Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Neiman Marcus + polo field

September 19th, 2016


Fourth generation polo playing brothers Carlitos, left, and Mariano Gracida, are the sons of 10-goal legend Carlos Gracida, from Mexico. With Emi Sklar, center.

The Hawaii International Polo Association presented the Hamptons-inspired Hawaii International Polo Championships Sept. 17 on Waimanalo Polo Field, welcoming international polo celebrities Nic Roldan, Luis Escobar, Juancito Bolini, and Carlitos and Mariano Gracida for a fundraising and exhibition match to support polo in Hawaii and provide horse clinics for disadvantaged youths.

Over in Honolulu, gray clouds loomed, and it was no different on the East side, but it made for a painless, sun-free sky with neither shades nor picture hat necessary to enjoy the sport. We wore them anyway in keeping with the spirit of the Hamptons in Hawaii, and in spite of the all-day gray weather, not a drop of rain fell.

Music by DJ Dorian Wright was the backdrop for the Hawaii Polo Life event that started with players arriving on the field via Makani Kai helicopters, and Red Bull jumpers BASE-jumped onto the field from the helicopter in a second pass.

On the ground, guests could check out new cars from JNExotics.

Tyeski Quintel brought her conure, Polito, named after Argentine polo player Polito Pieres. Little Polito hitches a ride on Marciano Gracidas' shoulder. (I think he was a little afraid of the bird.)

Neiman Marcus models on Waimanalo Polo Field before the start of the exhibition match.

Neiman Marcus was slated to stage a fashion presentation at half-time and had a comfy lounge set up for VIP guests, so it was like watching the game and parade of fashion—on both guests and models—from a living room sofa.

And of course there was food in addition to the finery, with Anicea Campanale of The Nook offering the best of upscale picnicking, including deviled eggs with wasabi and ikura, paté, Okinawan sweet potato salad, and more.

NM models, from left, Austin Kino, Eri Aihara and Alli McIntyre, show new fall looks available in the store now.

More looks from Neiman.

Among those showing up for the match were, from left, Mary Ronnow, Traci Brady and Lieren Pierson.

Also taking in the match were Ralph Perkins, with Angie Zhang in white lace.

North Shore horse and polo enthusiast Jeanna de Garcia, with a saddle-style bag from Mexico.

Local fashion designer Allegra Matsuo Mossman in one of her creations.

Model Daniella Abe in a denim look from Neiman Marcus.

The Nook's Anicea Campanale shows some of the food she prepared for the event, including charcuterie platters.


Egg on egg. These deviled eggs topped with ikura had the perfect balance of salt and wasabi.

Delicious paté and shaved parmesan.

A dessert bar included mini apple pies for two and Magnolia Bakery's banana cream pudding, as well as an assortment of cookies, candies and macarons.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

'A' is for Avel and advocacy

September 13th, 2016


Models in neoprene swimwear line up before the start of Avel Bacudio's fashion show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Resort.

"Triple Threat Advocacy" is not the frilly sort of name we expect from a fashion show, but designer Avel Bacudio's heart was in the right place as he staged a showing of swimwear, couture and Fall 2017 ready-to-wear designs in support of the Northern Luzon School for the Visually Impaired.

The nonprofit organization in his home country of the Philippines provides board, lodging, educational services and livelihood training and equal opportunities for visually impaired students to promote independence and meaningful lives. The school relies mostly on donations for support.

Designer Avel Bacudio shows one of his gowns before the start of his fashion show.

The event presented by Magnum Model and Talent Productions and sponsored by Philippine Airlines, took place Sept. 11 in the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Resort's Coral Ballroom. Audience members were treated to intimate peformances by recording artist Billy Crawford and Philippines Prince of R&B and Jay R Sillona, who both posed for selfies with fans in the midst of performances.

Among the models and opening the show was 2012 Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Janine Mari Tugonon. She is in the running to become one of the Top 12 of 2017 Nu Muses. To vote for her, visit Anyone is welcome to cast one vote per day through 5 p.m. PST, Sept. 17.

Kekoa Lyons wears one of Bacudio's minimalist neoprene sweaters, sales of which will help support visually impaired children in the Philippines. Adult sizes run $75, children's sweaters run $55 at

The close of his show brought out keiki and adult models in neoprene, digital-print sweaters emblazoned with "A"s and other letters of the alphabet, the "A" representing both Avel and advocacy for the visually impaired students.

The charity is close to his heart because of his own brush with blindness a decade ago when he suffered from retinal detachment that could have ended his career.

Bacudio was raised in Bicol, in Southern Luzon, better known for being home to one of the smallest freshwater fish in the world, the dwarf pygmy goby, than fashion. He rose to present his work on international stages after being chosen to participate in a student fashion competition in Paris. Bacudio earned the title of "Asia's Most Influential Designer during Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, beating 24 other designers from 11 countries throughout Asia. Shoe designer Jimmy Choo is one of his champions, and is working to bring Bacudio's work to the attention of fashion enthusiasts in the West.

Bacudio, 37, said his ambition is to have a ready-to-wear business on par with Ralph Lauren. For that to happen, he said, the Manila fashion industry must grow. Much like Hawaii, he said there is no shortage of design talent in the Philippines, but unlike China, Japan or Vietnam, the infrastructure for global production doesn't exist. "We need help from other countries to make it global," he said.

For now, buyers in the United States can visit, where pieces are running about USD$300 to $400.

Anna Davide, left, and Sheville Lee, in Avel Bacudio's neoprene swimwear.

Formal looks were presented during one segment of the show.

Allan Lee wears one of Bacudio's men's formal looks.

Singer Billy Crawford sang and posed for selfies with fans at the same time.

Group shot after the show.

Bacudio with one of his models after the show.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Trio of designers take stage at 47th Hui Makaala fashion show

July 26th, 2016

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comKaypee Soh presented the finale collection during the Hui Makaala 47th annual fashion show.


Kaypee Soh presented the finale collection during the Hui Makaala 47th annual fashion show.

The Okinawan scholarship organization, Hui Makaala, presented its 47th fashion show July 24 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, featuring Dolkii, Boutique Sharon, and Kaypee Soh.

First to present was Dolkii, created by sisters Shaiyanne Dar and Yasmin Dar Fasi. What started as Shaiyanne's blog in 2013, turned into an online boutique last year, and this season, the sisters created their first original designs, a dress and harem pant-inspired romper that reflect the casual, chic, boho essence of Dolkii.

Next up were designs from Joe Jeong's Boutique Sharon, reflecting the colorful mixed cultural heritage of Hawaii through fashion by Harari, local designer Anne Namba, Hawaiian artists and Italian clothiers.

Miss Hawaii 2016 Allison Chu walked the runway for all three segments. Here, she's pictured in an ensemble from Boutique Sharon. She also proved to be a quick-change artist, singing in between segments and rushing backstage to get into garments to open the shows.

Kaypee Soh presented the finale show inspired by Hawaii's rainbows and flora. Soh, who grew up in Malaysia, attended school in London, and started his career as a graphic designer. After moving to Hawaii in 2004, he found a niche in interiors, but his love of textiles and prints led to a natural evolution from wardrobing the home to outfitting the body. This spring-summer collection marks his first full collection, yet anyone seeing his work for the first time would think he's been working in fashion for years.

A day ahead of the show, I worried that pending tropical storm Darby might cause its cancellation. The day was humid, but the downpour in Honolulu waited until the evening. A good thing because this is the organization's major fund-raiser for scholarships, that in 2016 will go to:

* Stephanie Adaniya: Iolani School to Brown University; Biology
* Reese Asato: Iolani School to University of Purdue; Mechanical Engineering
* Dane Itomura: Punahou School to UC San Diego; Biology
* Kassie Odo: Pearl City High to Oregon State; Bio-engineering
* Shayna Pak: McKinley High to University of Hawaii at Manoa; Music
* Copeland Talkington: Kamaile Academy to UHM; Computer Science
* Marisa Tsuhako: Waiakea High to UHM; Master of Education
* Summer Tsukenjo: Sacred Hearts Academy to Kapiolani Community College; Education
* Jolyn Yoneshige: Castle High to Hawaii Pacific University; Education

Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients and all who worked hard to make sure the show when on in spite of the uncertain weather.

Allison Chu in one of Dolkii's original romper designs.

A stylized "rainbow" by Kaypee Soh.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

On the Na Hoku red carpet

May 29th, 2016


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.


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.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Living culture at the MAMo Wearable Arts Show 2016

May 24th, 2016


One of Maui designer Anna Kahalekulu's models holds up a life-sustaining pohaku, or stone, the inspiration for her collection for the 10th annual MAMo Wearable Art Show.

Storyteller/performer Moses Goods opened the Maoli Arts Month 10th annual Wearable Art Show on May 18 at Hawaii Theatre with his tale of Maui "making plants fly" by shaping them into a lupe, or kite, reflecting the ingenuity of the demigod and the Hawaiian people, who, from humble materials, were able to create, clothe, house and feed themselves.

It was a tale befitting the show dedicated to showcasing the creativity of Native Hawaiian and Pacific designers, artists and cultural practitioners.

The show is one of the highlight events of a month that includes a film festival, storytelling festival and art exhibition.

With the click of 'ili 'ili and pahu rhythms with the speed of a heartbeat, Maui-based designer and educator Anna Kahalekulu, a first-timer to the Oahu show, was the first to present. Her show was focused on the pohaku, or stones considered to be one of the people's life-sustaining forces.

Her fabrics dyed with plant materials and alaea reflected the multi-colors and textures of stones from mountain to sea.

In addition to the work shown on stage, Rava Ray showed pieces, in the Hawaii Theatre lobby, that she created for last year's Honolulu Fashion Week, including this piece incorporating turkey, peacock and pheasant feathers.

The show was tamer than last year's event, when many an artist made a political statement regarding the building of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea.

The show featured the return of Lufi Luteru, Wahine Toa, Maile Andrade and Marques Marzan. Maori designer Hone Bailey was there representing Aotearoa, or New Zealand.

With co-host and show director Robert Uluwehi Cazimero feeling under the weather, there wasn't as much of the comedic banter between him and producer emcee Vicky Holt Takamine as usual, but enough to add lightness and laughter to the evening.

A hair look created for 6th generation weaver Keaou Nelson's show of handwoven accessories.

Unfortunately, maybe I was laughing a little too hard regarding their tale of a missing connection at the airport due to confusion over Kauai designer Lavena Kehaulani Kekua's full name, which hadn't been included on the ticket.

Adding a double whammy to her day, I must have hit the stop button on my video camera, so her show isn't included as one of the videos below. It was a beautiful show of bold, handpainted scarves. All I can say is, "Sorry" and "Come back next year!"

And the same goes for the audience. Even at its most sedate, this is still one of the most lively shows in town.

Following the show, there was an after-party and trunk show where some girl snagged Kahalekulu's sleeveless yellow silk jacket I wanted.

And, as a testament to Wahine Toa's and designer Nita Pilago's popularity, there was a line at a private entrance for her work.

Another show will take place June 25 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Call (808) 242-2787 for more information. Featured will be the work of Maile Andrade, Marques Marzan, Wahine Toa, Koa Johnson, Anna Kahalekulu, Elisha Clemons and Kehau Kekua.

Are designers ever done before showtime? Above, Marques Marzan adds black trim to one of his garments. Below left, Anna Kahalekulu works on a lauhala capelet, and Keoua Nelson works on one of his woven belts.

mamo anna

mamo nelson

Marzan's inspiration was the chiefly fan, the pe'ahi, that incorporated weaving and twining techniques, and often, human hair from a close relative or someone imbued with strong mana.

Here are the shows, in order of presentation:

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

'All Stars': Clothing the nudes

March 10th, 2016


Kini Zamora creates a sketch for his naturist model, Felicity."

Episode 5 recap: "Birthday Suits"

Well this competition promised to be interesting because it's the first one in which the designers are being asked to dress naturists, that is, people who wish to live in harmony with nature, including going naked.

But, humans weren't made to be naked for winter, so the assignment is to create a winter look acceptable to people who don't like wearing clothes. The naturists walk into the studio in their birthday suits, with all their privates blurred out. This is the part that I don't understand about this spate of shows with naked themes, like "Dating Naked." If they want to titillate viewers, they should also have the courage to show all so we can see what the participants are actually seeing.

Right off the bat, Mitchell Perry mentions that he's from Florida and he's never even seen snow, so coming up with a winter look might be difficult for him since he says he lives in "tank tops and Speedos."

At first I think the same cold weather handicap might be true for Hawaii designer Kini Zamora, but I remembered he spent a year in school in New York and has designed several beautiful coats before, so this challenge should be no problem for him.

He has ambitious plans for a four-piece ensemble including chiffon, and that seems like overkill, especially because these models want to wear as little as possible. Mentor Zanna Roberts Rassi tells him as much.

Meanwhile, Sam Donovan is struggling because he chooses a bold yellow check fabric that horrifies his model, a plain Jane sort of person compared to models who have seen it all and are well aware of the theatrical aspects of fashion. Because part of the assignment is to make their naturists happy, he scraps his original plan and has to scramble for an alternative look. Problem is, he doesn't have any other fabric so has to plead for scraps from the other designers who aren't forthcoming because they just don't like him. Kini doesn't appear to be a fan of Donovan either, but he gives him some fabric.

In spite of Mitchell's early misgivings, he turns out a respectable ensemble of sweater vest, trouser and coat. The other designers are amazed and attribute the stripped down look to his working with a male model, which leaves no room for his usual excessive decorating.

For the first time, judges come up with four top looks and two on the bottom. On top are Kini, Mitchell, Dom Streater and Emily Payne, who is named the winner for a striking blue "California winter" dress with a cape attachment in back, the most original design of the evening.

Donovan and Valerie Mayen end up on the bottom. Donovan would probably have fared better if he had stuck with his original look and fabric, but his model would not have been comfortable. Part of the judges' discussion was that both designers' models loved the looks created for them. Mayen produced a weighty coat because her model told her she would feel most comfortable in a blanket.

Reading between the lines, it wasn't a surprise for the judges to declare them both safe for another week because they did please their clients.

The decision didn't go over well with the other designers who were disturbed particularly that Donovan got this second chance when others did not. In a bit of sour grapes, Alexander Pope suggested it was because Donovan flirted with the judges.

A hurt and angry Donovan vows to pick off the other designers one by one. Juicy. Stay tuned.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

H&M welcomed 800 on opening night

March 27th, 2014

hmmainA crowd gathered at the red carpet entrance to the newest H&M store at Waikiki Business Plaza. The line extended along the left side of the building.H&M courtesy photo

Eight-hundred invited guests crowded the entrance of H & M, Hennes & Mauritz AB, March 26, marking the grand opening of the international retail giant at the Waikiki Business Plaza, the first H&M store in Hawaii.

The event included food from chef Chai Chaowasaree, a concert by indie band Best Coast, and of course, it marked the first time attendees could shop the racks, full of spring trend items for men and women, including grand opening specials on accessories as low as $1, and apparel as low as $5.

The two floors could barely contain the crowd, and it took a lot of weaving and dodging to move through a crowd that has waited years to be able to shop the brand's reasonably priced contemporary apparel. It was such a frenzy that afterward, several people said they were so tired and relieved to get out the door.

H&M also unveiled an installation featuring artwork by local surf photographers Mike Coots, Sarah Lee and Zak Noyle, whose photos are being featured on a trio of limited-edition H&M T-shirts. All proceeds from sales of the shirts will benefit AccesSurf, a non-profit organization that provides surfing instruction and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation for people with disabilities.

H&M was established in Sweden in 1947. Today there are 310 stores in the United States and more than 3,100 H&M stores in 53 markets worldwide.
H&M is in the Waikiki Business Plaza, 2270 Kalakaua Ave.

hmgraceHawaii News Now Sunrise anchor documents the moment for television. She's in H&M's spring pink and florals.Nadine Kam photos

hmfansBest Coast played a 12-song set for an appreciative crowd at the center of the store. For a sampling of the band's sound, click on the photo.

hmstaffFrom left, H&M staffers Katie Shamblin, Diana Johansson, Marina Müller and Olivia Vongphet.

hmstafAlso representing H&M, Meng Hok, Marissa Ferretti and Michael Steven Gallegos.

hmmodOf course there were models among the guests, from left, Pono Fernandez, Nalani Ravelo and model-turned-photographer Daniela Voicescu.

hmnapresH&M North America president Daniel Kulle, left, with local surf photographers Sarah Lee, Zak Noyle and Mike Coots, whose photos are being featured on limited-edition T-shirts, below, sales of which will benefit AccesSurf. H&M photos

hmtees (more…)

Willows launches new bridal fair

March 6th, 2014

wibridesModels for The Bridal Boutique posed for a photo with Photographix Unlimited, which offers photo booth services for party guests.Nadine Kam photos

The Willows Restaurant  hosted its inaugural Ho‘omaika‘i, a wedding and special events fair, on  Feb. 28, 2014, highlighted by a family-oriented special occasion fashion show by 'IOLANI Sportswear, and a mini bridal fashion show presented by The Bridal Boutique, featuring gowns by Alfred Angelo Bridal and Casablanca Bridal.

The event offered prospective brides and grooms the opportunity to tour the venue, sample its famous buffet, sample wines from The Wine Stop, listen to the music of wedding performers Maila Gibson & Ben Vegas, Kanoe Gibson and Randy Allen, and Smooth Remedy, and check out other vendors including photographers, lighting and sound specialists, videographers, florists, favor specialists, and bakers.

Hugo Higa, M.D. was there to share non-invasive cosmetic procedures to help couples look their best for photos or the ceremony, and Ho'ala Salon & Spa touted ways to prepare and de-stress before the big day.

There was also prize giveaways and The Bella Project was there to collect donations of  wedding or prom dresses, tuxedos, and other formal wear and accessories toward helping teens in need attend their proms.

Non-flash video

The Willows general manager Garret Kamei said his catering staff is available to attend to many of the details that make wedding planning a headache, from providing the buffets and professional staff, all in a convenient location with valet parking.

Although old-timers are well-aquainted with this historic, multi-complex site, it remains a hidden, unexpected oasis in the midst of the city, that younger couples have yet to discover.

The Willows Chapel has been the site of many isle weddings, and the venue can host celebrations for up to 150 people in private rooms, as well as restaurant buy-outs for larger events.
The Willows Restaurant is at 901 Hausten St. Call 808.952.9200.

wiphotoA photographer from Photographix Unlimited keeps his eyes on the brides. The photos are printed on the spot for guests who utilize the company's photo booth services.

willowsThe Willows chapel at night.

wicakeGuests eye some of the creations by Cakeworks Bakery, above and below.


wifavorCelebrations' sakura- or cherry blossom-themed favors are a favorite of brides.


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