Archive for May, 2008

New school ‘esthetic’

May 30th, 2008

rose and malia

Photos by Nadine Kam
Makana Esthetics Director of Education Malia Sanchez, left, with former classmate, the Star-Bulletin’s Rose Bernardo.

With the growing interest in the spa industry and physical well-being, Malia Sanchez and Christine Hall saw a need for advanced esthetician training for those aspiring to work in high-end resort spas or medi spas, and created the Makana Esthetics Wellness Academy, an accredited Esthetics Certified training program that celebrated its grand opening May 29.


Melissa Samiano was one of the beneficiaries of her sister Melanie’s hand and arm massages.

Those who attended were able to walk through the treatment rooms, enjoy hand massages, sample the lines of Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care and June Jacobs Spa Collection carried by the school, as well as enjoy food, including shrimp scampi and spicy ahi on tortilla chips, catered by Pearl Kai’s newest restaurant Off the Wall.

The school’s Core Esthetics Course consists of an intensive 15-week curriculum designed to help students pass the Hawaii State Licensing examination. Summer courses open for registration start up July 14 and Aug. 25. Call 591-6090 or visit for more information.


Model Karen Vance showed up with her fringy dog-shaped purse from Anteprima Plastiq.

Where there are students, there’s a need for guinea pigs, and what that means for you is the availability of facials running $35 to $45, with add-ons such as a single microdermabrasion treatment for $25, or single glycolic treatment for $25.

They’re at 1168 Waimanu St., across from the Ko’olani condominium. Park on the street.



Among restaurateurs in attendance were Ed Kenney (Town, Downtown), Donato Loperfido (Pasta & Basta, Elua), Philippe Padovani (Elua) and Henry Adaniya (Hank’s Haute Dogs). The room was so packed it was hard to back up far enough to get a photo, and the only reason this one was possible is because these party guys were among the last to leave.

After dropping in on the Makana Esthetics Wellness Academy, it was off to Waikiki for Nobu Waikiki’s one-year anniversary. I couldn’t believe a year has flown by, but so it has.

In a small room in the back of the restaurant, the fashionable — including a bunch of magazine eds., party girls and a contingent from Louis Vuitton — mixed with the foodies. It was near impossible to back up for a photograph, and among the restaurateurs able to take a break from their own kitchens to congratulate Nobu were Henry Adaniya, Kevin Aoki (Doraku Sushi), Ed Kenney, Donato Loperfido, George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro), Philippe Padovani, and Ana and Tushar Dubey of Hokulani Bake Shop.

Wine and lychee martinis flowed, and waiters made the rounds with trays of lamb chops, Nobu’s famous black cod, temaki rolls, seabass and jalapeno-topped hamachi, one of my favorite dishes.

The party didn’t end after it was over, as many just took their celebration to the sushi counter or to the bar.

Congratulations, Nobu!

Stories offer hope for hard times

May 29th, 2008

bon ton

Photo courtesy Gayle Ozawa

Hope you have a chance to read my story in today’s paper about the Bon Ton, one of the first department stores in Honolulu, which opened in the early 1930s and closed during World War II.

The story grew out of one of my blog entries, when Gayle Ozawa, reading about Jane Lyman’s birthday, contacted me regarding a gathering of the Bon Ton Girls, including Jane.

Their story showed how, even at the worst of times — the Great Depression — people made the most of what they had and still had an appreciation for fashion.

Considering that in the early ’30s, a Bon Ton salesgirl made $1 an hour, and a dress at Bon Ton sold for $1.99, she’d have to work two days for that dress. Today, a person making $10 an hour working two days would have $160 less taxes for a dress.

It’s heartening for me, because when you consider all the things people have to worry about these days, writing about fashion would appear to a lot of people to be one of the more frivolous subjects.

theatre de la mode

Le Palais-Royal, one of the stage sets that form the exhibition “Théâtre de la Mode,” which was shown at the University of Hawaii Art Gallery in Fall 2001. The collection comprised 27-inch mannequins dressed in the 1946 spring/summer collections from 54 of Paris’s haute couture houses.

To that I would say, here’s a link to a story I wrote in 2001, that shows the lengths post-World War II Paris designers went through to demonstrate that the war’s devastation of Europe could not dampen their creative spirit or the will of a society to survive. It says everything I want to say at this point in time. The intent of the exhibition means more to me today than I realized at the time, now that we are feeling some of that era’s fear and uncertainty, many of us for the first time.