Archive for April, 2009

Behind the masquerade

April 29th, 2009


Nadine Kam photos
Honolulu Community College fashion technology students presented examples of centerpieces for their May 3 fashion show, themed “Masquerade.”

All-around creative Amos Kotomori is the instructor for Honolulu Community College’s fashion show production course and called me up to sit in on one of the student sessions.

It’s just as well that I’m on this side of the biz, the editorial part, because I know the amount of work involved in conceiving, showing and producing a line, and as I watched the student presentations and took in the enormity of their plans, I just felt tired.

Each designer, with the help of a student producer, will be designing his/her own segment, from staging to lighting to makeup, hair and accessory details, with many sharing models. I would hate to be the person in charge of that lineup, making sure models are spaced so they can complete work with one designer before being redone head to toe for the next. Talk about stress.

The story and photos will be in the paper tomorrow, when, after two weeks of running fashion stories Fridays, I’m moving back to my usual Thursday home. Yes, we’re still trying to figure out what fits where in our new tabloid-size configuration, but hopefully this will be the last move for the fashion pages.

Thanks for your patience!


Storyboards showed some of the students’ inspirations for the event. Designers came in with their own hair, makeup and staging concepts.

The watch that got away

April 28th, 2009

red cross

Nadine Kam photos
From left, Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the American Red Cross, Hawaii state chapter, welcomed actress Nancy Kwan, Al Masini and Norbert Meisel to the organization’s annual luncheon fundraiser.

There was no fashion show this time around during the Red Cross annual luncheon fundraiser that took place Saturday afternoon at the Kahala Hotel & Resort, but red was the color of the day.

Guests who made the blood/red connection (I didn’t, DOH!) donned the color while bidding on hotel stays, wine, dinner parties, restaurant gift certificates, and more, while helping to contribute to Red Cross coffers.

Over a fabulous lunch of summery gazpacho and grilled salmon with ‘Nalo greens, Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the American Red Cross, Hawaii state chapter, reminded guests of the value of their contributions. The Red Cross is a non-government emergency-response organization that comes to the aid of disaster victims, helping to provide food, clothing, shelter, counseling and financial assistance.

I think most people would be surprised by the number of disasters that take place here almost daily, which makes fundraising important. Recent house fires come to mind, and those involve only a handful of people. I try not to think about all the bad things that can happen on an island, especially now that Superferry is not an evacuation option.


I bid on, but didn’t get this ring.

The fun and not-so-fun part of it was the silent auction. After being 0-6 at two events by now, I think I’m just really bad at it. I like online auctions much more because it’s impersonal. You can snipe and no one’s there to give you stink eye.

Red being the color of the day, I bid on the ruby cabochon ring above, appraised at $3,000 and I believe it was from Gump’s. (Yes, it’s a purple ruby.) It looked a little old-fashioned and stodgy sitting there, but Dale Young had a ring with the same stone and encouraged me to try it on. It fit and looked great, so I bid the minimum $400. But what I really wanted was the vintage aquamarine and diamond watch below. I placed the minimum $300 and figured odds were good that I’d get it. I didn’t think anyone else would fit it because the band was about 5-3/4 inches. It was made for me. It was … destiny.

Unfortunately, someone else did place a bid, and through much of lunch, she was just standing there guarding her bid. I was sitting next to a developer and businessman, so I asked him what I should do. Well, that was easy for him.

“Swoop in and take the pen,” he said.


The watch that got away.