Fashion Tribe

Paiko shares art of floral crowns

June 9th, 2015
PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comCourtney Monahan models her simple crown of foliage.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Courtney Monahan models her simple crown of foliage.

Hawaii women are no strangers to the idea of wearing flowers in our hair, whether a single bloom or a haku lei halo.

But over the past few years, it seems the whole world has gone mad for a simplified version of the haku lei, the floral crown, the summer accessory of every festival girl, flower child, neo-hippie and June bride.

I have to admit I'm not exactly a poster girl for natural wonders. When I see a lei coming at me I cringe a little, thinking about how hot it's going to be around my neck and what sort of stain or sticky sap it might leave on my clothes.

But I do love a beautiful flower arrangement and enjoyed combining varied colors and textures of flowers and foliage at one of Paiko's popular floral crown workshops.

Paiko founder Tamara Rigney, a landscape architect and artist, said she created the space "as an oasis in the middle of town.

"I love nature and the way plants make spaces come alive."

Taking a pick of flowers and greenery.

Taking a pick of flowers and greenery.

After giving us a quick demo, Rigney set us loose to choose from an array of greenery. There was no hesitating as women simply gravitated to favorite flowers or colors. It was uncanny how the finished creations echoed what they were wearing!

I love deep purples and green, so started with those colors, throwing in the occasional dash of red and miniature white anthuriums to add interest to the dark color palette.

The methodical wrapping of stems with florists' tape is a great form of stress relief, and the workshops are a popular destination for girls night out parties and activity dates, an opportunity to find out what your potential mate is really like. I wouldn't want to be with an anal-retentive, overly meticulous type.

Starting without a plan, Crystal Pancipanci gravitated toward colors she was already wearing.

Starting without a plan, Crystal Pancipanci gravitated toward colors she was already wearing.

Paiko partner Courtney Monahan said women tend to go with the flow in creating their crowns, knowing you can't go too far wrong when you start with beautiful flowers, while men tend to take longer and treat each placement like a life or death decision.

In the end, I didn't know whether I would feel comfortable wearing the floral crown, but didn't have time for second-guessing. I put it on and had to dash off to dinner, where everyone thought I was celebrating some special occasion.

I started with my favorite colors and ended up with the piece I'm wearing in the night-time selfie below.

I started with my favorite colors and ended up with the piece I'm wearing in the night-time selfie below.

floral

Before sessions start, it's a joy to walk around Paiko and see the many options for bringing nature home.

Before sessions start, it's a joy to walk around Paiko and see the many options for bringing nature home.

paiko

Rigney and Monahan said the crowns would last about three days, so I tried to make it worthwhile, wearing it as often as I could, and got so many compliments and heard a sense of wonder when they found out I'd made it. And you can too. Visit paikohawaii.com for a list of the $49 floral crown workshops and other classes.

Paiko is at 675 Auahi St. Call (808) 988-2165.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is 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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