Fashion Tribe

On the Na Hoku red carpet

May 29th, 2016

PHOTO COURTESY POI PLANET

From left are Style Awards judge Carol D’Angelo, wahine winner Aurora Kaawa, kane winner Sean O’Malley, and judges Georja Skinner and Dexter Doi.

The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards ceremony is not only one of Hawaii's biggest showcases for entertainment in Hawaii, but also the one night Hawaii's music stars get to show off their red carpet style.

The big night puts the spotlight on nominees in 33 categories, vying for the Ka Hōkū Mua `Loa ("Star of Distinction") trophy.

It may be one of the most diverse red carpets in the world, where spectators will see a mix of gowns, Hawaiian formals, rock 'n' roll leather and Stetsons. So this year, in addition to recognition for music, the stars and guests were also recognized for their fashion sense.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

At the Hoku Na Hanohano Awards, Natalie Ai Kamauu showed her star style with a hat she made to compliment her Adriana Papell dress.

Natalie Ai Kamauu and Iolani Kamauu in a denim suit. Below, Natalie's accessories.

hoku hands

The 39th annual awards that took place May 28 also marked the inaugural Poi Planet Style Contest, which took place in the foyer of the Kalākaua Ballroom at Hawai'i Convention Center prior to the start of the awards ceremony.

Winner in the wahine category was Aurora Kaawa, a former Miss Hawaii (’71) who also won the talent award at the Miss America 1971 pageant. She lives in Makakilo and travels back and forth to Southern California to run her entertainment and events company, Ahe Productions. She found her dress in a Palm Springs store in 2012 and wanted to wait for the right moment to wear it. Kaawa is a hula dancer who continues to perform with her brother Mike Kaawa, and has also performed as a featured dancer with Taj Mahal, Melveen Leed, Owana Salazar.

Winner in the kane category, Sean O’Malley, is part of the comedy duo, Oil in the Alley, a finalist in the Best Comedy Album Category. The Hawaii Kai singer/guitar player’s oil and fire outfit was inspired by the “oil” in his duo's name, while and his partner, R. Kevin Garcia Doyle’s blue outfit, was inspired by water.

Attendees were invited to model their outfits in front of an panel of judges. They were Georja Skinner, Chief Officer of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBED)/Creative Industries Division; designer Allison Izu; and Carol D’Angelo and Dexter Doi of Ecolicious.

The winners received prizes from Ala Moana Hotel, DADA Salon, Ecolicious, KoAloha Ukulele. Manaola, Allison Izu, and Reyn Spooner.

From left, Taz Vegas, Melia Kalawe and songwriter/producer Bobby Pileggi.

Blaine and Kaleo Kia. Blaine is wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt from Macy's with sandalwood bead necklace and Tahitian matau or fish hook necklace. Kaleo is wearing Manaola Hawaii.

Here to support the Kaleikini family, statuesque London singer/songwriter Chalin Barton wore an Alex Mullins dress with a thrift-shop kimono, accessorized with a Chanel bag.

Sandy "Storm" Essman, nominated with her band for Rock Album of the Year and Christmas Album of the Year, with Sean O'Malley of Oil in the Alley, who had been nominated for Best Comedy Album.

McKenna Maduli, a local girl who now calls Los Angeles home, has worked the red carpet in Access Hollywood, Billboard Live, and MTV, was the emcee for the fashion awards. She wore a design created by Kini Zamora.

Kaimi Hananoeau, right, entered the fashion contest in a shirt by Puamana Crabbe. He's with Jamie Ernestberg.

Stylist Ralph Malani, left, dressed McKenna Maduli and Raiatea Helm for the event. He's with Cliff Duldulao.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her food coverage in print in Wednesday's Crave section. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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