Archive for the ‘People’ Category

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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mamo nelson

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.

Kendall + Kylie only at NM

April 8th, 2016
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PHOTOS COURTESY NEIMAN MARCUS

A capsule collection of Kendall + Kylie designs is available, exclusive to Neiman Marcus.

An exclusive Kendall + Kylie capsule collection, a brand led by model celebs Kendall and Kylie Jenner, has launched as part of the Neiman Marcus #OnlyatNM program, highlighting the retailer’s exclusive merchandise.

The designs are inspired by the sisters' favorite vintage pieces and their current closets, with nine pieces—including a black silk jumpsuit and leather short—created to bring shoppers one step closer to their personal style. Prices range from $95 for a cropped poppy T-shirt to $995 for a white leather jacket.

To introduce the brand, shoppers who spend more than $500 of regular priced select women's apparel, accessories, shoes, and handbags will be given the choice between two exclusive Kendall + Kylie sunglasses. The promotion ends April 10.

Here's are a few of the pieces:

A sexy LBD, V-neck dress, $495.

Kendall + Kylie cut-out dress, $575.

Striped low-V top, $245.

Kini watch: Finally, a win for 'All Stars' athleisure ensemble

April 8th, 2016
By



PHOTOS COURTESY LIFETIME

Kini Zamora finally scored a win with his athleisure separates.

'PROJECT RUNWAY' ALL STARS SEASON 5
Episode 9 recap: "A Touch of Style"

The designers head out to Coney Island, ending up at Cyclone Stadium, where host Alyssa Milano introduces her Touch line of apparel, which she created a decade ago when she was at a game and couldn't find anything cute to wear from the gift shop.

The designers are given the task of coming with a garment befitting today's athleisure trend, smart leisure apparel inspired by athletic apparel. The idea is that the wearer should be able to take the look from stadium to a nice dinner afterward. The winning look will be modified and sold as part of the Touch line.

Shopping at Mood, many of the designers end up with the same types of fabric in blue. Hawaii designer Kini Zamora and Sam Donovan, whose specialty is said to be athleisure apparel, end up with the same mesh fabric, but come up with totally different looks.

Alyssa Milano in the KiniZamora X Touch by Alyssa Milano jacket, available for $99.99 at mfanatics.com. The top was really cute too, with shoulder cut-outs that weren't shown during the episode.

Donovan comes up with a dress in blue neoprene with the mesh overlay. He has black lace in the back, which mentor Zanna Roberts Rassi criticizes for lack of cohesion. Save for the fabric, there is nothing about the design that suggests "athleisure." It is a cute dress that ends up merely embellished with lace at the waistline and used as cap sleeves. In judging, he ends up in the bottom three for not meeting the challenge, and Milano said his dress was like a slap in the face because he understands athleisure, yet chose to do what he wanted outside of the rules. In judging, he is nevertheless declared safe.

As usual, Dom Streater pulls together multiple types of fabric to piece together a convertible shift, with an illusion back and panel at the hem that can be snapped on and off depending on the weather or wearer's activities. So clever. She and Kini are placed on top.

Sam ignored the spirit of the challenge and merely came up with a dress in sporty fabric.

In the end, Kini is named the winner for separates of denim jeans and a simple red top and the piece de resistance, a long baseball-inspired jacket with a white mesh panel on one side for interest. For Milano, it's an easy sell for her line because fans of the game will understand the look, whereas only the most fashionable will get Dom's look.

During the competition, Ken Laurence lost time because he was frustrated by mistakes he'd made in construction, and in a fit, decided to go home. He returns the next day in a good mood, and finishes his hoodie, but Isaac said the look caters to the lowest common denominator, and Laurence ends up in the bottom with Layana Aguilar.

Layanna is also an athleisure specialist, and she puts in a lot of construction time creating a pant by piecing together 40 pieces of her textured blue fabric. It's quite a feat but the pant doesn't mesh well with her polished crop top, and after being in the bottom so many times, she is finally sent home.

The weird thing is, if she created pieces more like the ones she wears herself, she would probably have ended up in the top three.

Layana was sent home for separates that were interesting individually, but wrong together.

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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.

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.

Jade by Nikolai's aMAZE-ing eve

March 8th, 2016
By



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

At right, jewelry designer Nikolai Tsang with Julie Aragaki.

Nikolai Tsang always stages the best parties, so a spring showcase of her latest jade and jewelry collections welcoming the Year of the Fire Monkey was not to be missed.

To entice, invitations were sent out weeks before the March 5 event. The invitations came with wooden destination markers, the picture postcard sort that indicate distance to desirable locations. We were told the arrows would point their way to a maze within which surprises await. Who doesn't love a surprise?

The space next door to Kakaako Agora was indeed decked out with a fabric maze with nooks that were home to a braid bar, henna station, several jewelry displays, a flower wall for selfies, and personal readings with Alice Inoue.

Coiffe Couture provided braids for men and women at a braid bar in one section of the maze.

Others signed up for mehndi, or temporary henna tattoos.

With flowers everywhere, the garden theme extended to the table where a "live garden" salad bar included crudité planted in soil of rye bread crumbs. And Elite Catering desserts of chocolate pudding studded with bits of fruit were planted in mini glazed flower pots. Other desserts came in stemware in the shape of tulips, and this was the first time I tried rose-flavored gau, a non-traditional version of the Chinese new year's sticky steamed rice cake.

All this was backdrop for the real stars of the show, Nikolai's beautiful jade carvings, and jade and precious stone jewelry. I made note of a particular yellow diamond ring.

An overview of the setting.

Guests could browse through collections of pearls, jade and precious stone jewelry all night long.

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nik gem

Beyond a display of hanging flowers was a wall of corded jade bracelets.

An edible garden of crudité.

An edible garden of crudité.

Potted pudding and other desserts.

Traditional-, green tea- and rose-flavored gau.

Traditional-, green tea- and rose-flavored gau.

 Elite Catering also provided more serious bites, including beef, shrimp and duck.


Elite Catering also provided more serious bites, including beef, shrimp and duck.

Keith Aragaki had the henna applied to his face.

Keith Aragaki had the henna applied to his face.