Author Archive

Neko Café, for the love of cats

June 26th, 2016
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PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Michelle Brown didn't mind Cardamom's foot on her face at the one-day Neko Café pop-up inside MORI by Art+Flea.

Hawaii is home to lots of animal lovers and familiarity with the Japanese concept of cafés with animals—from dogs to goats to snakes to owls—you can snuggle up to.

But it all started with cats, and during Adopt-A-Cat Month, the Hawaiian Humane Society teamed up with MORI by Art+Flea and Morning Glass to present a one-day pop-up Neko Cafe at Ward Village Shops.

I thought it would be a lazy Saturday far from the masses at the grand opening of Ala Moana Center's Japan Village Walk June 25, but I arrived at MORI to see a long line and steady stream of people wanting in for the opportunity to sit and cuddle with a cat.

Because some of them were already cat owners with no intention to adopt, I have no idea why they would wait in line to pet another cat.

Many hands at work.

The event was to have ended at 2 p.m., but that's about when they cut off the line, still about two hours long because people who were sitting with the cats were in no rush to leave. By that time, nine out of 20 cats had been adopted.

MORI director Aly Ishikuni said she was surprised by the turnout and said because of the enthusiasm, this won't be the last cat cafe we'll be seeing in Honolulu. A lot of the people in the crowd are advocating for a permanent site to help alleviate the stray/abandoned cat over-population on Oahu.

As a bird person, I ask, how about a bird cafe too?

Hawaii people love a line.

Tania Torres dressed for the occasion.

Christine Kam of Hawaiian Humane Society holds on to one of the more active kittens.

In addition to petting cats and purchasing refreshments from Morning Glass, attendees could make a donation to the Humane Society to help care for animals in their charge. Kela Wong, left, and Michi Sato, were helping out.

Cat owners and cat lovers could shop for a variety of made in Hawaii cat merch, such as these YKNOT bow ties.

There was also cute ceramic ware, big and small, by Dee Oliva.

Something for the wall.

Or a tank top to wear.

Mahina Akimoto of Morning Glass, with one of the kittens.


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

Psychedelic Swell at The Surfjack

June 20th, 2016
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PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Models from the Psychedelic Swell fashion show posed for a group shot after the show.

Downtown denizens Roberta Oaks and Barrio Vintage's Bradley Rhea and Jonathan Saupe teamed up for a one-time, limited edition collaboration collection, Psychedelic Swell, that came to life during a fashion show at the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club June 16.

it looked like the late 1960s and early ’70s all over again, with not only the models, but guests dressed in groovy retro-print garments, suede vests and polyester, echoing the vibe of the collection which featured Oaks' modern silhouettes, with garments sewn from Barrio Vintage's collection of era fabric.

“It was something we’d talked about for some time,” said Oaks.

Many of the textiles were manufactured in Honolulu in the 1960s and ’70s, and feature the bright color combinations of the psychedelic and neon generations.

“To see them survive the test of time and find a new life has been both inspiring and exciting,” Rhea said. “For me, it was interesting to see this pile of fabric transformed.”

For Rhea, the experienced cured him of any desire to create a Barrio Vintage collection from scratch. “I was amazed by what’s involved in creating a collection and what it’s done is made me even more appreciative of people who do this for a living,” he said.

Usually, such a collection might be available for sale immediately after the show, but to make it fair for those who could not attend the show, the entire 26-piece collection of men’s and women’s wear went on sale online at 10 a.m. June 17 at RobertaOaks.com and Barrio Vintage.com., at prices ranging from about $120 to $150.

I was interested in one of the shifts, so kept checking the sites, even while out on a fashion shoot at Cromwell's. Most of the garments were gone by 1 p.m. And so, due to the mostly one-of-a-kind nature of the collection, these modern-retro collectible garments are destined to become tomorrow's rare vintage finds.

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

Hello Kitty Cafe truck has arrived

June 17th, 2016
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PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck arrived at Ala Moana Center today, and hundreds of fans turned up to stand in line for edibles and merchandise.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck arrived at Ala Moana Center this morning for its first appearance in Hawaii, stationed in front of the Sanrio store.

The truck will be serving sweet treats from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through June 19, although it's best to go as early as possible, because cafe edibles were shipped over along with the truck, and once they sell out, supplies can't be replenished.

Candace Lin in Hello Kitty puffy bow.

Here's a video link

Special items offered are a five-piece macaron box set ($15) with one surprise Sanrio character macaron inside, a three-piece Hello Kitty cookie set ($12), and a four-pack of mini cakes ($15). In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug ($13), pink Hello Kitty Cafe T-shirt ($25), pink bow-shaped water bottle ($4) and puffy bow headband ($30) will be available.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck debuted at Hello Kitty Con in October 2014 and has been rolling up to festivals and events nationwide ever since, spreading Sanrio’s message of happiness, friendship and fun. Shipping the truck over was costly, but the company didn't want to let geography exclude Hawaii from being part of the fun.

Hello Kitty T-shirts and mugs for sale.

The truck opened at 10 a.m. today, but people were in line from 8 a.m.

Some of the items included a three-piece cookie set, coffee mug and bow-shaped water bottle.


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

June is time to go crazy for cats

June 8th, 2016
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PHOTO COURTESY HAWAIIAN HUMANE SOCIETY

The Hawaiian Humane Society is bringing its cats out into the community during Adopt-a-Cat month, including introducing a pop-up Neko Cafe at MORI by Art+Flea. This cat has David Bowie eyes.

I'm not a cat person, but I've often wondered why cat people are labeled "crazy," when dog people are not. It seems to me dog people are the ones marching their four-legged friends into stores and restaurants, pushing them in baby strollers, or carrying their clothed pets around like babies. Who's the real crazy?

Anyway, to indulge "crazy" cat people, June is Adopt-a-Cat month and Crazy Shirts and the Hawaiian Humane Society will be hosting an adoption event at Crazy Shirts’ Pearlridge store from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11. Crazy Shirts will cover the regular adoption fee of $75 for the first 20 kittens to be adopted kittens from HHS.

crazy

The apparel company has also released its annual Adopt-a-Cat design with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the humane society. The front of the T-shirt features an illustration of smiling kittens on a skateboard, while the back shows the rear view of the mousers and reads “Adopt-A-Cat, Hawaiian Humane Society, People for animals. Animals for people.”

The designs are available in men’s white crew neck Ts, women’s scoop neck Ts, and children’s white classic crew neck Ts. T-shirts, priced form $21 to $29, can be purchased at select Crazy Shirts retail stores and at CrazyShirts.com.

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Who wouldn't love a kitten as cute as Jasper, from the Hawaiian Humane Society?

Then later this month, the humane society will partner with Mori by Art+Flea to host Neko Cafe, Hawaii's first pop-up cat cafe. The event will take place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25 at the Mori boutique at Ward Warehouse. The event will feature Morning Glass Coffee in the company of cats and kittens available for adoption. Adoption fees will be waived at this event.

The shop will also be hosting special pop-ups offering one-of-a-kind cat themed products and art by a handful of local vendors and artists including Cat Party Hawaii, Lila Lee, Natalie Nakasone, Smokey Road Publishing, Aloha Siempre, ADIDAP, Mistprint, and more.

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Spot's collar spells out his wish.

For those wishing to adopt direct, all adoption fees for cats 6 months and older at the humane society this month will be waived, and I.D. tags will be 25 percent off. On June 9 and 10, the cost of adopting a kitten will be reduced to $10. Fees cover such services as spay/neuter surgery, health examinations, microchip I.D.s and post-adoption health care for two weeks. Call 356-2225 for more information.

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

Say 'boo' to summer sweats

June 3rd, 2016
By



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

A chilling ghost story is one way to keep your cool over the summer. This Meiji period (1868-1912) nagajuban, or under kimono, with the sumi ink ghost design, floating from a lantern, typical of the Obon season.

During Obon season, ancestral spirits are said to return for a brief visit, providing the perfect backdrop for ghost stories, and coincidentally, one way to cool down over the long hot summer.

That's because blood vessels on the skin's surface contract when we're frightened, reducing the flow of blood and lowering the skin's temperature, which is why a scary story literally gives some people the chills.

That's just one of the interesting details to absorb from the “No Sweat: How Textiles Help Beat the Heat” summer exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art.

The exhibition is an exploration into the ways different cultures dealt with hot climates in terms of clothing choices.

The principles that drove ancient people continue to steer development of technologically advanced fibers and designs. That is, figuring out how to reduce moisture typically retained by clothing, and providing ventilation, something for all Hawaii designers to consider in their fabric choices and engineering.

The full story is in the June 4 Star-Advertiser.
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The Honolulu Museum of Art is at 900 S. Beretania St. Call 532-8700. Open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 18 (closed July 4). Admission is $10 for adults, free for members and ages 17 and younger; also free 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Family Sundays the third Sunday of the month; the first Wednesday each month; and for Hawaii residents with I.D. on Restoration Day July 31.

Hitoe, women's unlined summer kimono employed a gauze weave for physical cooling, and water and garden motifs for a psychological cooling effect.

A bamboo waistcoat from 19th century China was an undergarment that served as a barrier between skin and clothing, providing ventilation and preventing fabric's heat-inducing sticking and clinging.

Ramie fibers are still used in Korea for their absorbent and quick-drying qualities. Ramie cloth in Korea is often referred to as "wings of a dragonfly" because of their transparency, providing ventilation in humid weather.

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