Archive for the ‘Hawaii designers’ Category

Kini watch: Judges go bananas for his genie pant look this week

April 15th, 2016
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PHOTO COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's summer genie pant look him put in the top 2 this week.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' ALL STARS SEASON 5
Episode 10 recap: "Rebel With a Cause"

Business today is often about forming partnerships, and many fashion brands appeal to consumers through philanthropic contributions that allow them to feel like partners in giving back to their communities.

This week the designers are introduced to Yvonne Niami, founder of N:Philanthropy, a brand that gives 10 percent of its net sales toward fighting pediatric cancer. The designers are tasked with designing a "fashion-forward summer look that is sophisticated with a badass edge" for the N:Phil girl.

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora takes a risk by creating a genie pant that he knows judges will love or hate, but at midpoint in the competition, he doesn't want to risk playing it safe either.

His original plan also called for a cropped yellow tweed jacket, but mentor Zanna Roberts Rassi sees pant and jacket together and tells him she wants to see, "less disco banana, more sophisticated cool girl." He has the sense of humor to laugh at the critique, saying he doesn't want to create a disco banana either.

He decides to dip-dye the bottom half of his jacket black to tone down the yellow, but at the last minute he ditches the jacket and sends his model down the runway in the pant and a halter top. The judges like the "kookiness" and "ballsiness" of his design.

His risk-taking paid off and he is placed in the Top 2 along with Emily Payne, who is named the winner.

Ken Laurence struggled with creating a top to go with a white pair of pants. At the last minute, he gives up completely and drapes a piece of fabric as a halter top. It is so thrown together that I felt sure he was going home, but it's Dom Streater and Asha Daniels who end up in the bottom.

Both looks were too heavy looking for the challenge, but Dom's look was beautiful and it was obvious they both put a lot of work into their designs. Unfortunately, Asha ends up going home when it should have been Ken.

Emily Payne scored the win for her design, which started as a deconstructed power suit.

Asha Daniels was sent home for a design more severe than summery.

Kini watch: Trading fabric, barbs

March 25th, 2016
By



PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora plots out his design.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' ALL STARS SEASON 5
Episode 7 recap: "Bait and Stitch"

Every week, the designers get their assignments before heading off to Mood to make their fabric selections. This week, they start at Mood so they know some twist is in play.

Host Alyssa Milano meets them and reminds them that they've been chided for poor fabric choices, so this week, producers have taken the fabric choice out of their hands. The designers pick envelopes that contain the type of fabric they must use to create an evening resort look.

Some of the choices are unusual for the task such as neoprene, and Hawaii designer Kini Zamora being assigned brocade to create a resort look.

When they arrive at the workroom, Alyssa is already waiting for them, so they know something bad is about to happen. They are told that they must switch fabric with another designer and none of them is happy. After all the selections are made, Kini and Sam Donovan are the only ones left to swap fabric and neither is happy.

Kini's dress, made with Sam Donovan's lace, has kept him in the competition for another week.

Of the two, Sam has the better deal because he hasn't given Kini much fabric to work with, the lace is sheer and there's nothing to build under it. In trading barbs, Kini says, "I can't hide the hideous." Sam's lace does look very cheap and when Kini voices his grievances to mentor Zanna Roberts Rossi, she tells him not to make excuses, "figure it out."

Kini manages to come up with a cocktail look and ends up safely in the middle.

Sam is named to the Top 3 for a dress that, in spite of the weight of brocade, appears to flow. Dom Streater is named the winner for a linen ensemble that included a beach towel-style stripe pattern that she pieced together with strips of blue and yellow fabric.

And Valerie Mayen is sent home for a jumpsuit with tacky porno-costume bodice.

Interesting how there have been so many jumpsuits on the runway this season, as well as turbans.

Sam's look created with Kini's brocade.

Dom's winning linen creation.

The walking "Creamsicle" jumpsuit that sent Valerie home.


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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Kini watch: Going for Baroque

March 20th, 2016
By



PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora's still in the "All Stars" game in Week 6.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' ALL STARS SEASON 5
Episode 6 recap: "Going for Baroque"

I miss the screening of project runway All-Stars last week Thursday while I was on Maui I reached home at 11 PM and promptly crashed after running around all day from Kahului to Makawao to Paia.

The next day I also had to find out if Kini had won before writing about his grand opening at the Clique by KZ.

After reading a recap I remembered this was the week that they were to go back in time to the Baroque era. Commenters were dissing the designers for not knowing the details of the Baroque period, and producers for bringing the designers to a medieval event, which had a style preceding the more ornamented Baroque era.

When I actually watch the episode host Melissa Milano actually talked about the medieval. Eating into the Baroque so it just goes to show you how commenters always go off tangent and really don't pay attention to what is being said.

The funny thing is that they're giving only two days to create a Baroque piece when the elaborate garments we now associate with Baroque garments took months to create. Milano tells the designers, "For one of you it will be off with your head." Lucky for the designers that in today's reality show duels, it just means getting booted off.

This is Baroque style, 1590 to 1725:

In Caspar Netscher's 17th century painting, Susanna Huygens wore a Baroque white satin dress with paned sleeves.

Spanish painter Diego Velázquez's 17th century painting "Las Meninas (The Maids of Honour" provides a classic example of Baroque style.

In another example of the Baroque, artist Peter Paul Rubens' 17th century portrait of Susanna Fourment shows an open high-necked chemise, red sleeves tied on with ribbon points, and a broad-brimmed hat with plumes.

I love a challenge like this because it also gives me a chance to learn more about costume beyond the 19th to 21st centuries. Recalling my interview with Harold Koda, former curator in charge of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institution, he said that when he first entered the field he had general knowledge of period dress, but had to learn to differentiate between details of a 1750 sleeve vs. a 1760 sleeve. Think about future clothing historians trying to determine a 1950 dress from a 1950 replica dress made in 2016. To start, you look at details of fabric and construction that was more exacting in the past.

Baroque style started around 1600 in Rome and spread throughout Europe. It started with simplification, eliminating the Elizabethan ruff in favor of broad lace or linen collars. Waistlines rose for both men and women. Sleeves became full and were often paned or slashed to show the voluminous sleeves of the shirt or chemise beneath.

Later in the period, the body was tightly corseted, with a low, broad neckline and dropped shoulder. In later decades, the overskirt was drawn back and pinned up to display the petticoat, which was heavily decorated, leading into the late Baroque, or Rococo, period that we associate with the extravagance and excess of the French royal court beginning with Louis XV.

Everyone is anti-Sam Donovan this week. He chooses a beautiful lace fabric and Mitchell Perry says that doesn't make a good designer when the fabric is doing all the work. Well, fabric choice is one of a good designer's top considerations. His lace gown is beautiful, but it looks like another contemporary, halter top dress. The other designers are peeved that once again, he doesn't give credit to another designer who helped him with the idea and placement of lace cut-out flowers. This time it's Dom Streater who goes uncredited, like Hawaii designer Kini Zamora before her.

Meanwhile, Kini opts for a fitted red gown with gold-embroidered applique details and a skirt that in his illustration looks a lot like that of his famous "Rainway" dress from the original "Project Runway" Season 13. In execution, it turns out more like accordion details. For this, he ends up safely in the middle of the pack.

Online, Kini critics online didn't like seeing what they consider to be a repeat of his umbrella dress.

For the first time, I really like one of Layana Aguilar's creations, a sort of Spanish matador interpretation of the Baroque, in what starts out with a short dress. Because the challenge is to create a gown, she scrambles to create a skirt, and I really like the movement of the skirt in contrast to the severe bodice. The judges hate the colors of yellow and what they call brown, but on my TV screen appears as a mauve. They also think there's too many ideas in the top, but hello, this is a couture challenge.She said she worked with couture techniques while working for Oscar de la Renta, and I think it shows.

This is the first time Ken Laurence claims a win for an elegant sheath with capelike sleeves. It looks more like a medieval-inspired garment rather than Baroque, but it is stunning.

And Mitchell Perry goes home for disaster of a short-long dress.

Ken Laurence was deemed the winner for this contemporary expression of a medieval cloak.

This is Medieval style, 5th to 15th centuries:

Think of your typical Renaissance Faire garb. Women's fashion of the early Middle Ages was influenced by classical Greek and Roman clothing, and consisted of two tunics under a long cloak that likely protected the tunics from the grime of their daily lives. People didn't own many clothes so had to preserve what they had.

Tunics and robes became more ornate in the late medieval period.

This is Rococo, also considered late Baroque, 18th century:

Think Marie Antoinette in her most ornate court dress worn over wide panniers.

Going back into this history reminded me of the work of another local designer, Eric Chandler, who has since semi-retired to Washington state. He created many an elaborate late Baroque-style ball gown, this one modeled by Emma Wo in 2008.


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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

The Clique by KZ officially open

March 18th, 2016
By



PHOTO BY JEPTHA EDDY

Kini Zamora welcomed friends, family and fans to the grand opening of his work/retail space, The Cliqque by KZ.

When it comes to what motivates designer Kini Zamora, it's always about his ohana, and on March 17, that extended to a statewide network of family, friends, fans and supporters who turned out to the grand opening celebration of his work/retail/share space, The Clique by KZ.

Keeping it ohana style, the celebration included plenty of food, with music by Robert Cazimero, people joining in hula performances, and the screening of the night's newest "Project Runway All Stars" installment, "Going for Baroque," with Kini still in the game after six weeks.

Among the designer's special guests were his "Project Runway" Season 13 competitors Sean Kelly and Alexander Knox, also in town for the Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Ball fundraiser March 18, that I advanced in Thursday's paper.

More than a just another typical retail space, Kini envisions The Clique by KZ as a shared space for fellow creatives including designers, hair and makeup artists, stylists and photographers in need of a place to work and sell their designs, jewelry, accessories and services.

Never forgetting his roots and many years spent working in his family's garage before "Runway" acclaim enabled him to secure a space, Kini aims to help others bootstrapping their way up toward success.

The Clique by KZ is at 99-1132 Iwaena St., Halawa. Visit thecliquebykz.com for membership information.

I could not be at the event due to a work trip to Maui, but photographers Jeptha Eddy and Orlando Benedicto captured the moment:

PHOTOS BY ORLANDO BENEDICTO

Among Kini's special guests was designer Sean Kelly, second from right, his "Project Runway" competitor and Season 13 winner.

Kini also welcomed his fellow "Project Runway" Season 13 competitor Alexander Knox, pictured in lei, surrounded by fans.

The lively evening included hula, plus music performed live by Robert Cazimero.

Kini's wall of spooled threads provided a colorful backdrop for selfies.

On a night when a new episode of "Project Runway All-Stars" debuted, Kini's fans could watch and see how he fared during the "Going for Baroque" challenge.

The designer surrounded by his supporters.


'All Stars': Clothing the nudes

March 10th, 2016
By



PHOTO COURTESY LIFETIME

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

'PROJECT RUNWAY' ALL STARS SEASON 5
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.

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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 nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.