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Happy New Year from Qeelin

By
February 8th, 2016



PHOTOS COURTESY QEELIN A model wears pieces from Qeelin's Wulu collection, which put the brand on the map when Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung wore the designs to the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

PHOTOS COURTESY QEELIN

A model wears pieces from Qeelin's Wulu collection, which put the brand on the map when Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung wore the designs to the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. The collection was inspired by the bottle gourd with lines that echo the curves of the auspicious No. 8. With its hard shell, these bottles have been used to carry medicine, wine and “magic.” They were also tied to the backs of children and boat people to serve as life preservers.

The nature of my work, being so far from other major cities, is that I sometimes must write about things I haven't had an opportunity to examine firsthand. Such was the case of writing about Qeelin, a brand conceived by Hong Kong designer Dennis Chan after he found inspiration while on a 1997 trip to Dunhuang’s Mogao Caves in northwestern Gansu Province, which had been a major stop on the ancient Silk Road.

In photographs, the jewelry managed to be sophisticated, charming and whimsical takes on Chinese symbols and mythology, but photographs didn't prepare me for the ingenuity of the pieces, with their moving parts and engineering. In addition to the pure visual joy of seeing an adorable necklace featuring a panda set adrift via pink balloon, I was captivated by a necklace in the shape of a diamond cloud-encrusted snuff bottle that was also a kaleidoscope. Peer into the bottle opening and the colors of gemstones take on different shapes as the bottle shifts.

I guess it should have figured, given Chan's background in industrial design. He said that until he reached those caves, he had little interest in jewelry. Today, he considers it a great challenge to create art within such a small framework.

He had been schooled in industrial design and marketing, and was making a living as a design consultant for companies ranging from automobile manufacturers to tech giant Panasonic, but nine years of seeing others’ success with his ideas left him with a hunger to create his own brand.

What that would be, he didn’t know, until he reached those caves.

Happy New Year! The Xi Xi collection is represented by the Chinese lion and the lion dance, signifying celebration and joy, with a mouth that opens and closes. This particular design is from Qeelin's couture collection, and only three exist. In 18K white gold with full pave diamonds, rubies and onyx.

Happy New Year! The Xi Xi collection is represented by the Chinese lion and the lion dance, signifying celebration and joy, with a mouth that opens and closes. This particular design is from Qeelin's couture collection, and only three exist. In 18K white gold with full pave diamonds, rubies and onyx; $123,000.

“Fifteen-hundred years ago, it was the crossroad of all trade with the West opening to the East. It was a stopover, a melting pot, and because travel was dangerous they built caves, sanctuaries that they filled with temples and artwork,” Chan said, during a phone interview from his home in Hong Kong. “Because the desert is so dry, the murals are so well-preserved and they really fascinated me. You could see how people were dressed, their hairstyles, fashion and jewelry. Here, we had this really amazing history, but I felt like no one was taking care of it.”

There, he had an epiphany that he would be the one to take China’s story to the West through jewelry, and Qeelin was born. The name is a Westernized spelling of “qilin” or “kirin,” a mythical fiery and fearsome-looking creature representative of prosperity, success and protection.

Chan introduced his first pieces in 2004, and among fans of the brand was Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung. In February 2007, Cheung was headed to the Cannes Film Festival and asked Chan if she could wear his jewelry on the red carpet. She had been nominated for a Palme d’Or Best Actress award for her role in “Clean,” also starring Nick Nolte.

The Bo Bo collection featues the panda, a Chinese symbol of innocence and peace, which has been reimagined as a Teddy bear with articulated limbs. This karge classic Bo Bo pendant is in 18K white gold with diamonds and black diamonds.

The Bo Bo collection featues the panda, a Chinese symbol of innocence and peace, which has been reimagined as a Teddy bear with articulated limbs. This karge classic Bo Bo pendant is in 18K white gold with diamonds and black diamonds.

When Cheung became the first Asian woman to win a Palme d’Or—for her role as a woman whose life goes into a tailspin after she is wrongfully accused of heroin possession—it not only changed her life, but Chan’s as well.

“It was very lucky. The next day everybody was talking about her dress, her jewelry, and overnight my products became famous.”

Chan leveraged that publicity by choosing to open the first Qeelin boutique in Paris at Jardin du Palais Royal later that year. There are now 25 Qeelin boutiques worldwide, but only recently has the brand begun to move into the United States.

Timed to the beginning of the Year of the Monkey, Qeelin launched at Neiman Marcus Ala Moana and pieces can be viewed in the Precious Jewels Salon, Level One. In the United States, prices start at about $415 for a pair of Wulu cufflinks or $810 for a petite Wulu bracelet in 18K rose gold.

PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comThis Bo Bo comes with its own wardrobe which can be switched up with the help of a "magic" magnetic wand.

PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

This Bo Bo comes with its own wardrobe which can be switched up with the help of a "magic" magnetic wand.

The growth of the brand coincides with China’s growing world presence and cultural pride.

“I spent one-fourth of my life in Europe, where I loved window shopping. I found that luxury stores were not really about products but a story and a history. It’s something we weren’t doing in China,” Chan said.

“When most people talk about Chinese style, they talk about antiques. China has a reputation of doing a lot of copying and being the workshop of the world. But that story is evolving. It’s the same way people were talking about Japan after World War II. Even Korea. Before, nobody wanted to drive Korean cars. Now, they’re everywhere.

“Living in a country, you don’t think much about your own culture, but when you travel, you look back and have more respect for your own heritage.”

For the Chinese New Year, Qeelin's Lucky 12 app will give you a Chinese zodiac reading and suggest lucky items you can wear (from the Qeelin collection of course), to enhance luck, wealth, career or relationships, or mitigate the energy of unlucky stars in your chart.

For the Chinese New Year, Qeelin's Lucky 12 app will give you a Chinese zodiac reading and suggest lucky items you can wear (from the Qeelin collection of course), to enhance luck, wealth, career or relationships, or mitigate the energy of unlucky stars in your chart.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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LeSportsac reveals its new look

By
February 5th, 2016



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comPosters at LeSportsac stores emphasize the new light-as-air material being used in the brand's new bag collections.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Posters at LeSportsac stores emphasize the new light-as-air material being used in the brand's new bag collections.

LeSportsac stores are getting a new look, and its Waikiki Shopping Plaza store was only the second in the nation—the first was Soho, NYC—to roll out the streamlined, sportier aesthetic.

Honolulu media was invited to take a look Jan. 29 during a reception that welcomed LeSportsac VP, Global Creative Director D'Arcy Jensen and Senior Director, Global Marketing Berly Isaak, who were heading back to New York later that evening in advance of the introduction of a LeSportsac pop-up shop at Lord & Taylor.

The event also introduced the brand's latest handbags, totes, backpacks, crossbodys and traveler's duffels made from its new packable, tissue-weight Nylon, the same fabric being used in contemporary apparel by such luxury brands as Moncler.

"We're going back to our roots and the things important to the brand and our customers," Jensen said.

LeSportsac VP, Global Creative Director D'Arcy Jensen, left, and Senior Director, Global Marketing Berly Isaak, were in town for a week in advance of the LeSportsac Waikiki Shopping Plaza store reveal.

LeSportsac VP, Global Creative Director D'Arcy Jensen, left, and Senior Director, Global Marketing Berly Isaak, were in town for a week in advance of the LeSportsac Waikiki Shopping Plaza store reveal.

The brand launched 42 years ago with traveler-friendly, lightweight handbags and duffels, and the stores' redesign is in keeping with a global athleisure trend aimed toward smart, stylish leisure living.

I'm all for the new featherweight gear coz I'm a lightweight when it comes to heavy lifting, and there's nothing worse than struggling with heavy bags while traveling. It's bad enough that I'm short and often travel solo, meaning that I often depend on the kindness of strangers to help me with loading my carryon into airline overhead compartments.

Other innovations in designs include making the switch from plastic hardware to coated aluminum used on iPhones for a sleeker industrial look. They've added more webbing to support the lighter weight material, and more color has been added inside the bag via printed pockets.

"We're being more innovative because everyone's knocking us off," said director of sales Cindy Eastman.

Response has been positive, and the stores' new look will be making its way across the country, and there were hints of wearable fashion to come.

The Waikiki Shopping Plaza LeSportsac store is only the second in the nation to roll out the brand's sportier, modern look.

The Waikiki Shopping Plaza LeSportsac store is only the second in the nation to roll out the brand's sportier, modern look.

lesport store

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

'Sporty' spring at Bloomingdale's

By
February 4th, 2016



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comMiss Hawaii USA 2016 Chelsea Hardin was among the models during the Bloomingdale's "Welcome to Fashion Paradise" in-store runway show that took place Jan. 30.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Miss Hawaii USA 2016 Chelsea Hardin was among the models during the Bloomingdale's "Welcome to Fashion Paradise" in-store runway show that took place Jan. 30. She is wearing a Milly trapeze dress ($795) with Kate Spade large "Flynn" handbag ($298).

Me and anything sports-related don't mix, and if anyone asks me any questions about the Super Bowl or recent Pro Bowl events in town, I just have to respond, "Huh?"

I generally run from anything sport-related, but a Jan. 30 "Welcome to Fashion Paradise" runway show at Bloomingdale's offered a glimpse of that rarified world as members of the NFL Players Association filled seats to take in the newly arrived Spring-Summer 2016 collections.

The NFL Players Association was formed to help the players and their families in all aspects of their lives, from collective bargaining to dealing with sudden fame, making travel arrangements and finding financial advisors and agents.

Travel managers help to coordinate events for wives, girlfriends, moms and other friends and family members traveling with the players to various cities, and the fashion show was one of the events on the agenda during the Pro Bowl.

The women proved to be just as entertaining as the show itself, bringing new meaning to the idea of sporty fashion. The show's four segments were devoted to island-inspired casual wear, the season's whites and color collections, and a "Hot Hawaii Nights" segment timed for Valentine's Day date nights.

In the audience were members of the NFL Players Association in town for the Pro Bowl, including left, Nikki and Taylor Jordan, wife and son of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, and Steffanie Jordan, Cameron's sister.

In the audience were members of the NFL Players Association in town for the Pro Bowl, including left, Nikki and Taylor Jordan, wife and son of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, and Steffanie Jordan, Cameron's sister.

Vanessa is wearing a Mara Hoffman one-piece swimsuit ($230), with Figue handbag ($425) and August Hat Co. wide-brim hat ($70).

Vanessa is wearing a Mara Hoffman one-piece swimsuit ($230), with Figue handbag ($425) and August Hat Co. wide-brim hat ($70).

Daniela Abe on the runway in a RED Valentino steel-gray sparkle dress ($1,195) that was part of the "Hot Hawaii Nights" segment.

Daniela Abe on the runway in a RED Valentino steel-gray sparkle dress ($1,195) that was part of the "Hot Hawaii Nights" segment.

A selfie moment before the start of the show.

A selfie moment before the start of the show.

More looks courtesy Bloomingdale's:

PHOTOS BY MARCO GARCIA / courtesy bloomingdale'sChelsea wears a La Perla mesh hoodie ($894) worn over a black-and-white one-piece swimsuit ($354) and white slacks.

PHOTOS BY MARCO GARCIA / courtesy bloomingdale's

Chelsea wears a La Perla mesh hoodie ($894) worn over a black-and-white one-piece swimsuit ($354) and white slacks.

Chevis in a DVF navy Fleurett midnight dress ($368) with Ted Baker flower starburst necklace ($129).

Chevis in a DVF navy Fleurett midnight dress ($368) with Ted Baker flower starburst necklace ($129).

Bruna wears a Max Mara blush sheet dress ($975), with matching overcoat ($2,690).

Bruna wears a Max Mara blush sheet dress ($975), with matching overcoat ($2,690).

Ryley Colle in The Kooples dress shirt and suit.

Ryley Colle in The Kooples dress shirt and suit.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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Pop-up preview of luxury cashmere

By
January 20th, 2016



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comDavide and Rebecca Bizzarri of Artigiani Milanesi were in town over the weekend to show their bespoke knitwear.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Davide and Rebecca Bizzarri of Artigiani Milanesi were in town over the weekend to show their bespoke knitwear.

Artigiani Milanesi, known for its handcrafted Italian cashmere garments, brought its first pop-up shop for 2016 and its first Hawaii trunk show to The MODERN Honolulu over the weekend to showcase men's and women’s designs from its winter collection of 100 percent Italian cashmere coats, ponchos, jackets, sweaters, cardigans and dresses.

Shoppers were welcome to try on samples with owners Rebecca and Davide Bizzarri on hand for measuring and custom fittings for the bespoke garments by the brand founded in 1959 in Milan, known for its high-quality knits.

Davide absorbed the craft while sitting at his mother's feet as she worked in a factory where women were taught the artform, post World War II, as Italy rebuilt itself and the knitwear industry led the Italian renaissance in postwar fashion.

Clients placing custom orders could choose from several colors of cashmere.

Clients placing custom orders could choose from several colors of cashmere.

Two years ago, the couple moved the company and its facilities, including vintage hand-operated looms, to Bowen Island, Canada, for new opportunities in North America.

Among their aims is to open a store in Maui to feature their cashmere scarves (about $75 to $250), jackets ($800 to $900) and other apparel.

Rebecca said the idea is to have a space where people can see how a sweater is made. Shoppers will be able to buy instantly from stock or opt to use the company's made-to-measure service.

In an era where cheap, machine-made knits have come to be expected, it is so wonderful to be able to see and feel their exquisite creations and know they have the support of the handful of people around the globe who still appreciate fine craftsmanship.

p align="left">Rebecca modeled a few of the designs.

Rebecca modeled a few of the designs.

p align="left">A garment rack showcased the colors of Artigiani Milanesi's winter collection.

A garment rack showcased the colors of Artigiani Milanesi's winter collection.

PHOTOS COURTESY ARTIGIANI MILANESIArtigiani Milanesi's circular scarf.

PHOTOS COURTESY ARTIGIANI MILANESI

Artigiani Milanesi's circular scarf.

Artigiani Milanesi Revere jacket.

Artigiani Milanesi Revere jacket.

French rose sweater.

French rose sweater.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Kini Zamora makes 'All-Stars'

By
January 7th, 2016



PHOTO COURTESY LIFETIMEA new "Project Runway All-Stars" season starts Feb. 11, and Hawaii viewers will see a familiar face with the return of Kini Zamora, fourth from left.

PHOTO COURTESY LIFETIME

A new "Project Runway All-Stars" season starts Feb. 11, and Hawaii viewers will see a familiar face with the return of Kini Zamora, fourth from left.

kini

Hawaii designer Kini Zamora will get his second chance at taking the top spot in Lifetime’s “Project Runway” when he returns for the series’ “All Stars” Season 5. The first episode is set to air Feb. 11, and among the 13 contestants will be three other familiar faces from Zamora’s Season 13: Emily Payne, Mitchell Perry and Fade Zu Grau.

Zamora, noted during the show’s run for his speedy work and couture finishing, ended his season in third place and was one of four finalists to present a show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion week in New York in Fall 2014.

He lost to Sean Kelly, but the two remain friends and Kelly showed up to support Zamora when he presented his Spring 2016 collection at Honolulu Fashion Week in November.

Following “Project Runway,” Zamora returned home to present two headline shows at Honolulu Fashion Week and opened The Clique by KZ to sell and showcase his many collections, ranging from menswear to women’s casual, bridal and evening wear.

In an interview posted online at Mylifetime.com, Zamora was asked, "What makes you All-Stars material?"

He said, "I feel like I have a lot more to show the world and I feel like I have the potential to win. I was so close in my season and I'm ready to go to the end and win 'All Stars!' "

PHOTO BY HAROLD JULIAN PHOTOGRAPHY / hiluxury magazineI was able to use one of Kini Zamora's gowns for our Spanish-inspired fall 2015 fashion feature in HI Luxury magazine.

PHOTO BY HAROLD JULIAN PHOTOGRAPHY / hiluxury magazine

I was able to use one of Kini Zamora's gowns for our Spanish-inspired fall 2015 fashion feature in HI Luxury magazine.

Other designers he will be competing against are Alexander Pope, Asha Daniels, Daniel Franco (who never goes away), Dom Streater, Ken Laurence, Layana Aguilar, Sam Donovan, Stella Zotis and Valerie Mayen.

Follow his journey on social media and post your thoughts with the hashtags #DesignerKini and #teamKINI, or by visiting kinizamora.com, and of course I will be weighing in right here.

PHOTO BY BO MONTALVOOne of the images in Kini Zamora's portfolio on MyLifetime.com.

PHOTO BY BO MONTALVO

One of the images in Kini Zamora's portfolio on MyLifetime.com.

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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.

More Mojo for HI's most handsome

By
January 4th, 2016



PHOTO COURTESY MOJO BARBERSHOP & SOCIAL CLUBMojo Barbershop & Social Club conveys a vintage vibe with respect for men's barbershop traditions while offering contemporary services and techniques, the best of both worlds.

PHOTO COURTESY MOJO BARBERSHOP & SOCIAL CLUB

Mojo Barbershop & Social Club conveys a vintage vibe with respect for men's barbershop traditions while offering contemporary services and techniques, the best of both worlds.

Mojo Barbershop & Social Club has opened its second location in the historic McCully Chop Suey space at 2005 S. King St.

The 1,300-square-foot McCully location features eight chairs for its haircuts and shaves, a complimentary beer with each cut, and a new 15-minute head spa shampoo and scalp massage treatment.

The barbershop also has a larger lounge area and retail space stocking such popular men’s grooming lines such as Grant’s, Layrite, Upper Cut Deluxe, Ursa Major and Crown Shaving, along with other men’s accessories and small gift items.

Cost runs $15 for beard trims, $35 for a haircut, $40 for a straight razor shave, and $65 for a cut and shave.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Appointments are taken at 927-8017. Walk-ins are also welcome.

The first Mojo Barbershop & Social Club, reminiscent of old-fashioned barberships, opened in October 2011 in Chinatown, geared toward providing men’s grooming services with the motto, “Keeping Hawaii Handsome.”

moustache

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Ari South on style, transformation

By
December 30th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comAri South spoke about her long journey to become authentic during Kit and Ace's inagural speaker series talk.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Ari South spoke about her long journey to become authentic during Kit and Ace's inagural speaker series talk.

Kit and Ace launched the first of its planned Speaker Series Dec. 17, featuring designer Ari South.

The event took place in the Ala Moana Center boutique, on the Macy's end of the mall.

The intimate event brought together a guest list of people who touched South's life in some way, ranging from school teachers, to fellow designers to the journalists such as moi who have covered her journey, ranging from the professional to the very personal. What for some would have been a private transformation became very public due to her high-profile design life.

She spoke with a sense of gratitude and humility as she gave her interpretation of "personal style," which she said goes beyond fashion to define who you are and what you stand for.

If we haven't seen her name mentioned much over the past year, she said it was because she needed time to focus on herself, away from the spotlight, reiterating the whirlwind that started with her casting on "Project Runway" as Andy South.

"It was the most challenging thing I've done in life. It was the hardest and most beautiful thing I've ever done and it pushed me to grow in ways I never could do in Hawaii. It took me from a pond and pushed me into an ocean."

Ari was surrounded by a small, self-curated group of people who have supported and illuminated her journey.

Ari was surrounded by a small, self-curated group of people who have supported and illuminated her journey.

At that time, Andy had been working for someone else and might have been content to do that for a while, but with "Project Runway," "It was the first time I experienced stars lining up, and it was too perfect to deny. When things are too perfect that means they're just right."

She spoke of having grown up taught to think analytically, and having to let go of that to have the life she wanted.

"I learned to surrender to gut instinct and intuition.

"We should never be afraid of letting go of what were taught, but people are so afraid to consider other opinions as possibly being right.

"It's not a matter of giving up your beliefs, but we really don't know what we believe in until we can let go of old belief systems."

The talk comes at a time when Ari, who made the transition from male to female, is addressing duality with the rebranding of her Andy South line as a men's line, and the startup of her Ari South line for women.

Guests were welcome to help themselves to cocktail shrimp as big as lobster tails, from Bread + Butter.

Guests were welcome to help themselves to cocktail shrimp as big as lobster tails, from Bread + Butter.

I have written about South many times over the years, but for the first time heard the story about the little boy who was born to be a maker of things and felt most at home with a box of craft items.

"I loved classed projects. I watched HGTV. I learned to knit and crochet. I was always the quiet kid who did my own thing."

Even so, the "little kid from Waianae" knew nothing of the fashion world. "I didn't know it existed. I only knew you went to the store to buy clothes."

At some point, he knew he was a girl, internally. "It was something that never caused depression, but I grew up with the understanding it wasn't a good thing. I didn't grow up with anyone transgender.

I didn't know anyone transgender. I didn't know the difference between transvestites. I didn't think anyone transgender was successful.

Eagle-eyed Mahealani Richardson had a question about that ring Ari is wearing on a particular finger. It's symbolic of her comfort in living life without a partner, but the nurturing soul in her dreams of becoming a mother.

Eagle-eyed Mahealani Richardson had a question about that ring Ari is wearing on a particular finger. It's symbolic of her comfort in living life without a partner, but the nurturing soul in her dreams of becoming a mother.

"It never brought me down. It was not something that caused me to feel sadness, but it was the missing piece. To have all this and not be in the right body, I don't want it at all."

All this was on Andy's mind as he progressed through his season on "Project Runway," and those who watched saw his muse as a warrior woman, a strong and open-minded citizen of the world.

"As I was designing, I realized I wasn't imagining someone else. I was imagining myself," she said. "Andy, defending himself with a mohawk, was a representation of everything we're afraid of."

Later, finding her style as a woman came with "extremely heavy" makeup. "I learned to paint from a drag queen. I didn't want to look masculine at all."

That eased up as she became more comfortable in her body.

"When I think about the idea of personal style, I look at my life starting as a chubby kid. I feel like I've lived multiple lifestyles. Personal style never changes, it just evolves. I've evolved and developed into who I was the whole while.

"So, when you're talking about personal style, it's not about, 'I like to wear this,' but who you are right now."

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Kaypee Soh 'Over the Rainbow'

By
December 17th, 2015



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comDesigner Kaypee Soh posed with one of his models, Tessa Goodwin, after the presentation of his Spring Summer 2016 "Over the Rainbow" collection. Tessa is wearing  a denim spring jacket with multi-orchid flare, side-slit skirt.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Designer Kaypee Soh posed with one of his models, Tessa Goodwin, after the presentation of his Spring Summer 2016 "Over the Rainbow" collection. Tessa is wearing a denim spring jacket with multi-orchid flare, side-slit skirt.

Storm clouds loomed but in spite of a few droplets that fell before the start of Kaypee Soh's Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show, the water flow stopped just before guests took their seats at the Laniakea YWCA on Richards Street. If it had been daylight, we might even have seen a rainbow arc across the sky, the inspiration for Soh's "Over the Rainbow" ready-to-wear collection.

The designer was taken by the beauty of a double rainbow during one of his early evening walks along Ala Moana Beach. He offered up a small sampling of 10 ensembles during Honolulu Fashion Week last month, and those in the audience then were eager to see the full 37-piece collection.

Some of the models sported plastic-bill color visors during the show, which cast their rainbow hues onto their faces when they stepped under lights.

In his program notes for the event, he wrote: "I noticed how the colors in the rainbow appeared to be reflecting off the water and the plants around me. It was something I hadn't seen or noticed before. I tired to create this same feeling by using varying tones of color on color in the fabrics I designed for this collection."

He referenced chic, modern details from the 1960s through early 1970s to come up with his take on relaxed Pacific style encompassing dresses, accessories, separates, tees, vegan leather handbags, and men's shirts, shorts and pants.

The show opened with a performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by kumu hula Robert Cazimero's Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua, with the men wearing Soh's original hibiscus chambray wrap.

The setting added to the evening's enchantment, and the site was chosen in part to honor its designer Julia Morgan. In a show of support for all women, the designer will be making a contribution to the YWCA.

Emma Wo in Soh's multi-bloom box-pleat dress.

Emma Wo in Soh's multi-bloom box-pleat dress.

Isabella Williams wears Soh's Lilikoi Gypsy dress, already popular after its debut at Honolulu Fashion Week. One person from Dior came specifically to see this dress.

Isabella Williams wears Soh's Lilikoi Gypsy dress, already popular after its debut at Honolulu Fashion Week. One person from Dior came specifically to see this dress.

Allyson McIntyre wears Soh's yellow Orchid short puff-sleeve blouse with high-low maxi skirt.

Allyson McIntyre wears Soh's yellow Orchid short puff-sleeve blouse with high-low maxi skirt.

Kasie Clark in Soh's Indigo Bloom side-slit gown. Such beautiful flow when this moves.

Kasie Clark in Soh's Indigo Bloom side-slit gown. Such beautiful flow when this moves.

Sydney Boder in in Soh's colorful twist on palaka. This is his version of a multi-color palaka maxi dress.

Sydney Boder in in Soh's colorful twist on palaka. This is his version of a multi-color palaka maxi dress.

Kaitlyn Hitsman in Soh's Midnight Orchid ruffle-pleat shirt paired with a mid-length skirt. I love the way the ruffle pleat fluttered when she walked. I love movement in clothing when people walk down the street. It's so magical.

Kaitlyn Hitsman in Soh's Midnight Orchid ruffle-pleat shirt paired with a mid-length skirt. I love the way the ruffle pleat fluttered when she walked. I love movement in clothing when people walk down the street. It's so magical.

Men's looks were also featured.

Men's looks were also featured.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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