Archive for the ‘Video’ 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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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.

On the Shop A Le'a spring runway

March 25th, 2016
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Backstage with DVF boutique manager Marilee Mattson, center, and her platinum-haired models.

Here's a look at DVF and Bloomingdale's designs that were on the runway when Ala Moana Center presented its spring fashion event, Shop A Le'a, March 14 through 20. These shows took place on March 19.

Nake'u Awai marks 40 years

December 10th, 2015
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PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comNake'u Awai was congratulated by longtime friend, kumu hula Pohai Souza, following his 40th anniversary fashion show at the Dole Cannery Pomaika'i Ballrooms.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Nake'u Awai was congratulated by longtime friend, kumu hula Pohai Souza, following his 40th anniversary fashion show at the Dole Cannery Pomaika'i Ballrooms.

I didn't know what to expect from a Nake'u Awai fashion show when I received an invitation to his 40th anniversary "E Hula Mai" event.

I'd never been to any of his shows because, strangely enough for a person who got his start as a performer on stage from Hawaii to Hollywood to New York, he never sought the limelight in his second career. Yet, just as every year, his show at Dole Cannery's Pomaika'i Ballroom was sold out.

There was a mystery bag in the center of each table, marked "Do Not Open." At the end of the music fest and parade of Hawaiian designs, Nake'u's dancer-singer-models stepped onto the ballroom floor to open the bags full of flowers and toss them into air so the flowers rained gracefully onto guests.

I happened to be sitting right in front of Neke'u so ended up being pelted with flowers, a first.

Nake'u told me he finds the typical runway show boring, so his fashion shows comprise a series of musical tableau. In this segment from his fashion show, a tourist is about to discover the pain of a sunburn.

Nake'u told me he finds the typical runway show boring, so his fashion shows comprise a series of musical tableau. In this segment from his fashion show, a tourist is about to discover the pain of a sunburn.

When I interviewed him a few weeks ago, he made it clear that his shows are not your typical catwalk, with models walking a straight line. Instead, they are musical extravaganzas that usually feature Broadway tunes, but this year, he presented Hawaiian music—both contemporary and ancient—that explored some of the history of Hawaii and Waikiki, celebrated the ali'i and memory of friends who have died, and explored lyrics of Hawaiian songs we take for granted.

Chalk it up to his love of theater, but he said, “Runway, to me, is boring.”

“When models come in, they always want to show me their walk. I just smile and tell them I hate that point-and-turn. They try to come off as high fashion, and island fashion is not high fashion.

"In my shows, the women play all kinds of characters who might wear the clothes. They might be a public school teacher or a hustler on Mamo Street in Hilo.”

Nake'u got his start in dance in the 1960s, which led him to Broadway and Hollywood. This photo was taken inside the Hollywood Bowl when he was about 28.

Nake'u got his start in dance in the 1960s, which led him to Broadway and Hollywood. This photo was taken inside the Hollywood Bowl when he was about 28.

Awai’s career as a fashion designer was a natural extension of his first career as a dancer/performer in the 1960s. He moved from Hawaii to study dance at the University of Washington, where he considered himself destined for Broadway.

“I thought I was hot stuff. My first Broadway audition, there were 250 guys, and I found out I wasn’t that hot after all.”

To add to his dilemma, he said that during that era, Broadway casting was white.

“I didn’t understand until I left New York that they never would have cast me, because I would have stood out too much as a person of color.”

He tired of New York winters, and about the time he could finally afford an electric blanket, he began making his way back West, first spending five months in Reno performing in “Hello Tokyo” with Jimmy Borges, before arriving in Hollywood during an era of television music specials hosted by performers like Don Ho, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, Jack Benny and Ann Miller.

“I’d audition, work, pau work. In between jobs, I’d run into everybody in the unemployment line.”

In between television dance appearances and auditions, he learned to work in macrame, and his belts were sold in Beverly Hills and sought by other entertainers.

In between television dance appearances and auditions, he learned to work in macrame, and his belts were sold in Beverly Hills and sought by other entertainers.

Among those who wore Nake'u's belts were "West Side Story's" George Chakiris, Elvis Presley and the Sylvers, a family group from Watts who rivaled the Jackson 5.

Among those who wore Nake'u's belts were "West Side Story's" George Chakiris, Elvis Presley and the Sylvers, a family group from Watts who rivaled the Jackson 5.

In his downtime, he learned macrame techniques from a friend, and soon his macrame belts were being sold in Beverly Hills and sought by performers ranging from The Sylvers, a family act from Watts that rivaled The Jackson Five; “West Side Story’s” George Chakiris, and Elvis Presley, who he described as a friendly guy who tried his best to fit in with his dancers. "Except when Col. Tom Parker (his manager) was around. He'd say, 'Elvis!' and he'd come to attention."

In his search for side jobs to make ends meet, Awai also worked for Bob Mackie, an illustrator-turned-designer who gained notoreity in the 1970s for the flamboyant TV costumes and red carpet ensembles he created for Cher.

“Meeting designers, I became more aware of fashion, and more choreographers wanted me to design costumes for them,” said Awai, who quickly learned what a lucrative business it could be after being paid $4,000 to create five costumes for Sammy Davis Jr.’s Las Vegas dancers.

A stage production of “Flower Drum Song” brought him back home when he was in his 30s, and his father helped him finance his first collection of fully lined holoku that he sold to Liberty House for $60 each, which the retailer marked up to $120, a luxury price at that time.

He also sold designs to Carol & Mary, another high-end retailer, only to find that this particular segment of the market needed extra coddling, which did not appeal to him.

A turning point in his progressive direction came after he created a collection with khaki fabric, only to be told by an LH buyer, “Vogue magazine says the colors for fall are rust, oatmeal and hunter green.”

“They talked like that, and I said to myself, those are not local colors. To a certain extent, you have to play the game, and I didn’t want to. I moved out of Waikiki to Kalihi, where I’ve been ever since.

"I was doing dramatic fashion that wasn’t for everybody. I wanted to do something for the local people.”

Kaiulani de Silva was among the dancers performing in a segment about the romance of a pa'u parade.

Kaiulani de Silva was among the dancers performing in a segment about the romance of a pa'u parade.

More of the pa'u beauties.

More of the pa'u beauties.

He began creating mu’umu’u, holoku, holomu’u, aloha shirts and a handful of rompers compatible with local lifestyles, using commercial fabric. But, inspired by his friend and fellow designer Allen Akina, who had also returned home following a successful career as a Hollywood hair stylist, he soon began creating his own prints on fabric. These ranged from delicate line drawings of Hawaiian women and island flora, to bold graphics utilizing such Hawaiian elements as desings rendered from the ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps.

While other designers sought media attention, Awai never went asking for stories. As director of his own life story, he said, "If it happened, it happened. I didn't need the limelight. I just liked working on things that I liked and shows I liked, for local people, which energizes me.

"I never thought about retiring. I look forward to working every day. I still get up at 5."

Keiki from Pohai Souza's youth halau perform in apparel by Nake'u Awai.

Keiki from Pohai Souza's youth halau perform in apparel by Nake'u Awai.

Debbie Nakanelua performs an ode to a beautiful floral lei.

Debbie Nakanelua performs an ode to a beautiful floral lei.

Another of Nakeu's original prints in black and white.

Another of Nakeu's original prints in black and white.

Kane shirts were showcased during a seated dance segment featuring a song written by a college students for his beloved who had passed away. It was a touching moment.

Kane shirts were showcased during a seated dance segment featuring a song written by a college students for his beloved who had passed away. It was a touching moment.

The show marked the return of Randy Hongo to the stage, following a long illness.

The show marked the return of Randy Hongo to the stage, following a long illness.

One of the final looks from Nake'u Awai's holiday collection.

One of the final looks from Nake'u Awai's holiday collection.

After the show, Ann Asakura of TEMARI, Center for Asian and Pacific Arts, presented Nake'u with a quilt made by fellow artisans in a show of appreciation for his work and support of the school over the years. He was among its first teachers.

After the show, Ann Asakura of TEMARI, Center for Asian and Pacific Arts, presented Nake'u with a quilt made by fellow artisans in a show of appreciation for his work and support of the school over the years. He was among its first teachers.

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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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From one runway to another

November 25th, 2015
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Hawaii designer Kaypee Soh, right, with Japan model/actress Hinano and center, AULA designer Yukimi Kawashima.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Hawaii designer Kaypee Soh, right, with Japan model/actress Hinano and center, AULA designer Yukimi Kawashima.

As a sponsor of the second annual Honolulu Fashion Week, Hawaiian Airlines presented a Runway to Runway fashion show of international designers from Hawaii and destinations served on its travel routes, and partnered with a handful of Honolulu Community College Fashion Technology Program graduates and other emerging designers for a unique experiment in upcycling as a fun way to demonstrate social and environmental responsibility.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comOne of Korean designer Lie Sangbong's creations, presented during the Hawaiian Airlines Presents: Runway to Runway fashion show.

One of Korean designer Lie Sangbong's creations, presented during the Hawaiian Airlines Presents: Runway to Runway fashion show.

The HCC graduates and participating designers from The Cut Collective + Creative Lab’s Fashion Immersive Program were invited to participate in the airline’s Cabin[to]Couture project as a platform to showcase their skills using first-class and coach seat materials that were removed from planes after HA rejuvenated the cabin of its Boeing B717 neighbor island aircraft earlier this year with modern, lightweight seats.

The upcycled garments and accessories made from the old seat fabric were unveiled in a small exhibition that greeted fashion week participants over the weekend.

When approached with the project, Joy Nagaue, professor of the Fashion Technology Program at HCC said, “I accepted; our students can do anything!”

And so they can. The work shown by Randy Oribello (Class of 2014), Chai Lim (Class of 2013) and Jacky Lau (Class of 2013), was nothing short of amazing in detail, and even more impressive given the weight, thickness and inflexibility of the fabric.

This airline seat, above, became this dress, below.

This airline seat, above, became this dress, below. The upcycling challenge was part of Hawaiian Airlines “Cabin[to]Couture” challenge to emerging local designers.

Chai Lim was inspired by the notion of air and flying in creating an airy, short skirt paired with a clean, structured strapless top. The 2013 HCC graduate works at Tori Richards, as a pattern technician.

Chai Lim was inspired by the notion of air and flying in creating an airy, short skirt paired with a clean, structured strapless top. The 2013 HCC graduate works at Tori Richards, as a pattern technician.

Making my way through the market place toward the end of fashion week, I overheard one vendor refer to Oribello as "the grommet king" due to his corsetry expertise.

Other Fashion Immersive participants were clothing designers Chanterelle Chantara and Lizzy Chitamitre, jewelry designer Emiko Miyazawa, textile and handbag designer Jana Lam.

“Fashion and design have always been deep-rooted in the Hawaiian Airlines brand,” said Alisa Onishi, director of brand management at Hawaiian Airlines. “This project allows us to give back to our local community through education in a very unique and original way.” You can read a bit more about the airlines' fashion history in one of my older posts.

Then at 8 p.m. Saturday, lights dimmed for the Hawaiian Airlines presents Runway to Runway show featuring the capsule collections of Hawaii's Kaypee Soh; Tokyo's AULA, designed by Yukimi Kawashima; Ellery from Sydney, designed by Kym Ellery; Todd Snyder from New York; and Lie Sangbong from Seoul.

A cage dress presented by Korea's Lie Sangbong.

A cage dress presented by Korea's Lie Sangbong.

A gown by Lie Sangbong.

A gown by Lie Sangbong.

An ensemble by AULA's Yukimi Kawashima.

An ensemble by AULA's Yukimi Kawashima.

Randy Oribello’s “patchwork” corseted bustier is layered with strips of main cabin seat covers paired with a short skirt and peplum. Love the use of the fabric in the bustier's back detail, below. The 2014 HCC graduate now works in the costume department at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina.

Randy Oribello’s “patchwork” corseted bustier is layered with strips of main cabin seat covers paired with a short skirt and peplum. Love the use of the fabric in the bustier's back detail, below. The 2014 HCC graduate now works in the costume department at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa at Ko Olina.

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Jacky Lau was inspired by the shapes within the seat covers and created a futuristic tail jacket paired with fitted cargo pants lined with pocket details, below. A sales associate at Macy's, he said his pursuit of design stems from an interest in cosplay.

Jacky Lau was inspired by the shapes within the seat covers and created a futuristic tail jacket paired with fitted cargo pants lined with pocket details, below. A sales associate at Macy's, he said his pursuit of design stems from an interest in cosplay.

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It was a fantastic showcase for all, and I'm looking forward to seeing Kaypee Soh's full collection in December.

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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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Kini Zamora Spring/Summer 2016

November 22nd, 2015
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PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comKini Zamora posed backstage with a couple of his models after the presentation of his Spring/Summer 2016 collection at Honolulu Fashion Week.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Kini Zamora posed backstage after his fashion show at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

Kini Zamora has been one busy guy, traveling to Austin, Tex., in August for "Project Runway's "Werk" fashion show, to Fashion Week Los Angeles in October, and opening his shop The Clique by KZ, last month.

And sending 40 looks down the runway during his Spring/Summer 2016 showcase at Honolulu Fashion Week on Friday.

Out went last year's sportswear in favor of feminine dresses and jumpsuits. His color palette for women ranged from creme florals to a mix of muted and shiny metal for evening.

Most striking were dazzling evening gowns of feather-light, near transparent silver and orange metallics. There were also short, pleated metallic skirts that the bold-hearted can pull off by day.

More structured pieces showcased the technique that got him to the finale of "Project Runway." (See the video below.)

Interspersed with the women's wear were casual pieces for men who have not advanced as far as women in the fashion realm. T-shirts and tank tops bore the word "Kane," as if none of us could guess by eyeing the beefcake!

One of Kini's "Project Runway" pals, Sean Kelly, was there to show his support.

One of Kini's "Project Runway" pals, Sean Kelly, was there to show his support.

Chuching Yang back stage in one of Zamora's designs.

Chuching Yang back stage in one of Zamora's designs.

Chuching Yang and Meg Akim in evening ensembles.

Chuching Yang and Meg Akim in evening ensembles.

Zamora's male and female models wore jewelry by Pharoah Beads, by local designers now based in Las Vegas.

Zamora's male and female models wore jewelry by Pharoah Beads, by local designers now based in Las Vegas.

Before the show, Kini's 40 ensembles lined up as dressers, below, study the looks to be created.

Before the show, Kini's 40 ensembles lined up as dressers, below, study the looks to be created.

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Back stage after the show, I spotted designer Sean Kelly, winner of Kini's "Project Runway" Season 13. I tried to shoot the two from a low angle, which had Kelly saying, "I'm up here." So funny because that's the line one of my beautiful friends uses when men are talking to her boobs.

We had a nice chat about his own travels post-"Runway," and how he has to balance design work/time with the demands of celebrity. He also spoke about growing up in New Zealand in a small place where he had nothing to do, so his creativity stems from having to entertain himself.

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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.

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