By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
From left, Fighting Eel's Linh Owen, Rona Bennett and Lan Chung, in a limited-edition FE tee created to celebrate the opening of the third FE store in Waikiki.
Fighting Eel presented a fashion show and summer collection launch party at The Republik on May 30th, also a celebration in advance of FE's third store opening at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki on June 16.
The new store is located in a primo ground-floor site in the central Building B. In addition to carrying Fighting Eel, the store will carry the appropriately resort-themed Ava Sky line also designed and produced by the women of Fighting Eel.
It's a big year for FE founders and designers Lan Chung and Rona Bennett, who are marking FE's 10th anniversary. With clothing also designed for the next generation of Baby Eels, they seem to be well on their way to building one of those granddaddy empires, so some future fashion writer will be able to talk about them in the same breath as those multi-generational brands as Tori Richard, Iolani and Surf Line Hawaii!
The show on the 30th was created and designed by Lindsey Higa with Mahina Boersma styling hair & Timeless Classic Beauty handling the makeup.
While I was shooting the show, there was a guy standing next to me toward the end, who recognized the pineapple print of one of the dresses. He kept saying, "Wow, that's vintage Fighting Eel; that's really retro."
I was thinking, a guy's not supposed to know his fashion history. Turns out he was the boyfriend of one of the models, who he said has pieces from nearly every FE collection.
I've saved a lot of FE pieces as well. I still have pieces dating to their inaugural summer collection in 2003, when they were doing tight-fitting tank tops with cute appliques, from shakas to starfish. I love those! They are so well made they have held up over time. I also have pieces from one of their holiday gold and silver lamé period. I have at least four of those pieces, from, I believe the fall of 2006, because there was a spring 2007 fashion "Face-off" between Lindsay Lohan and Jamie-Lynn Sigler online at People magazine.
Waiting for the show to start.