Archive for the ‘Hawaii designers’ Category

A mutt stole the show at 'Mutts and Models' fashion show

February 27th, 2014
By



namodelsAnne Namba's models line up after the "Mutts and Models" benefit fashion show for the Hawaiian Humane Society.Nadine Kam photos

There was a time Anne Namba was a "normal" dog fan, liking them enough but not one to go overboard in coddling a pet, unlike her friend Anna Meng, who doesn't mind stating she likes animals more than people and puts her money and time where her heart is as a contributor to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

But hanging around Meng turned Namba into a bonafide dog person and the two teamed up to present a free fashion show, "Mutts and Models," on Feb. 21, as a benefit for the HHS, at Namba's 324 Kamani St. boutique.

When model Shanna Hulme emerged with Namba's new puppy Dingo in her arms, a chorus of "Awws," rose from the crowd, evidence that the mere sight of pets really do make people happy. Other models included a gallery of TV personalities: Olena Heu, Kathy Muneno and Trini Kaopuiki.

Namba is known for her use of Asian-inspired prints and fashions created from kimonos she collects throughout Asia. This time around, she showed ombre silks in colors ranging from aqua to turquoise to purple, bustiers from obi fabric and laser-cut leather, and strapless gowns created from wedding kimono fabric.

nambaDesigners Anne Namba, left, and Anna Meng, with Anne's new puppy, Dingo, who stole the show when model Shanna Hulme emerged with the live accessory.


Non-flash video

The event served as a prelude to the humane society's "Tuxes & Tails Bow Wow to Hollywoof" gala coming up April 5, with the idea of providing that event's attendees (and others) an opportunity to pick out something unique to wear to the gala or other special occasions.

Inspired by the gala's theme, Namba created an Old Hollywood collection of 1930s- and '40s-inspired evening wear, including bias cuts, pleats, sequins and a black, sequined lace gown in a fishtail silhouette, all accessorized with jewelry by Meng, owner of The Meng Dynasty.

The show also featured evening attire for men, including sleek tuxedo jackets with a modified mandarin collar.

With a portion of sales from the evening donated to the humane society, animal lovers were shopping before the show even started.

najewelryAnna created four love-a-dog-themed bracelets for the event.

nambatTrini Kaopuiki in a strapless gown fashioned from wedding kimono fabric.

nambakKathy Muneno in hot pink. (more…)

Uniqlo-'IOLANI collaboration line due in May

January 22nd, 2014
By



uniqlo:iolaniUniqlo designers used prints and artwork from 'IOLANI Sportwear's archives, dating as far back as the 1960s, for the collaboration 'IOLANI Hawaiian Classics Collection, due in May. Many prints were scaled down to appeal to Uniqlo fans around the globe. The collection won over the fashion press during an earlier preview in Paris.Uniqlo photos

Uniqlo may not be coming to Hawaii any time soon, but a piece of Hawaii will be traveling to 1,200 Uniqlo stores around the globe this summer thanks to a collaboration between longtime kama'aina company 'IOLANI Sportswear, and the Tokyo-based apparel giant.

The announcement was made earlier  today during a news conference from the JFW-International Fashion Fair’s Hawaii Pavilion in Tokyo, where ‘IOLANI is one of several local clothing companies participating in a DBEDT-sponsored initiative promoting Hawaii designers abroad.

The 2014 spring/summer ‘IOLANI Hawaiian Classics line will be available in Uniqlo stores beginning in May. Because there is no Uniqlo store locally, online shopping will have to suffice for fans of both brands.

The collection will include men’s shirts, shorts and T-shirts and women’s tunics, dresses, shorts, handbags, skirts and T-shirts, all inspired by ‘IOLANI’s print archives, with design, fabric and production by Uniqlo.

The rest of the story will appear in tomorrow's Star-Advertiser.

uniqlo:ioAmong the Uniqlo collaboration 'IOLANI Hawaiian Classics pieces will be men's steteco pants, cooling long underwear intended to wear under trousers or yukata for added comfort during humid summer months. Uniqlo is bringing them back, creating contrast when worn under shorts.

MAIA Couture brings touch of India to Hawaii

January 22nd, 2014
By



maiaallRupal Gohil, front, takes her bows with her models following the launch of her MAIA Couture collection.Nadine Kam photos

Rupal Gohil, founder and creative director of MAIA Couture, introduced her luxury resort, beach  and accessories line during a "Bollywood Wedding"-themed, invite-only runway show at The Modern Honolulu's on Jan. 18.

Models got their feet wet, using the circular Sunset Pool, as a runway, so every guest had a closeup glimpse of the breezy, sherbet- and jewel-colored India- and Hawaii-inspired garments as the models made their counter-clockwise strides.

Many of the guests showed up dressed for the occasion, in silk saris and henna hand tattoos.

Strangely enough, it was one fashion show that started ON TIME, meaning I was late by four models. When I mentioned that to other guests later, they explained that Gohil is a doctor of internal medicine.  It's that left-brained logical, practical kind of thinking, vs. right-brained artiste mind.

maiarupalMAIA founder and creative director Rupal Gohil, draped in lei, with one of her models.

But she gave the right side of her brain a workout by studying fashion in India, and says that MAIA "has been an idea in motion since 2004," since traveling to India and finding herself drawn to its vibrant colors, luxurious fabrics and ornamental quality. When she moved to Hawaii in 2009, she was similarly inspired by nature and our island lifestyle to create her laidback collection, handcrafted in India.

"I spent time designing with local artisans to create unique and opulent pieces including bridal wear."

Coincidentally, Gohil will soon be a bride herself, and maybe the show was simply a rehearsal for her own Bollywood-style wedding!

Her designs are available at The Modern Gift Shop and House of Aria at 1140 Bethel St., in downtown Honolulu.


Non-flash video

maiaMAIA dresses and beach coverups.

maiawater   The Modern Honolulu's Sunset Pool became a runway for the models.

maiaguestEllie Matsushita in sari she picked up on a recent trip to India.

maiafamFrom left, Rupal's soon to be mother-in-law, Alka Chauhan, with Dipah Elliott Mendez and her daughter Mariah Mendez.

maiahennaMariah had her hands painted in henna.

maiaguestsPreetha Balamohan, left, and Vinay Aakalu were among the guests.

 

(more…)

On the job: Ivy Higa seeks assistant

December 2nd, 2013
By



Do you dream of living and working in New York?

Hawaii-raised designer and "Project Runway" alum Ivy Higa is now working at DKNY and is looking for an assistant/junior technical designer to help her and is putting out word to other ambitious, hard-working Hawaii designers.

She says, "The job would require a degree in fashion, some internships, knowledge of clothing, passion for fashion, great communication skills, eagerness to learn. It would entail helping take notes, coordinating and assisting in fittings, taking specs, assist in creating tech packs, organizing, filing, and must be able to multi-task well.

"It's an entry position, with an amazing team, and am hoping to find someone that's passionate, hard working, that's a good fit for us."

If you know any qualified individuals, or think you fit the bill, contact her at ihiga@dkintl.com

Jade by Nikolai hosts Speakeasy jewelry party

November 26th, 2013
By



jade ring

A garden of jade flower rings by Nikolai Tsang of Jade by Nikolai.Nadine Kam photos

We can always trust jewelry designer Nikolai Tsang to come up with the best theme parties. Her latest invite came in the form of a weathered-looking swatch of fabric offering a date, time and password: Jade by Nikolai, for entering her Speakeasy.

Apparently, nearly a hundred years since the era of Prohibition, some people don't know what a speakeasy is. As guests arrived, some asked, "Were we supposed to dress up?"

Yeah! In Roaring '20s style consistent with the gangster era, when a nationwide ban on the sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933 led to a boon in illegal alcohol sales by the likes of Al Capone and Bugs Moran.

Speakeasies were underground establishments that illegally sold alcohol.

The theme was appropriate for a year that seemed to be marked by a fascination for the 1920s, beginning with the anticipation for Baz Luhrmann's film interpretation of "The Great Gatsby," and ending with the start of the TV mini series "Bonnie & Clyde," set to begin airing Dec. 8 on A&E, Lifetime and the History Channel.

jade invite

jade room

Tables were draped with pearls and white plumes, while in the back there was a makeshift bar and barrels for decor.

The prohibition movement, also known as the dry crusade, was led by religious groups that gave rise to temperence groups that associated liquor with moral decay and prostitution. If all of this seems far and away, it should sound very familiar. It's interesting to note how similar the 1920s are to this time, from the economy to the religious fervor over same-sex marriage and saving our souls from marijuana. Never mind that the current war on drugs has only led overseas thugs to profit from our misery. History does repeat itself for those who never learn its lessons.

Interestingly, I read a study of the politics of alcohol a while back, and it was noted that cultures who view alcohol as a normal, accepted part of life, such as enjoying a glass of wine at the dinner table, have no problems with alcohol. It's only those nations that look at it as an evil that have problems with alcoholism, because by casting it in an evil light, it is construed as something to seek, covet and hide when in such judgmental company.

jadehelp

Nikolai Tsang helps one of her clients trying on a lariat of leather and black pearls. They are both wearing her jade watch and jade bead bracelets.

But, this party was about fun and raising funds for the Laulima Giving Program, not politics, and guests walked into a cavernous warehouse whose entrance was blocked by Hank's Haute Dogs truck, offering Chicago or lobster dogs to party goers. For those on the outside though, the giveaway that something special was going on withing the industrial space was the presence of valets and umpteen cars.

There was lots of food from Hank's, The Pig & The Lady, Kau Kau Grill and pizza, but women mostly spent hours poring over Nikolai's jade, diamond and gemstone pieces for the holidays. As I looked at the jewelry, many one-of-a-kind pieces, I was told to get them before someone else does.

I was thinking, "What are the odds someone will have the same taste as me?" Though I should know by now my taste, though eclectic, is not unusual. As one boutique-owner friend noted, everything I touch sold immediately afterward, and she always invited me to come to her store and touch stuff.

As it turns out, I was eyeing an unusual diamond ring that formed an X on the finger. At $1,500, I didn't think it would be snatched up so quickly, but sure enough, by my second round, it was sold! I didn't even get to take a picture of it.

jadepearl2

Joanne Koyanagi tries convincing her husband Mike that she needs this pearl necklace.

jade

Nikolai with KHON's Trini Kaopuiki, who heads the television station's Laulima Giving Program. Proceeds from sales at the event will allow Jade by Nikolai to adopt 12 to 20 families in need, and fulfill their Christmas wishes. (more…)