Archive for the ‘destination wedding’ Category

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

Polynesian fantasy springs to life

March 24th, 2010


Nadine Kam photos
Micah Tiedemann and Taliilani Letuli-Goeas won the inaugural Mr. & Miss Polynesia Hawai’i Pageant.

It’s one thing to keep an established event going; it’s another to start one from the ground up and that’s what Ralph Malani has done by creating the Mr. and Miss Polynesia Hawai’i Pageant, and he deserves a lot of credit for doing so.

The hair stylist founded of the year-old Hawaii Polynesian Model & Talent agency to showcase the beauty and talent of Pacific Islanders in Hawaii (my past story here) (pageant preview information here), who he felt were under-represented in modeling agencies that tend to promote a more cosmopolitan beauty. He also wondered why, in Hawaii, there has been no pageant that recognizes the indigenous beauty of Pacific/Oceanic people, when the ethnic groups that followed—the Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos—all have their own beauty standards reflected in ethnocentric pageants.

So he took it upon himself to correct that.

In spite of everything that could go wrong a first time out, it was a wonderful showcase, set up more like a talent and creativity competition than the typical beauty pageant, and all who attended had a blast. All the contestants put on an amazing and varied show, women were revved up by generous quantities of male pulchritude, the dollar bills flew during performances (a Samoan tradition, I’m told), and the spirited audience had to marvel at how many glasses of red wine uncensored emcee Mento Mele Apana could suck up in between risque jokes.


Lucie Wilson was first up in a hibiscus costume that was part of the pageant’s “Fantasy Costume” segment.

This being a fashion blog, I was there to see what contestants would come up for Natural Couture (costumes covered with organic materials), Pareo, Black Tie Polynesia and Fantasy Polynesian dress segments. The latter segment had drag queens scratching their heads, according to Mento Mele, wondering, “You mean they all straight? Not mahu?”

Well, you have to see the videos. There was a whole lot of colorful croton couture in the Natural Couture segment.

Natural Couture competition. iPhone link

Wahine Fantasy Polynesian costumes. iPhone link

Kane Fantasy Polynesian costumes. iPhone link

In the end, Micah Tiedemann and Taliilani Tetuli-Goeas were named Mr. and Miss Polynesia Hawai’i. Both were winners in the talent segment of the program as well, worth 100 points in the final tally versus 40 for the first three costume segments and 80 points for the fantasy costume. Each performance could run up to 7 minutes, with contestants taking charge of music, choreography and casting fellow dancers. Most of the contestants took all the time allotted and I ended up running out of space on my video card and had to kill segments along the way. I never got as much video out of one event before.

Micah is of Tongan/Samoan descent and is a professional dancer for Tihati productions, who says he aspires to be the first Polynesian on Broadway. His talent segment included a lovelorn medley of songs from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin” in a humorous skit. He also won the popularity award, with a prize of a weeklong trip to Mo’orea, French Polynesia, provided by HPMT.

Taliilani is of Samoan, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Irish and Spanish descent. Her mother is designer Tali Goeas of Tali’s Polynesia, who provided the Samoan tattoo-printed fabric for all the contestants for the evening segment. Taliilani’s grandfather, the late Chief Letuli, is credited as the originator of the Samoan fire knife dance, and Tali grew up on stage. She is now performing with the Paradise Cove Dance Group under the direction of kumu hula O’Brien Eselu.


Chanel “Teine” Silva in her pueo, or Hawaiian owl, costume.

The first runners up were two-time world champion fire dance Mikaele Oloa, who primarily grew up in Pittsburgh, Penn., and Orlando, Fla.; and Chanel “Teine” Silva, who gave an intense performance as a pueo in her fantasy costume segment.

People left hoping for an encore same time next year.


Ralph Malani with kolohe emcee Mento Mele Apana. In addition to his lei, Ralph is wearing a strand of 250 black pearls. In the background is Chanel “Teine” Silva, the women’s first runner-up.


The men’s evening wear segment had Micah, right, looking dapper and dandy-ish, and Mikaele Oloa in an outfit that represented a compatible marriage of the Pacific and the West.


Tali Goeas had the honor of also presenting her daughter Taliilani Letuli-Goeas with the evening’s wahine performance award. Don’t worry. With seven independent judges, including Star-Bulletin entertainment writer John Berger, the contest wasn’t fixed.