Archive for May, 2013

Honolulu Night Market goes big on fashion

May 19th, 2013

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The culinary community has Eat the Street to promote grassroots food purveyors, and Hono­­lulu Night Market, in the heart of Kakaako, promises to do the same for the retail and fashion community.

Every month, the event combines food and drink, shopping and fashion, including retail pop-up shops and a themed fashion show presented by an up-and-coming stylist who is given carte blanche to showcase his or her vision.

This time, Tyson Joines was tapped, and he created a study in black and white, inspired by Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2013 collection, with designs running the gamut of sporty and evening chic, utilizing apparel from Wang, plus local boutiques Basique Threads, I AM., and Bamboo Sky.

Over the eight months the monthly Honolulu Night Market has been in existence, the shows have grown, and this was the largest to date, with 21 models showing 42 looks. Past shows have featured about 25 looks on 12 to 15 models. It's great as more in the fashion community—from stylists to makeup artists—now have a large venue to showcase their work and turn their ideas into reality.

It's great for young artists and designers as well as Kakaako-area businesses, enabling people to come together in forging collaborations that will have lasting long-term benefits for the economy and community. Gov. Neil Abercrombie was there to show his support for the fashion community and contratulated Tyson after the show.

This month, the event took place May 18 at 683 Auahi St., where pop-up shops set up inside the Pinch of Salt warehouse. Among them were B.E.A.D.S. HI (custom bracelets), Deanna Rose's Indigo Elixirs (skin salves and balms), Padma & Pickles (custom jewelry), Bamboo Sky, House of Aria, Florencia Arias, Jenny Cao-Wu's, and more.

The next Honolulu Night Market will take place 6 to 11 p.m. June 15.

hnmkeikoNadine Kam photos
Keiko Bonk with husband Michael Christopher.

hnmChrista Wittmier and Sarah Honda.

hnmhokulaniThe fashionable Hokulani, in Doggles and polka-dot ensemble attended with Norman Dung. You can check out her Facebook page at

hnm tysonStylist Tyson Joines after the fashion show with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and First Lady Nancie Caraway.

hnmtiffBamboo Sky's Tiffany Young set up TiffHeartFashion's Preloved Clothes, and I scored her Elizabeth & James cropped silk top for $25. Yay!

hnmbskyFor those who like their clothes all-new, her Bamboo Sky pop-up was packed with shoppers.

hnmariaHouse of Aria was a first-timer at Honolulu Night Market. Owner Melody Domingo, second from right, was there with, from left, Adrianne Quiane, April Domingo and Jessica Tabucbuc.

hnmfreshJenny Cao-Wu's brought her pop-up to Pinch of Salt.

hnm pearlsYou could order customized black pearl jewelry from Kelsey Nishi's Padma & Pickles.

hnm florenciaFlorencia Arias offered her dresses for women and girls.

hnm leiIn time for graduation season, R&D was offering Sweet Lady candy lei. Find out more at

hnmartOut on the street, people could shop for artwork.

UH students present 'Zeitgeist: Spirit of the Times'

May 19th, 2013

uh2Nadine Kam photos
The 1950s meets 1980s in Jenna Sato's "Dreamboat" collection.

Students from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Apparel Product Design and Merchandising Program staged the 47th annual senior fashion show, “Zeitgeist: Spirit of the Times,” April 28 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.

The show featured the work of 13 junior designers and seven graduating seniors, highlighted by the individual senior collections, with a finale of three segments: “Blistering Magnetism,” with strong abstract and modern details; “Écobilan,” meaning eco-balance and offering examples of sustainable design; and “Renewable Energy,” incorporating LED lights and glowing fabrics.

Here's a look at what was shown, along with snippets of my interviews with each of the seniors prior to the shows, allowing you to watch the videos and see how well they lived up to their intent.

Congratulations all, and see you in the real world!

uh3Models in ultra-freminine looks from Kitti Kurokawa's "Le Blossom" collection.

uh1Patricia Clariza showed Jazz Age-inspired looks from her "Moonshine" collection.

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Jenna Sato

A 1980s film about the 1950s captured Sato’s imagination. Watching “Back to the Future,” she learned the term “dreamboat” and was inspired by the era’s innocence, full skirts and sweetheart necklines.

She couples brocades with sheer fabrics, with a little bit of the 1980s expressed through high-halter necklines and backless silhouettes, “so it’s not typical 1950s,” she said. “It’ll have a little more edge and sexiness to it.

“There’s a lot of my personal story in it because I love vintage, and cutouts are my signature detail.”

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Bejan Moers

Just because Moers’ focus is fashion doesn’t mean he’s been ignoring his other classes. The anthropology and history of earlier civilizations started him thinking about ways our ancestors used natural materials to shield themselves.

His collection embraces leather and other natural materials that lend themselves more to construction than draping when suiting up the modern warrior.

“It’s taking the idea of making nature very edgy and clothing the warrior of today,” he said. “We’ve evolved, but we still need those shields — not for battling lions and tigers, but battling other things that are more emotional now.”

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Jazmine Nakamura

Nakamura has long been a film buff and since high school has been drawn to costume design as a way of revealing the development of character.

Her collection was inspired by “Blade Runner,” marking her attempt to replicate the replicant Rachel’s evolution.

Nakamura tells her story with structured 1940s-style suits coupled with hard copper collars, to a softer look, ending with 1930s-style bias-cut garments in textured silks and wools.

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Breanne Lee

Tyvek, a waterproof plastic paper most often spotted on construction sites as a water intrusion barrier, is also the foundation of Lee’s origami-inspired designs.

“I wanted to keep to traditional origami. Other designers have used fabric; I wanted to stick with paper,” she said.

It is a difficult medium for fashion.

“Once you puncture it, that’s it,” she said. “A lot of creases show up with handling, and you can’t iron it, except with low heat, or it will melt.”

Even so, her gamble will pay off in stark white, geometric shapes that are bound to garner a lot of attention.

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Kitti Kurokawa

Just before the Kauai-raised designer first set foot in a UH classroom, he visited Japan with his parents, where they came upon “hills and hills of lavender flowers” in Hokkaido.

“It was still snowing, and the wind would catch the flowers and they would move it in huge waves,” he said. “It was breathtaking.”

They got out of the car to take photographs and lie in the fields, and the beauty of that moment is reflected in his collection featuring lilac and other floral hues, also inspired by laid-back Kauai and his grandmothers’ orchid collections.

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Mari Nakamura

The designer loves the complexity of a mash-up of different weights and textures of textiles and brings her piece-y aesthetic to a collection of outerwear that showcases her love of contrast and tailoring.

Not all her friends understand her penchant for mixing styles that might include a bit of loose grunge with uptight, buttoned-up jackets.

“They tell me, ‘I don’t even know what you like. I don’t know your style.’”

But the fashion crowd will appreciate the beauty of her paneled coats, and her friends are likely to follow suit … as the mainstream always does, two years later.

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Patricia Claviza

The designer was drawn to the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age of the 1920s and ’30s, saying she was drawn to the “burgeoning of sexuality expressed through clothing.”

Her designs are suited to the contemporary flapper, with sequins and sheer fabric bringing an element of decadence, and elegant draping that provides ease of wear.

Attuned to current social settings, she said that in her garments, “You’ll stand out, but won’t look out of place. You can dress it up or down any way you want. Anyone can pull it off.”

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Treasures await at Night Market

May 18th, 2013

quinceNadine Kam photos
Marissa Selders at Quince Home.

If you're stopping by Honolulu Night Market today, check out Quince Home next to the Pinch of Salt pop-up shops.

That's where owner Marissa Selders merges her retail and interior design background to offer a few of her favorite ideas and objects for the home, full of color and whimsy.

While there I also ran into Jenny Cao-Wu, who launched the website, catering to an underserved market in Hawaii, career women who want to balance the need to be professionally conservative, but personally edgy, not dowdy.

Although Jenny offers clothing from across the nation, at the Night Market, her focus will be apparel by local designers Allison Izu, Umee, and 19th & Whimsy.

The events are centered around 683 Auahi St., from 6 to 11 p.m., with an "I Love Kakaako" fashion show at 8.

fashionThis ensemble from Darling is among the designs featured at Jenny Cao-Wu's online shopping site,, highlighting career wear from emerging designers.

qtableTabletop treats at Quince.

qbookshelfOn the bookshelf.

quincedisplayColorful cupboards.

qblocksDecorative woodblocks.

quincemEven Quince's mascot is colorful. He hangs out by the door so don't step on him.

quincesoapA beautiful selection of bath bars.

Island Slipper opens at Royal Hawaiian Center

May 10th, 2013

isNadine Kam photos
Island Slipper owner John Carpenter is surrounded by some of his employees, next to Dorothy Kohashi in mu'umu'u. She is the daughter of Island Slipper founders Takizo and Misao Motonaga .

May 10 was a holiday for employees of Island Slipper, whose only obligation to the company that day was to show up in time for a bus ride to the grand opening of the company's new store at the Royal Hawaiian Center, before heading to lunch courtesy of boss John Carpenter, at Tsukiji Fish Market and Restaurant at Ala Moana Center.

The new store was designed in the nostalgic spirit of the beach homes that existed before the concrete and hotels that now line Waikiki. Located on the center's second floor, the shop's exterior stands out in its seafoam color, with warm wood interior.

Where most slipper shops are crammed into a small footprint, with wares simply lined wall to wall, Island Slipper has the luxury of 2,000 square feet, with lots of open space and retro displays paying homage to the company's 67-year history.

"We had to bring our game up because Waikiki is a different market," Carpenter said, adding, "Our desire was to create a fun place to shop where our customers feel at home."

Showcased are Island Slipper's signature floral-designed footwear, as well as women's designs incorporating beads, raffia and pyramid studs, and men's designs in leather and suede.

I was a little late to the opening, and walked in to find a surprise waiting for me. In 2011, I'd attended the grand reopening of Island Slipper's Ward Warehouse store and was impressed enough to write a feature story about the company. I happen to have Cinderella size feet, so the slippers didn't fit me. So I suggested to John that he add children's styles so I might be able to fit. He explained it wasn't that simple, so I figured the time wasn't right.

Children's slippers have yet to materialize, but in the meantime, he searched the globe for a smaller women's last and created a prototype size 4 for li'l ole me me, and, it fit! Oh happy day, it is so hard to find size 4s, much less my actual size, a 3! So I will be wearing my new white floral slippers around, and definitely will be kicking around New York streets in my Island Slippers in a few weeks!

Island Slipper stores are at Ward Warehouse (593-8229) and Royal Hawaiian Center Buiding A, Level 2 (923-2222).

isextThe exterior of Island Slipper recreates the ambience of a beach house.

ispuneeA pune'e adds to the beach house feel.

isvintageVintage Island Slippers on display.

iscollabsFeatured from left are recent collaboration designs created for J. Crew,  Japan fashion designer Tsumori Chisato, and Barney's New York.

isstylAdditional accessories capture Island Slippers island style.

isslippahOne of many posters inviting shoppers to consider their sense of island lifestyle.

ishoneyThe Male'ana collection of honeymooner slippers, with examples above and below, allow couples to match without being matchy-matchy.


is1As company owner, John Carpenter can do what he wants and created the only existing pair of studded white "Elvis" slippers just for himself. (more…)

Sheryl Lowe at Neiman Marcus

May 9th, 2013

sherylNadine Kam photos
Jewelry designer Sheryl Lowe dropped into Neiman Marcus for a Mother's Day trunk show.

For all the gem lovers who turned up at Neiman Marcus May 4, jewelry from Sheryl Lowe Designs was just one of the main attractions for Mother's Day shopping. The other was the chance opportunity of also meeting Sheryl's husband, actor Rob Lowe.

Sheryl was slated to be on the jewelry floor from noon, though Rob was flying in that day and wasn't due at the store until about 2 p.m. I didn't arrive until about 2:30 because I was working on a feature on Gatsby-style hair to coincide with the opening of Baz Luhrmann's "The Greaty Gatsby," and creating the look is not a quick process.

By then, the Lowes had headed to lunch, which meant I had some time to check out Sheryl's designs before they were due back.

Sheryl has been a Hollywood makeup artist for more than 20 years, and married to Rob just as long.

sllayersSheryl's multi-colored, multi-textured collections are versatile enough to be mixed, matched, worn singly or stacked.

In 2007, inspired by her world travels—and years of acquiring treasures from the Seychelles, North Africa, India and the Middle East—she created jewelry for a small group of friends. Due to the enthusiastic response and advice from longtime friend Maria Shriver, she formalized her jewelry line, Sheryl Lowe Designs, donating a portion of sales to women's and children's charities.

On her return from her lunch break, Sheryl said she loves the idea of mixing metals with earth, "the texturing, the layering, the mixing of color with metal. I just love the mix."

There is such a wide range of materials incorporated into her designs, that at first, it's overwhelming to see an array of Yemen black coral beads, next to displays of rose-cut diamonds from India, sandalwood beads, baroque pearls, and even bracelets and necklaces strung with discs of upcycled, colored vinyl records.

And yet, as a busy woman herself, she said the pieces are designed to be versatile and stackable, so a woman can buy one piece this year, add a totally different piece next year, wear them day or evening, together or separately, and have them mesh well.

sllayerIn person, Kami Jennings, one of Sheryl's assistants dressed in her jewelry, is a ringer for Jennifer Lawrence, which she hears all the time.

"It's all one story," she said, though for her, the story is more involved.

"The jewelry remind me of where I went, of the topography of the land, the colors and what women wore. When I think of Sardinia, I think of the blues, the corals and greens. In London, gray, and in Paris, the golds."

Prior to starting her business, the beads sat at home in bowls around the house, and Sheryl said it was never a problem because Rob also appreciated them. Among her collections is a men's line simply called Rob. All her collections are named after her friends.

"He loves that I'm passionate about creating. He wears my designs all the time and he has a great eye. He especially loves the sandalwood and Yemen coral."

rloweAlthough Rob didn't go back to the jewelry counter, some people insisted I go and stalk him in the men's department, where he was doing some shopping. As it happened, he was coming down the escalator while I was going up, so he graciously agreed to a photo. He's holding a batch of his wife's jewelry, from the Rob collection created for men, but just as easily worn by women.

slcoralAntique Yemen black coral beads, studded with silver inlays, can pair with many a contemporary outfit.

slvinylThese colorful bracelet discs are cut from old vinyl records.

sldiazCameron Diaz owns one of Sheryl Lowe's ohm meditative necklaces.

slhermesOne of Sheryl's collaborations is the Her collection of leather bracelets incorporating leather from Hermès.

Ferragamo offers custom Vara and Varina shoes

May 9th, 2013

v2If I were ordering a Vara, I'd probably choose this neutral Bisque with a pop of Ruby, but they don't have my size. 🙁

With customization in the zeitgeist, Salvatore Ferragamo is marking the 35th anniversary of its Vara shoe by giving clients the opportunity to design their own pair of Vara or Varina shoes by choosing the material, color, grosgrain bow and hardware. There are 63 possible combinations, and the offer will be available for a year, with new color introductions to accompany each new season.

The original Vara is a midheel shoe with grosgrain bow. The Varina is a ballet flat version of the shoe introduced in 2007.

The cost of the shoes, including a metal plate on the bottom bearing the wearer's initials, and shipping anywhere in the United States, is $550.

Visit to try your hand at design. To see how some tastemakers wear their Varas and Varinas, visit, which will post photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank's portraits of 21 women over 21 days this month.

v1Of course, it's hard to pick just one pair, so this Powder Blue with Oxford Blue bow and heel, would balance the Bisque and Ruby.

Brisk-paced 'POSH' showcases 19 HCC senior designers

May 1st, 2013

hccpostNadine Kam photos
Honolulu Community College graduating designer Jocelyn Belden posed on the red carpet with one of her models after the student fashion show that took place April 27. This model had a walk I've only seen on New York runways.

It's great to see so many more people becoming interested in a career in fashion design, but for a program accustomed to dealing with about eight graduating seniors each year, the minting of 19 fashion graduates posed a bit of a logistical problem for Honolulu Community College.

The number of grads meant each designer's turn on the runway was limited to a five-piece collection. In spite of the brisk pace and abbreviated collections, each designer was easily able to get their point of view across, in a show that took the audience from the beach into the evening.

Just as last year, the event took place at the school's oceanfront Marine Education & Training Center, where a red carpet and impressive buffet dinner awaited guests.

The students—Kitri Rowland, Pualei Beter, Thanh Apostolides (I want your gray dress!), Sera Brand, Yuka Kanno, Wanda Martin, Monica Pacleb, Jodi Park, Pong Cheung, Chai Siang Lim, Ian Ramos, Tiare Kaopua, Jacky Lau, Elizabeth Chang, Jocelyn Belden, Leina Kelly, Moses Gouveia, Christina Wong and Milan Narag—did a great job.

I look forward to seeing you all out in the real world!

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hcckpSenior designers Kitri Rowland, left, and Pualei Beter take their bows after the show.

hccywSenior designers Yuka Kanno and Wanda Martin have their turn on the runway. (more…)

J Salon celebrates move to Ward Plaza

May 1st, 2013

jsalonNadine Kam photos
Aubrey Hawk with J Salon co-owners Joe Randazzo, center, and Gary Casupang, at the opening of the salon's new location at Ward Plaza, 210 Ward Ave., which also houses Bank of Hawaii.

J Salon co-owners Joe Randazzo and Gary Casupang celebrated the relocation of the salon from the IBM Building to Ward Plaza with a grand opening party April 21.

At 3,800 square feet, the gleaming new space is 60 percent larger than the previous space, which is being used as an information center for the Howard Hughes Corp.'s Kakaako redevelopment project.

In addition to a color bar—which that night was transformed into a cocktail bar—the salon now has a spacious patio where clients can sit and relax before or after appointments, or while waiting for hair to dry.

It speaks volumes that clients have followed J Salon through moves from Chinatown, where the salon opened on Nuuanu Avenue in 2003, to the IBM Building in 2008, and now, to Ward Plaza. That's every five years. You have to wonder where the next leap might be in in 2018 ...

jOne of Joe's sisters, Martha Randazzo Rioux, in town for the event, left, and Joanne Roa.

j3From left, Dennis Guillermo, Anjie Jacobs and Jeffrey Gaspar.

jsonSon Caribe performed on the outside deck while guests danced to the band's Latin rhythms.

jphotoGuests posed for pictures.

jgroupTop row, from left, Queny Rios, Michiko Shimizu and Jovan Artiko. Seated from left, Joshua Manion, Dylan Linkner and Keli'i Bukoski.

j2Dylan Linkner and Ashley Kirk.

jcouplAdam Borchardt and Carmen Cruz.

jhibiscusJoe samples one of the cocktails.

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