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Show your selfie style

March 20th, 2014

selfiegroupOur attempt at an Oscar-style selfie, with Angelo Bruno performing Bradley Cooper duties to snap this shot from our H&M photo shoot. Also from left, Nicole Fuertes, myself, Craig T. Kojima and Haylee Kam (no relation). Story's in the paper March 20.

Why are we smiling? Because H&M opens officially March 27, when you'll want to be among the first 500 in line to receive a limited-edition tote bag containing an Access to Fashion Pass valued from $10 to $500 for shopping the long awaited brand.

The selfie also calls attention to a new feature I’ll be launching in the paper to celebrate the selfie era.

Last November, the selfie hit the mainstream in a big way when the term was named "word of the year" by the Oxford English Dictionary. And, of course, Ellen Degeneres’ recent star-studded Academy Award selfie garnered 3.3 million re-tweets. Never mind that it turned out to be a promotion for Samsung, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, paid about $20 million for the product placement.

I’ve been snapping selfies—in the olden days they would have been called self-portraits, but today they have a quickie, ephemeral quality that's hard to take seriously—since 2008, mostly in the interest of self-protection while shopping.

selfie origI believe this was my first selfie, taken in the dressing room at Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th at Waikele Premium Outlets. I wasn't going to buy this frothy dress, but had to see it on. Someone in the newsroom who saw this photo asked, "Why so serious?" These were not meant to be shared the look-at-me spirit of selfies today. These were experiments to see how certain clothes look on a body.

pradaTrying on Prada at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in September 2009, just before the start of New York Fashion Week.

I often noticed that I looked terrific in the dressing room, but when I got home … not so much. I became convinced some stores use “skinny” mirrors or angle them in a way to make shoppers look taller or thinner than they really are. So I started taking selfies to confirm what I really looked like in the clothes.

My first was snapped in the dressing room at the Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th at Wai­kele Premium Outlets. The dress was a frothy yellow that I would never wear, but I had to see what it looked like on a body.

After a while the aim expanded to the vicarious thrill of trying on clothes I could not possibly afford: “Look, I’m wearing Givenchy!”

Lately I’ve added a documentary element, creating a rec­ord of pieces actually owned, worn and styled.

selfietodayToday's selfie is more documentary: Zara tank, Elizabeth & James shirt, eyelet shorts, Valentino Rockstud sunglasses and Chanel backpack.

Now, I want to see your Selfie Style.

Snap pictures of yourself in some of your favorite looks and email them to To show the most possible, it's probably best to use a mirror, unless you have the arm extension of an ape.

Be sure to include your name and a description of what you’re wearing, including brands and shops, and we’ll pick a few of our favorites to run in the Today section and online.

Thank you! Look forward to seeing what you're wearing now.

JamsWorld hosts warehouse sale extravaganza

August 23rd, 2013


Who doesn't love a sale starting at $1!

Honolulu Night Market goes big on fashion

May 19th, 2013

Non-flash video link

The culinary community has Eat the Street to promote grassroots food purveyors, and Hono­­lulu Night Market, in the heart of Kakaako, promises to do the same for the retail and fashion community.

Every month, the event combines food and drink, shopping and fashion, including retail pop-up shops and a themed fashion show presented by an up-and-coming stylist who is given carte blanche to showcase his or her vision.

This time, Tyson Joines was tapped, and he created a study in black and white, inspired by Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2013 collection, with designs running the gamut of sporty and evening chic, utilizing apparel from Wang, plus local boutiques Basique Threads, I AM., and Bamboo Sky.

Over the eight months the monthly Honolulu Night Market has been in existence, the shows have grown, and this was the largest to date, with 21 models showing 42 looks. Past shows have featured about 25 looks on 12 to 15 models. It's great as more in the fashion community—from stylists to makeup artists—now have a large venue to showcase their work and turn their ideas into reality.

It's great for young artists and designers as well as Kakaako-area businesses, enabling people to come together in forging collaborations that will have lasting long-term benefits for the economy and community. Gov. Neil Abercrombie was there to show his support for the fashion community and contratulated Tyson after the show.

This month, the event took place May 18 at 683 Auahi St., where pop-up shops set up inside the Pinch of Salt warehouse. Among them were B.E.A.D.S. HI (custom bracelets), Deanna Rose's Indigo Elixirs (skin salves and balms), Padma & Pickles (custom jewelry), Bamboo Sky, House of Aria, Florencia Arias, Jenny Cao-Wu's, and more.

The next Honolulu Night Market will take place 6 to 11 p.m. June 15.

hnmkeikoNadine Kam photos
Keiko Bonk with husband Michael Christopher.

hnmChrista Wittmier and Sarah Honda.

hnmhokulaniThe fashionable Hokulani, in Doggles and polka-dot ensemble attended with Norman Dung. You can check out her Facebook page at

hnm tysonStylist Tyson Joines after the fashion show with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and First Lady Nancie Caraway.

hnmtiffBamboo Sky's Tiffany Young set up TiffHeartFashion's Preloved Clothes, and I scored her Elizabeth & James cropped silk top for $25. Yay!

hnmbskyFor those who like their clothes all-new, her Bamboo Sky pop-up was packed with shoppers.

hnmariaHouse of Aria was a first-timer at Honolulu Night Market. Owner Melody Domingo, second from right, was there with, from left, Adrianne Quiane, April Domingo and Jessica Tabucbuc.

hnmfreshJenny Cao-Wu's brought her pop-up to Pinch of Salt.

hnm pearlsYou could order customized black pearl jewelry from Kelsey Nishi's Padma & Pickles.

hnm florenciaFlorencia Arias offered her dresses for women and girls.

hnm leiIn time for graduation season, R&D was offering Sweet Lady candy lei. Find out more at

hnmartOut on the street, people could shop for artwork.

'Project Runway' recap to come

January 3rd, 2013

Even though hometown designer Ivy Higa was sent home from 'Project Runway All- Stars' last week, I'm continuing to write post-show recaps through the end of the series run.

Unfortunately I don't have Internet service at home so will be posting tomorrow. Thanks for understanding.

Closet Swap marks six years of many happy exchanges

October 29th, 2012

closet paperNadine Kam photos
Contestants in a zany reuse fashion show line up for photos during Fashionista's Market's 6th annual Closet Swap. I give them a lot of credit for theatrically parading across the stage!

Fashionista's Market 6th annual Closet Swap took place Oct. 21 at the Japanese Cultural Center Manoa Grand Ballroom, starting with the perfect breakfast of scrambled eggs, Portuguese sausage, rice, fresh fruit and champagne from Barefoot Bubbly, fun and games, a reuse fashion show, and finally, the mad dash for clothing donated by participants.

It was all for a good cause as funds raised will benefit the Leeward Domestic Abuse Shelter, and Amanda Stevens, from Goodwill Industries of Hawai'i was waiting in the wings to whisk anything that wasn't picked up by guests away to Goodwill, to raise funds for its vocational and community programs.

Before or after sitting down to breakfast, women could also shop for handcrafted accessories from ccdoodle's Christy Chung, as well as check out make-and-take stations manned by Cassandra Rull and Holly Boulay, who were showing guests how to transform unwanted threads into more desirable clothing and accessories.

By now, Closet Swap frequenters know a little of what to expect in the recycled fashion show, which comprises one item from the swap plus a whole lot of newspaper and tape, so having mastered the art of poufs and pleats, costumes have a lot more details to them. The only thing the women don't know is the theme, and this year it was Disney.

Apparently, everybody loves a beautiful princess. We saw a lot more of those than wicked queens. There were also Little Mermaids and Tinkerbells, and on the seamier side, a drunken pirate of the Caribbean and not only drunk but pregnant Tinkerbell (Kelley Porter), who managed to win the competition, along with a cute 5-year-old Minnie Mouse (Ayla Prather).

For the team effort involved in getting them papered up, their tables won 5 minutes early entry to the swap, a fun way to trade your trash for others' treasures.

I was able to grab a few chunky sweaters no one in Hawaii could possibly want, but that would come in handy during my trip to the chilly East Coast. Unfortunately, my flight Sunday was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, but I will still try to get out later in the week. In the meantime, I have a half dozen blog posts to catch up on, so I will try to get them done so I don't have to catch up in airports.

Non-flash video link

winnersAnd the winners were Ayla Prather, 5, as Minnie Mouse, and Kelley Porter as a drunk, pregnant Tinkerbell. For the team's effort in dressing them, their tables were granted 5 minutes early access to the swap racks and tables.

closet minnieIn quite the coincidence, was able to find this Minnie Mouse wallet during the swap.

closet3Fashionista's Market's Alyssa Fung, right, staged the event with lots of help from Anita Clemente and Aly Case.

closetccccdoodle's Christy Chung showed her handmade creations.

closet headbandHolly Boulay showed how to stitch up bow ties that could be worn any number of ways. I sewed a blue plaid tie with fabric from a scrap heap on the side.

closet wingsPutting wings on another Tinkerbell.

closet mermaidPutting the finishing touches on the Little Mermaid.

mermaid2This Little Mermaid costume picked up dozens of scales before it was completed. You can check it out in the video at top of page.

closet swap2After the swap, women returned to their tables to try on and trade some more. There were a lot of garments flying through the air as they tossed them to friends who might make better use of their finds.

closettiffAmong the swappers were Tiffany Tanaka, left, and Olena Heu.

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