Fashion Tribe

Versace celebrates Hawaii opening

June 12th, 2014
PHOTOS  BY NADINE KAMJAPAN MUSICIAN, DJ AND STREET-STYLE ARTIST MADEMOISELLE YULIA, DRESSED IN VERSACE, WAS AMONG THE GUESTS AT THE GRAND OPENING OF THE VERSACE BOUTIQUE AT ALA MOANA CENTER. ABOVE HER IS THE BRAND'S SIGNATURE MEDUSA DESIGN.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

JAPAN MUSICIAN, DJ AND STREET-STYLE ARTIST MADEMOISELLE YULIA, DRESSED IN VERSACE, WAS AMONG THE GUESTS AT THE GRAND OPENING OF THE VERSACE BOUTIQUE AT ALA MOANA CENTER. ABOVE HER IS THE BRAND'S SIGNATURE MEDUSA DESIGN.

The Versace boutique celebrated its grand opening at Ala Moana Center with a glam party worthy of the Versace name on Thursday.

General manager Patrick Gey welcomed host Princess Elizabeth Kawananakoa of Eurocinema Hawai'i for the event that also served as a fundraiser for the organization. Ten percent of sales through Friday will benefit Eurocinema Hawai'i.

It's been so long since we've had a boutique opening celebration of this magnitude that I felt quite underdressed. It's so easy to slip into that, "Eh, it's only Hawaii attitude," when I should have known better, considering the dapper Gey knows how to throw a party and had an extra assist from international über stylist and production designer Dean Christopher, who said he's back home to stay.

After staging events for the biggest fashion houses from Paris to New York, Christopher's return could mark an exciting new magnitude for events in Honolulu, ratcheting excitement levels from a tepid 5 on a 10-point scale, to 11!

BOUTIQUE GENERAL MANAGER PATRICK GEY, RIGHT, WITH HIS WIFE MARISA GEY, AND MARTI CRAMPSHEE, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING FOR VERSACE USA, INC.

BOUTIQUE GENERAL MANAGER PATRICK GEY, RIGHT, WITH HIS WIFE MARISA GEY, AND MARTI CRAMPSHEE, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING FOR VERSACE USA, INC.

A MODEL IN THE WINDOW OF THE STORE SHOWS OFF A DRESS FROM THE VERSACE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 RUNWAY COLLECTION.

A MODEL IN THE WINDOW OF THE STORE SHOWS OFF A DRESS FROM THE VERSACE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 RUNWAY COLLECTION.

GEY WITH PRINCESS ELIZABETH KAWANANAKOA WEARING SEPARATES FROM THE VERSACE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 RUNWAY COLLECTION.

GEY WITH PRINCESS ELIZABETH KAWANANAKOA WEARING SEPARATES FROM THE VERSACE SPRING/SUMMER 2014 RUNWAY COLLECTION.


The wall-to-wall crowd included friends of Eurocinema, media, musicians and models, sometimes rolled into one, as with Mademoiselle Yulia, a Tokyo musician and DJ, and columnist for Nylon Japan, looking splendid in Versace.

THERE WASN'T MUCH ROOM TO MOVE AS GUESTS FILLED THE SPACE.

THERE WASN'T MUCH ROOM TO MOVE AS GUESTS FILLED THE SPACE.

GUESTS WERE INVITED TO ENTER A DRAWING FOR ONE OF VERSACE'S SMALL SIGNATURE BAGS. THE DRAWING WAS AT 8 P.M. AND THE WINNER HAD TO BE THERE, SO ABOUT FIVE NAMES WERE CALLED BEFORE THEY ARRIVED AT THE WINNER ARTIST AND UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ART PROFESSOR GAYE CHAN. I HAD JUST SAID HELLO TO HER AND WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER WHEN HER NAME WAS CALLED!

GUESTS WERE INVITED TO ENTER A DRAWING FOR ONE OF VERSACE'S SMALL SIGNATURE BAGS. THE DRAWING WAS AT 8 P.M. AND THE WINNER HAD TO BE THERE, SO ABOUT FIVE NAMES WERE CALLED BEFORE THEY ARRIVED AT THE WINNER, ARTIST AND UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII ART PROFESSOR GAYE CHAN. I HAD JUST SAID HELLO TO HER AND WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER WHEN HER NAME WAS CALLED!

HANAYO OHNO IN VERSACE'S STUDS CAT-EYE SUNGLASSES, WITH ONE OF THE VERSACE STUDDED SIGNATURE BAGS IN WHITE.

HANAYO OHNO IN VERSACE'S STUDS CAT-EYE SUNGLASSES, WITH ONE OF THE VERSACE STUDDED SIGNATURE BAGS IN WHITE.


MANY GRAVITATED TO THE EYEWEAR DISPLAY, INCLUDING CATHERINE LIN, AND BELOW, KRISTEN BUKES.

MANY GRAVITATED TO THE EYEWEAR DISPLAY, INCLUDING CATHERINE LIN, AND BELOW, KRISTEN BUKES.


Versace sunglasses

MARISA GEY WITH CHEZ KENSEI STYLIST KENSEI TAKEDA, LEFT, AND DALE YOUNG.

MARISA GEY WITH CHEZ KENSEI STYLIST KENSEI TAKEDA, LEFT, AND DALE YOUNG, BOTH IN VINTAGE VERSACE. KENSEI REMADE YOUNG'S VEST TO CREATE A HIGH NECKLINE INSTEAD OF ACCEPTING THE USUAL V-NECKLINE.

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JOHN SCHAMBER AND WAYNE YOSHIGAI WERE ALSO AMONG THE GUESTS.

JOHN SCHAMBER AND WAYNE YOSHIGAI WERE ALSO AMONG THE GUESTS.

CHRISTA WITTMIER AND ORRIN NAKANELUA.

CHRISTA WITTMIER AND ORRIN NAKANELUA.

THE SHOW BIZ SET WAS REPRESENTED BY CHRIS LEE, WHO BROUGHT "TWILIGHT" AND "21 & OVER" ACTOR JUSTIN CHON, CENTER. HE'S IN TOWN TO FINISH THE FILM HE CO-WROTE. ALSO FROM LEFT ARE KIA CAMPBELL, BOBBY CABINO, MODEL KELSEY CAMPBELL AND ALVIN CHUNG.

THE SHOW BIZ SET WAS REPRESENTED BY CHRIS LEE, WHO BROUGHT "TWILIGHT" AND "21 & OVER" ACTOR JUSTIN CHON, CENTER. HE'S IN TOWN TO FINISH A FILM HE CO-WROTE. ALSO FROM LEFT ARE KIA CAMPBELL, BOBBY CABINO, MODEL KELSEY CAMPBELL AND ALVIN CHUNG.

THESE VERSACE HEELS WILL SET YOU BACK $1,775.

THESE VERSACE HEELS WILL SET YOU BACK $1,775.

At any rate, it's wonderful to see the return of the Versace name to the center. The brand founded by designer Gianni Versace in 1978, closed its doors in 2004, after his murder in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan. Versace's sister Donatella now serves as Vice-President of the Versace Group, as well as chief designer.

Of course, the question everyone was asking was, "Is Donatella coming?"

Maybe not that night, but with a boutique in Hawaii, she certainly has more incentive to travel here someday.

———

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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