Archive for July, 2010

Black tie, blue jeans and much more

July 25th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos
The American Heart Association’s Black Tie & Blue Jeans fundraiser, “Heart Rock,” gave party-goers a taste of Vegas, even though only play money was involved.

It felt like there were five parties going on at once during last night’s “Black Tie & Blue Jeans” event , “Heart Rock,” at Waialae Country Club, the 13th annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

It was nice in a way that guests could choose the venue that made them most comfortable, whether kicking back for dinner in the Waialae Room, enjoying the beachfront views from tables set up outside, hanging out in the casino tent or playing E.K. Fernandez games.

The event seems to grow bigger and better every year, with more than 160 items, trips, hotel stays, meals, etc., up for bid at a silent auction, including handbags from Gucci and Prada, and a handbag raffle from Chanel, and “Balloon Surprise” with each $20 donation balloon containing a prize, with one grand prize winner receiving a Vacations Hawaii trip and five-night stay in Las Vegas.

The food was ono too. When I looked at the buffet, it looked like your typical, oversteamed fare, but everything was wonderful, from perfectly ripe, sweet, juicy strawberries to lamb curry. Wow! Better than most cook-to-order restaurants!

There were so many ways to win prizes during the event, or at least feel like a winner if you were at the craps, roulette or black jack tables—even if the stacks of chips didn’t add up to anything tangible at the end of the evening. When you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll, whether it’s real money or play money, right? The hoots that accompanied a win seemed to be about the same as in Vegas!

It was hard to decide what to do first, and by the time I finished photographing and videotaping, all the craps tables were filled, so I didn’t get a chance to put some of my theories into practice. I kept looking for someone with the least amount of chips, about to go bust soon, but everyone had a LOT of chips. There were definitely some golden arms in the house!

Wonder what next year’s encore will be?

Elvis greeted guests at the door. Dressed to code in black tie and blue jeans mode were the event’s chairman Billy Pieper, right, and co-chairman Kamani Kuala’au, left, with Kristen Ribilla, director of special events for BTBJ.

One of the popular silent auction items was this Krups C75 Heineken Beertender home-dispensing unit. I believe it went for more than its $100 value.

This set of Rockabella jewelry sold for $80 at the silent auction.

Clockwise from left are Jamie Saiki, Julie Yee, Liane Ono and Darcy Ishiara.

Dressed in Vegas mode were Jeff Davis and Lisa Marciel.


Art + Flea for all

July 24th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos

Sassy Lassy’s Ipo Bunnell shows one of her bow-shaped fanny packs, while Shelly a k a Miss Catwings of Catwings Couture, wears another (“made for this kind of event,” she said. Shelly makes the cutest hats (below) and hair ornaments!

Fresh Cafe played host to more than a dozen designers, artists, musicians and vintage vendors during “Art & Flea” July 22.

The early evening was devoted to shopping before the floor was cleared away to make room for the music crowd. Of course I was there early to scoop up the best deals before they disappeared! I’d been admiring Miss Catwings accessories on Facebook for a while and was happy to finally meet Miss Shelly IRL. She showed some of her new pillbox hats, and I picked up the green one above, replacing the popsicle pin with one of her skull pins.

I have a history of buying hats and never wearing them because I don’t like attracting attention—the local girl syndrome—but I ended up wearing her hat the very next day. It helped that I was going to the Japan-based Q-Pot’s opening and the company appears to be open to things kawaii and/or eccentric.

I also picked up one of her mesh bows, and that seemed to be a theme for me. Shelly was selling alongside Sassy Lassy Ipo Bunnell, who was offering colorful bow-shaped fanny packs! I was drawn to the red one in her photo above, but went with purple that night. At first I thought they tied in the back, but Ipo custom fits them on the spot, so the belts end up finished with three snap buttons so wearers can make it looser or tighter as an outfit demands. You can also find them at Bonzer Front at Cafe Haleiwa.

It was funny that just a few days before I was discussing the wrongness of fanny packs with a male co-worker who also longs to wear drawstring pajama pants to the office for comfort reasons. I told him those pants look good if you’re young and skinny, but for a middle-aged guy like him, it just allows a growing paunch to expand. After failing to deter him from his path, I told him to go away rather than listen to all his justifications. Now, I’m warming to the fanny pack if it can be this cute!

Kisa Kosmos’ Olga Kozlova, left, and Lee-Ann Kong are happy with their naughty reputation.

As soon as I got there I spotted Lee-Ann Kong and Olga Kozlova of Kisa Kosmos, who had set up outside and appear to be on a roll after winning the legal battle for their company name. It’s given them more incentive to forge ahead, and since Olga recently became a mommy, they’ve introduced childrens’ wear to their line, though of course much tamer than their darker, metal and corsetry pieces! Even so, nice as they are, they revel in being the “bad girls” of Hawaii designers. While much of Hawaii-rooted fashion evokes flowers, nature, joy and sunshine, they’re proud that their apparel has made its way into Hustler stores.

There was a lot of cute things available, so it’s pretty dangerous to shop there. It was great to see Megan Campbell’s North Shore vintage boutique Bonzer Front represented because it’s not everyday townies can get up there. I especially liked the handmade leather belts made by one of Campbell’s friends.

The shopping aspect of the event continued to 9, when the musicians took over. Event creators Aly Ishikuni, Tiffany Tanaka and Nicole Franco continue to look for more vendors, musicians and sponsors for the event. If you’re interested in participating in future events, email or call 222-4118 or 341-4455.

Ruth Shiroma Foster started making clutches and purses as a hobby, but they may be taking over her life. The day after the event, she received the good news that Muumuu Heaven will start carrying them.

Kari Fox, left, and Justin Zaun help Melissa Rivera, who was showing designs and T-shirts from her Unleash Studio.

Manny Pangilinan left New York to surf and skate and he was offering a high-performance cruiser board he designed, as well as these colorful shades. That’s his artwork as well.

Reva Canali, left, with Aly Ishikuni of Mechakawa Vintage, who created Art & Flea with Fresh Café’s Tiffany Tanaka and Nicole Franco of miSH maSH.

It was great to see a whole room taken over by vendors.

La Pistil’s Ashley Ishii and Aron Luangphinith were also among the many who set up shop.

These days, events are well-documented by videographers.