Archive for the ‘Jewels’ Category

Vivienne Westwood celebrates 1st year in Waikiki

March 11th, 2014
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westwoodRed, white and blue, the British way.Nadine Kam photos

Vivienne Westwood marked its first anniversary at The Moana Surfrider Hotel on March 6, a celebration of fearless, individualistic Brit style.

If you've got a wild side at all, you've got to love Dame Westwood, an icon of punk, new wave and shock fashion.

In spite of her ties to the U.K. punk scene and Malcolm McLaren's SEX boutique, I find the clothing carried here to be both original and more easy to wear than you'd imagine, given her reputation for eclectic, eccentric clothing.

You must check it out!

west2From left, Jason Alex Yapching, Azlinn Gregg and Catherine Caldwell.

west1Westwood boutique manager Jered Branco with Spa at Trump director Bridgette DeVore, left, and Malie Moran.

westwoodjVivienne Westwood statement necklaces, the larger with her signature Orb motif. You can see the design more clearly on the bag below:

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Unfortunately, after early dinner at the Hyatt, I could only drop in at Westwood for a few minutes before heading to second dinner at Stage in the Honolulu Design Center, which was marking the return of chef Ron De Guzman and debuting a collection of fashion-inspired artwork. You can view more at my other blog, Take a Bite.

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Jade by Nikolai hosts Speakeasy jewelry party

November 26th, 2013
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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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…)

Ross moves into new location at Pearlridge

November 13th, 2013
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The newly open Ross Dress for Less store at Pearlridge Center, Uptown, is dressed for the holidays. Nutcracker figures start at $12.99, Santas from $14.99, and gift stockings run from about $7.99 to $9.99.Nadine Kam photos

Holiday shoppers looking for the Ross Dress for Less store at Pearlridge Center last weekend were a little confused when they looked in the usual location to find it gone.

The store has a new location Uptown, where bargain hunters will still be able to find clothing, accessories and housewares at 20 to 60 percent off department store prices. The store is in the site that formerly housed Borders Books & Records. Enter through an elevator in the parking lot between Uptown and Downtown, or from the mall.

If you're on a tight budget, it's a good place to pick up holiday decor, toys for the kids and clothing for the family. I found holiday dresses in the $14.99 to $24.99 price range, and with the recent spate of cold, rainy weather—it was crazy driving through white-out conditions!—many shoppers were in the outerwear section, searching for something warm, whether for here or their winter travels.

To celebrate the new store, and just in time for the holidays, Ross is sending me a $25 gift card and wants one of Hawaii's fashion tribe to go shopping with $25, which goes a lot further at Ross than most other stores! (If you're reading from somewhere else, sorry but this contest is for Hawaii readers only.)

Just add a comment to let me know if you're interested in winning a $25 gift card and I'll add your name to a drawing and pull the winner at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Good luck!

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Angel sculptures in silver and gold.

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A glint of metal can also be found in apparel, such as this sequined designer shift, and jewelry pieces for the holidays.

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Lace is another of the fall trends.

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A "Toyland" section is stocked with playthings for little ones.

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More ornaments and decorative items for the holidays.

Bollywood costumes star in East-West Center exhibition

October 6th, 2013
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dropping in on the John Hardy compound in Bali

August 27th, 2013
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One of the employees at John Hardy in Bali, arranges pieces in one of the bamboo and glass jewelry cases.Nadine Kam photos

BALI, INDONESIA — I feel so lucky and privileged to have been able to visit the John Hardy compound outside Ubud, where I traveled with designer Amos Kotomori. We were able to observe the entire jewelry-making process, from illustration to wax carving, to seeing the cast silver pieces in unpolished state, and the final pieces on display in a sustainable bamboo showroom. (It's not easy walking on bamboo tubes. I felt like I needed monkey toes to prevent myself from rolling off.)

When I see the finished jewelry gleaming in the showcases at Neiman Marcus, of course I can see the work that goes into them, and intellectually, I know that someone made these pieces by hand. But actually seeing the painstaking work of individual links being made and ropes of it being woven by hand gave me an even greater appreciation for the company's jewelry.

How I came to visit the John Hardy compound in Mambai, Bali, started with owner/creative director Guy Bedarida's visit to NM in fall of 2011. I interviewed him and he showed me a book featuring a photo of the factory compound, set up to evoke a Balinese warung, or household with a small shop out front, each with its own specialty to share with neighbors.

We also talked about the idea of the village and how he feeds his all his employees, now numbering 700, lunch every day, along with guests. I was taken by the idea and how it makes so much sense to keep employees happy, and how American companies would do well to follow his example.

At the time, he invited me to come to Bali, but I didn't know when I'd be able to make it there, and I'm glad I was able to visit. I enjoyed every minute of the experience.

A previous post is here: http://blogs.starbulletin.com/fashiontribe/page/23/

If you want to see more about the food, visit my other blog: http://takeabite.staradvertiserblogs.com/2013/08/27/lunch-at-john-hardy-in-bali/

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Wax models for a bracelet and ring, with a block of wax shown against a background of illustrations that carvers were working from, as below:

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Looks like a Naga (dragon) collection piece in the works, like one of the examples below:

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John Hardy photo

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Sri Utami shows a wax model work in progress that will be used to create a silver stapler that may become one of many John Hardy lifestyle products.

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Villa Bodhi manager Made Sukadana crosses the pond surrounding the manufacturing shop on stepping stones. Not wishing to fall into the water, I took a route through the grass, where one could also fall into the water if not careful. Round-topped stepping stones lining the pathways throughout the property make it necessary to wear flats when visiting the compound. It's quite a workout.

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Cast silver pieces from the Naga collection await polishing.

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A wax model of a Bamboo collection cuff, in green, is shown with a finished cuff at top right.

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The same level of attention and precision goes into the smallest beads.

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Polishing a flex cuff from the Dot collection.

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Hammering silver and gold that go into the Palu collection, with an example of the finished pieces below:

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John Hardy photo