Ballroom with a Twist heats up Honolulu


It’s not your grandmother’s ballroom dance, not that anything’s wrong with that. Dance geeks like me, or shall I say, dance enthusiasts, if you didn’t get a chance to check out “Ballroom with a Twist” Tuesday night at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, you’ll have one last chance this evening.

There was a fresh blend of ballroom, hip hop, singing and just the right amount of steamy numbers that kept the audience engaged and towards the end of the show, literally on their feet. “Dancing With the Stars” celebs Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Karina Smirnoff and Tony Dovolani were joined by fellow dancer Sharna Burgess. The audience applauded her for learning the routines and filling in for the uber popular Cheryl Burke.

“American Idol” popular contestants Von Smith and Haley Scarnato nailed it with their rendition of “The Prayer” and impressed throughout the night adding a live musical element to some of the dance routines.

One of the evening’s highlights was the intense paso doble performed by Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Sharna Burgess. But when Maks and Karina hit the floor, with no music, letting the excitement of the audience build, that was the moment of the evening. The crescendo was reached when Maks flung off his shirt, and seriously, women screamed like “Magic Mike” was in the building.

But I am a true “So You Think You Can Dance” purist and Legacy (Jonathan “Legacy” Perez) was it for me.IMG_0597
He’s a b-boy with a heart and his skills transcend street-style dancing. I was also happy to see Jenna Johnson from “So You Think You Can Dance” rocking her ballroom moves.

Oh, spoiler alert, they let a bunch of people join the lead dancers on stage during the last performance, definitely more than I think they expected. Most were hugging on Maks. For that alone, you might want to trek on to the Blaisdell Concert Hall tonight.

Ballroom with a Twist

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-Photos by Lyle Amine-

Ballroom with a Twist
Blaisdell Concert Hall
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $35-$95
Go to the box office or

Project Runway recap – Zamora is Mr. Technique

Slide1During this past Thursday’s Project Runway episode 4, the enigmatic Tim Gunn gave Hawaii’s Kini Zamora two major compliments; saying, “You should change your name to speedy,” and calling him “Mr. Technique.”

This week’s challenge was about transforming a vintage men’s suit a into a high-fashion women’s look. Since Sandhya won last week’s challenge, not only was she able to have the first pick of the suits, but she was tasked to choose a suit for each designer. Amanda, Sean and Hernan were assigned the worst suits.

Kini was happy to be assigned the pin-stripped suit and, my goodness, he transformed that number into an epic, fashion-forward Wall Street-meets-warrior princess creation with feminine and masculine elements. It was great to finally see him on the runway describing the look to the judges and hearing their reactions. They gushed about Amanda’s boho chic with fringe look with equal enthusiasm. Although her look moved well, I really thought the judges were going to give the win to Kini, but in the end, it went to Amanda. Message boards were all a-buzz that Kini got robbed.

We had a chance to dish with Kini about this episode:

First of all, what was your reaction to Tim Gunn’s compliments about your work?

I was so excited, it is a huge compliment coming from Tim Gunn, it’s everything.

The judges loved your men’s suit challenge design. Tell us a little more about your process. How many hours did you have left before the design deadline? Have you always been so fast at sewing?

Well just looking at the suit I got inspired by the structure and the masculinity of the coat. It helped me with my design process. I designed something that was powerful, masculine, yet feminine, with the cut-outs and the design line of the bodice.

I had a couple hours to spare. I really don’t know why I sew so quickly. I guess the amount of years of sewing behind my belt helps. I just think of the whole process from the full construction to finishings. Maybe watching the show will reveal how I do it.

In this episode, after seeing Amanda’s design in the workroom, you mentioned that she was going to be your competition. She made a bad suit work, did you think Hernan’s was the losing design with his “bad suit”?

Amanda won, barely edging out Kini for best look.

Amanda won, barely edging out Kini for best look.

Yes, Amanda’s design was amazing in person the dramatics, the flow and that fringe was so fun! She truly took a suit and made it into something else. Hernan’s look yeah, he just forced fabrics to do something it shouldn’t. And it showed every flaw in the look. It was sad to see him go because I know he’s an awesome designer.


But in this competition you are only as good as your last design.

Hernan was sent home for this design.

Hernan was sent home for this design.







Watch the next episode, two designers will be out!

Barrio Vintage grand re-opening

IMG_1727Looming hurricanes could not deter dozens of loyal Barrio Vintage fans from celebrating the boutique’s grand re-opening this past Friday.

Chinatown’s only curated vintage clothing boutique has been in business for almost three years and recently relocated to the historic Mark’s Building, having outgrown its old digs across the street. “The new store is much more spacious, inviting and bright,” owner Bradley Rhea said.

My spidey sense for vintage treasurers was on high alert; I found a Louis Vuitton monogram handbag with the white and orange features; a 1960s acid floral body-con dresses; classic tiki Rockabilly aloha shirts; and a disco-style baby blue dress with silver embellishments.

Barrio Vintage has an arsenal of vintage treasures curated from Rhea’s epic buying trips and exclusive resources here in Hawaii. The reputation of this little shop has grown – I’m glad the prices haven’t.

Here are scenes from the grand re-opening event:

Barrio Vintage grand re-opening party

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Barrio Vintage
1161 Nuuanu Ave.

‘Project Runway’ recap – Back to the future

back in the day - KiniBack to future should have been the name of Thursday’s challenge. In celebration of Marie Claire’s 20th anniversary, the designers were tasked to create a look inspired by their life in 1994, to be worn 2034.

Hawaii’s Kini Zamora was psyched that they could finally go to Mood and choose their own fabric. When they returned to the workroom, there was a bulletin board of photos of each designer from 1994 to boost their inspiration, Zamora was on trend even back then.

We had a chance to chat with Zamora about episode three and get more insider scoops:


Slide5Could you tell me more about your ensemble? Your pants were well executed, a feat that is often a weakness for “Project Runway” contestants.

I was inspired by clothing that could be worn in the past, present and future. More timeless pieces and perfecting that. In my design aesthetic I make clothes that I want see people wearing all the time. For this challenge I designed a grey and black houndstooth cape, turtle neck long sleeve with cut-out top and black denim skinnys.

Tell me a little about your model. Was she hand-picked by you or assigned? She showcases your designs very well and seems to vibe with each look to date, and she looks local.

Christabel is from Singapore and was picked to be my model, but I love her. She has this unique look and she can walk for the gawdss she has the walk that makes your heart stop. She totally plays the part of who I design for. A girl that has confidence poise and sexiness.

Kristine's design with a fashion forward jacket and what leather panel dress ensemble.

Kristine’s design with a fashion-forward jacket and what leather panel dress ensemble.

What design do you think was the strongest and weakest of the episode?

I feel the strongest was Kristine. It was the future, but so now as well! The cut and the colors she used was on point! The weakest I believe was Sandhya; it wasn’t a “futuristic challenge,” it was fashion for 2034. I think it’s not wearable.


The winning look seemed more futuristic instead of fashion forward.

The winning look seemed more futuristic instead of fashion forward.

I agree with Kini, Kristine’s was the strongest, but Sandhya got the win. I don’t know what the judges were thinking with that jet-pack dress that tried too hard.


Lucky for Amanda she had immunity.

Lucky for Amanda she had immunity.

But at least Sandhya tried, Amanda on the other hand just coasted through this challenge and the judges commented that she’s lucky she had immunity from last week’s win or she would have been sent a-packing.



Angela was sent home for being unable to execute her idea of reinventing the women's power suit.

Angela was sent home for being unable to execute her idea of reinventing the women’s power suit.

Instead, Angela went home, and it was time, even Tim Gunn seemed to think so.




‘Project Runway’ recap: Zamora survives the group challenge

Tim in theatreFun, fun, fun! On Thursday “Project Runway” host Tim Gunn presented the “unconventional challenge,” with designers incorporating the movie-watching experience into fashion designs. They could take only what they could carry, including film reels, concession treats, wire, scripts, set materials, props and marquee letters. Adding to the drama, this was a team challenge. The winning design would come from the winning team, and the designer to go home would come from the losing team.

I had a chance to dish with Hawaii contestant Kini Zamora about episode 2 and his experiences thus far:

 Kini, your purple team designs were the most fun and cohesive of the bunch. I liked the colorful elements, almost an aqua marine mermaid 80s theme going on. What kind of materials did you use, especially on the bodice? And again, it seemed like you had time to spare.

Left to right: Team purple designs from Mitchell, Kini and Char.

Left to right: Team purple designs from Mitchell, Kini and Char.

This was such a fun challenge, and I really liked working with [fellow contestants] Mitchell and Char. I used popcorn bags, and rope for the bodice. We noticed that when you slice up CDs, they becomes more iridescent. Although Mitchell’s designs had more of the CDs, Char and I incorporated pieces of it into our designs as well. And yes, I did have time to spare. I like that. I was able to help out the team, we helped each other.

winnerDo you stand by your statement about Amanda’s design?

Yes, I still can’t figure out what the judges were thinking when they chose Amanda’s as the winning design. A lot of us thought [Team Silver] designs were very DIY.


bestOkay, speaking of the winning design, you seemed to love Sean’s look. The judges were pretty clear that Fade or Sean would have been the winner had it not been for Angela’s weak design.

Sean’s design was even better in person. The texture looked like futuristic fur. It did not look like it was made of tons of straws, it moved so well.

What was it like working with the designers? What’s the vibe like?

I have two caps that I wear, my designer cap and my friend cap. For the most part, we all have respect for one another and realize that we are on the same journey and that’s the mindset.

Were you relieved when you were called safe and moving on to next week’s challenge, or thinking, we should have been at the top? A lot of bloggers out there think your team got robbed.

It was 50/50. We were happy to be safe, but after seeing the other collections on the runway, we were thinking as we walked off the runway, “we should have been on top.

Ultimately, the red team was the losing team. Sandhya had immunity and she should have stuck to her original design with the cheerleader skirt and the marquee letters. Listening to Hernan’s direction was the team’s downfall. Carrie had serious attitude with the judges. Guest judge Garance Doré called Carrie on her immaturity and she got sent home!

The two weakest designs of the episode - left to right: Carrie's and Alexander's designs. Photos provided by Lifetime.

The two weakest designs of the episode – left to right: Carrie’s and Alexander’s designs. Photos provided by Lifetime.