Fashion Tribe

Disco days revisited at 'Black Tie & Blue Jeans'

July 24th, 2013


Stanley Okada photo
Finalists in the best-dressed segment of the American Heart Association's 16th annual "Black Tie & Blue Jeans," the Disco edition. Richard Kessler, back, was the male winner for his patchwork and camel-color ensemble. Keely Burns, in the gold lamé jumpsuit was the female winner.

If you walked into The Pacific Club on July 20, you might have thought you'd stepped into a time machine, with The American Heart Association hosting its 16th annual "Black Tie & Blue Jeans" event, this time with a 1970s disco theme.

It was  "Saturday Night Fever" redux as dozens of men attempted to channel their best John Travolta Tony Manero dance-floor pose, while women slinked about in lamé and jumpsuits, and huge afros paid homage to Black Power icon Angela Davis and musicians and actors like Sly and the Family Stone, Pam Grier and Billy Preston.

No doubt the retro styles are fun and humorous to look at now, but I just wondered how society evolved at the time to have such collective bad taste. As bad as it was, I thought the '80s marked the worst period for fashion ever and I'm happy with the minimalist mindset that swept all that away beginning in the 1990s.

BTBJ included dinner, live auction and popular silent auction of merchandise ranging from jewelry to spa services to dining certificates and several wines.

It all built up to an evening on the disco floor or whiling the hours til midnight at BTBJ's casino complete with roulette, craps and 21 tables.

Meanwhile, AHA's message wasn't lost as they reminded guests of "Two Steps to Saying Alive," the first by calling 911, and the second by learning to apply CPR by pushing your hands hard and fast in the center of the stricken person's chest, to the beat of The Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive," which they say at 100 beats per minute is the ideal rate for performing CPR! Who knew?

Check out a demo here:


Nadine Kam photos
Danny Kim pulls his best John Travolta "Saturday Night Fever" move, with Marni Sakumoto, on the disco floor.


From left are Lori Suan, executive director of the American Heart Association Hawaii  division; Christian Adams,  Carlsmith Ball LLP partner and Black Tie  &  Blue Jeans chairman; and Lesli Yano, director, special events for the

American Heart Association photo

Purchase of a $10 disco band granted entry to Disco Dance Central and karaoke areas. There were also disco ball necklaces for $5.


From left, Lacy Matsumoto, Kecia Littman, Juri Ko and Todd Tripp.


Joe Bock on the dance floor with Keely Burns.


From left, Forest Frizzell, Chris Abbott, Meli James and Chenoa Farnsworth.


While many danced, others ended the night in the casino, a popular return engagement, with roulette, craps and blackjack tables.




It was a night of costume elsewhere as I headed to Kakaako after "Black Tie/Blue Jeans to help Grant "Chuggy Bear" Shindo mark his birthday, at Whole Ox Deli. While there, we encountered pirates who'd come ashore after a sail with the Treasure Seeker. Clockwise from left, Russell Moore, Chris Cano, Jon Albiola, Karla Moore and Erika Alexander. For Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures tour information, call 593-AHOY (2469).

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