Archive for January, 2010

Doug Jago turns clothing into canvases

January 27th, 2010

Nadine Kam video
Link for iPhone

Douglas Jago brought his flamboyant personal style to the stage at Level 4 Jan. 23 when he showed what he’s been working on when he’s not at his job as visual presentation manager for Neiman Marcus, Honolulu. By day, you’ll usually find him in stylish, though conservative by his standards, suits. But even when at work, he’ll sneak in hints of lace or other details under a jacket.

It’s always fun to spot Doug when he’s not working and dressing to entertain himself. He’s such an inspiration for anyone who feels closeted by Hawaii’s conservative clothing culture. At one point I asked him how he came by his sense of style, and apparently, he hails from a family of dapper gentlemen. He later sent to my home a photo of his father or grandfather, I can’t remember which now, to back up his story.

For his show, he created a menswear-inspired fashion show of handpainted jackets, vests and separates rooted in his recent paintings. The pieces were drawn from his closet, so considering that most of the models were women, it should be obvious his style is quite eclectic!

There’s been many a time I’ve been at NM’s women’s fashion shows, and talking to Doug afterward, he’d say something like, “I’m getting those pants,” of a St. John palazzo, or if I run into him randomly, he might say of what I’m wearing, “I love that shirt; I want that shirt!” Then I look down to remember what I wore that day and find I’ve put on my black H&M shirt with matte sequins in a tiger-stripe pattern.

I’d heard about Doug’s new project while at a Prada customer appreciation event just before Christmas. Alvin Chung was there with his entourage and told me that Doug was painting some denim for him. That was exciting news so I made a mental note to check in with Doug after the holidays. Next thing I know, he had a whole show put together! After the show, he said that although he’d been working on his paintings for a year, it was the clothing that hit and the whole show came together in just a month.

Of course his NM colleagues showed up in support, including boss Al Tomonori, who was all smiles during the course of the exuberant showcase, but admitted with a start time of 11 p.m., it was way past his bedtime.


Doug with Paulette Fukumoto, owner of TK Image and Modeling, who helped stage the show.

Here are a few video stills from the runway:



Detail of plastic jewelry and painted vest on Nicole Fox.


The colorful ensemble worn by Giselle Pineda echoes Doug’s painting on the easel.


A colorful men’s look, though all the garments culled from Doug’s closet could be considered menswear.

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Acid Dolls celebrates grand opening

January 25th, 2010

acid cindy
Nadine Kam photos
Acid Dolls creator and designer Cindy King hosted a grand opening party Friday night inside and outside her first Acid Dolls boutique, spilling over to neighboring Doraku Sushi later in the evening. Her models filled the boutique windows before and after a fashion show.

Every year the fashion programs at the University of Hawaii and Honolulu Community College mints about 20 to 30 hopeful young designers and countless others interested in retail pursuits. How many of their names do I remember over time? I could count them on a hand-and-a-half.

Think of it like “Project Runway.” Over six or so seasons, how many names are at top of mind? Off the top of my head: Daniel, Santino, Jeffrey, Christian. If I tried harder, I’d come up with Jay, Chloe, Uli, and Leanne, whose garments were adorable but whose name I couldn’t recall until I looked it up by remembering that she came from Portland, Ore.

I don’t remember all for their talent. Sometimes force of personality gets you top-of-mind status, which isn’t easy to achieve because young designers are not only vying with their classmates for a small piece of consumers’ memories. They’re taking on ALL designers.

While we’re being wowed by what Alber Elbaz, Alexander McQueen or Miuccia Prada are dreaming up next, well, the mind automatically makes room for new memories by deleting things less so.

All this is a way of putting things into perspective when I say that Cindy King is one of the students I not only remembered, but actively wondered about over the years because she had the talent, drive and work ethic to make a name for herself.

Fashion show video for iPhone.

Rather than pursuing her dream in bits and pieces over the years, however, she has bided her time until last fall, when the time was right to “unleash the cuteness” and offer a preview of her fully realized vision. What started as the launch of her Acid Dolls line of clothing and accessories caught the attention of Royal Hawaiian Center, which offered her a boutique spot on the third floor, near Doraku Sushi, to showcase her designs and her other artist-designer-beauty collaborations. It’s quite a moment for the designer, who now finds herself in the position of running a boutique full of untested merchandise.

But, the Acid Dolls concept — equal parts girly and sexy, kawaii and street — resonates here. During a grand opening celebration and fashion show Jan. 22, clothing was moving briskly, such that when I returned the next day, a dress and skirt I was eyeing were already gone! Oh well. I found an LBD — complete with pockets for stashing a camera and cell phone, a must these days — that I wore to Douglas Jago’s fashion show later that night!

acid dolls

From left, model sisters Justine and Erica Miguel, and Jessica Matthews, provide a living display of Acid Dolls apparel.

acid reunion

There was a mini reunion going on as Cindy’s classmates, from left, Cecilia Lee, Rachel Barnette and Crystal Pancipanci turned out to show their support. Cecilia’s Jewel Numkki collaboration line for Acid Dolls, was also featured in the fashion show. Lee now lives in California and after designing for Forever21 for a number of years, only recently began focusing on her own line.


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