May 27th, 2014
Fashion by Native Hawaiian designers Harinani Orme, Lauwa‘e, Maile Andrade, Manuheali‘i, Marques Marzan, Puamana Crabbe, Wahine Toa, and Manaola was presented during the annual MAMo Wearable Arts Show Wednesday at Hawaii Theatre.
The showcase of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian fashion, jewelry, textiles, prints, and Polynesian tattoos was part of Maoli Arts Month, presented by PA‘I, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Hawaiian cultural traditions.
While the show was taking place on stage, traditional Hawaiian tattoo, or kakau, artist Keone Nunes was backstage performing a live demonstration of his craft for cameras, with footage screened in real time during breaks in the fashion show. I think most in the audience would agree we were thinking "ouch" in watching the process.
Marques Marzan, a cultural resource specialist at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, always proves one to watch, this year inspired by his travels through Asia and the Pacific. Unlike those who design for commercial interests, the fiber artist explores different techniques of weaving and plaiting through his work. This year, he worked with breadfruit fiber and hemp textiles, as well as silk and kapa. Most intriguing were his hemp veils, using techniques employed in plaiting lauhala.
There was also a lot of enthusiasm on display during a Manuheali'i segment in which the models broke into dance to Pharrell Williams' "Happy." The energetic dance moves were a good indicator of the comfort factor of clothes you can live and move in,
It was a fun night, capped by a trunk show taking place at eleven44 on Bethel Street. Apparently, the show proved a good draw for sales of the clothing because there was a long line to get in!
Here is video from the event:
This year, the show will travel beyond Oahu. On Saturday, designers Maile Andrade, Marques Marzan, Wahine Toa, Micha Kamohoalii and Keone Nunes will be featured at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea on Hawaii island. Tickets are $35 and $60; visit maoliartsmonth.org for more information.
On June 28, the Maui Arts & Cultural Center will welcome Keali'i Reichel, Maile Andrade, Manuheali'i, Marques Marzan, Wahine Toa and Keone Nunes. Tickets are $35 and $60; call (808) 242-2787 or visit mauiarts.org.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.