gates will open for a 4 p.m. concert by the Neon Trees and one of the hottest duos today, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. There's no escaping their "Thrift Shop" hit on radio.

Stay tuned for more info in the month to come.

We haven't had a store opening this big since November 2006, when the opening of Miss Sixty/Energie at Ala Moana Center brought back Hawaii-born actress Kelly Hu, and performances by recording artists Josh Radin, Schuyler Fisk, and Rachel Yamagata, and DJ Steve Aoki.

In a sort of in-your-face move, the store will open opposite longtime competitor, the Apple Store.

Atten-hut: KiRu show draws standing ovation

April 18th, 2013

wkiniNadine Kam photos
Models in KiniZamora designs.

Kini Zamora goes street casual? The designer is best known for extravagant, over-the-top runway presentations since he graduated from Honolulu Community College's Fashion Technology program in 2005, and not even the "Project Runway" audition judges' advice to tone it down could deter him from drama.

But, there comes a time in a young designers' life when it becomes apparent that survival means capturing the attention of the mainstream. It doesn't necessarily mean dumbing down or selling out, but designing to be worn instead of designing to be photographed.

Meanwhile, Waru's Dean Satta had design ambitions without the technical know-how, so the two collaborated, and the standing ovation at the end of the Waru and KiniZamora KiRu fashion show said it all.

Satta sent down a line of detailed, stylish, yet wearable men's collection, in military hues with dashes of yellow and red providing more dramatic colorways. Zamora matched the military inspiration with camouflage-print capes and jumpsuit, olive drab separates, simple tops and sexy oversize sweater tops. I particularly liked some of his shapely cigarette pants. Of course, the drama didn't disappear completely as he demonstrated with a kabuki warrior style finale.

The event took place April 12 at TheVilla at Aloha Tower Marketplace, opening with a show of retro designs created from vintage fabric by Kini's aunt Delilah Patoc, who specializes in custom gowns and mentored the designer while he was growing up

Items from the KiRu show will be available to order in three weeks, and will be available online at and Prices range from: KiniZamora $35 to $80 and Waru $20 to $80.

On a side note, in the course of working on this story for print, I was able to work again with Dylan Peckenpaugh, a classmate of Satta's at Kauai High School, who I met in New York when he was working for Dior Homme and I was in town for fashion week. These days, he's happy to have traded his suits for more casual wear, and helping his old friend launch his line. Together, they're definitely going places.

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wdesignersKini Zamora, left, and Waru's Dean Satta, right, welcomed celeb designer Ariyaphon Southiphong.

wkawanoMinnie Han and Ron Kayano, who was a classmate of Kini's at HCC. 

wstylistsPaul Mitchell stylists.

w2Jim Ascuncion and Mailene Malana were among the fashion show guests.

wkaluaThe $10 SRO admission got attendees pupu such as kalua pork sandwiches and lomilomi salmon, and below, spiced garlicky soybeans, meatballs and more.



Leather Soul hosts made-to-measure event

April 7th, 2013

lsfabricNadine Kam photos
Trouser fabric samples from Salvatore Ambrosi of Ambrosi Napoli, at Leather Soul Downtown.

Leather Soul Downtown teamed up with Hong Kong haberdashery The Armoury to bring bespoke tailoring by Orazio Luciano of Naples, Italy, to Hono­lulu on April 2 for an exclusive made-to-measure event, also featuring third-generation trouser specialist Salvatore Ambrosi of Ambrosi Napoli.

The clothiers were in Honolulu  to introduce fine Neapolitan tailoring, noted for unpadded construction and lines that make them lighter to wear than their English and American counterparts, according to Leather Soul owner Tom Park.

The Armoury partners Ethan Newton and Alan See were on hand, with Newton performing fittings that took about an hour, not because it takes that long be measured, but because it generally takes clients that long to pick their fabric.Made-to-measure jackets start at $3,100, trousers at $700, and at those prices, no one wants to change their mind later.

As one client, Reid Takamoto said, he'll be watching what he's eating from now on, lest he outgrow his pants. Newton said it's never a good idea to get into the habit of adding some "give" to the waistband. Not only is the object of bespoke tailoring about the perfect fit, but if you give yourself room to expand, you will.

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lsmeetOne of Leather Soul's clients meets with, from left, Ethan Newton of the Armoury, trouser maker Salvatore Ambrosi, and Alan See, also of The Armoury.

lslengthThe new length of pants, with wide cuffs, the better to show off footwear from Leather Soul!

Fans mix and mingle with Rebecca Minkoff

April 2nd, 2013

minkoff maniNadine Kam photos
Nordstrom shoppers were invited to "Mix and Mingle with Rebecca Minkoff" on March 26.

Rebecca Minkoff fans don't know how close they came to missing her work because the designer almost gave up on her design dream in 2005.

Minkoff was at Nordstrom Honolulu—one of only four stores she'd visit on this trip (the others are in California and Chicago)—on March 26 to introduce her Spring/Summer 2013 collection of clothing and handbag designs, and I had 10 minutes to get her to tell all.

She got her start designing clothing, but considering she's best known for her handbags, so I asked whether she was surprised to discover her affinity for designing bags and how quickly her career took off because of it.

"It shocked me, because I was about to give up when it caught on and I said, 'Omigod, there is a God,' " she said. "Really, I was trying to do everything by myself all the time, I had run out of money and didn't know what to do next. To me it was a sign to keep going."

The “Morning After Bag,” or the “M.A.B.” ignited Rebecca’s career in 2005 and inspired the “downtown romantic” designs that now define her work.

minkoffFrom left, Nordstrom's Maria Bernardo, Rebecca Minkoff and stylist Crystal Pancipanci.

Although she said she tries to keep her own needs in mind when designing bags, she really thinks about her clients and has created a niche by thinking about life's firsts, from a girl's first date, to first love, her first job and first experience with motherhood.

I see her Craig Camera crossbody bag ($195) in my future after spotting it on the Nordstrom floor, with cool lines and the depth of a hard leather vintage camera case. She explained the crossbody came about from her observation of bloggers and how they're constantly fumbling with cameras in their hands and notetaking. "I thought I'd give them a place to put their camera, that's also stylish."
Rebecca Minkoff's Craig crossbody camera bag.

After four years of designing statement-making handbags and accessories with her trademark leathers, studs and edgy hardware, Rebecca returned to her roots and introduced her first ready-to-wear collection in 2009.

Nordstrom is carrying her Spring 2013 collection, inspired by the photographer Slim Aarons, known for his glamorous and iconic 1960s and '70s photographs of socialites, jet-setters and celebrities as they lounged poolside.

Minkoff’s latest collection that evokes that same carefree, beach-like spirit, and looking at the ombre floral print of Minkoff's silk jumpsuit or Couric top, it's easy to imagine a bit of Hawaii in the ease of wear and color combinations,

It turns out that Rebecca has fond childhood memories of vacationing in Kona since she was 2 years old, when her father brought the family to the islands to stay while he competed in Ironman triathlons.

Hawaii remains a special place to her family. Her brother got married in Kailua in 2005. She had considered marrying here as well, but said, "When your brother does something, you have to do something different." So she held her wedding in Italy in 2009.

Although she said she always loved fashion and received her first Vogue subscription at 8 years old, because she grew up in an athletic family, wearing her brother's hand-me-down clothing, she still considers herself a tomboy and defines her style as "sexy tomboy," which resonates with the attitude and active lifestyles of women today.

minkoffbagsFans wait in line to meet Rebecca Minkoff, near a display of her classic M.A.C. shoulder bags and M.A.B. leather totes.

minkoffmMinkoff in her own Spring 2013 silk floral print jumpsuit, with Ki-ele jewelry designer Marylea Conrad.

minkoff eyewearMinkoff eyewear on display.

minkoff glassesSavannah Tatreau tries on a pair of the designer's new Carmine sunglasses with blonde tortoise finish, $220.

minkoffdisplayNear the store's cosmetic department entrance, a display of Minkoff apparel and handbags.

minkoff display

Easter weekend with ACUW

April 2nd, 2013

acuw1Nadine Kam video stills and photos
ACUW president Beverly Mau was among the ACUW members who took part in the group's annual scholarship fashion show March 30.

The Associated Chinese University Women held their annual scholarship fashion show March 30 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballrooms, featuring Duke's Clothing of Wahiawa, which carries brands like Citron, Water Lily, and You and Me Naturally.

There was a big turnout, considering it was Easter weekend, and some people brought the Easter spirit with them.

acuweasterA day before Easter, Christine Lung accessorized with bunny ears. She's with Lixin Song.

acuw2More ACUW members on stage. Click on the image for video.

acuwredDesigner Mae Young was in the audience, showing up in one of her creations. She has a shop in the Chinatown Cultural Plaza.

acuwpearlsAt boutique sales outside the ballroom, I met Lynn Murray Sien, who was selling beautiful pearl jewelry. I couldn't leave without one of her "Naked Pearl" ropes, great for denim, great for evening, and just about every occasion. You can see more of her work at

acuwMore boutique wraps, scarves and accessories.

Seeing red on St. Paddy's Day

April 2nd, 2013

redlineupNadine Kam photos
Red displaced green as the color of the day on March 17, with the presentation of a Red fashion show at The Pacific Club.

Joanna Sullivan was honored with a fashion show that took place March 17 at the Pacific Club, with presentations by designers Eric Chandler, Kimberly Williams and Takeo, and jewelry presented by Anna Meng of The Meng Dynasty.

On sunny St. Patrick's Day, red replaced green as the color of the day, as the show also aimed to raise awareness of heart health.

Dubbed the Red fashion show, Takeo also called it his "second wind show" after his 2011 heart attack, open heart surgery and stroke. Although still recovering, he can't help but keep busy, though now he puts as much effort into bringing up the next generation and upcoming talent, as into his own work.

This show marked an introduction to Williams' work, and Emma Wo, Joanna Sullivan's granddaughter, as fashion coordinator.

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redJewelry specialist Anna Meng with designers Eric Chandler, left, and Takeo.

redericAureana Tseu in an ensemble from Eric Chandler.

red ericAnother look from Eric.

red annaAureana in one of Anna Meng's pearl ropes.

red umbrellaA couple of Takeo's designs.


redgreenIn St. Patrick's Day green, from left, Kitty Wo with her mother, honoree Joanna Sullivan, and Blossom Tyau. (more…)

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