Archive for the ‘Hawaii designers’ Category

Psychedelic Swell at The Surfjack

June 20th, 2016
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PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Models from the Psychedelic Swell fashion show posed for a group shot after the show.

Downtown denizens Roberta Oaks and Barrio Vintage's Bradley Rhea and Jonathan Saupe teamed up for a one-time, limited edition collaboration collection, Psychedelic Swell, that came to life during a fashion show at the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club June 16.

it looked like the late 1960s and early ’70s all over again, with not only the models, but guests dressed in groovy retro-print garments, suede vests and polyester, echoing the vibe of the collection which featured Oaks' modern silhouettes, with garments sewn from Barrio Vintage's collection of era fabric.

“It was something we’d talked about for some time,” said Oaks.

Many of the textiles were manufactured in Honolulu in the 1960s and ’70s, and feature the bright color combinations of the psychedelic and neon generations.

“To see them survive the test of time and find a new life has been both inspiring and exciting,” Rhea said. “For me, it was interesting to see this pile of fabric transformed.”

For Rhea, the experienced cured him of any desire to create a Barrio Vintage collection from scratch. “I was amazed by what’s involved in creating a collection and what it’s done is made me even more appreciative of people who do this for a living,” he said.

Usually, such a collection might be available for sale immediately after the show, but to make it fair for those who could not attend the show, the entire 26-piece collection of men’s and women’s wear went on sale online at 10 a.m. June 17 at RobertaOaks.com and Barrio Vintage.com., at prices ranging from about $120 to $150.

I was interested in one of the shifts, so kept checking the sites, even while out on a fashion shoot at Cromwell's. Most of the garments were gone by 1 p.m. And so, due to the mostly one-of-a-kind nature of the collection, these modern-retro collectible garments are destined to become tomorrow's rare vintage finds.

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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.

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
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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.