Archive for the ‘Hawaii designers’ Category

Living culture at the MAMo Wearable Arts Show 2016

May 24th, 2016
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VIDEO CAPTURES AND PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

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, fashion student Rava Ray showed pieces, in the Hawaii Theatre lobby, that she created for school projects at Parsons The New School for Design, including this piece incorporating turkey and peacock 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.

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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:

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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.

Kauai hosts fashion weekend

May 9th, 2016
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PHOTOS BY PATRICK KELLEY WORLDWIDE PHOTOGRAPHY

Designer Sha Ali Ahmad, co-founder of Kaua'i Fashion Weekend, takes a bow following his Saturday runway presentation. At right, Maytee Martinez, from "House of DVF" was one of his models.

In Honolulu, we tend to look at our city of a million as the center of everything creative in Hawaii, from food to fashion. But, our neighbor islands no longer want to be ignored. There is amazing culinary work being done on Maui, and in distant Kauai, a nascent fashion scene is no longer waiting for Honolulu to come calling, when it's perfectly capable of attracting attention at home.

The 4th Annual Kaua‘i Fashion Weekend took place May 7, featuring Kauai designers' newest island-inspired evening couture, resort, casual and beach wear collections.

Co-founded by international fashion designer Sha Ali Ahmad of India, and Marynel Valenzuela, president of Inkspot Printing on Kauai, the red-carpet event drew more than 400 residents and visitors to the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club's Grand Ballroom.

Above and below, two more of Sha Ali Ahmad's designs.

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Ahmad, who has created fashions worn by celebrities from Hollywood to Bollywood, showed his latest collection, AC 16, which previously debuted at fashion shows in Miami and California. He calls Kauai his home away from home, said he was inspired to help raise the island’s profile in fashion design internationally.

“I want to make Kaua‘i a destination for fashion lovers everywhere. The designers here have huge potential because of the diverse culture. Since my first visit, the people, culture, hospitality and beauty of the island have inspired me.”

Among the models was Maytee Martinez, an international model, designer and star of the E! cable network series, "House of DVF."

Swim and resort styles, below, dominated the Kauai collections.

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Also featured were homegrown designers Chanterelle Chantara of Chez Chanterelle, Taryn Rodighiero of KaiKini Bikinis, Karla Bollmann of Karlota’s Tropical Clothing, and Wilma Bumanglag of Wilma’s Top Secret.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, hopes this focus on fashion will encourage more island residents to share their creativity.

“When people think of Kaua‘i, fashion isn’t always top of mind. There are some beautiful styles being designed by island residents that people anywhere in the world would enjoy wearing. Promoting Kauai’s fashion design is a beautiful way to diversify our island’s economy and show that Kauai should be known for more than sun and surf.”

More informatiion: facebook.com/kauaifashionweekend

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

April 15th, 2016
By



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
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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.