Archive for October, 2011

Hermès celebrates ‘Hearts and Crafts’

October 26th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Curtains rose after the screening of the Hermès documentary “Hearts and Crafts: The People That Make Hermès,” Oct. 18 at Hawaii Theatre Center, revealing the stage beautifully lighted and set with white linen tables and white floral arrangements.

In the season of film festivals, Hermès hosted a screening of filmmaker Frédéric Laffont and Isabelle Dupuy-Chavanat’s Hermès 47-minute documentary “Hearts and Crafts: The People That Make Hermès,” on Oct. 18 at Hawaii Theatre Center.

Going behind-the-scenes at the luxury fashion house, the filmmakers celebrate craftsmanship by focusing, not on the glam and celebrity driven aspects of luxury branding, but on the many artisans from whose passion and nimble handiwork springs individual works of art, emphasizing that because of the handwork, no two pieces are alike.

The filmmakers interviewed saddlers, crystal and glass makers, metalsmiths and the artists behind the house scarf designs.

The cover of the invitation to the screening of the Hermès documentary “Hearts and Crafts: The People That Make Hermès,” that took place Oct. 18 at Hawaii Theatre Center.

Maybe because of the work I do, it was the graphic artists’ work that I found most intriguing because of their ability to visualize, in black-and-white, the multiple layers of color that go into a single design. A single scarf can comprise up to 42 colors, each mixed by hand to the artists’ specifications, just for that piece.

Although the process has been described to me over the years, and having gravitated to the printmaking facilities of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, I understand the process, it is still amazing to see it all come together before one’s eyes. It is all the more amazing when one considers that in newsprint, all our colors spring from a basic four: magenta, cyan, yellow and black!

In welcoming Hermès to the theater, Hawaii Theatre Center president Sarah Richard noted that their organizations have much in common in promoting the arts, and that the theater itself was the work of many craftsmen and artists, both historically and in the renovations that have restored much of its original glory.

From studying Hermès windows over time, I think of them of masters of the tableau and I think all in the audience were left breathless when, after the film, the curtains rose to reveal a stage set with tables, chandeliers, bouquets of white flowers and a mini bar for an on-stage reception. It was beautiful, and considering what we had just seen, an artful way to end the evening.

Donna Hodnefield, managing director of Hermès, Ala Moana Center, at lower left, welcomed Catherine Lin, and in the back row James Schaeffer of Harry Winston, Buddy Moore, Sean Lee Combs and Ashli Sower.

Tyler Boe, special events coordinator at Hermès of Paris, left, and Julie Vigneulle, special events manager, were in town for a few days to introduce the “Hearts and Crafts” film.”

I liked the Hermès Twilly Tyler was wearing as a bracelet.

Among the guests were, from left, Annette Dung, Kristina Lee, Chun Hui Chen, Jeff Lee, Darah Dung and Denby Dung. Only daughter/sister Dana-Li Dung was missing.

Guests David and Lillian Yeh.

Sarah Richards and Elaine Evans, respectively the president and director of development for Hawaii Theatre Center.

Closet Swap marks 5th year of giving and shopping frenzy

October 21st, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

The Class of …? Women in “Super Hero or Super Villain” guise, dressed in a mixture of clothing, newspapers and magazines in an attempt to beat fellow competitors to be first to enter Closet Swap Oct. 16.

Women came wearing heels and carrying big bags to the annual Fashionista’s Market Closet Swap at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii on Oct. 16. The event’s 5th anniversary was the biggest yet, drawing double the usual number of attendees, at 260, which may be also be a sign of the tough economic times, pushing more to swap their old clothes for something new- or at least new to them.

The 260 women generally donated 9,298 pieces of clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories to the event, with women able to pick up as many pieces as they contributed. Sandra Fernandez won a prize for most contributions, at 169 pieces.

The event raised funds for the Leeward Domestic Abuse Shelter, and garments remaining after the event are also donated to the shelter.

Fashionista’s Market’s Anita Clemente, left, and Alyssa Fung presided over the festivities, with tears at times as they spoke about the specter of domestic violence and all the good carried out by organizations such as the Leeward Domestic Abuse Shelter that was the beneficiary of the day’s events.

Some of the oversize T-shirt donations were picked up by local designer Cassandra Rull, who was standing by with her sewing machine to transform them into prettier wearables. Those first to her table were able to pick out the best designs. She transformed a Hope for Japan T-shirt into a cute halter dress for me. It’s amazing how fast she worked, and that she was able to accommodate all who were interested.

At the opposite end of the table, jewelry designer Kihwa Kwon Gosline of Studio Bijoux Hawaii was helping women to transform their old jewelry into new pieces. For those who hadn’t brought anything, she was designing new jewelry on the spot, with findings and pieces from costume jewelry.

After a fortifying breakfast of fruit, scrambled eggs, Portuguese sausage and rice, the women were ready for action. But first, there was a contest to see just who would be able to enter the swap first for, presumably, the best stuff.

This year’s contest was to dress one person at each table as a Super Hero or Super Villain. Of course most, if not all, the women opted to be Super Heroes, whether a super mom or super fashionista aiming to rid the world of bad fashion. I was one of four judges, and it’s always such a tough call because there’s so much energy and enthusiasm that goes into creating the costumes with a few pieces of clothing, newspapers and magazine pages. This year, judges opted for the cleaner, tailored look of winners I know only as “Bang Bang” and “Immaculate Designer Girl.”

The women at both their tables were allowed 5 minutes early entry to the sale, before maximum craziness ensued.

Friends could pose for photos in the Kreative Photo Booth. At one point, I saw more than 10 women emerge at once.

Kihwa Kwon Gosline created a jewelry piece for Cassie Saylor.

Women lined up to have a piece of clothing refashioned for them by Cassandra Rull, whose creations can be found at Fashionista’s Market. (more…)