Archive for November, 2010

Academy of Arts celebrates cloth

November 22nd, 2010

Nadine Kam photos
Visitors to the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Family Sunday on Nov. 21 could participate in various cloth and craft activities, including learning to tie-dye. Darius Homay  dips guests’ tied pieces of fabric into red dye. Finished pieces are hanged to dry. Different colors were achieved by choosing various color fabrics, from yellow to deep blue, which created a royal purple.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts and Bank of Hawaii were host to “Family Sunday: Woman of The Cloth” on Nov. 21, with activities, entertainment and demonstrations inspired by its textile exhibition “Embroidered and Embellished: The Margaret Brewer Fowler Collection,” on view in the Textile Gallery through Feb. 6, 2011.

According to the academy’s collection manager of textiles Sara Oka, Margaret Brewer taught on Oahu from 1885 to 1895, first at the Kawaiahao Seminary and later at Punahou School. After she died in 1931, her sister, Henrietta Brewer selected pieces from Margaret’s extensive collection to fill gaps in the museum’s textile collection.

Included were pieces from Morocco to India, and Oka said the most impressive portion features Turkish and Greek embroideries with luxurious silk floss. Seeing the works up close gives viewers an appreciation of the kind of labor that went into creating cloth in the past. Things made by hand were treasured, and their creators would probably be shocked by today’s throwaway lifestyles.

People could choose different color squares or cotton triangle pieces of fabric to work with. A mother and daughter work together.

Rubber band-tied pieces of fabric were left to be dyed with owners’ names. Unfortunately, there were so many, mine was left in the sink with two other pieces when the intern worker went to lunch, and a family absconded with my scarf, and I was left with their child’s.

Chloe Greer undoes the rubber bands and rinses off the fabric, in a sink installed in one of the academy’s courtyards, after it emerges from the dye vat.

Cotton, silk, plain weave, embroidery remnant from 19th century Turkestan, Bukhara. A gift from the Brewer MBF Estate, 1949, to the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Cotton, plain weave, embroidery fragment from 19th century Greece, Attica. A gift from Henrietta Brewer, 1933, to the academy.

After visiting the exhibition, check out textiles available for sale in the Academy Shop.

Japan wears: Fur

November 22nd, 2010

Rae Huo photos

Hawaii-based photographer Rae Huo is on the road again and sent back these photos from Japan documented the fur trend there.

“Fur is everywhere,” Rae reports and, being a photographer, her favorite pieces are the faux fur animal gloves. “Can you see me holding my camera with them on!” she wrote.

Check out more of her work at her website:

Two styles of animal gloves.

Nothing to do with fashion or fur, but Rae came to my house one day last year and took a series of wonderful photos of one of my birds taking one of many of his daily baths by dipping his head into this bowl of water and shaking it off like a dog!