Archive for December, 2015

Ari South on style, transformation

By
December 30th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comAri South spoke about her long journey to become authentic during Kit and Ace's inagural speaker series talk.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Ari South spoke about her long journey to become authentic during Kit and Ace's inagural speaker series talk.

Kit and Ace launched the first of its planned Speaker Series Dec. 17, featuring designer Ari South.

The event took place in the Ala Moana Center boutique, on the Macy's end of the mall.

The intimate event brought together a guest list of people who touched South's life in some way, ranging from school teachers, to fellow designers to the journalists such as moi who have covered her journey, ranging from the professional to the very personal. What for some would have been a private transformation became very public due to her high-profile design life.

She spoke with a sense of gratitude and humility as she gave her interpretation of "personal style," which she said goes beyond fashion to define who you are and what you stand for.

If we haven't seen her name mentioned much over the past year, she said it was because she needed time to focus on herself, away from the spotlight, reiterating the whirlwind that started with her casting on "Project Runway" as Andy South.

"It was the most challenging thing I've done in life. It was the hardest and most beautiful thing I've ever done and it pushed me to grow in ways I never could do in Hawaii. It took me from a pond and pushed me into an ocean."

Ari was surrounded by a small, self-curated group of people who have supported and illuminated her journey.

Ari was surrounded by a small, self-curated group of people who have supported and illuminated her journey.

At that time, Andy had been working for someone else and might have been content to do that for a while, but with "Project Runway," "It was the first time I experienced stars lining up, and it was too perfect to deny. When things are too perfect that means they're just right."

She spoke of having grown up taught to think analytically, and having to let go of that to have the life she wanted.

"I learned to surrender to gut instinct and intuition.

"We should never be afraid of letting go of what were taught, but people are so afraid to consider other opinions as possibly being right.

"It's not a matter of giving up your beliefs, but we really don't know what we believe in until we can let go of old belief systems."

The talk comes at a time when Ari, who made the transition from male to female, is addressing duality with the rebranding of her Andy South line as a men's line, and the startup of her Ari South line for women.

Guests were welcome to help themselves to cocktail shrimp as big as lobster tails, from Bread + Butter.

Guests were welcome to help themselves to cocktail shrimp as big as lobster tails, from Bread + Butter.

I have written about South many times over the years, but for the first time heard the story about the little boy who was born to be a maker of things and felt most at home with a box of craft items.

"I loved classed projects. I watched HGTV. I learned to knit and crochet. I was always the quiet kid who did my own thing."

Even so, the "little kid from Waianae" knew nothing of the fashion world. "I didn't know it existed. I only knew you went to the store to buy clothes."

At some point, he knew he was a girl, internally. "It was something that never caused depression, but I grew up with the understanding it wasn't a good thing. I didn't grow up with anyone transgender.

I didn't know anyone transgender. I didn't know the difference between transvestites. I didn't think anyone transgender was successful.

Eagle-eyed Mahealani Richardson had a question about that ring Ari is wearing on a particular finger. It's symbolic of her comfort in living life without a partner, but the nurturing soul in her dreams of becoming a mother.

Eagle-eyed Mahealani Richardson had a question about that ring Ari is wearing on a particular finger. It's symbolic of her comfort in living life without a partner, but the nurturing soul in her dreams of becoming a mother.

"It never brought me down. It was not something that caused me to feel sadness, but it was the missing piece. To have all this and not be in the right body, I don't want it at all."

All this was on Andy's mind as he progressed through his season on "Project Runway," and those who watched saw his muse as a warrior woman, a strong and open-minded citizen of the world.

"As I was designing, I realized I wasn't imagining someone else. I was imagining myself," she said. "Andy, defending himself with a mohawk, was a representation of everything we're afraid of."

Later, finding her style as a woman came with "extremely heavy" makeup. "I learned to paint from a drag queen. I didn't want to look masculine at all."

That eased up as she became more comfortable in her body.

"When I think about the idea of personal style, I look at my life starting as a chubby kid. I feel like I've lived multiple lifestyles. Personal style never changes, it just evolves. I've evolved and developed into who I was the whole while.

"So, when you're talking about personal style, it's not about, 'I like to wear this,' but who you are right now."

———

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.

Kaypee Soh 'Over the Rainbow'

By
December 17th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comDesigner Kaypee Soh posed with one of his models, Tessa Goodwin, after the presentation of his Spring Summer 2016 "Over the Rainbow" collection. Tessa is wearing  a denim spring jacket with multi-orchid flare, side-slit skirt.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Designer Kaypee Soh posed with one of his models, Tessa Goodwin, after the presentation of his Spring Summer 2016 "Over the Rainbow" collection. Tessa is wearing a denim spring jacket with multi-orchid flare, side-slit skirt.

Storm clouds loomed but in spite of a few droplets that fell before the start of Kaypee Soh's Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show, the water flow stopped just before guests took their seats at the Laniakea YWCA on Richards Street. If it had been daylight, we might even have seen a rainbow arc across the sky, the inspiration for Soh's "Over the Rainbow" ready-to-wear collection.

The designer was taken by the beauty of a double rainbow during one of his early evening walks along Ala Moana Beach. He offered up a small sampling of 10 ensembles during Honolulu Fashion Week last month, and those in the audience then were eager to see the full 37-piece collection.

Some of the models sported plastic-bill color visors during the show, which cast their rainbow hues onto their faces when they stepped under lights.

In his program notes for the event, he wrote: "I noticed how the colors in the rainbow appeared to be reflecting off the water and the plants around me. It was something I hadn't seen or noticed before. I tired to create this same feeling by using varying tones of color on color in the fabrics I designed for this collection."

He referenced chic, modern details from the 1960s through early 1970s to come up with his take on relaxed Pacific style encompassing dresses, accessories, separates, tees, vegan leather handbags, and men's shirts, shorts and pants.

The show opened with a performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by kumu hula Robert Cazimero's Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua, with the men wearing Soh's original hibiscus chambray wrap.

The setting added to the evening's enchantment, and the site was chosen in part to honor its designer Julia Morgan. In a show of support for all women, the designer will be making a contribution to the YWCA.

Emma Wo in Soh's multi-bloom box-pleat dress.

Emma Wo in Soh's multi-bloom box-pleat dress.

Isabella Williams wears Soh's Lilikoi Gypsy dress, already popular after its debut at Honolulu Fashion Week. One person from Dior came specifically to see this dress.

Isabella Williams wears Soh's Lilikoi Gypsy dress, already popular after its debut at Honolulu Fashion Week. One person from Dior came specifically to see this dress.

Allyson McIntyre wears Soh's yellow Orchid short puff-sleeve blouse with high-low maxi skirt.

Allyson McIntyre wears Soh's yellow Orchid short puff-sleeve blouse with high-low maxi skirt.

Kasie Clark in Soh's Indigo Bloom side-slit gown. Such beautiful flow when this moves.

Kasie Clark in Soh's Indigo Bloom side-slit gown. Such beautiful flow when this moves.

Sydney Boder in in Soh's colorful twist on palaka. This is his version of a multi-color palaka maxi dress.

Sydney Boder in in Soh's colorful twist on palaka. This is his version of a multi-color palaka maxi dress.

Kaitlyn Hitsman in Soh's Midnight Orchid ruffle-pleat shirt paired with a mid-length skirt. I love the way the ruffle pleat fluttered when she walked. I love movement in clothing when people walk down the street. It's so magical.

Kaitlyn Hitsman in Soh's Midnight Orchid ruffle-pleat shirt paired with a mid-length skirt. I love the way the ruffle pleat fluttered when she walked. I love movement in clothing when people walk down the street. It's so magical.

Men's looks were also featured.

Men's looks were also featured.

———

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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Okano bids adieu to Chanel

By
December 11th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comJoyce Okano, center, with Beverly Noa and Tia Gaurani, right. With a portrait of Mlle. Chanel in the background.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Joyce Okano, center, with Beverly Noa and Tia Gaurani, right. With a portrait of Mlle. Chanel in the background.

It's a sad day for those who know her to see Joyce Okano retire from her position as regional vice president of Chanel, but a happy one for Joyce, who emailed me after reading my story about Harold Koda, the local-born curator in charge of the Costume Institute (now the Anna Wintour Costume Center) at New York's Metropolitan Museum, who's retiring at the end of the year.

Echoing his sentiments, she said, retirement is "an odd bad word!" But she chose to make an early exit to maximize time with her 92-year-old mother and 95-year-old dad, which might include travel to Japan next spring.

"It was a real dilemma," she said. "I had to ask myself if I could help more people with Chanel, or leaving Chanel, because the Chanel name has power."

But few people in Hawaii has been able to parlay the power of a brand to do so much to advance the arts and retail in Hawaii, though you'd never know any of this by talking to Joyce, who has never been one to seek the limelight for herself, in favor of advancing her causes.

For me, she was an amazing mentor who went out of her way to patiently introduce me to the world of haute couture and Chanel's ateliers at a time when luxury retail and to see couture work was unheard of in Hawaii.

I had a natural affinity to couture strangely enough because I grew up poor in Waipahu before the era of fast fashion, and that meant sewing all my own clothes—including prom dresses—from intermediate school through my high school years. So I appreciated the expert craftsmanship and complexity of construction at a level few attain. At least not me. I couldn't be bothered with perfect finishing that takes time and patience I never possessed. So I understood the beauty of originality, the difficulties of rolling fine silk chiffon hems and the comfort afforded by a French seam, not to mention the exquisite handmade fabric and embellishments created by Chanel's ateliers.

Perhaps reflective of her warmth and kindness, Chanel Hawaii is also one of the few retailers where employees stay. I have seen the same faces there for 20 years, unusual given the constant turnover of the retail world.

Joyce with some of her team, from left, Tia Gaurani, Sean Watabayashi and Joni Anama.

Joyce with some of her team, from left, Tia Gaurani, Sean Watabayashi and Joni Anama.

At Tuesday's event, a photo of Joyce in Paris, with Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, was on display.

At Tuesday's event, a photo of Joyce in Paris, with Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, was on display.

Okano is a trail blazer who brought Paris runway collections to Hawaii. A 1990 show that featured models flown in from Paris, New York and Los Angeles, stands as the best show I've ever seen in Hawaii.

In 1996, she initiated the French Festival, bringing in other luxury retailers and designers for a unified showcase of French artistry. Among my favorite shows from this time were Sonia Rykiel's playful 1998 collection, Christian Lacroix's ornate 2001 collection, and John Galliano's Haute Couture Wedding Party for Dior in 2000. Alas, the shows preceded the blog era, so they are held in memory only, though you can take a look at my stories from that time here:

http://archives.starbulletin.com/98/11/17/features/story1.html

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2001/11/05/features/index.html

http://archives.starbulletin.com/2000/10/31/features/story1.html

Jessica Fon, with lei, executive director of operations for Chanel USA, came from New York, to celebrate with Joyce. She's with, from left, Halekulani's Patricia Tam, Beverly Noa, Jei Moon from Chanel Beverly Hills, and Yumiko Kobayashi.

Jessica Fon, with lei, executive director of operations for Chanel USA, came from New York, to celebrate with Joyce. She's with, from left, Halekulani's Patricia Tam, Beverly Noa, Jei Moon from Chanel Beverly Hills, and Yumiko Kobayashi.

With the festival came the idea of exclusive, collectible products created by the design houses to commemorate the occasion, paving the way for today's spate of exclusive gift offerings and collaborations.

An avid supporter of the arts and emerging artists, Okano is no snob. She was just excited in pitching a story about a homeless person shaping concentric trees on a west side beach, as supporting local artists through an annual "Modern Masters" showcase at Luxury Row, and bringing in photographer Douglas Kirkland for a 2009 exhibition of 36 of his portraits of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.

Chanel hosted a party for Joyce on Dec. 8, and flying in for the occasion were Jei Moon from the Beverly Hills store, and Jessica Fon, executive director of operations for Chanel USA.

Fon said that Joyce became Chanel's first United States boutique director when the boutique opened on Sept. 1 1984, when there were no other Chanel boutiques in this country. "She's been very important to retail in Honolulu, not just for Chanel but for everyone," said Fon, noting that the start of the French Festival, followed by the World Festival and Red Party at Ala Moana Center, "marked the start of many events for Ala Moana."

Joyce with fellow Joseph Magnin Co., alumni Cammy Maheras, left, and Sharleen Perreira. Now with Fendi, Maheras credits the retailer with helping to launch all their careers in luxury just as the first wave of European luxury brands were beginning to arrive in Hawaii in the mid-80s.

Joyce with fellow Joseph Magnin Co., alumni Cammy Maheras, left, and Sharleen Perreira. Now with Fendi, Maheras credits the retailer with helping to launch all their careers in luxury just as the first wave of European luxury brands were beginning to arrive in Hawaii in the mid-80s.

Because Joyce is still reticent in talking about herself, I got Fendi's Cameron "Cammy" Coble Maheras to fill me in on the time there were so few fashion retailers in Hawaii that she, Joyce and Balenciaga's Sharleen Perreira all shared the same trajectory, starting with Joseph Magnin Co., before moving on to Gucci, the first of the luxury retailers to open in Hawaii, the first of the European brands to recognize the potential of the combined Japanese and local market. She said Nancy Lueck, who recently came back to Hawaii with Bloomingdale's, also started at Joseph Magnin as a designer buyer.

Funny, I don't remember the Joseph Magnin store at all. Maybe I was just confused because on the west side, I was shopping at I. Magnin at Pearlridge, which was also much more stylish than LH. I. Magnin was started by Joseph's mom and he left the company to build his own retail empire after she gave more prominent company positions to his brothers John, Samuel and Grover.

"Joseph Magnin was the perfect place to work because they believed in us and they gave everyone a long leash for creativity. I've never seen anything like it. They believed in everyone's talent," Maheras said. "With the sportswear, designer, display and accessories experience they gave me, I was ready for the world."

"We were all little seeds waiting to be watered," Perreira said.

"We were all so lucky. There was not a lot going on in retail, so some of our friends had to leave Hawaii. None of us knew what to expect but we knew we didn't want to be stuck at Liberty House or Carol & Mary," Maheras said. "All of us real excited, we were going to Paris to make buys at a time they were using adding machines and hand-writing orders."

They also entertained visiting young designers, and Maheras remembers taking Michael Kors to Gussie L'Amours, a dive bar near the airport, for drinks and to hear Richie Walker perform.

Bouyed by the visitor market, the luxury retailers keep coming, although funding that helped to bring events like the French Festival to this state have shifted to China over the past decade.

Joyce's retirement seems to mark the passing of a wonderful era. She will be missed at Chanel, but I look forward to seeing her next projects! Merci for some wonderful memories!

Sean Watabayashi greeted guests Sheila Donnelly and writer Paul Theroux.

Sean Watabayashi greeted guests Sheila Donnelly and writer Paul Theroux.

Also among the well wishers were Pac Rim Marketing's Dave Erdman and his wife Tamae.

Also among the well wishers were Pac Rim Marketing's Dave Erdman and his wife Tamae.

Peonies and roses for the occasion.

Peonies and roses for the occasion.

———

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.

Nake'u Awai marks 40 years

By
December 10th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comNake'u Awai was congratulated by longtime friend, kumu hula Pohai Souza, following his 40th anniversary fashion show at the Dole Cannery Pomaika'i Ballrooms.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Nake'u Awai was congratulated by longtime friend, kumu hula Pohai Souza, following his 40th anniversary fashion show at the Dole Cannery Pomaika'i Ballrooms.

I didn't know what to expect from a Nake'u Awai fashion show when I received an invitation to his 40th anniversary "E Hula Mai" event.

I'd never been to any of his shows because, strangely enough for a person who got his start as a performer on stage from Hawaii to Hollywood to New York, he never sought the limelight in his second career. Yet, just as every year, his show at Dole Cannery's Pomaika'i Ballroom was sold out.

There was a mystery bag in the center of each table, marked "Do Not Open." At the end of the music fest and parade of Hawaiian designs, Nake'u's dancer-singer-models stepped onto the ballroom floor to open the bags full of flowers and toss them into air so the flowers rained gracefully onto guests.

I happened to be sitting right in front of Neke'u so ended up being pelted with flowers, a first.

Nake'u told me he finds the typical runway show boring, so his fashion shows comprise a series of musical tableau. In this segment from his fashion show, a tourist is about to discover the pain of a sunburn.

Nake'u told me he finds the typical runway show boring, so his fashion shows comprise a series of musical tableau. In this segment from his fashion show, a tourist is about to discover the pain of a sunburn.

When I interviewed him a few weeks ago, he made it clear that his shows are not your typical catwalk, with models walking a straight line. Instead, they are musical extravaganzas that usually feature Broadway tunes, but this year, he presented Hawaiian music—both contemporary and ancient—that explored some of the history of Hawaii and Waikiki, celebrated the ali'i and memory of friends who have died, and explored lyrics of Hawaiian songs we take for granted.

Chalk it up to his love of theater, but he said, “Runway, to me, is boring.”

“When models come in, they always want to show me their walk. I just smile and tell them I hate that point-and-turn. They try to come off as high fashion, and island fashion is not high fashion.

"In my shows, the women play all kinds of characters who might wear the clothes. They might be a public school teacher or a hustler on Mamo Street in Hilo.”

Nake'u got his start in dance in the 1960s, which led him to Broadway and Hollywood. This photo was taken inside the Hollywood Bowl when he was about 28.

Nake'u got his start in dance in the 1960s, which led him to Broadway and Hollywood. This photo was taken inside the Hollywood Bowl when he was about 28.

Awai’s career as a fashion designer was a natural extension of his first career as a dancer/performer in the 1960s. He moved from Hawaii to study dance at the University of Washington, where he considered himself destined for Broadway.

“I thought I was hot stuff. My first Broadway audition, there were 250 guys, and I found out I wasn’t that hot after all.”

To add to his dilemma, he said that during that era, Broadway casting was white.

“I didn’t understand until I left New York that they never would have cast me, because I would have stood out too much as a person of color.”

He tired of New York winters, and about the time he could finally afford an electric blanket, he began making his way back West, first spending five months in Reno performing in “Hello Tokyo” with Jimmy Borges, before arriving in Hollywood during an era of television music specials hosted by performers like Don Ho, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, Jack Benny and Ann Miller.

“I’d audition, work, pau work. In between jobs, I’d run into everybody in the unemployment line.”

In between television dance appearances and auditions, he learned to work in macrame, and his belts were sold in Beverly Hills and sought by other entertainers.

In between television dance appearances and auditions, he learned to work in macrame, and his belts were sold in Beverly Hills and sought by other entertainers.

Among those who wore Nake'u's belts were "West Side Story's" George Chakiris, Elvis Presley and the Sylvers, a family group from Watts who rivaled the Jackson 5.

Among those who wore Nake'u's belts were "West Side Story's" George Chakiris, Elvis Presley and the Sylvers, a family group from Watts who rivaled the Jackson 5.

In his downtime, he learned macrame techniques from a friend, and soon his macrame belts were being sold in Beverly Hills and sought by performers ranging from The Sylvers, a family act from Watts that rivaled The Jackson Five; “West Side Story’s” George Chakiris, and Elvis Presley, who he described as a friendly guy who tried his best to fit in with his dancers. "Except when Col. Tom Parker (his manager) was around. He'd say, 'Elvis!' and he'd come to attention."

In his search for side jobs to make ends meet, Awai also worked for Bob Mackie, an illustrator-turned-designer who gained notoreity in the 1970s for the flamboyant TV costumes and red carpet ensembles he created for Cher.

“Meeting designers, I became more aware of fashion, and more choreographers wanted me to design costumes for them,” said Awai, who quickly learned what a lucrative business it could be after being paid $4,000 to create five costumes for Sammy Davis Jr.’s Las Vegas dancers.

A stage production of “Flower Drum Song” brought him back home when he was in his 30s, and his father helped him finance his first collection of fully lined holoku that he sold to Liberty House for $60 each, which the retailer marked up to $120, a luxury price at that time.

He also sold designs to Carol & Mary, another high-end retailer, only to find that this particular segment of the market needed extra coddling, which did not appeal to him.

A turning point in his progressive direction came after he created a collection with khaki fabric, only to be told by an LH buyer, “Vogue magazine says the colors for fall are rust, oatmeal and hunter green.”

“They talked like that, and I said to myself, those are not local colors. To a certain extent, you have to play the game, and I didn’t want to. I moved out of Waikiki to Kalihi, where I’ve been ever since.

"I was doing dramatic fashion that wasn’t for everybody. I wanted to do something for the local people.”

Kaiulani de Silva was among the dancers performing in a segment about the romance of a pa'u parade.

Kaiulani de Silva was among the dancers performing in a segment about the romance of a pa'u parade.

More of the pa'u beauties.

More of the pa'u beauties.

He began creating mu’umu’u, holoku, holomu’u, aloha shirts and a handful of rompers compatible with local lifestyles, using commercial fabric. But, inspired by his friend and fellow designer Allen Akina, who had also returned home following a successful career as a Hollywood hair stylist, he soon began creating his own prints on fabric. These ranged from delicate line drawings of Hawaiian women and island flora, to bold graphics utilizing such Hawaiian elements as desings rendered from the ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps.

While other designers sought media attention, Awai never went asking for stories. As director of his own life story, he said, "If it happened, it happened. I didn't need the limelight. I just liked working on things that I liked and shows I liked, for local people, which energizes me.

"I never thought about retiring. I look forward to working every day. I still get up at 5."

Keiki from Pohai Souza's youth halau perform in apparel by Nake'u Awai.

Keiki from Pohai Souza's youth halau perform in apparel by Nake'u Awai.

Debbie Nakanelua performs an ode to a beautiful floral lei.

Debbie Nakanelua performs an ode to a beautiful floral lei.

Another of Nakeu's original prints in black and white.

Another of Nakeu's original prints in black and white.

Kane shirts were showcased during a seated dance segment featuring a song written by a college students for his beloved who had passed away. It was a touching moment.

Kane shirts were showcased during a seated dance segment featuring a song written by a college students for his beloved who had passed away. It was a touching moment.

The show marked the return of Randy Hongo to the stage, following a long illness.

The show marked the return of Randy Hongo to the stage, following a long illness.

One of the final looks from Nake'u Awai's holiday collection.

One of the final looks from Nake'u Awai's holiday collection.

After the show, Ann Asakura of TEMARI, Center for Asian and Pacific Arts, presented Nake'u with a quilt made by fellow artisans in a show of appreciation for his work and support of the school over the years. He was among its first teachers.

After the show, Ann Asakura of TEMARI, Center for Asian and Pacific Arts, presented Nake'u with a quilt made by fellow artisans in a show of appreciation for his work and support of the school over the years. He was among its first teachers.

———

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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Sig Zane brings Forest Cloud to NM

By
December 10th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comAustin Kino wears a western shirt from Sig Zane's new limited edition Forest Cloud collection, available at Neiman Marcus.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Austin Kino wears a western shirt from Sig Zane's new limited edition Forest Cloud collection, available at Neiman Marcus.

Sig Zane has no trouble saying "no" to work when surf beckons.

But after a decade of turning down Neiman Marcus' requests to carry his line, Zane finally agreed to try his hand at the upscale market, launching his first collection for Neiman Marcus today. And, the collection is amazing!

Meet Zane and his son Kuha’o from noon to 3 p.m. today in The Man's Store on Level Three to view their striking new Spring/Summer 2016 "Forest Cloud" collection, inspired by the uplands of Mauna Loa where the large koa and ʻōhiʻa pull in the clouds that nourish the forest floor.

For more information, call (808) 948-7515.

Also at the store, meet Barton Perreira designer Patty Perreira, who will be sharing the eyewear brand's new Spring 2016 collection, in Accessories, Level One.

She will be in the store from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today to help shoppers select from opticals, polarized, Asian- and European-fit frames. She will also be autographing exclusive gifts with a qualifying purchase.

The Barton Perreira trunk show will continue through Saturday during store hours. Call (808) 948-7308 for more information.

More events:

DEC. 11-12

Julie Wong: Meet the jewelry designer who will be presenting her holiday creations in sterling silver and 18-karat gold. With informal modeling noon to 2 p.m. and light refreshments on both days. In Designer Jewelry, Level One.

David Lin: Meet the jewelry designer as he presents a trunk show featuring his extensive collection of contemporary as well as antique jade jewelry and objets d’art. Enjoy informal modeling from noon to 2 p.m. and light refreshments on both days. In Precious Jewels Salon, Level One.

Tom Ford Beauty Masterclass: Meet representative Todd Davidson who will be hosting two masterclasses on both days at 1 and 4 p.m. Experience the latest holiday collection and enjoy light refreshments. Seating is limited; call (808) 948-7584 to reserve. In Cosmetics, Level One

DEC. 13

Breakfast with Santa: Enjoy breakfast and a festive Christmas program by the Shooting Stars of Diamond Head Theater from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Santa will available for picture taking with the children. Call (808) 951-3420 for reservations. In Mariposa, Level Three.

DEC. 15-17

Piranesi trunk show: Meet representative Reagan Rada and view the latest collection including luxurious precious jewels. Launched over a hundred years ago, the brand is still renowned today for its rare and exotic stones in addition to its statement pieces. Informal modeling from noon to 2 p.m. and light refreshments on all days. In Precious Jewels Salon, Level One.

———

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.

Take a Bite: Tommy Bahama food for isle lifestyle

By
December 9th, 2015



take a bite header

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comThe luxe plantation hale-style interior of Tommy Bahama Restaurant.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

The luxe plantation hale-style interior of Tommy Bahama Restaurant.

The power of a brand can be measured in how much it can repeat its success over different platforms. If true believers like your clothing, why wouldn’t they like the accessories, the home furnishings, music, airline or hotel associated with your brand, your taste, your style?

Tommy Bahama is one of those powerful lifestyle brands that make it easy for you to envision what various aspects of the business might be like if they existed. Knowing nothing about Tommy Bahama Restaurant you’d probably envision a breezy, tropical, upscale-casual environment and food to match. And, you’d be right.

The boutique opened on Beach Walk Avenue in Waikiki last month, along with a rooftop bar and second-floor restaurant with an interior reminiscent of stately Manoa homes, with indoor-outdoor spaces and living walls of lush greenery that embraces the notion of the ideal life being one that balances modern-day creature comforts and nature.

Ahi tacos in wonton shells with slaw and light wasabi-avocado purée.

Ahi tacos in wonton shells with slaw and light wasabi-avocado purée.

The restaurant, of course, is heavy on the creature comfort aspect. As soon as you step into the dining room, your eyes will alight on the enticing dessert tray waiting at the top of the stairs. You’ll see the chocolate and brulée-filled pineapple before you see the hostesses.

Another prominent feature of the dining room is its central bar, graced with a recycled glass countertop, the color of ocean shallows. Reclaimed monkeypod, mango and mahogany trees were used to produce all the outdoor dining tables.

Many clothing brands are able to branch out in compatible categories like accessories and jewelry, but few are able to make the leap to running restaurant, a whole other beast. In a bit of magical thinking, I wished that clothing sales would defray the cost of a meal, but the reality is, more square footage equals more rent so in some instances you will pay a Waikiki premium to cover the 10,000 square feet of restaurant space that more than doubles the retail space.

The menu might be thought of as Hawaii as imagined by a band of outsiders for mainstream diners, with nothing too scary or challenging, unless you fear raw tuna.

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Tommy Bahama is at 298 Beach Walk. Open daily from 11 a.m. Call (808) 923-8785.

A crudo trio of citrus-cured striped marlin, New Zealand king salmon and big-eye tuna drizzled with olive oil and layered with parsley and celery greens and onions, was a recent special at Tommy Bahama Restaurant on the second-floor of the Tommy Bahama store at 298 Beach Walk.

A crudo trio of citrus-cured striped marlin, New Zealand king salmon and big-eye tuna drizzled with olive oil and layered with parsley and celery greens and onions, was a recent special at Tommy Bahama Restaurant on the second-floor of the Tommy Bahama store at 298 Beach Walk.

This started as a healthful vegetarian salad of roasted seasonal vegetables with warm farro salad and grilled cauliflower "steak," but I had to go and add the grilled shrimp. You also have the option of adding chicken. Nice sides if you're a meat eater and your companion is not, or vice versa.

This started as a healthful vegetarian salad of roasted seasonal vegetables with warm farro salad and grilled cauliflower "steak," but I had to go and add the grilled shrimp. You also have the option of adding chicken. Nice sides if you're a meat eater and your companion is not, or vice versa.

Ahi and avocado Napoleon.

Ahi and avocado Napoleon.

The restaurant is best known for its deep-fried coconut shrimp.

The restaurant is best known for its deep-fried coconut shrimp.

I really enjoyed the Hamakua mushroom and apple flatbread with lemon arugula and truffle oil.

I really enjoyed the Hamakua mushroom and apple flatbread with lemon arugula and truffle oil.

A recent dinner special of a seared Hokkaido scallop in five-cheese fondue, paired with juicy slow-roasted Kurobuta pork belly with whole-grain mustard braise reduction; $22.

A recent dinner special of a seared Hokkaido scallop in five-cheese fondue, paired with juicy slow-roasted Kurobuta pork belly with whole-grain mustard braise reduction; $22.

Maui Mokka Coffee-crusted ribeye was served with cauliflower-chive mash, lemon arugula and garlic butter. Delicious, but small considering the $41 price tag.

Maui Mokka Coffee-crusted ribeye was served with cauliflower-chive mash, lemon arugula and garlic butter. Delicious, but small considering the $41 price tag.

If you can't splurge on the ribeye, you can still enjoy a generous taste of beef with the char-grilled filet mignon salad with crispy shiitakes.

If you can't splurge on the ribeye, you can still enjoy a generous taste of beef with the char-grilled filet mignon salad with crispy shiitakes; $23.50.

Jerk pork tenderloin was paired with a colorful combination of Okinawan sweet potato, mango salsa and pineapple rum sauce.

Jerk pork tenderloin was paired with a colorful combination of Okinawan sweet potato, mango salsa and pineapple rum sauce.

Tahitian vanilla creme brulée served in a pineapple section with surprise center of white chocolate mousse was my favorite dessert.

Tahitian vanilla creme brulée served in a pineapple section with surprise center of white chocolate mousse was my favorite dessert.

Butterscotch pudding with Dewar’s Scotch, chocolate ganache, caramel and white chocolate mousse was good but looks a little misleading. The chocolate on the side makes it look like a fluid fudge sundae, but the chocolate is hardened to create the distinct pattern, and virtually unscoopable.

Butterscotch pudding with Dewar’s Scotch, chocolate ganache, caramel and white chocolate mousse was good but looks a little misleading. The chocolate on the side makes it look like a fluid fudge sundae, but the chocolate is hardened to create the distinct pattern, and virtually unscoopable.

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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.

Estes named HNL's best stylist

By
December 1st, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comFrom left, Meleana Estes, Tara Michie and Nova Rizzo competed for the title of Honolulu's Best Stylist during a competition at Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

From left, Meleana Estes, Tara Michie and Nova Rizzo competed for the title of Honolulu's Best Stylist during a competition at Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Before the runway shows at the Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu Fashion Week kicked off Nov. 19 with “Honolulu’s Best Stylist” challenge at Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort.

The Nov. 19 event took place in the open-air setting of the Coconut Grove, with three Honolulu-based stylists presenting looks in three categories: swim, island casual and evening resort wear, pulled from The Collections of Waikiki shops.

During the Swim segment of the competition, Haylee Kam—dressed in 1930s glam style by Nova Rizzo—modeled a one-piece swimsuit from San Lorenzo, Vivienne Westwood head scarf and sunglasses, Stupid Facotry bangles, and more jewelry from Maui Divers, Petit at The Royal and Hau'oli Waikiki.

During the Swim segment of the competition, Haylee Kam—dressed in 1930s glam style by Nova Rizzo—modeled a one-piece swimsuit from San Lorenzo, Vivienne Westwood head scarf and sunglasses, Stupid Facotry bangles, and more jewelry from Maui Divers, Petit at The Royal and Hau'oli Waikiki.

Competing for the title of “Honolulu’s Best Stylist” were:

>> Nova Rizzo, blogger and founder of the96815.com.

>> Tara Michie, creator and founder of LadySlider.com

>> Meleana Estes, free-lance stylist and designer of Meleana Handbags.

Angela Maki Vernon and Jered Branco, manager of the Vivienne Westwood boutique at the Moana Hotel, were the emcees of the fashion show, which was sped up when the first of the weekend's rains began.

That didn't dampen the afternoon for Meleanna, who walked away with the title and grand prize of a three-night stay at the Royal Hawaiian.

Congratulations Mele!

Coincidentally, for a look at Meleanna's collab with Bliss Lau during the finale of the Honolulu Fashion Week "Get OUt" runway show, visit here.

Models and stylists shared the stage before Meleana Estes, at right, was named the competition's winner.

Models and stylists shared the stage before Meleana Estes, at right, was named the competition's winner.

Estes with her model Mahina and event emcees Angela Maki Vernon and Jered Branco.

Estes with her model Mahina and event emcees Angela Maki Vernon and Jered Branco.

Emma Wo goes island casual in this look styled by Tara Michie, comprising a Mikoh swimsuit and Acacia skirt from REBECCA Beach and Avanti aloha shirt. The ukulele is from Ukulele Puapua.

Emma Wo goes island casual in this look styled by Tara Michie, comprising a Mikoh swimsuit and Acacia skirt from REBECCA Beach and Avanti aloha shirt. The ukulele is from Ukulele Puapua.

Mahina Alexander wears a T-Bags dress and gold sharkthooth hoops available at Malie Organics, and paired with mother-of-pearl horn clutch from Accents, a gold coutout diamond cuff from Abiste, and gold shell pendant from Sand People for an evening resort look styled by Meleana Estes.

Mahina Alexander wears a T-Bags dress and gold sharkthooth hoops available at Malie Organics, and paired with mother-of-pearl horn clutch from Accents, a gold coutout diamond cuff from Abiste, and gold shell pendant from Sand People for an evening resort look styled by Meleana Estes.

With Erykah Badu as her inspiration, Tara Michie dressed Emma Wo in a Mikoh maxi dress and white scarf available at REBECCA Beach, accessorized with jewelry from Royal Selection, Martin & MacArthur, Accents and Maui Divers, plus Mary Frances clutch from Abiste.

With Erykah Badu as her inspiration, Tara Michie dressed Emma Wo in a Mikoh maxi dress and white scarf available at REBECCA Beach, accessorized with jewelry from Royal Selection, Martin & MacArthur, Accents and Maui Divers, plus Mary Frances clutch from Abiste.

In this ensemble styled by Nova Rizzo, Roycen Dehmer wears a mix of Reyn Spooner and Vivienne Westwood pieces, and carries a Rimowa briefcase.

In this ensemble styled by Nova Rizzo, Roycen Dehmer wears a mix of Reyn Spooner and Vivienne Westwood pieces, and carries a Rimowa briefcase.

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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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Casual meets glam in 'Get Out!'

By
December 1st, 2015



VIDEO STILL BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comKeke Lindgard opened and closed the "Get Out!" fashion show during Honolulu Fashion Week, in a Bliss Lau x Meleana Estes lei dress.

VIDEO STILL BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Keke Lindgard opened and closed the "Get Out!" fashion show during Honolulu Fashion Week, in a Bliss Lau x Meleana Estes lei dress.

The "Get Out!" show of casual wear by local designers that took place Nov. 21 during Honolulu Fashion Week is one of the most fun for me, just because Don Sumada's styling echoes my aesthetic of fun, comfort apparel with a touch of shine, metal and glitz. And because I'm short, things that move and flow, like fringe and billowy fabric.

So funny because I hate to be noticed or for people to look at me, yet I like some loud pieces that are confusing to my friends, who ask, "Then why do you carry a shiny purse?" Or, in the case of daytime sequins in the blazing Honolulu sun, "You're blinding me!"

I think that for many who are afraid of mixing and matching disparate pieces of clothing, the showcase is an eye-opener in how to elevate casual pieces. Yes you can mix camouflage and sequins, yes joggers and swimwear can look glamorous at night. Most importantly, yes local style can travel to any destination in the world.

Paulina in a Moon Collective safari camo jacket with Zacarias cube bag.

Paulina in a Moon Collective safari camo jacket, sequin skirt and Zacarias cube bag.

Travis in Moom Collective safari jacket and Honolulu City T-shirt.

Travis in Moom Collective safari jacket and Honolulu City T-shirt.

While so new to this town, Honolulu Fashion Week is an important time for everyone in the industry and people were talking about how hectic the weekend was in taking in four to six shows over two days. In the big picture, that is a snail's pace. The last time at New York Fashion Week, I went to four shows a day, about 28 shows in all when there are well over 100 official shows going on.

The finale look by Meleana Estes and Bliss Lau, known for her body jewelry was a show stopper, a two-piece, resort-white peasant top and skirt worn by Keke Lindgard and draped in body "chains" of hundreds of bozu flowers strung into lei. It provided a moment of drama every fashion show needs.

This time, Kini Zamora and Manuheali'i's Danene Lunn were the only designers who had their own shows, but as brands grow I can see a day when dozens of homegrown talents are also able to send 40 of their own looks down a runway.

And, it was exciting to have New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis in the house, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute curator in charge Harold Koda in town because I'm fascinated by costume and would have loved a peek behind the scenes at the museum collections. I feel lucky to have visited three of the Costume Institute shows during his tenure: "Chanel," "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty," "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations," and "Punk: Chaos to Couture."

I had the opportunity to interview him between the local shows. He was so humble and interesting, we ended up talking for an hour and I missed dinner, so I was starving. But that's typical of fashion week, when in New York during that time no one has time to eat.

My interview with Koda, who's retiring at year's end, will appear in Thursday's paper.

The New Yorkers, Honolulu-born  Lynne O'Neill, executive producer of Honolulu Fashion Week, with Harold Koda and Fern Mallis.

The New Yorkers, Honolulu-born Lynne O'Neill, executive producer of Honolulu Fashion Week, with Harold Koda and Fern Mallis.

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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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