Archive for August, 2014

Zamora robbed of win

By
August 29th, 2014



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This week the designers meet at Webster Hall, a fabulous concert venue dressed up for a Goth wedding. They are greeted by Tim Gunn with burlesque performer Dita Von Teese on his arm. She famously married shock rocker Marilyn Manson in Goth style in a dramatic Vivienne Westwood gown.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIMEKini Zamora works on an alternative wedding dress that he believes might give him his first win.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13

Episode 6: Rock the Wedding

With Gunn noting today's anything-goes weddings, the designers are challenged to create an alternative wedding ensemble and reception dress for a non-traditional wedding.

Because of the scope of the project they are assigned into teams and Hawaii designer Kini Zamora is paired with Sean Kelly. Kini expressed the fear he would go home if they were to become the bottom two because Sean has immunity. They come up with the idea of creating feminine/masculine wedding ensembles for a business woman who can't get out of her suit.

Once again, Kini works quickly and finishes his coat dress with dramatic side flounce, while Sean is still working on one pair of tuxedo pants. Kini keeps asking him if he's done yet, and during on-camera interviews expressed frustration because he said it's just a pair of pants, which he finds easy to make.

He decides to start making a top because Sean has immunity and Kini noted he could send a topless model on the runway without being thrown off the show.

Mentor Tim Gunn with guest judge Dita Von Teese.

Mentor Tim Gunn with guest judge Dita Von Teese.

During judging, only Kini and Sean win praise. Designer Zac Posen called their creations "the best of the best" on the runway and described them as the dream team.

In studying the garments closeup, Dita said of their work, "This is what it means to be a designer," and that she would wear both ensembles.

Kini Zamora created this dress in five hours, which the other designers deem "insane."

Kini Zamora created this dress in five hours, which the other designers deem "insane."

The back of Kini Zamora's design, with his teammate Sean Kelly's model in the background, wearing the top Kini also created.

The back of Kini Zamora's design, with his teammate Sean Kelly's model in the background, wearing the top Kini also created.

Show co-host and judge Heidi Klum called Kini's work impeccable and the judges asked if they were to be the winning team, which designer should have the win.

Sean said Kini should win because he's been on the top so often and deserves a win, but doesn't tell the judges Kini made the flowing white top they loved so much. They love it so much, it is the item that gives Sean the win.

Char Glover was paired with Sandhya Garg and went home for her sloppy work.

Char Glover was paired with Sandhya Garg and went home for her sloppy work.

In another on-camera interview, Kini said it should have been his win and that he was robbed. I agree and think he was way too nice by not taking credit for the blouse when he had the chance. In this biz you have to speak up — there will always be those shameless people who have no problem taking credit for your work. It's happened to people I know. It's even happened to me.

Sean was happy about his second win, but while he gloated over it, he still didn't give Kini credit for the top. Please, a pair of pants — no matter how nice — would not have scored him a win.

Shame, shame.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Puna relief T-shirts on sale

By
August 22nd, 2014



Courtesy photoAloha Grown store manager Tyler Owens with the "Aloha Puna" fundraiser shirt.

COURTESY ALOHA GROWN

Aloha Grown store manager Tyler Owens with the Aloha Puna fundraiser shirt.

Creative Arts Hawaii, Aloha Grown and the Parker Ranch Store have teamed up to create an exclusive limited-edition Aloha Puna fundraiser shirt to assist the Puna community hit by tropical storm Iselle.

The shirts are $20 each, and all proceeds from sales will go to the Hawaii Island United Way (HIUW) for recovery efforts in Puna.

The shirts shirts are available at the Aloha Grown store at 224 Kamehameha Ave., in downtown Hilo, Creative Arts Hawaiiat 500 Kalanianaole Ave., in Keaukaha, Hilo, and the Parker Ranch Center store in Waimea.

To purchase online, visit alohagrown.com or parkerranchstore.com.

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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.

Dressing Heidi on 'Project Runway'

By
August 21st, 2014



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Lifetime photos.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's red carpet creation came close to winning.

This week's episode opens with a Heidi Klum photo montage and what the designers see is a red carpet rolled out on the runway and show host Klum strolling out in a trench coat because, she said, "I have nothing to wear."

The designers are tasked with creating something for her to wear to the Creative Artists Emmy ceremony, and she explained she's looking for something "unexpected, fashion forward and fearless," adding that she doesn't want to end up on the worst-dressed list. This is one of those dreaded challenges because she's one tough customer.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13

Episode 5: The Klum of Doom

The designers are given $250 to spend on materials. Hawaii designer Kini Zamora is excited because, if there's anything a Hawaii designer can do, it's evening wear. From prom to pageant to weddings, somehow, in the most casual of states, a gown is still associated with life's special occasions. The special occasions also provide independent designers with a steady stream of work, and when clients are paying for something, they'd better be happy or word-of-mouth spreads fast.

Zamora is right at home and through each episode seems to be laughing his way through tasks that seem all too easy for him.

"I love making glamorous gowns," he said, and once again, is finishing while the other designer seem to be just starting ... or starting over.

During the critique session, Klum likes what she sees of Zamora's work, but hates nearly everything else. So much so that after exiting the workroom, she and the designers' mentor Tim Gunn return, telling the designers that they will have an extra $100 to shop for supplemental or new materials at Mood. Designers who don't need the extra boost can give their cash to the other designers. Sandhya Garg asks for Zamora's share and gets it.

It's obvious the other designers are lost and their ideas of what a gown should be are several rungs below even the gaudiest pageant gown. I sewed all my own prom gowns and I'm not the best of seamstresses, but my high school creations were better than 80 percent of this episode's runway.

During the judging, designer Zac Posen said of Zamora's work, "This is somebody who has done red carpet before," while pointing out horsehair in back that hold up to wear at a crucial moment. He added that Zamora got his highest score and said, "This is someone who gets it."

I don't think co-host/judge Heidi Klum was thinking of how bulky the winning gown will look in red-carpet photographs.

I don't think co-host/judge Heidi Klum was thinking of how bulky the winning gown will look in red-carpet photographs.

Kristine Guico easily had the worst dress of the evening and was sent home.

Kristine Guico easily had the worst dress of the evening and was sent home.

Mitchell Perry also struggled and was sent home.

Mitchell Perry also struggled and was sent home.

Once again, he is in the top two, but the final nod goes to Sean Kelly for an ombre fringe dress with a low-cut back. This was a tough call, but just as last week, I think I have to side with Zamora. His gown was elegant and classy — sorry, two words that don't describe Klum's style — and fit like a glove again, with slimming details on the side.

Kelly's dress had nice movement but the length and bulk of the fringe made it look heavy, shapeless and Yeti-like, even on a tall, thin model! No one wants to photograph fatter on the red carpet.

Because of the poor quality of the work shown this week, two designers — Kristine Guico and Mitchell Perry — got the boot.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

LeSportsac x tokidoki draws fans

By
August 20th, 2014



Simone Legno, left, with LeSportsac director of sales Cindy Eastman, and Waikiki Trader president and CEO James Geiger, who brought LeSportsac to Hawaii.

NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Simone Legno, left, with LeSportsac director of sales Cindy Eastman, and Waikiki Trader president and CEO James Geiger, who brought LeSportsac to Hawaii.

Success hasn't spoiled Simone Legno. The tokidoki creator and creative director returned to Honolulu to celebrate the LeSportsac x tokidoki collaboration marking LeSportsac's 40th anniversary, and remains as humble and personable as he was on his last visit to the Ala Moana store in 2007, where he signed autographs and posed for pictures for fans for six and a half hours.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comIt was all color, Kawaii, sweetness and lollipops as LeSportsac welcomed tokidoki creator Simone Legno to the Ala Moana Center store in celebration of the LeSportsac X tokidoki collaboration.

NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

It was all color, Kawaii, sweetness and lollipops as LeSportsac welcomed tokidoki creator Simone Legno to the Ala Moana Center store on Saturday in celebration of the LeSportsac x tokidoki collaboration.

This time was no different, though, with organizers anticipating a huge crowd for the anniversary release. A wristband system was implemented at LeSportsac stores in Waikiki on Friday and Ala Moana on Saturday to maintain order and prevent people from being disappointed if time ran out.

More than 200 fans started lining up at about 7 a.m. Saturday for the signing that began at 2 p.m. and ended at 6:30 p.m. Hundreds of others milled around the store, hoping for a glimpse of the artist and scooping up the collaboration bags bearing tokidoki's newest character, Palette, a leopard that changes her spots with her moods. In the video below, Legno talks about the inspirations for his prints and Palette.

PHOTOS BY EDNA HECHTMAN / lesportsacOne fan came dressed like one of tokidoki's City Girls.

COURTESY EDNA HECHTMAN / LESPORTSAC

One fan came dressed like one of tokidoki's City Girls.

Palette and the prints she inspired.

NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Palette and the prints she inspired.

Lena Strong-Morris shows Simone Legno's signature and illustration inside her new LeSportsac X tokidoki Palette backpack.

NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Lena Strong-Morris shows Simone Legno's signature and illustration inside her new LeSportsac X tokidoki Palette backpack.

According to LeSportsac buyer Edna Hechtman, "many fans commented that it was handled very well, organized and pleasant. They had shown so much compassion for Simone drawing for hours to accommodate each fan's request for their favorite character. It was nice to hear that the fans were so happy Simone was here and that they didn't mind standing in line to meet him."

Naturally, Legno always travels with a sketchbook, and his trips to Hawaii have fueled his imagination. Those images will soon see the light of day. At a press event preceding Saturday's public event, LeSportsac reps and Legno also dropped hints about a Hawaii collaboration tentatively set to arrive this fall. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, visit the tokidoki blog for videos of Palette as she explores tokidoki-land. There are seven animations that will be released a week at a time, on Mondays. The first three are posted.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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Suiting up on 'Runway'

By
August 15th, 2014



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Lifetime photosCaption goes here. And here and here and here.

Lifetime photos

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora's dress was deemed "fierce" by "Project Runway" judges.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13

Episode 4: A Suitable Twist

The designers start their day at Red Robin, where, after a pep talk on transformations, they are greeted by a line of waiters bearing sustenance while dressed in drab to downright ugly suits. A plaid suit is the one fashion statement.

Naturally, the designers focus should be on the suits, which become the fabric source and inspiration for their challenge, to create a stylish women's ensemble.

As the winner of last week's competition, Sandhya Garg gets to choose her suit first. Usually, the first one to make a selection would choose the next designer, and on and on down the line until the last suit is claimed. The twist this time is that Sandhya will choose the suits for each designer and Hernan Lander is panicked because they don't get along. Naturally, he hates the polyester suit selected for him, foreshadowing the outcome.

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora is assigned one of the better suits, a pinstripe number that could make a nice graphic element and bold statement when transformed. He creates a warrior woman dress with bold sleeve and cutout details. During his critique session, mentor Tim Gunn tells Kini that he should call him Speedy because of his quick work, and Kini jokes that what he's showing is his 7th creation.

All the designers are now taking note of Kini's technical expertise and speed. While they are still stressing, he is relaxing in the lounge with nothing to do with two hours to spare.

His speed is even better appreciated when taking in his final work, that fits his model like a glove, with matching stripes throughout. Anyone who sews knows this is a bit of a puzzle, cutting the fabric in a way that allows the stripes to line up. It's even more impressive when considering that, because the fabric came from a suit, there was only a limited quantity and not much room for error.

Even so, judges were torn between his structured look and Amanda's boho maxi. In the end, repeat contestant Amanda Valentine was deemed the winner, and even though a lot of work may have gone into the fringe she created, this is something she put out just two episodes ago, whereas I have never known Kini to repeat himself. This could be a blessing and a curse as the day may come when the judges warn, "I don't know who you are as a designer."

Fans of the show seem to agree that Kini should have been the victor this week. In the "Rate the Runway" portion of the show's website, Amanda's look won a low 2.7 rating vs. Kini's, at 4.32.

I also liked Fäde Zu Grau's creation, though it seemed to have a fit issue in the mid-section that showed when the model walked, and even though I've been ragging on Sandhya Garg each week, I liked her ensemble for its color, playfulness and humor, created from the boldest suit she had selected for herself, in yellow and purple.

After what seemed like a lengthy debate, judges picked Amanda Valentine's boho maxi for the win.

After what seemed like a lengthy debate, judges picked Amanda Valentine's boho maxi for the win.

Hernan Lander was sent home for this atrocity.

Hernan Lander was sent home for this atrocity.

Fäde Zu Grau came up with a great ensemble.

Fäde Zu Grau came up with a great ensemble.

For once, I liked one of Sandhya Garg's because of its color and playfulness.

For once, I liked one of Sandhya Garg's because of its color and playfulness.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

'Runway' looks to the future

By
August 9th, 2014



Lifetime photosHawaii designer Kini Zamora at the cutting board. On the wall are photos of the designers as they looked 20 years ago, reflecting the time travel nature of this week's design challenge.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13

Episode 3: Welcome to the Future

This week, the designers were tasked with coming up with a look that might fit the pages of Marie Claire magazine — currently celebrating its 20th anniversary — 20 years into the future.

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora expressed his excitement about going fabric shopping at Mood to pick their own fabric for the first time since the challenges began.

His design for the one-day challenge was ambitious, comprising a blouse, skinny jeans and cape-style houndstooth jacket.

As I tried to imagine what we might see in the future, I think we will be doing more covering up with jackets. I have a pretty dim view of future and breakdown of society made more violent by scarcity of basic resources such as water, so I imagine some cross between "Mad Max" and "Barbarella" with a mix of clothing that protects us from ever more lethal elements such as increased radiation, pollution and perhaps the stray bullet, combined with tech fabrics that might provide temperature control and basic computer processes.

Zamora's design showed off his technical skills and how quickly he is able to work, and once again he ended up safely in the middle of the pack.

I loved Emily Payne's hoodie ensemble that also had judge Zac Posen dancing in his seat, but Sandhya Garg emerged as the winner the second time for a gimmicky piece with elevated, jet pack-like detail that looks more like a cheap, homemade Halloween costume than futuristic. Even so, the judges appreciated the originality and color.

Zamora's three-piece creation.

Zamora's three-piece creation.

I liked Emily jumpsuit and "Ewok" hoodie, but it didn't push the envelope far enough for the win.

I liked Emily jumpsuit and "Ewok" hoodie, but it didn't push the envelope far enough for the win.

Sandhya's winning look. The "Star Wars" Princess Amidala makeup likely helped a lot.

Sandhya's winning look. The "Star Wars" makeup likely helped a lot.

Angela Sum was finally auf'ed for her ragged stewardess-look uniform.

Angela Sum was finally auf'ed for her ragged stewardess-look uniform.

Sandhya's pieces may be entertaining the judges for now, but I don't see her winning the competition because her taste level is so low and in the end, no woman wants to dress like a clown.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

New collection at Louis Vuitton

By
August 8th, 2014



Louis Vuitton welcomed a caravan of archival and new fine jewelry and timepieces to its storefront at Ala Moana Center this week.

The 71-piece collection includes jeweled timepieces for men and women, and necklaces inspired by new creative designer Nicolas Ghesquière's Petite-Malle handbag, which harkens back to LV's roots and fabled monogram trunks, or malles.

Tambour Monogram Tourbillon in white gold, featuring a discreet monogram pattern on a mother-of-pearl dial with diamonds.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Tambour Monogram Tourbillon in white gold, featuring a discreet monogram pattern on a mother-of-pearl dial with diamonds.

I fell in love at first sight with the purse itself, a structured mini trunk that can be worn as a crossbody or clutch.

During a preview of the collection on Wednesday, models were draped in diamonds, precious stones and timepieces, and for those trying on the pieces, there was many a wow moment.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comKelsey Campbell is adorned in a Louis Vuitton Haute Joallerie diamond headband, monogram flower earrings and timepiece.

Kelsey Campbell is adorned in a Louis Vuitton Haute Joaillerie diamond headband, monogram flower earrings and timepiece.

Eri Aihara wears Louis Vuitton's padlock pendant in 18K white gold with diamonds, $23,900. The white gold chain is chain is $3,650.

Eri Aihara wears Louis Vuitton's padlock pendant in 18K white gold with diamonds, $23,900. The white gold chain is chain is $3,650.

There were also yellow gold necklaces inspired by LV's new creative director Nicolas Ghesquière's Petite-Malle handbag. I LOVE this! The mini trunk design can be used with strap or as a clutch, and in turn was inspired by French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn, who, in 1909—the dawn of the photographic era—launched an ambitious project,  "The Archives of the Planet," dispatching photographers to 50 countries to document human tribes around the globe. The work continued until he was ruined by the Great Depression. The work speaks to LV's history and aesthetic, and association with travel and the arts.

There were also yellow gold necklaces inspired by LV's new creative director Nicolas Ghesquière's Petite-Malle handbag. I LOVE this! The mini trunk design can be used with strap or as a clutch, and in turn was inspired by French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn, who, in 1909—the dawn of the photographic era—launched an ambitious project, <a href="<a href="http://www.albertkahn.co.uk/ "The Archives of the Planet," dispatching photographers to 50 countries to document human tribes around the globe. The work continued until he was ruined by the Great Depression. The work speaks to LV's history and aesthetic, and association with travel and the arts.

I also loved, loved, loved the strong geometry of Louis Vuitton's Haute Joaillerie amethyst Emprise pieces on Courtney Coleman, including long tassel necklace, earrings and ring. Nine amethysts form the pendant design. A better look, from LV, below:

I also loved, loved, loved the strong geometry of Louis Vuitton's Haute Joaillerie amethyst Emprise pieces on Courtney Coleman, including long tassel necklace ($14,600), earrings and ring. Nine amethysts form the pendant design. A better look, from LV, below:

LV emprise

Honolulu is the only American city to receive the exclusive collection, which will be on view through Aug. 17 at the store.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Paul Brown salon marks 43 years

By
August 7th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comUber stylist Paul Brown is surrounded by loyal staffers, friends, family and patrons during a blessing of his renovated salon and spa at Ward Centre.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Uber stylist Paul Brown is surrounded by loyal staffers, friends, family and patrons during a blessing of his renovated salon and spa at Ward Centre.

Marking 43 years in business, Paul Brown companies continues to grow and evolve with its original founder at the helm.

To mark the occasion, Brown hosted a gathering of friends and family on Wednesday to celebrate the renovation of the Paul Brown Salon & Spa at Ward Centre.

It was a little difficult to focus on the new salon stations with photos like these on the walls, celebrating Brown's past and current work. A friend saw me documenting this image and could only ask, "Really?" Please, what caught my eye was his hair. Really.

It was a little difficult to focus on the new salon stations with photos like these on the walls, celebrating Brown's past and current work. A friend saw me documenting this image and could only ask, "Really?" Please, what caught my eye was his hair. Really.

Paul Brown blond

After a four-month, $300,000-plus renovation project, the 2,300 square-foot flagship location now includes European shampoo units, four new hairstyling stations, granite countertops and custom cabinetry throughout, and a stainless steel receptionist desk.

It was too crowded to get a close look at all the new stations, but you couldn't miss the photo collections, including Brown's “Galactica Warrior,” which will be included in Queen International, a high-end Italian fashion, culture and current affairs magazine.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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