Archive for the ‘Keiki’ Category

'A' is for Avel and advocacy

September 13th, 2016


Models in neoprene swimwear line up before the start of Avel Bacudio's fashion show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Resort.

"Triple Threat Advocacy" is not the frilly sort of name we expect from a fashion show, but designer Avel Bacudio's heart was in the right place as he staged a showing of swimwear, couture and Fall 2017 ready-to-wear designs in support of the Northern Luzon School for the Visually Impaired.

The nonprofit organization in his home country of the Philippines provides board, lodging, educational services and livelihood training and equal opportunities for visually impaired students to promote independence and meaningful lives. The school relies mostly on donations for support.

Designer Avel Bacudio shows one of his gowns before the start of his fashion show.

The event presented by Magnum Model and Talent Productions and sponsored by Philippine Airlines, took place Sept. 11 in the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Resort's Coral Ballroom. Audience members were treated to intimate peformances by recording artist Billy Crawford and Philippines Prince of R&B and Jay R Sillona, who both posed for selfies with fans in the midst of performances.

Among the models and opening the show was 2012 Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Janine Mari Tugonon. She is in the running to become one of the Top 12 of 2017 Nu Muses. To vote for her, visit Anyone is welcome to cast one vote per day through 5 p.m. PST, Sept. 17.

Kekoa Lyons wears one of Bacudio's minimalist neoprene sweaters, sales of which will help support visually impaired children in the Philippines. Adult sizes run $75, children's sweaters run $55 at

The close of his show brought out keiki and adult models in neoprene, digital-print sweaters emblazoned with "A"s and other letters of the alphabet, the "A" representing both Avel and advocacy for the visually impaired students.

The charity is close to his heart because of his own brush with blindness a decade ago when he suffered from retinal detachment that could have ended his career.

Bacudio was raised in Bicol, in Southern Luzon, better known for being home to one of the smallest freshwater fish in the world, the dwarf pygmy goby, than fashion. He rose to present his work on international stages after being chosen to participate in a student fashion competition in Paris. Bacudio earned the title of "Asia's Most Influential Designer during Mercedes-Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, beating 24 other designers from 11 countries throughout Asia. Shoe designer Jimmy Choo is one of his champions, and is working to bring Bacudio's work to the attention of fashion enthusiasts in the West.

Bacudio, 37, said his ambition is to have a ready-to-wear business on par with Ralph Lauren. For that to happen, he said, the Manila fashion industry must grow. Much like Hawaii, he said there is no shortage of design talent in the Philippines, but unlike China, Japan or Vietnam, the infrastructure for global production doesn't exist. "We need help from other countries to make it global," he said.

For now, buyers in the United States can visit, where pieces are running about USD$300 to $400.

Anna Davide, left, and Sheville Lee, in Avel Bacudio's neoprene swimwear.

Formal looks were presented during one segment of the show.

Allan Lee wears one of Bacudio's men's formal looks.

Singer Billy Crawford sang and posed for selfies with fans at the same time.

Group shot after the show.

Bacudio with one of his models after the show.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Parade of 'Angels' in Waikiki

June 3rd, 2016


Nina Thai, front left, poses with her models during the grand opening of her second Angels by the Sea boutique in Waikiki, this one at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel, streetfront on Kalakaua Avenue.

Nina Thai celebrated the grand opening of her second Angels by the Sea boutique June 2 with a party that started with a mini parade/fashion show of keiki and grownup models down Kalakaua Avenue.

Guests were invited to meet at The Waikiki Shopping Plaza, where models in angel wings and the boutique's new Summer 2016 collection—due to hit the racks in July—led the procession to the new store at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel, streetfront on Kalakaua.

Nina started her girls line about six months ago because moms were asking for matchy-matchy rompers and dresses for their mini-me's.

angels kawaii

After a blessing, well-wishers squeezed into the store, where sweet treats in ocean blue awaited. There was barely room to maneuver because so many were shopping the BOGO event. The buy-one-get-one free offer ends June 3. Angels by the Sea's resort-style rompers, sun dresses, maxis and separates are popular with women because they manage to be playful, feminine, sexy and romantic, all in one.

The lightweight garments are also ideal for our hot, humid weather. Keiki styles run from about $38 to $78, adults $80 to $180.

I get so many compliments when I wear Angels by the Sea. I wore a floor-length dress today and some of my co-workers were gushing, "Wow, you look great! Are you going out?"

Oh, hello. I go out almost every day and night, making what is supposed to be complimentary sound a bit insulting, like I'm not even trying every other day. But it just makes me think maybe I should be wearing Angels by the Sea more often!

Sales from the event will benefit the Hawai‘i Community Foundation Ellen Hamada Scholarship Fund for Fashion Design & Sewing, which supports local students pursuing their dreams in fashion industry. For Thai, it was a dream that became reality in 2010 when she opened her first location at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

She's coy about what her next move will be, but I have a feeling this second boutique won't be her last.

The new Angels by the Sea boutique is at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Resort & Spa, 2348 Kalakaua Ave. Call 921-2747. Hours are 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily.

Nina led a parade of "angels" from Waikiki Shopping Plaza to her store, drawing smiles from visitors along the way.

A couple of the grown-up styles, which will be available in July.

Clea Saldania in Angels by the Sea.

A blessing preceded entry to the store.

One of the store's window displays.

Inside the boutique crowded with well-wishers, sweet treats colored ocean blue, awaited.

In addition to clothing, Angels by the Sea carries a few ocean-themed items for the home, including the wall signs below.

angel signs

Ocean plush toys.

Nina with Hawaii News Now's Jennifer Robbins.

At night, we could see the glow of the angel wings.

Models showed more of the styles to be available in July.

A reward at the end of a long evening for this young model.


As for current styles, I am wearing one of them (blue), as are Jennifer Robbins, center, and Ritsuko Kukonu, right.

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 and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Raw Artists get a venue at Aloha Beer Co.

March 20th, 2013

rawredNadine Kam photos
A model in one of the creations by Jaclyn Mae Santos, featuring her manipulated fabric.

RAW: Natural Born Artists-Honolulu is part of a national community of creatives across the world, with 77 regional communities.

The independent arts organization's mission is to provide emerging independent artists, within the first decade of their career, with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.

The organization welcomes all genres of art, including independent film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists, and more, giving the artists a venue to show their work to the greater community.

In Honolulu, that means hosting a series of monthly showcases bringing musicians, visual artists and designers together for a diverse evening of shopping and entertainment.

The most recent showcase brought together a half dozen visual artists, musicians and designers, highlighted by a fashion show featuring recent University of Hawaii APDM graduate Jaclyn Mae Santos, Birdie Girls Creations Roberta "Robyn" Gray-Newman, Glass Eye Arts Shayna Nichols, and Project P Bowties.

Santos was parting with pieces from her cool girl "Alien 2 Alien" collection (if only I were 20 years younger), while also introducing her new direction, which involves dyeing, printing and manipulating fabric. She's just getting warmed up, and showed three pieces, plus a tote bag featuring her hand-block printing. All the designers staged brief, but sassy shows, emceed by Sean Douglas.

The next event takes place 7 to 10 p.m. April 13 at Aloha Beer Co., 580 N. Nimitz Highway. All ages are welcome. Tickets are $10 pre-sale online at, or $15 at the door.

rawjmsDesigner Jaclyn Mae Santos with her models.

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bowsMonterey Atuatasi in Project P Bowties by Kathy.

rawhatsBirdie Girls Creations Roberta "Robyn" Gray-Newman with her knit hats and berets. Slouchy and rasta caps are $20, chunky knits are $10, and headbands are $15. Her felt flowers are $5 each, with bulk discounts. Kid's caps are $20.

rawkidsThese boys admire the lampwork pendants of Glass Eye Arts' Shayna Nichols.

raw toothyHeiko Greb's somewhat sinister-looking tabletop wood-block sculptures.

Pretty in pink on Girls Day

March 5th, 2013

coragirls2Nadine Kam photos
Guests at the Kahala Hotel Veranda's Girls Day Tea showed up in their Sunday best.

By Nadine Kam

It was all about the young and fashionable set when the Kahala Hotel's Veranda hosted a Girls Day Tea and informal fashion show featuring designs from its keiki boutique L'ill Nell's, styled by Cora Spearman, creator of Coradorables. True to her diva style, she delivered a picture-perfect finale, with all the girl models dressed in hot pink wigs and frothy tutus that had some of them twirling like prima ballerina.

Little girls in the crowd came dressed to impress, causing one adult to remark, "I feel so shame, kids today dress better than I do."

Guests were greeted by a buffet of tea sandwiches and sweets, lots of sweets, so much so that the children in the audience were bouncing off the walls, and it took a while to corral some of them for a group photo. In between shots they were running around, dancing, and yes, fighting when one of the girls popped in front of the others for a diva-like turn front and center, was called out and duly outcast, before the swirling began again seconds later.

Ah, Girl World. So glad I was never part of it, choosing instead to observe from a safe distance while doing my own thing.

Boys were given equal opportunity in the show, showing up in crisp aloha shirts by Coradorables and grownup-quality knits from Masala Baby.

The event also marked the launch of HI Tea Shop's Keiki Haute Tea for Coradorables, a fruity caffeine-free blend of lilikoi, mango, orange and marigold in green Rooibos.

For those of us merely enjoying the show and setting, it was a pleasant and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. I do enjoy being a girl!

corafamilyEvent coordinator and Coradorables creator Cora Spearman with her family, hubby Chris Chang and daughter Izzabelle.

corachocoRaspberry truffle pops were among the sweet treats awaiting kids of all ages.

coramochiThere was also pink mochi to mark Girls Day.

corafinaleA very pink finale with wigs and candy colored crinoline pettiskirts.

coramodel1Kiyomi liked her Coradorables dress so much, she danced her way around the Veranda.

coradorablesDozens of Coradorables dresses and separates are available at the Kahala's L'ill Nell's boutique, which opened last fall to make it convenient for vacationing parents to shop for resort apparel for their kids.

coramodels2Two more Hawaii-style looks from Coradorables.

coramoreMore styles reflecting Cora's vision.

coraswimKiyomi in a Juicy Couture swimsuit, with mom Tracie Asayama.

corajuicyThis Juicy Couture swimsuit was so adorable, but the model was actually having a meltdown. Which I don't really understand. When you're a kid, life is all fun, new and carefree. I never had meltdowns or threw tantrums until I became an adult.

corawuCourtesy photo
Brandon Maxwell in a Masala Baby ensemble.

corakidWatching the show was Chloe with mom Thea Schwartz Johnson. Chloe is in her own Twills and Twigs jumpsuit with leopard flats. Mom is in Trina Turk. (more…)

Valentine's Day heart braid for girls

February 12th, 2013 photo

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, you can dress up your little one and show the world how you feel about love with this heart braid design by children's hair expert Cozy Friedman, as featured in "Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls' Hair."

What you’ll need: Wide-tooth comb, fine-tooth comb, decorative hair clip, ponytail holders

1: Starting with damp hair (either towel-dried or misted), use a wide-tooth comb to detangle. Then, using a fine-tooth comb, part the hair down the middle of the head. Clip one side up right above the ear.

2: On the other side of the part, use the fine comb to gather a thin section of hair from the crown.  This section should measure about 2 inches from the hairline to the top of the head.

3: Divide this section into three, and begin a French braid starting at the crown and curving toward the temple, then toward the back of the head, like the top lobe of a heart.  You will be lifting hair into the braid only from this side of the part. Leave no loose hair in front of the ears.

4: When you reach the center part at the back of the head, secure the braid with a ponytail holder.  If hair is very long, end the braid about mid-ear; the ends will hang down the back.

5: Unclip the hair on the other side of the part and repeat the process.  Secure with a ponytail holder.

6: Join the ends of the braids together in the center of head and secure with ponytail holder. Finish with a decorative clip.

There's a lot of braiding being shown on the New York runways for adults as well. Here are images from the Rodarte show:

braidsJohn Frieda photos

Added Feb. 13:

From the Badgley Mischka Fall/Winter 2013 Collection preview:
Hair by Peter Gray for Moroccanoil

badgPhotos by David Webber for Moroccanoil



L'ill Nell's puts wee ones on path to style

December 26th, 2012

joe1Nadine Kam photos
Joe Bock gravitated to one of Nemo's pals at L'ill Nell's: Clothes for the Curious Kid, which just opened at The Kahala Hotel & Resort. Read on to find out how to win a $100 gift certificate to the kidwear boutique.

If you've got little ones at home, you might want to check out L’il Nell’s: Clothes for the Curious Kid, an upscale children’s boutique that opened earlier this month at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

During a tour of the store Dec. 19, the Kahala's general manager Roseann Grippo said they noticed vacationers were leaving the premises to shop for beachwear, resort attire and fashionable play togs. After all, why should adults have all the fun in dressing up in breezy, casual local style?

With that in mind, L’il Nell’s was created, managed by Melissa Rocha, who also manages The Kahala Boutique. With resort buyer Barbara Cipro, they've stocked the store with apparel by a mix of local and national brands, swimwear, pool and bathtub toys, mermaide dolls and other toys, plus age-appropriate and beach-inspired jewelry.

kcoraAloha shirts in miniature from Coradorables.

One of the mainstay brands is local kidswear designer Cora Spearman's Coradorables. Other brands include Juicy Couture Baby, Jannuzzi, Kissy Kissy, Neptune Zoo, Makena Surfwear, Hula Star, Island Heritage, Hurley, Diesel, and Roxy.

L’il Nell’s is open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., just off the grand main lobby and front desk area, across from The Kahala’s famous Celebrity Wall. For more information, call (808) 739-8709.

To win a weekend stay in a Kahala family suite and a $100 gift certificate at Li’l Nell’s, join The Kahala’s Facebook page at at and submit a photo and brief description of your greatest Kahala family memory for the resort's "Oh What Fun Favorite Family Photo Moments" contest. If you're too bashful to sign up for Facebook, you also have the option of emailing your entry to The entry deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 7, 2013.

Photos of the finalists will be posted for all The Kahala’s Facebook fans to vote for their favorite from Jan. 7 through Jan. 20, 2013. (Voters must “Like” The Kahala Hotel & Resort Facebook page prior to voting.)

The winner will receive a complimentary two-night stay in a family suite (partial ocean view) with breakfast for four at The Kahala Hotel & Resort (subject to availability and black out dates), and a $100 gift certificate for a shopping spree at the newly opened Li’l Nell’s: Clothes for the Curious Kid. The winner will be announced on Jan. 21, 2013 on The Kahala’s Facebook page.

If you don't have photos to back your Kahala memories, there's still time to snap away. For instance, while still in holiday mode and welcoming family and friends from out of town, you might want to get together over afternoon tea at The Veranda. Learn more about the tea service at my other blog, Take a Bite.

Nell'sThe store entry, complete with mini shopping carts for kids.

kidtsI wanted one of these hand-embellished, vintage fabric T-shirts for myself. Alas, these are in keiki sizes only.

kpenguinA penguin backpack.

krashguardThe Kahala rashguard for little girls, bracketed by resort tunics and tops.

kdollsThese mermaid dolls are $16 each.

kidtableA little play area keeps keiki occupied while parents shop.

kidtreeThere's still time to visit a lobby tree, dressed in candy colors for little ones.

Posted in Keiki, Shop | 1 Comment »

Aloha 'Aina celebrates 2nd year, ready for R Style Social

November 15th, 2012

aloha modelsNadine Kam photos
Alyson Kintscher, center, is in a dress by Tiare Hawaii, with models in Gillia dresses, during a celebration of Aloha 'Aina's second anniversary Oct. 19 at Royal Hawaiian Center.

Aloha 'Aina Boutique's celebrated its second anniversary at Royal Hawaiian Center on Oct. 19, with a showcase of designs by local designers Noelani, Tiare Hawaii, Gillia, MauiMari Ocean Jewelry and Luce & Me.

The boutique will also be among those participating in the holiday edition of “R Style Social” taking place Nov. 16, and you can look forward to Aloha 'Aina offering a 10 percent discount storewide.

The center's R magazine-inspired open house event, running from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will showcase outfits and accessories from participating stores.

Guests are invited to pick up the magazine and an R Socialite Pass at the check-in desk between bebe and the Apple Store on level 1 of Building C. The first 200 customers will receive a complimentary Royal Hawaiian Center water bottle or vanity bag.

Visit each of the participating shops and boutiques to receive R Socialite Pass stamps. Completed passes may be turned in at the end of the night to enter a drawing to win the grand prize of a $500 Royal Hawaiian Center gift card or a $250 gift card. No purchase is necessary to receive stamps.

Other participating stores and specials:

Allure: Complimentary Georgette solid color pareo with purchases over $75

Anteprima: Complimentary limited edition Anteprima tote with any purchase over $450.

bebe: Receive a 20 percent discount on regular priced items. (Must present discount
card that will be handed out in-store during the event. Discount card valid
through Dec.31, 2012.)

Da Kine: Complimentary Da Kine T-shirt with purchases over $75.

Honolulu Cookie Co.: Enjoy a complimentary cookie .

Juicy Couture: Receive $50 off purchases of $200 or more.

Love Renaissance: Receive a complimentary Love Renaissance shoulder bag with any purchase and try the Swaness series cosmetics to receive a trial gift set.

Mocchin: Receive a 50 percent discount on select items.

Princesse Tam Tam: Get a free “tweeker” bra accessory with purchases over $50.

Ranger Sports: Receive 10 percent off the entire store .

Royal Hawaiian Golf Shop: Receive a 5 percent discount on purchases of more than $100.

RHC’s validated parking promotion offers one hour free parking with validation and $1 per hour for the next three hours for a maximum of four hours. After four hours, standard parking rates apply of $6 per hour. Special event parking validation rates are available at $5.

For more information, visit or call Lei ‘Ohu Guest Services at (808) 922-2299.

aloha ownersAloha 'Aina boutique owners Gina Fukeda and Seyon Chan, right, said they never had to alter their local product mix since opening. Customers just "got it." Oddly enough, they're one of the few businesses in Waikiki that show a diverse local product line. Other stores are devoted to single brands or imports from East and West.

aloha dressGillia designer Saori Santo was taking pre-orders for her fall/spring clothing collection. I fell in love with it right away and especially the dress she's wearing, though in the dusty rose color up front.

aloha jewelryMari Diller, of MauiMari Ocean Jewelry, flew over from Haiku to be at the event.

aloha noelaniNoelani, of Haleiwa-based Noelani Designs shows some of her sunrise shell jewelry. Below, she pairs them with colored stones that match the vibrant colors of the shell's interiors. She said the shells definitely don't look like this when she gets them from diving friends. They're dull and covered with ocean crud and need cleaning and polishing to bring out their vivid color.

aloha sunrise

aloha tiareJane Hoskins, right, launched her fall collection for Tiare Hawaii, with model Alyson Kintscher.

aloha keikiJane was thrilled to see this little one in Tiare Hawaii for keiki.

aloha yumSome of the edibles that still looked good. Beef skewers, spring rolls and other heavy pupu were decimated.

aloha panyaDesserts from Panya.

Fashion for the young set at AirBuggy

August 14th, 2012

air1Nadine Kam photos
AirBuggy founder and President Meiko Iida, right, with store manager Seiko Jackson.

If there's a new mom in your life, check out AirBuggy at Waikiki Beach Walk. From the looks at the glitzy new boutique, specializing in jogger strollers and infant apparel, you'd never guess its creator's humble origins.

Meiko Iida, CEO of GMP International, said she wanted to open her first American boutique here as a thank you to Hawaii, where, while on vacation 17 years ago, she first spotted the American baby jogger, and was buoyed by the idea of spreading the joy of walking and traveling with kids. At the time, she was searching for something to do, as a divorcée who was broke without prospects beyond retail work. She set a goal of bringing the jogger stroller concept to Japan.


The covered strollers, in many colors, run about $480.

Speaking through an interpreter, she said she was able to borrow $39,000 through a government program in Shibuya aimed toward helping women establish themselves in business.

With the money, she began importing the stroller to Japan, and they became an instant hit. But in Japan, people pressed her for a lighter, safer and more compact stroller. When the American company couldn't offer the smaller wheels and canopy her customers wanted, she bought a sketchbook and struggled to draw new designs based on customer requests, before traveling to Taiwan on her own to look for a factory that could produce the stroller.

She launched AirBuggy in 2000 and the brand quickly spread throughout Asia, including Tokyo, Kobe, Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul, while also meeting the high safety standards set by the United States, England and Germany.

The boutique is on the second floor at 226 Lewers St., open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Call 533-9070.

air3The jogger on the right is for pets. A 3-in-1 jogger is convertible, allowing one to carry baby, and switch to a pet or groceries when your child can fend for him/herself.

airfirst2Among items available at the shop are First Dress infant shirts ($22) with the cutest designs.

airdesignDeTour International managing director Takahiro Hirashima, designer of the First Dress line of infant wear. After taking a look around Waikiki, he says his next collections may feature Hawaii-inspired designs.

airfirstMore First Dress designs featuring swans, elephants and an animal alphabet.

airstorageCute storage.

airtotesCute carryalls.

airfinger puppetsFinger puppets.

airbarettesBarettes for older girls.

airbabyKeiko Mikuni with her son Falcon, who may be a customer for infant apparel and accessories, including sunglasses, carried at AirBuggy.

air2Kaiwa's Mitsue Momai serves up drinks at the grand opening event. For a look at some of the food catered by Kaiwa, visit my other blog, Take a Bite.

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