Hawaii Fashion Month 2014 launch

Photos by Travis Okimoto

Photos by Travis Okimoto

Coming off a successful first year, Hawaii Fashion Month co-founders Melissa White and Toby Portner recently announced at a press conference the month-long activities that aim to cultivate, elevate, celebrate and promote Hawaii’s fashion industry. Fashion heavy hitters, including “Project Runway” Season 13 phenom Kini Zamora, converged at The Modern Honolulu along with Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who proclaimed November as Hawaii Fashion Month.

HFM press conferencePortner and White made it clear that last year’s month-long event was a success because it was community driven. This year, the focus will be on elevating Hawaii fashion and taking the industry to the next level. One way is through mentoring workshops that provide hands-on professional development opportunities. Hawaii Fashion Exchange (HFX) mentors are fashion professionals with international experience and ties to Hawaii. Their range of talent is pretty vast. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect: Mark Arbeit, a fashion photographer who’s shot for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar; Louda Larrain is a couture, art and textile designer; Bliss Lau, a jewelry designer teaches at Parson’s School of Design; and Roman Young specializes in model talent and scouting from Wilhelmina New York.

HNL Press Conference - Travis OkimotoThere is an eclectic range of event offerings this year, as part of Hawaii Fashion Month. They include:

Nov. 1: Fashion ForWARD – the opening event takes place at the IBM Building and coincides with the opening of the HFX photography exhibition at Ward Village throughout the month of November.

Nov. 1: Grey Goose Social Club at The Modern Honolulu.

Nov. 2: “Your Dapper” menswear launch party at Aston Waikiki Beach Coconut Club.

Nov. 2, 3:  Roque Cozzette bridal and beauty make-up techniques at the Hifi Coop.

Nov. 6-9:  Honolulu Fashion Week presented by Honolulu Magazine will assemble a creative team of industry experts to produce the event week to include industry experts such as fashion show producer (and HFX mentor) Lynne O’Neill and wardrobe stylist Don Sumada.

Nov. 6: Honolulu Fashion Week VIP Preview Night – “Live Aloha” runway show.

Nov. 7: Honolulu Fashion Week Neiman Marcus runway show.

Nov. 8: Honolulu Fashion Week “Active” runway show, and Hawaiian Airlines presents Maoli Arts Month Wearable Art Show

Nov. 9: Hifi Connects at Honolulu Fashion Week – Industry panel and networking presentations. Honolulu Fashion Week closing events.

Nov. 15: Kailua designer showcase with Hannalei Taylor at Global Village.

Nov. 20: Indie Visual List presents Iconica – Fiber Hawaii Meets Fashion at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.

Nov. 22: Waikiki Roots and Royal Style fashion show and reception at The Grove at Royal Hawaiian Center. The event will honor the achievements of Hawaii fashion designers, stylists and business owners at Royal Hawaiian Center. Ensembles styled from locally owned businesses from the center. The event will begin with a special kick-off, followed by a runway show and VIP reception.

Nov. 22: Our Night Out – Kona at the Brewery Block at Kona Brewing Company in Kailua, Kona.

Nov. 28: Fishcake presents Fishmarket - features a designer marketplace and fashion show curated and produced by Reise Kochi at the Fishcake gallery.

Nov. 29: Art+Flea present Outfit at Ward Village – this event features local designers and artisans, perfectly times for Small Business Saturday. Follow Frolic Hawaii and I’ll take you behind-the-scenes getting you the latest scoops about Hawaii Fashion Month.

‘Hawaii Five-0′ premiere at Sunset on the Beach

B2A1175Thousands turned out for Saturday’s Season 5 premiere of “Hawaii Five-O” at Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki, with the full cast in attendance.

As in years past, the stars of the hit CBS series made their way down a red carpet, including Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Jorge Garcia, Scott Caan, Alex O’Loughlin, Mark Dacascos, Teilor Grubbs, Ian Anthony Dale and Taylor Wily. Before the screening of this season’s premiere episode, the actors, along with executive producers Roberto Orci and Peter Lenkov, thanked fans for their continued support. After the screening, the band Bush, led by Gavin Rossdale, took the stage.

In terms of fashion, we spotted everything from Versace (Park) to Christian Dior (O’Loughlin) to Missing Polynesia (Wily). I even got the skinny from the sometimes elusive Caan, who told me he was wearing a Gitman vintage shirt.

_B2A0752A brief recap of the 100th episode: It began with an awkward therapy session and a flashback. The bro-mance is not over, but McGarrett and Danno are in partner’s therapy, working out a few issues. McGarrett even explains why he’s always the one to drive. Now on to the action… I’m so glad Jerry Ortega, played by Garcia, is back and he’s taking on a drone, actually a fully loaded drone that’s threatening the lives of Honolulu residents. I won’t give away too much, but it’s an adrenaline-filled episode that’s fun to watch. Mini spoiler: Kono, played by Park, is definitely getting closer to Dale’s character, Adam Noshimuri. Something big is coming up in that relationship; I can feel it.

Here’s a look at the overall event, and some red carpet fashion:

"Hawaii Five-0" Season 5 premiere

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Photo by Travis Okimoto

Red carpet looks

"Hawaii Five-0" red carpet fashion

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Grace Park wearing an emerald green epic Versace.


‘Project Runway’ recap – Zamora wins rainway challenge

Kini and FrankKini Zamora fans gathered at the Pau Hana Lounge on Thursday night to watch “Project Runway” episode 8, the rainway challenge. We all knew it would be an epic runway show — we’re talking rain on the runway; but no one could have imagined the level of avant garde excellence we’d see from Zamora.

Presentation1The judges loved Zamora’s design, but they were split between his design and Sean’s transformative design. When activated by water, Sean’s creation morphed into a genius look (thanks to Rit powder dye). Ultimately, Sean and Kini were deemed co-winners and the fans watching the episode with Zamora went wild, sharing high-fives and cheers.

Fade was sent home, but the consensus is that Korina would have been packing her bags, if she wasn’t granted immunity from last week’s win.

We had a chance to sit with Zamora at the viewing party and chat:

Kini designHow does it feel to be back from Fashion Week in New York City and here watching this episode with family and friends?

You know, Hawaii has been so supportive, and I hear so many people tell me that they have viewing parties, even people that I don’t know. So I knew that I wanted to do something when I came back to say, “thank you for your support,” and that’s why I wanted to host a viewing party and have it open to the public. It feels surreal to be here with my family, friends, colleagues and fans.

Kini's reactionYour “rainway” design is next-level caliber, what was your inspiration and when did you know, “I got this?”

I was inspired by the parameters of the challenge, and knew I would be doing an avant-garde reverse umbrella design, but it was more than that. I knew I really had to let go, and to go beyond, and take it to the next level to prove that I deserved that win. The judges expect a lot from me and I knew it had to be epic. I guess you could say I knew it was going to be a good result when I heard the judges’ reactions.

I know you can’t say much about the rest of the season, but we did see images of you showing in New York this past week…

As you know, “Project Runway” does have contestants showing at fashion week who are not in the top three, it serves as a decoy, but at the same time, those who get to show their collection are so blessed to get that experience. I can tell you and your readers, keep watching. It gets very interesting, there will be so much creativity and it will be exciting.



‘Project Runway’ viewing party announcement and recap

Kini_flyerBefore I get into my recap, big announcement… you’ll have a chance to watch the next episode of “Project Runway” with Kini Zamora himself on Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Pau Hana Lounge at 746 Kohou St., from 5-9 p.m. He just got back from New York Fashion Week.

No spoiler here, all contestants go back to watch the final three do their thing at the end of the season. But can I just say, I think he was one of them.

Alexander and SamBack to the recap; last Thursday’s “Project Runway” episode 7 designs were less than stellar, thank goodness the Chopard jewelry collections added spice and glamor to the runway looks.

The designers’ challenge was to create a glamorous evening-wear look that would be inspired by, and worn with, the Chopard pieces chosen by the designers.

After the challenge overview, it was clear that mentor, Tim Gunn was almost distraught. Char’s episode 6 departure weighed heavily on him, and he decided to use his one and only “Tim Gunn save” to bring her back. That was the highlight of the episode; to see the other designers happy to have her back. So, perhaps now Char will be a bit friendlier to Amanda, being that they were both brought back and given a second chance.

Korina describes her winning look.

Korina describes her winning look.

To recap, Korina won, and she deserved it. The Southwestern vibe of the design and homage to her Native American roots paid off.

Samantha went home for her way too safe gown, but I think Alexander should have been eliminated. Gunn was right; the grey taffeta looked like a lava field. It seriously blocked the Chopard necklace.

Not sure how Kini's look ended up on the bottom three, while Amanda's look was in the top three...

Not sure how Kini’s look ended up on the bottom three, while Amanda’s look was in the top three…

Kini’s design received mixed reviews. Judges Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum liked it, but he was nailed for the uncharacteristic, less-than-perfect construction of the bustier. Clearly, Zac Posen and the rest of the judges hold him to a higher standard.

Perhaps that’s why the judges placed him at the bottom three.


Eden in Love – Divas Doing Good

BookiesI’m all about a good cause, and when fashion’s in the mix, it’s even sweeter. Speaking of sweet, this weekend, Eden in Love and The Wedding Cafe hosted a Bookies + Cookies event serving ice cold milk and freshly baked cookies at their new location at Ward Warehouse. Shoppers donated children’s book to Friends of the Library, a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports resources for Hawaii public libraries.

In celebration of their new store opening I wanted to share a few of my favorite things about Eden in Love and The Wedding Cafe:

* The Wedding Cafe – co-owner/partner Tanna Dang is seriously a genius. The concept of being a2014-09-03 18.15.07 go-to wedding resource for couples planning to take the plunge has been a business model that’s endured and grown in popularity.

* Eden in Love – the fashions are consistently on point, not too trendy, easy flowing and, this season, and vibrant and geometric.

* Divas Doing Good – Love this program! They partner with various non-profit organizations to do good in the community. They support local organizations and they’ve expanded their reach to go international; supporting efforts to adopt a village in Sri Lanka.

groupThey raise funds by partnering with local designers who donate a portion of their proceeds to the non-profit of their choice.

Stop by their Gifts that Give section in the store to learn more.