Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

Google honors Hollywood costumer Edith Head

October 28th, 2013

edithGoogle illustration

And we thought geeks were unfashionable ... it's nice to see Google make a nod to the fashion community with its logo tribute to the late eight-time Oscar-winning Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, whose birthday is today.

The designer, born in 1897, had no art, design or costume design experience when she was hired as a costume sketch artist at Paramount Pictures in 1924, but created her first costumes for "The Wanderer" in 1925 and by the 1930s established herself as one of Hollywood's leading costume designers, dressing stars such as Mae West, Dorothy Lamour, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and George's mother Rosemary Clooney.

She was working on 1940s-style costumes for the Steve Martin and Carl Reiner comedy "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," starring Steve Martin and Carl Reiner when she died on Oct. 24, 1981, and the film was dedicated to her memory.


Edith Head with her Oscars.


She dressed Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in "To Catch A Thief."

On the red carpet at Eurocinema Hawaii

October 23rd, 2013


"Glee's" Harry Shum Jr., left, on the Eurocinema red carpet with Shelby Rabara and Chris Lee. Shum later claimed the Eurocinema Rising Star Award.Nadine Kam photos

Luxury Row Presents EuroCinema Hawaii hosted its 4th annual awards gala Oct. 18 at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort and Spa in Waikiki.

The festival, dedicated to showcasing European films, with 11 nominated films from Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Harry Shum Jr., best known for his character, Mike Chang on "Glee," was a paparazzi  favorite on the red carpet and at the end of the evening received the 2013 Rising Star Award for his contribution to the industry. The award was presented by Daniel Dae Kim.

Jurors for the awards were local journalist and movie aficionado Bob Jones, Hana Hou! editor Julia Steele, and production designer Jane Ann Stewart, whose film credits include "Election," "Sideways," and "The Descendants."

Here are the winners:

Best film: The Princess Dialta Alliata Di Montereale Award for best film went to a Belgian-Dutch co-production, "Broken Circle Breakddown," by director Felix Van Groeningen.

Best director: Italian legend Bernardo Bertolucci for "Me and You."

Best actress: Paulina Garcia for her performance in the Spanish-Chilean co-production, "Gloria."

Best actor: Luca Barbareschi for his performance in the Italian film, "Something Good."

Best student film: For film students from the University of Hawai‘i’s Academy for Creative Media, went to "Little Girl's War Cry," directed by Erin Lau. She won a cash prize of $1,500 sponsored by the Sunny Dupree Family Foundation.

"Little Girl's War Cry" is the story of a 10-year-old Maori girl, Tiara born on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Raised by a struggling single mother, who is repeatedly abused by her boyfriend, Tiare shelters herself from reality with her hero-centered imagination, until a prank goes wrong and she must dconfront the violence that stains her childhood and family.

Founded and incorporated in 2009, EuroCinema Hawaii is dedicated to the advancement of understanding among, and cultural exchange between, the peoples of Europe and Hawaii through the medium of film, and to the financial support of student filmmakers in Hawaii. In April of 2010, EuroCinema Hawaii announced its partnership with the Hawai'i International Film Festival, creating a Festival within a Festival.


Ingo Rademacher, with wife Ehiku, shows his "Dancing with the Stars" form on the red carpet.


Kelly Hu wore a sleek black, sequined gown to the event, which took place at the Moana Surfrider.


Sebastian Siegel wrote, directed and co-produced this year's Bond-inspired Eurocinema trailer.


Princess Dialta Alliata Di Montereale, representing Eurocinema Hawaii, and Hawai'i International Film Festival executive director Chuck Boller, prepare to introduce the evening's award presenters after a little dance on stage.


"Lost" and "Hawaii Five-0" star Daniel Dae Kim, left, with a fan, presented the evening's Rising Star Award to Harry Shum Jr., right.


Guillame Sadeler, of Cartier Honolulu, with "Lost's" Henry Ian Cusick.


The Eurocinema committee gathered on stage for a photo prior to the awards ceremony. (more…)

Bollywood costumes star in East-West Center exhibition

October 6th, 2013


Bollywood film costumer Nidhi Yasha is in town for the East-West Center Arts Program "Bollywood & Beyond: Costume in Indian Film." She's shown with costumes she created for "The Buddha."Nadine Kam photos

If you're a fan of Bollywood film and have some free time Sunday (Oct. 6) afternoon, from 2 to 3 p.m., you might consider heading to the East-West Center Gallery for a talk by Nidhi Yasha, film costumer, creative director and owner of NY Studio in Mumbai. She'll be giving an illustrated talk about "Fashion Through the Ages: Costumes in Bollywood Film," in conjunction with the gallery's exhibition "Bollywood & Beyond: Costume in Indian Film."

The exhibition will run through Jan. 12, 2014, and there is a full schedule of weekly Sunday events planned, including talks, a dance workshop Oct. 20 with Harmony Turner, and several film screenings. All the events are free.

My interview with Nidhi will appear in the paper at a later date.

The East-West Center Gallery is in the John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Closed Saturdays and holidays, including, coming up, Dec. 22, 24, 29 and 31.


Some examples of the intricate designs embroidery and embellishment that go into Bollywood film costumes. An exhibit of costumes and red carpet gowns are on display at East-West Center Gallery through Jan. 12, 2014.


Sweet treat for Valentine's Day

February 14th, 2013


Let Them Eat Cupcakes is giving out free passes to see the film "Beautiful Creatures," for anyone who stops in and says "Beautiful Creatures" when they purchase a cupcake today for their sweetheart, or BFF, or whatever.

The offer is good while tickets or supplies last. You might want to check out @LTEatCupcakes to see if there are any left.


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Fashion with a message

September 6th, 2012

sextBracelets from 3Strands aim to stop human trafficking, while helping its victims start a new life.

My story in the paper today is about 808 Urban's Mai'a Project, which aims to pair young artists with social justice organizations toward products geared toward raising consciousness.

It's a way of getting more people thinking about how to utilize their talents for greater good, and how the fashion industry can transcend commercial interests to send important messages.

In the case of the inaugural Mai'a Project, which celebrates its launch from 2 to 9 p.m. Sept. 8 at The Refuge, 683 Auahi St., young women partnered with the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) to create a T-shirt design reflecting the journey from darkness to light.

Another brand that aims to put an end to human trafficking is 3Strands Global, which puts designs to work supporting organizations such as Agape International Missions (AIM). AIM’s programs help provide women with a safe environment to live and work after they have been rescued.

3Strands was initially created to fund the Agape Training Center operated by AIM in Svay Pak. The Agape Training Center  is a small jewelry and apparel training center that employs the women eight hours each day. During that time they receive counseling and educational services, as well as lunch and medical benefits. Their salaries are three to four times higher than what typical garment factories located in Cambodia pay. This community, where rehabilitation meets vocation, is built upon respect and compassion for one another in a family environment.

A recent documentary called "The Pink Room" focuses on the efforts of AIM and has received awards and recognition by international film festivals.

With the sale of every 3Strands handmade bracelet and gift box ($18 online), money is raised to help empower, teach and employ young women who have been rescued from sex trafficking.

The first of the 3Strands products, wax-cotton woven bracelets with a signature 3Strands metal closure, are all handmade by rescued young women. Each bracelet is made to remind the wearer of the trafficking survivor who made it.

The three pieces of cord comprising the bracelet symbolize the freedom, love and empowerment these women experience, braided together and not easily broken. The incorporation of a single red string, barely visible inside the center of each bracelet, illustrates the souls of these women,  invisible to those who bought and sold them in the past.

Every bracelet also incorporates one fragile, red seed from the pods of sandalwood trees native to Cambodia. One would never guess these glossy seeds come from colorless pods that are cast away, reminding the women of their journey and their beauty within.

Future so bright, she had to make shades

July 5th, 2012

megumimodernNadine Kam photos
Megumi Hosogai, in her Megumi-O polarized shades and T-shirt, takes a break at The Modern in the middle of her sales tour of Waikiki.

I never did like selling as a little kid going door-to-door trying to peddle candy or whatever for school fund-raisers. Some of my friends were lucky to have parents who bought their whole allotment and did the selling for them to friends and co-workers. But my parents were not like that and I had to do all the hustling, which wasn't easy in Waipahu, where all the families had kids my age who had their own fund-raisers to consider.

So I feel for every fledgling designer who not only designs but has to act as his/her own marketer, manufacturer, accountant and salesman. Of all those tasks, for me, selling for me, would be the worst (though strangely enough I sold residential real estate here for five years). But selling seems the easiest thing in the world for  Megumi Hosogai, whose story about creating her Megumi-O Asian-fit eyewear brand appears in the paper today.

She's offering a 15 percent off Megumi-O promo ending July 8 at 11:59 p.m. Hawaii time! Use promo code: 15StarAd

I interviewed her when she was in town for her 20th Punahou reunion, and watched with awe and amazement as she made the rounds of top-tier hotels to place her shades.

She honed her skills selling commercial real estate in L.A., and as a result says she has no problem with cold calling. She has boundless energy anyway, so even though I was amused that she wore her high school prom dress to her reunion—who does that?—I wasn't surprised that it still fit her!

Then she showed me a photo of her prom dress, and let's just say her Rachel London's Garden dress wasn't very typical of promwear circa 1992! As brash as her form-fitting all-over floral dress was, her classmates didn't remember it when they saw it again!

Just goes to show you, social media and blogging are good things. Posting photos and happenings will help jog your memory when it starts fading.

I tend to remember a lot, but when I think about the first half of my life, it feels like I'm a third party looking at a different person.

megumirenunionPhotos courtesy Megumi Hosogai
Megumi Hosogai at her high school prom below, and 20 years later, at her Punahou reunion in her prom dress.

megumipromA drama queen then and always.

megumiboothWith friends in her Punahou reunion photo booth, with and without her Megumi-O shades.

sanchezMegumi-Os on singer-songwriter and actress Roselyn Sanchez.

fuhrmanAnd on "The Hunger Games' " Isabelle Fuhrman.

Of medieval armor and dressing evil

June 20th, 2012

Nadine Kam photo
Armor for German warriors and their horses, by Kunz Lochner, dated 1548, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Below is a Met photo of a suit of Italian armor from the 1400s.

armedIt's amusing and somewhat sad that I've come to relate to some aspects of history in terms of pop culture and film. When I think of medieval armor, for instance, I never gave much thought to the heft of it and how it might have felt to wear and move in it. That's because, without much suspension of disbelief when watching such period films, I just thought of it as light, flimsy Foamcore props.

But in New York recently, where I dropped in the the Metropolitan Museum of Art to check out the "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" exhibition, I was mesmerized by a walk-through of the armor galleries, with all manner of shields, chainmail and weaponry.

It's only upon seeing the real thing that I had a better idea of how much they weighed and how strong men had to be to carry both shield and sword while maneuvering in armored suits that I'm sure would have made it pretty difficult to get up if they toppled from their horse.

People were much smaller at the time, so much of the armor is no bigger than a 21st century woman.

Seeing the exhibition made me anxious to see the costumes for "Snow White and the Huntsman." Yes, it's one of those movies where you go for the costumes, not the story or acting, although I think it might have been better if "The Hunger Games' " Jennifer Lawrence had been cast as Snow White instead of the single-expression, somnambulent Kristen Stewart. She was so unbelievable in the part of a beauty radiating inner innocence that she was like a thorn in the film.

The real star was Charlize Theron's costumes as the evil queen Ravenna. Costume designer Colleen Atwood must have been thrilled to be able to dress her, with seemingly no limitations as to cost, materials or imagination. It was almost like a fashion show because Theron had to do little to impress but stand there and glower like a model with attitude.

armor2Kristen Stewart in "Snow White and the Huntsman."

costumeCharlize Theron's costumes by Colleen Atwood were sinister but breathtaking.

costume3Her wedding gown was part reptilian, part armored exoskeleton


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