For those without strong fashion sense, walking into a thrift shop means navigating a minefield of past, present and future fads, treasures and disasters. Just how does one make these disparate pieces work?
GOODWILL GOES GLAM!
A benefit for Goodwill of Hawaii
» Where: Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall, 777 Ward Ave.
» When: Gala and VIP pre-sale Thursday; general public sale 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, also 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
» Cost: $4 general admission ($2 discount for military, seniors, students; free for children 12 and younger); $20 for July 17 VIP event
» Info: higoodwill.org
There is many a brave soul who walks in looking normal and exits looking — at best — like a festival hippie cliche, piling on flowy boho, denim, crochet and old aloha wear finds. At worst, like grandma or grandpa.
Hair salon owner Paul Brown and an army of volunteer stylists will show there's a more edgy way to thrift during the third annual Bank of Hawaii presents Goodwill Goes GLAM! event Thursday through Sunday at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall.
The event will open with a $20 VIP fashion show and pre-sale shopping from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by a three-day sale. There will be more than 40,000 new or gently used items up for grabs, and the fashion show aims to inspire people to re-imagine the possibilities that come from adding salvaged pieces to one's wardrobe.
Brown said that when he was asked to produce the show in November, he thought about it for a second before agreeing.
"I knew it would be a lot of work, but when I knew they would give me carte blanche, I had to do it," he said. "For a creative person, to do something out of the box is the ultimate goal, and I'm having a ball with it.
"This allows me to do what I love. I hate the office aspect of running a business; I love creativity."
He came up with the "Urban Appeal — Eclectic Goodwill!" theme for the show to encompass the sweeping array of clothing and accessories that find its way to Goodwill stores. Pieces include a number of high-end designer garments, some worn only once or never worn, bearing their original tags.
"I want the public to get excited about it because Goodwill supports the community in many ways, through its programs and for the people who shop at the stores," Brown said. "You can go there, spend hardly anything and get something you really love."
Going through racks of garments pulled from the store, Brown is enamored by a pair of combat boots and the sight of a leather jacket with a $5 price tag and pulls it on. "This same jacket would be more than $500 at retail."
Brown made it clear the show will be all about Goodwill.
"We're not going to do hairdos because this is not about Paul Brown Salons," he said. "The models will all be wearing wigs."
According to Goodwill of Hawaii figures, last year's event drew 3,000 shoppers and raised more than $230,000 toward the nonprofit's mission of helping people reach their potential in the workforce and becoming self-sufficient. Last year Goodwill served more than 13,000 individuals.
Here's a look at a few outfits developed with items from Goodwill stores on Oahu:
Model: Eva Blacker
Stylist: George Johnson
An eye-catching pop of pink comes from a She’s Cool dress ($6.99) worn under a plaid jacket ($8.99), with Laura Ashley hat ($2.99), Wet Seal skirt ($3.99), bangle ($3.99), belt (99 cents), purse ($4.99) and Just Fab shoes ($12.99).
Model: Nicholas Koenig
Stylist: Scotty Geddings
Koenig wears a layered look that starts with a John Henry shirt ($6.99), Rock & Republic denim ($8.99), Ashley hoodie vest ($6.99), Lanvin Paris tie ($2.99) and RVCA hat ($2.99).
Model: Eva Blacker
Stylist: Rebecca Atkins
Blacker goes electric in 1980s-neon-meets-2014-street-style, layering a Paint & Cloth tank dress ($4.99) with neon vest ($9.99) and Elan Blanc scarf ($6.99), accessorized with $2.99 belts and bangles, $4.99 ring, $9.99 watch and 99-cent sunglasses.
Model: Eva Blacker
Stylist: Shawn Rodriguez
Blacker is draped in an Isabella Rodriguez top ($6.99), Sabora pinstripe dress ($6.99), Cover Zone mesh shawl ($3.99) and For Joseph coat ($6.99). Belts, hat, earrings and sunglasses are $2.99 each. The clutch is $3.99, necklace and bangle are $1.99 each, rings are 99 cents and shoes are $9.99.
Model: Bryant Noss
Stylists: Shawn Rodriguez and Scotty Geddings
Noss is ready to hit the street in a Gilden T-shirt ($4.99), Perry Ellis pants ($8.99), Rocawear jacket ($12.99) and Peter Frimm hat ($2.99), accessorized with $2.99 belts and Wolverine boots ($19.99). He’s carrying a Samsonite bag ($6.99).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.