Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

LV scents trigger wanderlust

By
October 6th, 2016



PHOTO COURTESY LOUIS VUITTON

After a long absence, fragrance is back at Louis Vuitton. Seven new scents capture the essence of travel that is in the DNA of the luxury brand.

Once upon a time, like every other major luxury brand, Louis Vuitton had its own line of fragrances, introduced in 1925. The last launch came in 1946, after the end of World War II.

Now, after a 70-year absence, fragrance is back in the big way with the launch of a seven-scent collection created by renowned third-generation Grasse perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud.

The beautiful scents are made from all-natural ingredients using CO2 extraction to maintain the fragile essence of plants and flowers used.

The names of the fragrances tell a story of a journey through life and travels in keeping with the brand's roots in creating sturdy, stackable and waterproof trunks for travelers.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Ceramic keys, above and below, make it easy to smell the individual fragrances before selecting a few to try on.

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The excursion starts with Rose Des Vents, evoking a field of roses in Belletrud’s home of Grasse, France, leading to Turbulences, with the scent of tuberoses, to stir excitement about the road ahead. Dans La Peau possesses an infusion of leather reflecting LV’s association with travel luggage. Apogee’s lily of the valley scent represents the pinnacle of travel, while the warm vanilla scent of Contre Moi (“Close to Me”) is one to snuggle up with when missing home. Matiere Noire (“Dark Matter”) blends dark wood and white narcissus and jasmine to create an air of mystery, and Mille Feux (“Thousand Lights”) is and ode to a starlit sky or Aurora Borealis, the light that contributes to the magic of travel.

The fragrances are presented in elegant apothecary-style bottles designed by Apple watch designer Mark Newson to reflect the heritage brand, combined with contemporary magnetic cap and illusion spray stem.

To mark the introduction, the Louis Vuitton Waikiki store recently presented an open house allowing shoppers to sample the new fragrances through a smart display including ceramic keys that allowed all to easily take in the individual scents before deciding which they wanted to try on their skin.

A display near the entrance at the Waikiki Louis Vuitton store.

Work on the fragrances began four years ago, and it was well worth the wait. All the fragrances are so great I wanted to try them all. Although unisex, a couple scents, such as Dans Le Peau and Matiere Noire struck me as more masculine. In the store, I was drawn mostly to the florals, but now I have taken to wearing Mille Feux most of the time, taken by the spark of the thousand lights of fireworks. The candy-like fragrance includes an infusion of raspberry, with osmanthus, iris and saffron.

Each 100 milliliter bottle is $240; 200 milliliter bottles are $350. Refills are available at $150 and $300, respectively. A mini set of all seven scents in 10 millileter sizes is $290. And a travel set of four 7.5 milliliter pocket atomizers is $240. Available at Louis Vuitton Waikiki and Ala Moana Center.
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PHOTO COURTESY LOUIS VUITTON

A display of Gump's perfume bottles through Oct. 18 reflects a shared luxury heritage that continues on the Waikiki site that was home to the Gump Building from 1928, and Louis Vuitton today.

Coinciding with the introduction and tied in with the local roots of the Gump Building that now houses the Louis Vuitton store, LV is also presenting a mini display of four Hawaiian carved wood perfume vessels created by Fritz Abplanalp in the mid-1930s. That's when Alice Spalding Bowen, a gallery manager at Gump's—Honolulu's original luxury store—had the idea of creating fragrances unique to Hawaii, for affluent steamship travelers.

Abplanalp used ohia, monkeypod, milo and hau woods to create the floral cases that housed vials of Pikake, Plumeria and Fern Lei fragrances. The bottles will be on display through Oct. 18, on loan from the Honolulu Museum of Art.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Also displayed is "Lei in a Bottle: Collecting Hawaiian Perfume Bottles," a book by Gwen and Evan Olins, tells the story of Hawaiian perfume bottles from the 1930s through '60s, including the Gump's story.

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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

By
June 3rd, 2016



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.

Oscar de la Renta at DeYoung

By
April 23rd, 2016



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Oscar de la Renta's 2000-01 Spanish-influenced designs were the focal point of one of the tableau in a retrospective of his work at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The exhibition continues through May 30.

"Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective" on view at the de Young Museum of Fine Arts in San Fransisco, celebrates the work of the designer who was born in the Dominican Republic, trained in Spain, and made his career in the United States, until his death on Oct. 20, 2014, at the age of 82.

The world premiere exhibition, curated by André Leon Talley, former editor-at-large for Vogue magazine, includes 120 ensembles, curated from the best museums in the United States, and his friends, family and clients.

The designer was born Oscar Arístides Renta Fiallo in the Dominican Republic and trained with Spanish designers Cristóbal Balenciaga and Lanvin designer Antonio del Castillo.

After moving to the United States to create ready-to-wear fashion in the early 1960s, he made his name as by dressing First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. In addition to designing for his own eponymous brand, he designed the haute couture collection for Balmain between 1993 and 2002.

The exhibition covers five decades of de la Renta fashion, but instead of being organized chronologically, it is organized by themes, showing how Spanish influences in his life were consistently reflected in his work. Other galleries reflect a fascination with Asia, a love of gardens, and his popularity with New York society, celebrities and heads of state over decades. He dressed everyone from Audrey Hepburn and Liza Minnelli to Rihanna and Taylor Swift, and the show closes with some of his red carpet creations.

Beyond fashion, a video gallery screens mini docs about the designer, including his desire to give back to his home country, by opening schools and orphanages to help disadvantaged children.
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Tickets for the Oscar de la Renta exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco start at $30 per person, including general admission. Discounts available for seniors, students and youth. Free for ages 5 and younger. Premium tickets are also available. The museum is in Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, through May 30.

Some of my favorite pieces in the Spanish section were those the designer created for Balmain. This summer dance dress and bolero were worn by De la Renta's wife Annette. It comprises silk, jet beads, passementerie and raffia.

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This spring 2005 flounced lace evening dress was designed especially for Annette and was the designer's favorite, comprising black tulle and black silk taffeta applique.

De la Renta enjoyed gardening and that was the theme of a Vogue photo shoot by Peter Lindbergh, published in October 1997. These mannequins in floral silk Balmain gowns were arranged to recreate one of the images.

Acknowledging the rise of the Asian model that coincided with China's and Korea's growing economic power, Vogue reimagined a 1948 Cecil Beaton photograph, with eight Asian models wearing Oscar de la Renta Spring 2011 ballgowns. The new photo was shot by Steven Meisel. This detail of the photo is displayed on a video screen, with mannequins in the dresses posed in similar fashion.

Detail of jeweled tassels gracing a jacket and skirt ensemble from one of de la Renta's Asia-inspired collections.

This 1998-99 Oscar de la Renta for Pierre Balmain evening dress is of green silk tafetta with beads, sequins and metallic thread embroidery. It was juxtaposed with Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky's 1884 painting, "Preparing for the Wedding."

More Spanish ruffles.

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