Archive for the ‘Menswear’ 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.

Reyn Spooner marks 60 years

July 8th, 2016

Reyn Spooner marked it's 60th anniversary with a fashion show on Ala Moana Center's Center Stage July 7, that took viewers on a journey from the 1950s to the present.

Opening the show were models Roycen Dehmer and Desmond Centro in Reyn's rice bag shorts from the 1950s, that had emcee Jordan Segundo quipping, "They did a lot of recycling then."

I'm glad that recycling is back in a big way, showing that good ideas may skip a generation, but always come back with a generation seeking the "new."


From left, in Reyn Spooner, company chairman Charlie Baxter, president Kirk Hubbard III, and Japan partners Takuro Sakatoku, Ryota Matsumoto and Fumio Matsubara, following the brand's fashion show on Ala Moana's Center Stage.

Sixty years is a grandpa territory, but over the years, Reyn Spooner has remained relevant in keeping up with the times. In recent years, the brand has collaborated with such urban lifestyle and fashion brands as Stüssy, Opening Ceremony, Converse and Vans.

And, it doesn't end there.

Company chairman Charlie Baxter, a former San Francisco-based e-commerce CEO, invested in Reyn Spooner because he said he sees its potential reach far beyond Hawaii's shores.

"It's really a state treasure," he said, with a history of influencing many major resort and lifestyle brands, and a story that resonates around the globe for people who love Hawaii.

Always cognizant of its Hawaii roots and ties to community, one of Reyn Spooner's latest designs Reyn Spooner designs is a limited edition aloha print honoring The Friends of Iolani Palace’s 50th anniversary. A portion of sales will support the organization’s restoration, preservation and conservation efforts. The shirts retail for $118, women’s scarves are $80, and eco totes are $26.

The company initially found its niche creating an aloha shirt casual enough for weekends, and dignified enough for customers to wear professionally. Back then, the only shirts on the market were poor fitting, loud-colored garments made for the fledgling tourism industry.

One of the company's biggest hits was an all-cotton, pullover aloha shirt with a button-down collar. But founder Reyn McCullough wasn't satisfied with the intensity and brightness of the tropical- and calico-print fabrics he was using. He liked the shirts worn by surfers—those bleached out by constant sun exposure. After experimenting with ways to achieve the same chambray effect, he realized the easiest solution was to simply turn his fabrics inside out. The company is still widely recognized as the originator of the "reverse print" they remain famous for today.

Following the fashion show, the celebration continued at the Reyn Spooner store near Macy's. Guests were treated to seafood dishes from Roy's Restaurant, with signature Spooner Kloth serving as a table cloth.

Hamachi and sea asparagus over Spooner Kloth.

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.

Tori Richard: New look, new spot at Ala Moana Center

April 16th, 2014

torimainDiana Chavez modeled a Tori Richard "Fine Dandy" romper ($115) for my story that ran in the Star-Advertiser's print edition on March 27.Dennis Oda photo

Tori Richard celebrated the grand opening of its new Ala Moana store with an April 2 celebration featuring pupu by MW Restaurant's chef Wade Ueoka, and entertainment by Taimane.

The event was also a benefit for the Honolulu Museum of Art outreach programs, with a portion of opening day sales going toward after-school residencies for public school children, and the "Warriors Eyes on Art" program for transitioning soldiers.

The kamaaina company is already well known for its menswear, but is approaching its sixth decade with a refresh of its boutiques to coincide with an increased focus on its rapidly growing women's line.

Key to the new approach was the arrival of designer Jessica Zaro, who worked with Lilly Pulitzer and Shoshanna before joining Tori Richard in 2011 as creative design director for the Tori Richard woman. Her "beach to bar" philosophy encompasses a strong dose of color and print, along with knowledge of how contemporary women want to dress.

"They want clothing that's versatile, that can be worn during the day, then dressed up with heels, a clutch and perfect jewelry at night,"Zaro said. "I like to keep it simple but fashion-forward."

She said she was excited by the opportunity to work for Tori Richard, whose resort aesthetic appealed to her own vision of the glamorous life.

"Living in New York City, I lived for my summers,"Zaro said. "I loved to wear color and a flowy dress that felt so easy and chic at the same time. Everybody strives to have that lifestyle."

There are 8 million visitors who visit the islands annually who seem to suggest so, and I have a feeling the company will be dancing circles around young national upstarts by the time it's 60th birthday arrives in two years.

tori4Among those shopping at the grand opening of the new Tori Richard boutique at Ala Moana Center were, from left, Dave Erdman, Conchita Malaqui, Scott Wheldon and Tao Miller.Nadine Kam photos

toriJoanne Marques, left, helps Jon and Dora Valdriz at the Tori Richard shirt bar, that allows men to pull together complete ensembles.

toriartStudent art filled display spaces and windows, as little ones showed their printing skills and had their names affixed as brand labels.

toritUkulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner performed.

iPhone video taste of Taimane's sound.

torilifeWords of encouragement in the dressing rooms.

torikBrynn Foster, left, and Kristen Chan arrived fashionably late.

toricCrystal Pancipanci with Marc Mcclellan.

torigreenDennis Oda photo
This floor-length design from Tori Richard is $149.

A mutt stole the show at 'Mutts and Models' fashion show

February 27th, 2014

namodelsAnne Namba's models line up after the "Mutts and Models" benefit fashion show for the Hawaiian Humane Society.Nadine Kam photos

There was a time Anne Namba was a "normal" dog fan, liking them enough but not one to go overboard in coddling a pet, unlike her friend Anna Meng, who doesn't mind stating she likes animals more than people and puts her money and time where her heart is as a contributor to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

But hanging around Meng turned Namba into a bonafide dog person and the two teamed up to present a free fashion show, "Mutts and Models," on Feb. 21, as a benefit for the HHS, at Namba's 324 Kamani St. boutique.

When model Shanna Hulme emerged with Namba's new puppy Dingo in her arms, a chorus of "Awws," rose from the crowd, evidence that the mere sight of pets really do make people happy. Other models included a gallery of TV personalities: Olena Heu, Kathy Muneno and Trini Kaopuiki.

Namba is known for her use of Asian-inspired prints and fashions created from kimonos she collects throughout Asia. This time around, she showed ombre silks in colors ranging from aqua to turquoise to purple, bustiers from obi fabric and laser-cut leather, and strapless gowns created from wedding kimono fabric.

nambaDesigners Anne Namba, left, and Anna Meng, with Anne's new puppy, Dingo, who stole the show when model Shanna Hulme emerged with the live accessory.

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The event served as a prelude to the humane society's "Tuxes & Tails Bow Wow to Hollywoof" gala coming up April 5, with the idea of providing that event's attendees (and others) an opportunity to pick out something unique to wear to the gala or other special occasions.

Inspired by the gala's theme, Namba created an Old Hollywood collection of 1930s- and '40s-inspired evening wear, including bias cuts, pleats, sequins and a black, sequined lace gown in a fishtail silhouette, all accessorized with jewelry by Meng, owner of The Meng Dynasty.

The show also featured evening attire for men, including sleek tuxedo jackets with a modified mandarin collar.

With a portion of sales from the evening donated to the humane society, animal lovers were shopping before the show even started.

najewelryAnna created four love-a-dog-themed bracelets for the event.

nambatTrini Kaopuiki in a strapless gown fashioned from wedding kimono fabric.

nambakKathy Muneno in hot pink. (more…)

Japan students recreate 'Gatsby' style

December 10th, 2013


A hair piece was added on by this team to come up with their version of a glamorous Roaring '20s look. The women's gowns were provided by Masako Formals. Photos by Nadine Kam

For the fifth year, Honolulu hairstylist Kensei Takeda of Chez Kensei Salon, hosted a hair and makeup seminar welcoming about 80 students from Yamanashi Beauty College in Japan.

Kensei traveled to Japan during the summer to introduce students to "The Great Gatsby" 1920s theme of the competition that took place Dec. 4 at the Princess Kaiulani Hotel.

At about ages 19 and 20, the students were unfamiliar with what we would consider classic 1920s American style. But trends, even in a time of what we would consider limited media and travel, were global, and during the comparable early Showa period in Japan, a time also marked by deep economic recession, the Ginza scene was dominated by youths dubbed "Mobo" and "Moga," shorthand for the "modern boy" or "modern girl" recognized for their close-cropped hair, rounded hats and thick lipstick.

This year's theme was "Behind the Stage, Behind the Photo Shoot," so Kensei spent 2-1/2 hours showed students how to create three very different looks in hair, makeup and costume in a matter of minutes, before they were divided into small teams to create their own "Great Gatsby" look in an hour.

Afterward, students were judged for their effort, with spots for three winning teams. Here's how they did.


Many hands went into what became the winning look.


Kensei congratulates the winning team.


Kensei poses for a photo with the second-place finishers, with their winning basket of goodies and awards certificates. (more…)

Weekend shopping: Estee Lauder, La Perla

August 2nd, 2013


Estee Lauder photo

Neiman Marcus is hosting an "Up Close: Estee Lauder" event from Aug. 4 to 11, featuring makeovers and consultations, and a look a the new fall beauty collections.

Shoppers who make an Estee Lauder purchase of $75 or more will receive a gift of a city tote filled with a deluxe 14-day supply of Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme, a lavish compact of eye, face and lip shades, full-size Pure Color Lipstick, Intense Kajal Eyeliner and Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, at one per customer while supplies last.



La Perla photo

La Perla has opened its doors in the Macy's wing at Ala Moana Center.

The luxury brand is known for its high-end lingerie, swimwear and ready-to-wear apparel favored by Hollywood celebrities.

The company was established in Italy in 1954 by corset-maker Ada Masotti, branching into swimwear in 1971, and opening its first boutiques in Milan and Paris in 1991. The ready-to-wear collection launched in 2002.


Men’s Wearhouse is continuing its National Suit Drive through Aug. 7.

The store in the Ward Entertainment Center, at Auahi and Kama­kee streets, is accepting men’s and women’s professional attire such as suits, jackets, ties, shoes and accessories for distribution by nearly 150 charities across the country to help disadvantaged workers “suit up” for success. Donations collected at Hawaii Men’s Wearhouse store will be donated to the Hono­lulu-based nonprofit Helping Hands of Hawaii.

In exchange for your donation, Men’s Wearhouse will give you with a coupon for 50 percent off your next purchase.



Island Sole photo

Island Sole has opened two new stores in Waikiki.

The first store, at 2335 Kalakaua Ave., was formerly a Sanuk store managed by Island Sole’s parent company, The Art Source Inc. The re-branded store features beach and lifestyle brands such as Sanuk and Olu­kai, with more brands coming soon.

Just down the street at Waikiki Beach Walk, Island Sole also unveiled Island Sole Mates, carrying boots, slippers and shoes from UGG Australia.

The Ala Moana Center Island Sole also has a new location: on the mall level near Centerstage. The company’s current store will remain open through October, for those already accustomed to finding the store in the Nordstrom wing, mall level.

Atten-hut: KiRu show draws standing ovation

April 18th, 2013

wkiniNadine Kam photos
Models in KiniZamora designs.

Kini Zamora goes street casual? The designer is best known for extravagant, over-the-top runway presentations since he graduated from Honolulu Community College's Fashion Technology program in 2005, and not even the "Project Runway" audition judges' advice to tone it down could deter him from drama.

But, there comes a time in a young designers' life when it becomes apparent that survival means capturing the attention of the mainstream. It doesn't necessarily mean dumbing down or selling out, but designing to be worn instead of designing to be photographed.

Meanwhile, Waru's Dean Satta had design ambitions without the technical know-how, so the two collaborated, and the standing ovation at the end of the Waru and KiniZamora KiRu fashion show said it all.

Satta sent down a line of detailed, stylish, yet wearable men's collection, in military hues with dashes of yellow and red providing more dramatic colorways. Zamora matched the military inspiration with camouflage-print capes and jumpsuit, olive drab separates, simple tops and sexy oversize sweater tops. I particularly liked some of his shapely cigarette pants. Of course, the drama didn't disappear completely as he demonstrated with a kabuki warrior style finale.

The event took place April 12 at TheVilla at Aloha Tower Marketplace, opening with a show of retro designs created from vintage fabric by Kini's aunt Delilah Patoc, who specializes in custom gowns and mentored the designer while he was growing up

Items from the KiRu show will be available to order in three weeks, and will be available online at and Prices range from: KiniZamora $35 to $80 and Waru $20 to $80.

On a side note, in the course of working on this story for print, I was able to work again with Dylan Peckenpaugh, a classmate of Satta's at Kauai High School, who I met in New York when he was working for Dior Homme and I was in town for fashion week. These days, he's happy to have traded his suits for more casual wear, and helping his old friend launch his line. Together, they're definitely going places.

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wdesignersKini Zamora, left, and Waru's Dean Satta, right, welcomed celeb designer Ariyaphon Southiphong.

wkawanoMinnie Han and Ron Kayano, who was a classmate of Kini's at HCC. 

wstylistsPaul Mitchell stylists.

w2Jim Ascuncion and Mailene Malana were among the fashion show guests.

wkaluaThe $10 SRO admission got attendees pupu such as kalua pork sandwiches and lomilomi salmon, and below, spiced garlicky soybeans, meatballs and more.



Leather Soul hosts made-to-measure event

April 7th, 2013

lsfabricNadine Kam photos
Trouser fabric samples from Salvatore Ambrosi of Ambrosi Napoli, at Leather Soul Downtown.

Leather Soul Downtown teamed up with Hong Kong haberdashery The Armoury to bring bespoke tailoring by Orazio Luciano of Naples, Italy, to Hono­lulu on April 2 for an exclusive made-to-measure event, also featuring third-generation trouser specialist Salvatore Ambrosi of Ambrosi Napoli.

The clothiers were in Honolulu  to introduce fine Neapolitan tailoring, noted for unpadded construction and lines that make them lighter to wear than their English and American counterparts, according to Leather Soul owner Tom Park.

The Armoury partners Ethan Newton and Alan See were on hand, with Newton performing fittings that took about an hour, not because it takes that long be measured, but because it generally takes clients that long to pick their fabric.Made-to-measure jackets start at $3,100, trousers at $700, and at those prices, no one wants to change their mind later.

As one client, Reid Takamoto said, he'll be watching what he's eating from now on, lest he outgrow his pants. Newton said it's never a good idea to get into the habit of adding some "give" to the waistband. Not only is the object of bespoke tailoring about the perfect fit, but if you give yourself room to expand, you will.

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lsmeetOne of Leather Soul's clients meets with, from left, Ethan Newton of the Armoury, trouser maker Salvatore Ambrosi, and Alan See, also of The Armoury.

lslengthThe new length of pants, with wide cuffs, the better to show off footwear from Leather Soul!

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