By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Bliss Lau at a meet-and-greet event and jewelry trunk show at the Coconut Waikiki Hotel.
Prior to the July 20 Hawaii RED magazine-sponsored branding master class taught by Hawaii-raised designer Bliss Lau and New York brand strategist Jasmine Takanikos, the pair appeared at a meet-and-greet session and trunk show for media and the fashion community at the Coconut Waikiki Hotel July 19.
It was my only opportunity to catch up with the two, because July 20 was a magnet for event planners and my calendar was full with three events to get to.
I'm sorry I missed their event at the Kahala, which aimed to bring to Honolulu a taste of the prestigious Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, where they jointly teach a course in accessory design and brand strategy, a one-two punch that would-be designers or retailers need to translate their ideas into products and communicate their ideas to consumers.
Of course, a visit from Bliss is always dangerous for me because I always have to have a few of her new pieces. She has such a strong aesthetic, and I always love a strong statement. This time around, I picked up a leather bra-vest, the same style she was wearing that day, which can dress up a simple tank top. Today, I'm wearing it with a black H&M fishtail dress. I thought of picking up one of her new fine jewelry body chains, but for now I'll continue to make do with her more industrial 2.0 version.
It's interesting to see how her designs evolve, which is part of her course at Parsons, where she was a design student and is now a professor. She said she employs the Socratic method of asking questions to arrive at answers as to how to continually refine work and better communicate her ideas.
I now have five of her pieces, and looking at her website, http://www.blisslau.com, there are many more on my wish list, but first I have to clear out my closet to see where I can make the best use of them.
A display of Bliss Lau's work and current fine jewelry pieces.
Guests were welcome to try on pieces, including the Chrysler bracelet, at right, $229, and its newer fine jewelry counterpart.
It took seeing the Bridge ring ($333), below, IRL to make sense of the stackable, buildable design when paired with the Split ring ($110), as modeled.
Bliss Lau's new leather bra-vest piece suited her dress so well Toby Portner and I both asked her if the dress had been made specifically to showcase the piece, but no, her body jewelry/accessories simply adapt to various clothing, adding interest and elevating the simplest tank top.