Archive for October, 2014

Miranda Kerr brings smile to isle

By
October 31st, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comAustralian supermodel Miranda Kerr and Exile's Takahiro were in town to film an ad campaign for Samantha Thavasa and stopped by the store for photos.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr and Exile's Takahiro were in town to film an ad campaign for Samantha Thavasa and stopped by the store for photos.

The Japan-based handbag, clothing and lifestyle brand Samantha Thavasa hosted a private reception to welcome Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr and singer/actor Takahiro of the Japanese rock group Exile on Oct. 16.

The press was invited to a photo session outside the Ala Moana Center mall level store, before heading to Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, where Kerr and Takahiro helped picked the winners of prize giveaways. To mark the occasion, the Samantha KINGZ line currently available only in Japan, is being offered at the Honolulu store for a limited time.

Although the event was something of a secret, word got out to Japanese travelers and there was a mob scene at outside the Samantha Thavasa store, so I had to push through the crowd to get to the entrance, then get pulled through when I couldn't go any further.

The Samantha Thavasa boutique opened here in April, and the two celebs were in town filming a new advertising campaign for Samantha KINGZ.

They also helped with a prize giveaway at Mariposa restaurant at Neiman Marcus.

They also helped with a prize giveaway at Mariposa restaurant at Neiman Marcus.

Samantha Thavasa has a long history of using Western celebrities to promote its handbags. Among them,

Beyoncé, the Hilton sisters, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Lopez.

Kerr, who first rose to fame as a Victoria's Secret model has become the go-to model for several brands, and anyone who's trekked through Waikiki this year would have seen her likeness plastered in the windows of H&M and Swarovski. Forbes magazine ranks her in its Top 7 list of the world's highest-paid models. Her estimated annual earnings is $7 million, tying her with Kate Moss, Kate Upton and and China's Liu Wen.

Above them, earning $8 million, are Doutzen Kroes and Adriana Lima, but they've all got a long way to go to catch up to the front runner, Gisele Bundchen, whose haul is $47 million annually.

And Takahiro is no stranger to fashion branding. He's also a brand ambassador for 24 Karats Surf, at 280 Beachwalk, which specializes in casual, vintage-inspired Americana lifestyle clothing.

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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.

Zamora preps 2015 collection

By
October 30th, 2014



BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Sean Kelly may have won “Project Runway” Season 13, but Hawaii designer Kini Zamora set himself up to be a winner over the long haul. The spring/summer 2015 collection he will show Nov. 7 builds on the black-and-white collection he showed during the TV design competition’s finale.

20141021-1790 FTR KINI FASHION  Kini Zamora (right), Project Runway designer and his partner, Dean “Dinko” Satta (left), are are with one of their KINIandDINKO fashion pieces in their collection that will be unveiled for Hawaii Fashion Month at the Ha

KINIandDINKO COLLECTION

Inaugural fashion show with KD Hawaii pop-up shop

» Where: Hawai‘i Convention Center

» When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7

» Cost: Free

Full-Circle: A Dining and Fashion Experience

Featuring dinner, silent auction, and fashion by Kini Zamora, Ari South and Manuheali‘i

» Where: Stage restaurant, Honolulu Design Center, 1250 Kapiolani Blvd.

» When: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19

» Cost: $100, $150, $200

» Info: hccrsvp@hawaii.edu

Living in Hawaii, Zamora is well aware of the struggle most people have in making ends meet, so he is sensitive to the plight of those who want to look stylish while still making the rent and putting food on the table. Thus a black-and-white wardrobe also made sense to him from an economical perspective.

“They are timeless colors, and these are timeless pieces that people can wear for a long time,” Zamora said. “I’m not just thinking of one season, but pieces that can be carried over multiple collections and mixed and matched with future collections.”

He’s been working 15-hour days — that start at 3 a.m. alongside design partner Dean “Dinko” Satta — and the collection will be their first for their contemporary women’s ready-to-wear brand KINIandDINKO. During the Nov. 7 showcase they will also offer a pop-up shop offering Hawaiian-print apparel from their KD Hawaii line.

The two still cut and sew every garment themselves and dream of one day being able to afford having a retail store, workspace and extra hands.

Satta brings a valued second opinion, and Zamora now admits he should have listened to his partner more while working on his “Project Runway” finale collection.

“He kept saying I didn’t have enough sexiness,” Zamora said.

Of course, considering all the feedback he’s received in New York as well, he’s listening now, saying, “Sex sells, but for us it’s in a classy way.”

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIMEKini Zamora is warned to change up the styling on his finale collection.

COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora was warned to change up the styling on his finale collection.

Being able to keep his eye on the big picture is what propelled Zamora to keep trying out for “Project Runway” over the course of five rejections. Season 13 marked his sixth audition, and he said that even if he hadn’t made it on this time, he would have kept trying or forever been left with the regret of “what if.”

“I wanted people to see what I could do, and to see that there is talent in Hawaii and that talent can come out of a garage. It’s not about where you are or how lavish your studio is. Talent can come from anywhere, and I’m glad the world got to see that,” Zamora said.

“I went in thinking this will help me in the future, and now people all around the world know who I am. I’m getting requests for wedding gowns all over the world. The support from everyone has been really positive, and it’s been rewarding to know people have been rooting for me.”

Zamora’s showing is the second time a Hawaii designer has made it into the top three. Ari (then competing as Andy) South reached the top three in Season 8, finishing behind winner Gretchen Jones and Mondo Guerra.

Another Hawaii designer and HCC alumnus, Jay Sario, made it into the top four in Season 7. Sario is on television again, competing in “Project Runway All-Stars” Season 4, premiering Thursday.

Zamora credited his performance to maturity.

“The first couple of times I auditioned, I wasn’t ready. This time, I knew I was ready,” he said.

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COMKini Zamora, foreground,

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Kini Zamora, foreground, with his cousin Anuhea Patoc, who serves as his business and communication executive.

Zamora had been sewing since the age of 10, taught by his aunt Delilah Patoc, and made the commitment to fashion when he realized “I didn’t want to work for anyone anymore. Now I wake up wanting to do this.”

He honed his skills at HCC, learning draping and pattern making. While his fellow classmates put a required six garments on the runway during their 2005 senior show, Zamora created a 60-piece collection.

His prowess became a running commentary on “Project Runway” as Zamora often finished his pieces while most of the other designers will still puzzling over their designs.

“The reason I finished fast was because I wanted to get Tim’s (Gunn) opinion,” he said, referring to the show’s resident mentor.

Zamora left HCC to study at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology but stayed only a year after finding the Hawaii college had already given him all the technical skills he needed.

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COMKini Zamora, right, works with his design partner, Dean "Dinko" Satta, in the garage of Zamora's parents' house in Kapolei.

PHOTO BY DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Kini Zamora, right, works with his design partner, Dean "Dinko" Satta, in the garage of Zamora's parents' house in Kapolei.

Despite his speed at sewing, Zamora was slow to get noticed on the show, ending early challenges safely in the middle of the pack before forcing the judges to take notice with Episode 4’s suit challenge.

During Kini Zamora Day at HCC on Oct. 16, he told fans “I was tired of just being safe. I really wanted to push myself. I didn’t care whether I was on the top or bottom; I just wanted to get feedback from the judges.”

Converting a men’s suit into a structured dress with cutouts, judges Nina Garcia, Zac Posen and Heidi Klum were impressed. But they were torn between his structured look and Valentine’s boho maxi. In the end, Valentine, a repeat contestant from Season 11, was deemed the winner.

Fans of the show thought Zamora should have been the victor. In the “Rate the Runway” section on the show’s website, Valentine’s look won a low 2.7 rating versus Zamora’s 4.32. That set up another of the season’s threads, that Zamora — whose humility and affable manner quickly made him a fan favorite — was robbed.

Viewers appreciated his integrity in taking each slight and critique in stride, seeing each as constructive advice, rather than an insult.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME / nkam@staradvertiser.comKini Zamora's final collection.

COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's final collection.

That audience sentiment continued building over subsequent weeks as Zamora continued to make the top two and three, never to hit the top spot. In Episode 6 he was robbed for real when, teamed with Kelly, who was working slowly on a pair of pants, Zamora felt compelled to create a top for Kelly’s look. The top is what clinched the win — for Kelly, who did not tell the judges that Zamora created it.

As with other incidents, Zamora took it in stride, harboring no anger or resentment.

“I don’t feel bad about it at all. He apologized right away. The thing is, we were partners so we were going to be judged together, and he had immunity, so if we lost, I would have been the one going home.”

Zamora’s first of three wins came with Episode 8’s rainway challenge for which he came up with an umbrella dress.

Like Hawaii’s contestants before him, Zamora didn’t seem to talk much on the show, but he said that wasn’t the case in reality.

“I actually talked a lot,” he said of being on set 18 hours a day and being pulled aside for hourlong interviews several times during the workday. “It’s just that if you’re not talking trash, they don’t want that.”

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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.

Zamora stayed true

By
October 24th, 2014



fashion tribe header

“Project Runway” designer Kini Zamora watched the final episode of Season 13 with friends, family and fans at the Safehouse at the Republik in Honolulu on Thursday.  KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / kmarcellus@staradvertiser.com

“Project Runway” designer Kini Zamora watched the final episode of Season 13 with friends, family and fans at the Safehouse at the Republik in Honolulu on Thursday. KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / kmarcellus@staradvertiser.com

Click here for photos of Kini Zamora's collection.

I have parrots that engage in a behavior called displacement biting. As wild birds, they are smart but have small reactive brains, so when frightened by something in the distance will respond by biting the closest thing, which could be a branch, or your arm or finger.

And so it was that while watching the finale of "Project Runway" with Kini Zamora, his friends and family, I was hit on the arm a couple of times by the person sitting next to me out of displacement anger caused by his third-place finish.

New Zealand designer Sean Kelly was named the winner of "Project Runway" Season 13, and Hawaii designer Kini Zamora placed third in the TV design competition, behind Amanda Valentine.

"I have no regrets about my designs. I stayed true to who I am as a designer," Zamora said. "I had to please the judges, but I did what I wanted to do."

Friends and family packed the Safe House at The Republik Thursday night where Zamora was watching the episode.

Kini Zamora introduces his New York Fashion Week collection on Thursday's finale of "Project Runway." (Photo courtesy Lifetime)

Kini Zamora introduces his New York Fashion Week collection on Thursday's finale of "Project Runway." (Photo courtesy Lifetime)

At the end of the evening he thanked everyone who attended and said, "I made it to where I wanted to be in this competition and did all that I could do.

"I'm kind of happy to see it's over. I don't have to keep secrets anymore."

Zamora's showing is the second time a Hawaii designer has made it into the top three. Ari (then competing as Andy) South reached the top three in Season 8, finishing behind winner Gretchen Jones and Mondo Guerra.

Another Hawaii designer and Honolulu Community College alumnus, Jay Sario, made it into the top four in Season 7.

This season marked the sixth time Zamora auditioned for the TV design competition. He has been an inspiration to current design students at HCC. At the Safe House last night, fashion technology student Matt Batutayan said he's been studying in fashion part-time for six years, but said Zamora's aesthetic and work resonated with him and has pushed him to be more disciplined in his own pursuit.

One of Zamora's teachers, Joy Nagaue, said, "I truly thought that Kini would be HCC's first winner on

'Project Runway.' Although he was not, we are still very proud of him, his impeccable work, his perseverance and how far he has gone. But as I talked to his mother, I realize that we are really proud of the person that he is, the person he always was ... genuine and good.

"We are proud of the way he represented, not only HCC, but Hawaii as well. My present students have been inspired by Kini and have noted his ability to take criticism and rebound back with a better product each time."

Zamora's mother Valerie said she's known all along her son is a winner, and Zamora's father Duke said he's glad "all the headaches are pau now."

The 2005 HCC alumnus most recently partnered with photographer and fellow designer Dean "Dinko" Satta to create the Kini and Dinko brand. Their inaugural collection will launch during a free fashion show 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Hawai'i Convention Center as part of Hawaii Fashion Month.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME / nkam@staradvertiser.comKini Zamora's final collection.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's final collection.

Zamora will appear on the last reunion episode of the series airing next Thursday. I asked whether Char Glover and Korina Emmerich ever make up. Being one really good at keeping secrets, Zamora said, "You'll have to watch."

Hawaii will continue to be represented on Lifetime as Sario returns to "Project Runway All-Stars" Season 4, that begins airing next Thursday.

Sean Kelly's winning collection.

Sean Kelly's winning collection.

Kini Zamora Day

By
October 20th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comA fan snaps a selfie with Hawaii's latest "Project Runway" designer Kini Zamora, during Kini Zamora Day at his alma mater, Honolulu Community College.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

A fan snaps a selfie with Hawaii's latest "Project Runway" designer Kini Zamora, during Kini Zamora Day at his alma mater, Honolulu Community College.

Honolulu Community College hosted a warm homecoming for alumnus and Hawaii's latest "Project Runway" designer during Kini Zamora Day at the school on Oct. 16.

Students and fans filled the Fashion Technology Department's Fashion Lab, where Zamora once honed his skills, though admittedly falling short of being an A-student just because, like fellow classmates, he believes his teachers are taskmasters and A-grades were legendary and elusive.

Obviously, the discipline has paid off because three out of the four "Project Runway" designers from Hawaii, emerged from HCC. They are Jay Sario, Ari (formerly Andy) South, and Zamora. The fourth, Ivy Higa, was self-taught.

Zamora talked about his experience on the show, and generously spent an hour-and-a-half answering questions, and another half hour posing for pictures with fans.

Fans in the audience said that above all, they appreciated his integrity on the show, refusing to get caught up in games and badmouth other designers, which they felt reflected well on Hawaii and he, in turn, credits his maturity level to his parents, who nurtured him well.

We learned from his mom, Valerie, that he was meant to be a star, and his full name, Kini'okahokuloa, means "King of the morning star."

Zamora auditioned six times for the show, and as hard as that was on his psyche, he said ultimately everything he does is for the benefit of his family, for whom he feels he owes the world.

People asked the usual questions about the show that I have covered ad nauseum over 13 seasons, plus additional all-stars seasons.

What I wanted to know was:

1. Did Sean Kelly come clean over "stealing" a win from Kini by taking credit for a blouse Kini designed?

Kini said that Kelly apologized right away, even noting that the whole world was going to hate him for doing that.

2. Did Zac Posen offer him a job?

Posen, no slouch in details, marveled every week over Kini's technique and attention to finishing. Zamora said Posen offered to hire him in a heartbeat if that was what he wanted, but Zamora went on the show to help promote the work he's doing with partner Dean "Dinko" Satta on their Kini and Dinko brand at home and abroad. Their latest collection will be unveiled during Hawaii Fashion Month, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Hawai'i Convention Center.

Zamora played coy as to whether or not he won the season, but no matter where he placed, it's clear he's going places.

Kini spoke about his experience on "Project Runway" and spent an hour-and-a-half answering questions, before posing for photos with a line of fans.

Kini spoke about his experience on "Project Runway" and spent an hour-and-a-half answering questions, before posing for photos with a line of fans.

Zamora with fellow "Project Runway" (Season 8) designer Ari South, and two of their teachers, Joy Nagaue, left, and Lillian Zane, who has retired, but remains an active participant in the school's Fashion Technology program.

Zamora with fellow "Project Runway" (Season 8) designer Ari South, and two of their teachers, Joy Nagaue, left, and Lillian Zane, who has retired, but remains an active participant in the school's Fashion Technology program.

On display was Kini's past work, including pieces from his denim collection that he had mentioned in the show.

On display was Kini's past work, including pieces from his denim collection that he had mentioned in the show.

More of Kini's past work.

More of Kini's past work.

One of Kini's young fans.

One of Kini's young fans.

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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.

Judges push Zamora to tears

By
October 17th, 2014



This week, the final four designers — Char Glover, Sean Kelly, Amanda Valentine and Hawaii's Kini Zamora — were told they have $9,000 to spend and five weeks to create a 10-piece collection for New York Fashion Week, which in reality took place Sept. 5.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIMEKini Zamora is advised to change up the styling on his finale collection.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13

Episode 13: Finale Part 1

Co-hosts Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum announced that they will be setting them up for success on the global stage by giving them some inspiration, and with the help of the Best Western hotel chain, the designers — none of them well-traveled — were sent jetting off to Rome.

Duly inspired, the designers retreated to their homes to create before Tim arrived for his critique.

During Tim's home visit with Kini, he marveled over the quality of Kini's designs. Kini said his collection was slow coming. I think with all the pressure over Fashion Week, he was probably overthinking it, which tends to stifle creativity.

Gunn finally had the opportunity to meet Kini's family, and he and his mother Valerie explained that he was destined to make his family proud. Valerie said, "That's how he got his name." His full Hawaiian name, Kini'okahokuloa, means "king of the morning star."

Then Tim is in for a treat, with a full luau with music, hula and food in the family's back yard. It isn't over before the usual starchy Tim performs a series of 'ami, or hip rotations. Combined with his adventures with Ari (then Andy) South, he's becoming well-versed in living local!

After Gunn completed all his home visits, it was time for the designers to return to New York. As soon as they saw each other, they were eager to see all collections and they are as different as the personalities involved.

Eventually, Tim arrived to report the judges wanted a preview of three looks from their collections right away. In the past, this has meant that the low-scoring designer would be eliminated ... but not this time. Before starting the runway show, Klum told the designers the critiques will help them present their final show.

I really liked Sean's pieces. He is the most cerebral of the designers, the sort who appeals to man repellers. His collection tells the story of the fall of Caesar, from godlike white to darkness of betrayal to his bloody death by the hands of his peers.

PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

I really liked Sean's pieces. He is the most cerebral of the designers, the sort who appeals to smart women, the handful of man repellers out there. His collection tells the story of the fall of Caesar, from godlike white to darkness of betrayal to his bloody death by the hands of his peers.

Amanda's pieces were lauded as looks most women want to wear. That may be so, because they're easy pieces, but they are way too "ethnic" for my taste. The best aspect of her collection is the custom jewelry she created.

Amanda's pieces were lauded as looks most women want to wear. That may be so, because they're easy pieces, but they are way too "ethnic" for my taste. The best aspect of her collection is the custom jewelry she created.

Char may have cohesion in her final collection, but it wasn't apparent in what she chose to show. There was no cohesion at all.

Char may have cohesion in her final collection, but it wasn't apparent in what she chose to show. There was no cohesion at all.

There's much praise for Sean and Amanda's collections. Char's is the weakest. But I was shocked when the judges saved their worst criticism for Kini's collection. I thought they were well-suited to high-end designer stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Sak's and Neiman Marcus. But, I guess the bulk of the population does not shop high-end designer and they're seeking wider appeal for populist relevance. The judges deemed the styling "old lady" and advised him to change the styling and some of the pieces.

Given the time crunch and the overwhelming feeling of having to make changes this late in the game, Kini was reduced to tears.

But I have the feeling it was a bit of a subterfuge for storyline, because his collection was strong and can only get stronger with a few tweaks, including losing the "all bells and whistles" coat as the judges suggested.

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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.

Color us blue at CHAI Studio

By
October 16th, 2014



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comIndigo-dyed scarves hang out to dry during a Sunday workshop at CHAI Studio in Ward Warehouse. Mine is the crazy patterned one, third from right.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Indigo-dyed scarves hang out to dry during a Sunday workshop at CHAI Studio in Ward Warehouse. Mine is the crazy patterned one, third from right.

Indigo dye has been used as medicine, cosmetic, print and textile dye for hundreds of years. Cuneiform tablets dating to 7th century B.C. Mesopotamia, gives a recipe for coloring wool with the plant dye.

It was later exported from India to Rome and Greece as a luxury product, and spread throughout the world. In the United States, it became the color of choice for denim because it was one of the few natural dyes that could yield a rich, dark color that also helped to soften the cotton fibers over time.

The beauty of indigo is now appreciated through such artforms as Japanese sashiko, embroidery utilizing white threads over a dark blue indigo field, and shibori, Japanese-style tie-dye that results in delicate patterns, to resist-dyed adire cloth of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and strip-woven indigo kente cloth from the Ewe of Ghana and Togo.

Siena Pyzel shows her finished work.

Siena Pyzel shows her finished work.

CHAI Studio owner Amerjit Ghag introduced textile enthusiasts to the indigo tie-dye process during two workshops on Sunday. For a $20 fee, participants were able to dye a white cotton scarf.

The process started with folding and tying off bits of the scarf with rubber bands for the color-and-resist patterning. It was a mystery as to how the work would turn out, and the surprise factor provided much of the joy of the afternoon.

The tied scarves were soaked in a mixture of the indigo, sugar or fructose as a reducing agent that removes oxygen from the solution, and lime as a base that allows the reducing agent to work. A $42 kit available at the shop allows people to try this at home, for coloring up to eight garments.

We were told to be gentle during the soaking and kneading process to avoid introducing oxygen to the solution, which causes oxidation and may results in unwanted colors.

Those who would like to try the dye at home can purchase a kit, complete with lime, sugar and indigo packets with enough of the ingredients to color six to eight garments. The kit, $42, is wrapped in indigo-dyed furoshiki.

Those who would like to try the dye at home can purchase a kit, complete with lime, sugar and indigo packets with enough of the ingredients to color six to eight garments. The kit, $42, is wrapped in indigo-dyed furoshiki.

The scarves were folded, rolled, wrapped with rubber bands and otherwise manipulated to create blue-and-white patterns.

The scarves were folded, rolled, wrapped with rubber bands and otherwise manipulated to create blue-and-white patterns.

indigo lets

The dyed scarves are allowed to sit for 20 minutes, during which the indigo oxidizes, turning from green to dark blue. Mine is the donut.

The dyed scarves are allowed to sit for 20 minutes, during which the indigo oxidizes, turning from green to dark blue. Mine is the donut.

We had so much fun that after the scarf supply was exhausted, women turned to buying up towels, bandannas and clothing, anything white in the store to toss into the dye. I bought a top/dress, and maybe by then the dye was becoming exhausted because there were some light brown splotches in my pattern. Even so, I thought it came out great and will be wearing it around town.

Because of the popularity of the workshops, she plans to offer more as we close in to the holiday season. The scarves and various towels and bandannas make great gifts.

To learn more about future workshops, drop by the shop to be added to its email list, or call (808) 536-4543.

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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.

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Take a Bite: Maguro Brothers sate fish cravings

By
October 14th, 2014



take a bite header

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comRyojiro, left, and Junichiro Tsuchiya, have opened Maguro Brothers in Chinatown's Kekaulike Market. The chalkboard at right shows their streamlined menu.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Ryojiro, left, and Junichiro Tsuchiya, have opened Maguro Brothers in Chinatown's Kekaulike Market. The chalkboard at right shows their streamlined menu.


Ahi, tuna, maguro. Whatever you call this prized fish, it's a favorite on Hawaii tables and stars in poke bowls, rice plates, sandwiches and a few grab-and-go rolls offered at the new Maguro Brothers stall within Chinatown's Kekaulike Market.

Since their lease on Waialae Avenue expired this summer, Sakura restaurant’s Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya have popped up downtown with a streamlined menu to sate fish lovers' cravings.

Those familiar with gritty marketplace stalls will be happy to know Maguro Brothers is one of the gleaming spots within the marketplace; you’ll find them in stall 113 at the King Street end, in the back row.

maguro fish

Look for the refrigerator case full of varying grades of ahi waiting to be filleted, as well as ready-to-go fillets for home-cooked meals of miso butterfish, miso salmon, mahimahi and more.

But, you’ll probably end up in this spot because you’re too lazy to cook and the brothers offer specialties comprising maguro fresh from the morning auctions.

Junichiro draws on his expertise working in Japan’s renowned Tsukiji Fish Market to select the day’s catch, while Ryojiro puts his chef talents to work on spare, but elegant (and fast!) offerings of grilled ahi belly ($6.95), an ahi-avocado sandwich ($5.75), hamachi kama plate ($7.75), garlic kajiki bowl ($6.95) and a variety of poke bowls, including namesake maguro, and hamachi bowls, at $5.95 for a small bowl to $7.50 regular. All prices include tax.

Junichiro said there was a learning curve involved in serving the Hawaii market because the Hawaii palate is so different from Japan, where, for instance, they don't dunk their sushi into a pool of shoyu and wasabi, and they don't coat their maguro in spicy mayo.

But he said he was surprised by the high quality of the tuna here, caught fresh close to home.

"Everybody sends their fish to Japan," he said, but there's little control over how international fleets handle their catch before arriving in the marketplace. As a result, he said, there's a lot more variety — but even at Tsukiji, quality is uneven. It's one more reason we're lucky to live here.

Grilled ahi belly over rice, with a bit of sun-dried tomato, negi and artichoke hearts.

Grilled ahi belly over rice, with a bit of sun-dried tomato, negi and artichoke hearts.

Spicy ahi bowl.

Spicy ahi bowl.

A grilled ahi and avocado sandwich.

A grilled ahi and avocado sandwich.

There are about five small tables so you can enjoy the freshness on the spot, including dessert of strawberry and cream cheese French toast.

There are about five small tables so you can enjoy the freshness on the spot, including dessert of strawberry and cream cheese French toast.

Maguro Brothers in Kekaulike Market is at 1039 Kekaulike St. Call (808) 259-7100.

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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.

Zamora wins Fashion Week spot

By
October 10th, 2014



PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME Kini Zamora was teamed with ousted designer Mitchell Perry in this week's challenge.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' SEASON 13

Episode 12: Fashion Week: Who's In and Who's Out?

Getting closer to the "Project Runway" finale, the designers were initially tasked with finding inspiration on the street for a city chic look.

But when they walked into the workroom, they received a bad shock when they saw manikins dressed in the garments that got other designers sent home. Their faces revealed their fear, and mentor Tim Gunn arrived with the dreaded button bag.

In a second challenge, unrelated to the first, each designer had to pick one of the losing looks to rework into a winning look. Then they learned that they would be paired with a helper, the losing designer who created the garment they picked.

Bringing the drama, Char Glover had picked Korina Emmerich's design and Korina had left with no love for Char, so she refused to work with her and walked out of the workroom. Eventually, Alexander Knox is brought back to work with Char.

Both challenges seemed fairly easy for Zamora. Both city chic and evening, red carpet wear are his forte, and he picked Mitchell Perry's gown, which appeared to give him plenty of fabric to work with. Supplemental chiffon purchased from Mood gave the gown a beautiful soft and flowy dimension.

During judging, the other judges actually urged co-host Heidi Klum to try on his coat. So it's no surprise he made it to Fashion Week, along with his biggest competitors of the season, Sean Kelly and Amanda Valentine.

Emily Payne was sent home for a pair of designs they deem unworthy of the runway, including a pajama-look ensemble.

They were not entirely happy with Char's work either, but curious about what she might come up with, they decided to take a chance and give her a fourth spot.

Zamora created this trenchcoat, skirt and blouse ensemble for his street look.

Zamora created this trenchcoat, skirt and blouse ensemble for his street look.

Kini created this gown from Mitchell's losing look, shown below.

Kini created this gown from Mitchell's losing look, shown below.

pr Mitchell

Note: Zamora's alma mater, Honolulu Community College, will celebrate Kini Zamora Day beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday in the school's Fashion Lab, Building 27, Room 203, at 874 Dillingham Blvd.

The public is invited to meet the designer, who will display garments he used in his winning audition, and talk about his long journey to appear on the show, as well as his experiences on the show.

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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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