Archive for March, 2011

Passport to fashion and food

March 31st, 2011

Meg by Design photo

Models in Meg by Design beach bridal dresses.

It was a busy Friday night, March 25 at Ala Moana Center, where I  found out two hours is not a lot of time to cover the 19 stores taking part in “Passport to Luxury,” a shopping and dining tour of luxury boutiques that actually runs four hours, but I had to cut my time short to take in the Meg by Design fashion show at the Hawaii Fashion Incubator’s Pop-up Incubator.

A newcomer to Hawaii’s fashion scene, designer Michelle Douglas’s carefree visions in white were a hit at the Hifi boutique. You can read more about her in the paper today.

I was so tired though, after a week of shows, in which I took a break only on Wednesday to go eat for my column, that while I was videotaping the show, I got into the reverse record-stop record mode, so missed taping half the show! Thankfully, the missing garments are shown in the photo Michelle sent over, above.

Designer Michelle Douglas with one of her models in a beach bridal dress.


Escada store manager Jane Moon welcomed Kaimi Judd and Malika Dudley to the boutique during Passport to Luxury.

Prior to the Meg by Design fashion show, I made it to about six or seven of the boutiques participating in Passport to Luxury, which turns out to be as much about food as fashion.

Chef Mavro was at Tiffany serving up nairagi poisson cru; pistachio, grape and Big Island goat cheese balls; and Hawaiian espresso brownies. Foodie Alain Gayot of, the guide to restaurants and travel was there to enjoy the event, but said he wasn’t working, I somehow doubted that. Even when I’m not working, those involved in writing, food and fashion lifestyles are working in terms of observing, remembering and being inspired.

Meanwhile, those wandering into Dior enjoyed mini sandwiches from Alan Wong, at Jimmy Choo there was Big Island Kobe pastrami on herbed foccaccia from Tangö’s Goran Streng, and at Salvatore Ferragamo there were mini ahi pizzas with a bit of anchovy sauce. Yum!

Guests were also able to bid on silent auction items at the various boutiques, and have their “passports” stamped and entered into a prize drawing.

Wish I could have stayed longer, but had to move on.

At Jimmy Choo, Salon Chérie owner Anri Bui was offering nail polish application, with the help of Mariko Matui, left, and Maria Todo. Below is a closeup of Maria’s nail art.

At Chanel, there were makeup color consultations and applications.

At Dior, Teri Kamezawa shows one of the new purses that can be used as a shoulder bag, messenger or handled tote.

A limited edition Dior purse, at about $3,000, was made even more collectible with John Galliano’s sudden ouster from the company because the inside of the purse bears his signature.

Chef Mavro was at Tiffany serving up his nairagi poisson cru (below). With him are his wife Donna Jung and Alain Gayot of

Ippolita drops in for a visit

March 30th, 2011

Ippolita photos

Modern rock candy bangles.

Ippolita is one of my favorite jewelry lines, with an arty, sculptural quality in pieces both subtle and bold to suit varying moods and ensembles. Because of their statement quality, I’ve used them often in photo shoots.

Designer Ippolita herself will be in town for a trunk show of her Spring 2011 collection, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 2 at Neiman Marcus.

Modern Femininity is theme of the collection, with pretty pastel palettes, fun and edgy stone cuts, in settings of 18K gold, 925 sterling silver and Ippolita rosé. Bangles, earrings, statement pendants, rings and link chains are easy to wear in singles and multiples.

Just before boarding a plane from New York to Phoenix, Ariz., before hopping over for her first stay in Hawaii, Ippolita answered the few questions I was able to dash off via email:

Henry Leutwyler photo of Ippolita

Q: What is the inspiration for your latest collection?
A: Modern Femininity is the theme of my spring collection and to me this means feeling comfortable in your own skin no matter what lifestyle you lead. Each of the collections I’ve designed has easy, wearable pieces designed to make you feel more beautiful, more comfortable, more sexy, more you.

Q: Who is the Ippolita woman?
A: She is every woman! The versatility of my collections really give the line a universal, multi-generational appeal. I love fashion and this is evident in the pieces I design, yet the silhouettes are timeless and effortlessly wearable. This is the jewelry you reach for everyday — for every occasion — dress up, dress down — day or night — it really goes with everything.

Q: What was the first piece you designed that inspired you to make jewelry design your focus?
A: An 18K gold squiggle bangle — which is actually still in the line and a popular style.

Q: What are you hoping to be inspired by here?
A: The legendary sand and surf, the gorgeous colors, materials — the beautiful people, the diverse culture — I am sure I will find it all endlessly inspiring.

Ippolita’s Wonderland aqua bangles.