Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

Psychedelic Swell at The Surfjack

June 20th, 2016


Models from the Psychedelic Swell fashion show posed for a group shot after the show.

Downtown denizens Roberta Oaks and Barrio Vintage's Bradley Rhea and Jonathan Saupe teamed up for a one-time, limited edition collaboration collection, Psychedelic Swell, that came to life during a fashion show at the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club June 16.

it looked like the late 1960s and early ’70s all over again, with not only the models, but guests dressed in groovy retro-print garments, suede vests and polyester, echoing the vibe of the collection which featured Oaks' modern silhouettes, with garments sewn from Barrio Vintage's collection of era fabric.

“It was something we’d talked about for some time,” said Oaks.

Many of the textiles were manufactured in Honolulu in the 1960s and ’70s, and feature the bright color combinations of the psychedelic and neon generations.

“To see them survive the test of time and find a new life has been both inspiring and exciting,” Rhea said. “For me, it was interesting to see this pile of fabric transformed.”

For Rhea, the experienced cured him of any desire to create a Barrio Vintage collection from scratch. “I was amazed by what’s involved in creating a collection and what it’s done is made me even more appreciative of people who do this for a living,” he said.

Usually, such a collection might be available for sale immediately after the show, but to make it fair for those who could not attend the show, the entire 26-piece collection of men’s and women’s wear went on sale online at 10 a.m. June 17 at and Barrio, at prices ranging from about $120 to $150.

I was interested in one of the shifts, so kept checking the sites, even while out on a fashion shoot at Cromwell's. Most of the garments were gone by 1 p.m. And so, due to the mostly one-of-a-kind nature of the collection, these modern-retro collectible garments are destined to become tomorrow's rare vintage finds.

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.

Uniqlo-'IOLANI collaboration line due in May

January 22nd, 2014

uniqlo:iolaniUniqlo designers used prints and artwork from 'IOLANI Sportwear's archives, dating as far back as the 1960s, for the collaboration 'IOLANI Hawaiian Classics Collection, due in May. Many prints were scaled down to appeal to Uniqlo fans around the globe. The collection won over the fashion press during an earlier preview in Paris.Uniqlo photos

Uniqlo may not be coming to Hawaii any time soon, but a piece of Hawaii will be traveling to 1,200 Uniqlo stores around the globe this summer thanks to a collaboration between longtime kama'aina company 'IOLANI Sportswear, and the Tokyo-based apparel giant.

The announcement was made earlier  today during a news conference from the JFW-International Fashion Fair’s Hawaii Pavilion in Tokyo, where ‘IOLANI is one of several local clothing companies participating in a DBEDT-sponsored initiative promoting Hawaii designers abroad.

The 2014 spring/summer ‘IOLANI Hawaiian Classics line will be available in Uniqlo stores beginning in May. Because there is no Uniqlo store locally, online shopping will have to suffice for fans of both brands.

The collection will include men’s shirts, shorts and T-shirts and women’s tunics, dresses, shorts, handbags, skirts and T-shirts, all inspired by ‘IOLANI’s print archives, with design, fabric and production by Uniqlo.

The rest of the story will appear in tomorrow's Star-Advertiser.

uniqlo:ioAmong the Uniqlo collaboration 'IOLANI Hawaiian Classics pieces will be men's steteco pants, cooling long underwear intended to wear under trousers or yukata for added comfort during humid summer months. Uniqlo is bringing them back, creating contrast when worn under shorts.

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…)

Governor's Fashion Awards honors Hawaii talent

November 1st, 2013


David “Pua” Rochlen of Surf Line Hawaii/Jams World was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the reinstated Governors Fashion Awards ceremony that took place Oct. 30 at The MODERN Honolulu. Longtime fashion veteran Dale Hope, in a vintage 1965 Sandwich Isles tapa-print jacket presented the award with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.Nadine Kam photos

It was one of the best-dressed events of the year as the Hawaii's fashion industry gathered to honor their own during the reinstated Governor's Fashion Awards ceremony that took place Oct. 30 at The MODERN Honolulu, the dazzling finale to the inaugural Hawai'i Fashion Month.

Before announcing the award winners, Gov. Abercrombie, self-conscious about his age, chuckled as he spoke of having known Surf Line Hawaii founder David Rochlen, and Hilo Hattie inspiration Clarissa "Clara" "Hilo Hattie" Haili.

While it's easy for many of us have grown up with a certain amount of entitlement to bellyache about how hard it is to get ahead these days, he reminded the audience that we can look at behemoths like Hilo Hattie and Surf Line/Jams World today and imagine they were fully formed from the beginning, but he said that was not the case, and in reference to Rochlen, said he had a strong belief in the industry and the confidence to make things happen back in the 1960s when no one was listening.

For the governor, it was an eye-opening experience to watch how a few key people in the business and fashion communities could come together to make a big difference in a few years, such as launching Aloha Fridays to boost sales of aloha wear.


From left, Hilo Hattie's Terri Funakoshi, CEO/President Don Kang and Felix Calvo. The company was named Major Retailer of the Year, and Kang also picked up the award for Outstanding Professional of the Year for his part in rescuing the company following Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Otherwise, the company would likely not have survived to see its 50th anniversary this year.

In their remarks, Hawaii Fashion Incubator co-founders Toby Portner and Melissa White, co-chairs of Hawai'i Fashion Month along with Sen. Will Espero, said it is still their aim to see where the needs and goals of the fashion community intersect, and to bring competitors together to work for the common good of the entire industry.

Industry veteran Dale Hope reiterated that point in his tribute to 'Iolani Sportswear, saying how he was afraid to approach company founder Keiji Kawakami for help, but that it was common in the early days of the industry for competitors to help each other out in times of need, when machines broke or if they needed a loan to get by, and he later learned that Keiji felt fortunate for having been helped by Watumull's.

In accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, David "Pua" Rochlen of Surf Line Hawaii/Jams World said that when he found out about it, he didn't know why he won and thought he was too young to receive it. He humbly acknowledged that he was once told of running the company started by his father, "You did one thing right, you didn't screw it up."

He reminded all that the Hawaii fashion industry is about more than clothing, but offers the opportunity for all of us to connect with a lifestyle, culture, food, and all the things that create a feeling others can't find at home or anywhere else in the world.

He also announced that he is starting a petition to encourage the state to acquire the Nike building in Waikiki to showcase made in Hawaii products to the visitor market year 'round.

Here are the winners of the Governor’s Fashion Awards, announced Wednesday night at The Modern Honolulu at the close of the inaugural Hawai‘i Fashion Month:

>> Major Retailer of the Year: Don Kang, Hilo Hattie
>> Boutique Retailer of the Year: Deborah Mascia, Mu‘umu‘u Heaven
>> Emerging Designer of the Year: Cora Spearman, Coradorables
>> Established Designer of the Year: Rona Bennett and Lan Chung, Fighting Eel
>> Designer, Contemporary: Ari South, Andy South
>> Designer, Aloha: Jamie Makasobe, Ane Bakutis and Hina Kneubuhl, Kealopiko
>> Designer, Couture/Formal: Anne Namba, Anne Namba Designs
>> Designer, Jewelry: Jason Dow, Jason Dow Inc.
>> Photographer: Harold Julian, Harold Julian Photography
>> Wardrobe Stylist: Amos Kotomori, Amos Kotomori Ltd.
>> Beauty Professional: Paul Brown, Paul Brown Salons
>> Outstanding Professional: Don Kang, Hilo Hattie
>> Lifetime Achievement: David “Pua” Rochlen, Jams World

Congratulations to all, the finalists, and all those who put in the work day after day to make Hawaii a more beautiful place to live.


Pua Rochlen with wife Heather and keiki Nacho, David III and Pumehana, surrounded by Surf Line/Jams World 20-year employees. He bought three tables for his loyal 20-year workers.


Carla and Lloyd Kawakami of 'Iolani Sportswear were honored as the company marked its 60th anniversary this year. The family recently lost matriarch Edith Kawakami, but Carla said if she were here, she would remind them that any honors are  not about us as the owners, but about the people who make it happen and the people of Honolulu. (more…)

Disco days revisited at 'Black Tie & Blue Jeans'

July 24th, 2013


Stanley Okada photo
Finalists in the best-dressed segment of the American Heart Association's 16th annual "Black Tie & Blue Jeans," the Disco edition. Richard Kessler, back, was the male winner for his patchwork and camel-color ensemble. Keely Burns, in the gold lamé jumpsuit was the female winner.

If you walked into The Pacific Club on July 20, you might have thought you'd stepped into a time machine, with The American Heart Association hosting its 16th annual "Black Tie & Blue Jeans" event, this time with a 1970s disco theme.

It was  "Saturday Night Fever" redux as dozens of men attempted to channel their best John Travolta Tony Manero dance-floor pose, while women slinked about in lamé and jumpsuits, and huge afros paid homage to Black Power icon Angela Davis and musicians and actors like Sly and the Family Stone, Pam Grier and Billy Preston.

No doubt the retro styles are fun and humorous to look at now, but I just wondered how society evolved at the time to have such collective bad taste. As bad as it was, I thought the '80s marked the worst period for fashion ever and I'm happy with the minimalist mindset that swept all that away beginning in the 1990s.

BTBJ included dinner, live auction and popular silent auction of merchandise ranging from jewelry to spa services to dining certificates and several wines.

It all built up to an evening on the disco floor or whiling the hours til midnight at BTBJ's casino complete with roulette, craps and 21 tables.

Meanwhile, AHA's message wasn't lost as they reminded guests of "Two Steps to Saying Alive," the first by calling 911, and the second by learning to apply CPR by pushing your hands hard and fast in the center of the stricken person's chest, to the beat of The Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive," which they say at 100 beats per minute is the ideal rate for performing CPR! Who knew?

Check out a demo here:


Nadine Kam photos
Danny Kim pulls his best John Travolta "Saturday Night Fever" move, with Marni Sakumoto, on the disco floor.


From left are Lori Suan, executive director of the American Heart Association Hawaii  division; Christian Adams,  Carlsmith Ball LLP partner and Black Tie  &  Blue Jeans chairman; and Lesli Yano, director, special events for the

American Heart Association photo

Purchase of a $10 disco band granted entry to Disco Dance Central and karaoke areas. There were also disco ball necklaces for $5.


From left, Lacy Matsumoto, Kecia Littman, Juri Ko and Todd Tripp.


Joe Bock on the dance floor with Keely Burns.


From left, Forest Frizzell, Chris Abbott, Meli James and Chenoa Farnsworth.


While many danced, others ended the night in the casino, a popular return engagement, with roulette, craps and blackjack tables.




It was a night of costume elsewhere as I headed to Kakaako after "Black Tie/Blue Jeans to help Grant "Chuggy Bear" Shindo mark his birthday, at Whole Ox Deli. While there, we encountered pirates who'd come ashore after a sail with the Treasure Seeker. Clockwise from left, Russell Moore, Chris Cano, Jon Albiola, Karla Moore and Erika Alexander. For Hawaii Pirate Ship Adventures tour information, call 593-AHOY (2469).

Bishop Museum celebrates Shaheen legacy

November 20th, 2012

shaheen auctionNadine Kam photos
Among the vintage Shaheen garments offered up during the silent auction at "An Evening of HI Fashion" Nov. 17 at Bishop Museum, were, from left, a metallic dress, a ruffled dress, a pake mu'u, an empire waist mu'u, and Asian motif pant suit.

The Bishop Museum hosted an evening of fashion and entertainment during "An Evening of HI Fashion," Nov. 17, celebrating the exhibition "HI Fashion: The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen," which opened Nov. 10 and continues through Feb. 4, 2013.

In giving the introduction to the event, the museum's CEO Blair Collis said that although the museum is not known for fashion exhibitions or fashion shows, fashion is another way people manifest their cultural identity.

Guests were invited to "dress vintage," and that they did, with many a Shaheen garment in the audience or prints paying tribute to the master.

In connecting past and present, the show opened with the Alfred Shaheen Collection by Reyn Spooner, contemporary designs by menswear company Reyn Spooner, whose use of Shaheen prints began in the 1960s.

Non-flash video link

Non-flash video link

Non-flash video link

shaheen redShaheen's granddaughter Brianna Rose walked the runway in one of his bombshell dresses.

beverly noaBeverly Noa, hired to model exclusively for Shaheen in the 1950s, attended the event, performing a hula to "Kawohikukapulani," before the start of the fashion shows.

A collection of vintage aloha shirts and dresses loaned by Shaheen's daughter, Camille Shaheen-Tunberg, was displayed next, along with a handful of vintage Shaheen garments that were up for silent auction that evening, starting as low as $75. It's too bad I was yammering away with friends, so missed out on some steals!

Closing the show was a collection of beautiful, fluid Shaheen-inspired print garments by Andy South.

I wasn't in town for the exhibition opening, but made up for lost time by checking out the gallery, where an interactive screen allows you to "like" some of your favorite designs. There are so many to choose from, depending on whether you're a fan of the 1950s bombshell or '60s mods or '70s disco groove.

The quantity and diversity of designs would easily fill The Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute. Maybe someday its Hawaii-born curator-in-charge Harold Koda would see fit to honor this local legend whose designs once circled the globe.

shaheen jewelryAccompanying each auctioned outfit were matching accessories created by a museum staffer from period materials, such as the carved orange coral hair ornament and earrings paired with the pant suit.

shaheen2Keali i McClellan with Ilana Davis, wearing a vintage Alfred Shaheen bombshell dress that she bought 12 years ago.

shaheen janJoy of Sake's Jan Nagano in her vintage Shaheen.

shaheen andyAndy South also presented a fashion show and wears one of her designs. She's with Margaret Murchie, a former Shaheen model.

shaheen krisKris Tanahara in a vintage mu'u, with Floyd Takeuchi in an Alfred Shaheen Collection by Reyn Spooner shirt, which blends vintage Shaheen prints and contemporary styling.

shaheen reynThe collaboration between Shaheen and Reyn Spooner began in the 1960s. Inside the exhibition gift shop, museum-goers can shop the collection.

shaheen fabricAlso in the gift shop are household wares such as pot holders and table runners utilizing reproductions of Shaheen textiles, as well as yardages, above and below, allowing those who sew the opportunity to create their own vintage-inspired looks.

shaheen fabric2

Recent Posts

Recent Comments