Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Trio of designers take stage at 47th Hui Makaala fashion show

By
July 26th, 2016



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comKaypee Soh presented the finale collection during the Hui Makaala 47th annual fashion show.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Kaypee Soh presented the finale collection during the Hui Makaala 47th annual fashion show.

The Okinawan scholarship organization, Hui Makaala, presented its 47th fashion show July 24 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, featuring Dolkii, Boutique Sharon, and Kaypee Soh.

First to present was Dolkii, created by sisters Shaiyanne Dar and Yasmin Dar Fasi. What started as Shaiyanne's blog in 2013, turned into an online boutique last year, and this season, the sisters created their first original designs, a dress and harem pant-inspired romper that reflect the casual, chic, boho essence of Dolkii.

Next up were designs from Joe Jeong's Boutique Sharon, reflecting the colorful mixed cultural heritage of Hawaii through fashion by Harari, local designer Anne Namba, Hawaiian artists and Italian clothiers.

Miss Hawaii 2016 Allison Chu walked the runway for all three segments. Here, she's pictured in an ensemble from Boutique Sharon. She also proved to be a quick-change artist, singing in between segments and rushing backstage to get into garments to open the shows.

Kaypee Soh presented the finale show inspired by Hawaii's rainbows and flora. Soh, who grew up in Malaysia, attended school in London, and started his career as a graphic designer. After moving to Hawaii in 2004, he found a niche in interiors, but his love of textiles and prints led to a natural evolution from wardrobing the home to outfitting the body. This spring-summer collection marks his first full collection, yet anyone seeing his work for the first time would think he's been working in fashion for years.

A day ahead of the show, I worried that pending tropical storm Darby might cause its cancellation. The day was humid, but the downpour in Honolulu waited until the evening. A good thing because this is the organization's major fund-raiser for scholarships, that in 2016 will go to:

* Stephanie Adaniya: Iolani School to Brown University; Biology
* Reese Asato: Iolani School to University of Purdue; Mechanical Engineering
* Dane Itomura: Punahou School to UC San Diego; Biology
* Kassie Odo: Pearl City High to Oregon State; Bio-engineering
* Shayna Pak: McKinley High to University of Hawaii at Manoa; Music
* Copeland Talkington: Kamaile Academy to UHM; Computer Science
* Marisa Tsuhako: Waiakea High to UHM; Master of Education
* Summer Tsukenjo: Sacred Hearts Academy to Kapiolani Community College; Education
* Jolyn Yoneshige: Castle High to Hawaii Pacific University; Education

Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients and all who worked hard to make sure the show when on in spite of the uncertain weather.

Allison Chu in one of Dolkii's original romper designs.

A stylized "rainbow" by Kaypee Soh.


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

Reyn Spooner marks 60 years

By
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."

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

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.


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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.

Living culture at the MAMo Wearable Arts Show 2016

By
May 24th, 2016



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.

mamo anna

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.

On the Shop A Le'a spring runway

By
March 25th, 2016



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

By
December 10th, 2015



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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