Archive for the ‘Face’ Category

Never a dull moment at Polynesian pageant

September 27th, 2011
By Nadine Kam




Nadine Kam photos
Mr. & Miss Polynesia Pacific 2011 Summer Manuma and Robert Mokiao, with event co-producer Ralph Malani.

Summer Manuma and Robert Mokiao were named the winners Sept. 17, of the Mr. & Miss Polynesia Pacific competition that took place at the Pacific Beach Hotel.

There’s never a dull moment in the pageant that puts its young, dynamic contenders through their paces in five grueling competitions that measure talent and creativity. The competition is probably one of the toughest in town, the contestants tend to be seasoned performers, accustomed to the rigors of the Polynesian revue.

The show coincided with Aloha Week festivities in Waikiki, so after checking in at rehearsals for Valerie Joseph’s “Fresh in the City” the same night! it took me an hour to go from Pearl through Waikiki, so I missed the more fashion-y aspects of the show, the Natural Couture, Pareo and Black Tie Polynesia competitions.

But I did get to watch the talent and always colorful Fantasy Polynesian segments. In the latter, the competitors get some help from drag queens in creating their over-the-top costumes.

When I got there, I spotted some Honolulu Community College Fashion Technology students. I should have known they might have been there to support one of their own, Uoleni Tupuola. For his talent segment, he presented a mini fashion show of four ensembles, showing pageant-style talent doesn’t have to be restricted to song and dance.

The standings:
Mr. Polynesia Pacific: Robert Ahsen Minoaka Keokolo Lopeti Wahilani Mokiao
Miss Polynesia Pacific: Summer Malamaisaua Kawailana Manuma
Natural Couture: Summer Manuma and Julian Maeva
Pareo: Summer Manuma and Robert Mokiao
Black Tie: Summer Manuma and Robert Mokiao
Talent: Summer Manuma and Julian Maeva
Fantasy: Tesia Melani Anuenueokalanikemakamale‘a Worley and Robert Mokiao

Congratulations to all!

Mr. Polynesia Pacific 2010, Micah Tiedemann, brought many to their feet and to the stage during his farewell performance.

Mr. & Miss Polynesia Pacific founder and co-producer Ralph Malani emphasized that the show is one of only a few in Hawaii to focus on Polynesian beauty and talent.

Stephanie Mendieta of Margo Le Perle de Tahiti, one of the event’s sponsors. The company provided the Tahitian black pearls the contestants were wearing.

Talent winner Julian Maeva took home a new TV as one of his prizes for an amazing contemporary fire dance performed in the dark with glow sticks.


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Royal wedding gown revealed

April 29th, 2011
By Nadine Kam



Kate Middleton brought back the long-absent matrimonial veil and train.

The monthslong speculation over just what Kate Middleton’s wedding gown would look like ended last night, with the newly minted royal wearing a gown designed by Alexander McQueen successor Sarah Burton.

Fashion writer Robin Givhan reported in The Daily Beast: “The Alexander McQueen wedding dress that Kate Middleton wore to marry Prince William was a glorious sweep of ivory and white silk gazar with hand-embroidered English and French Chantilly lace and 58 organza-covered buttons snaking up the back. It had a discreet v-neck, long lace sleeves and a train that measured nearly nine feet long. Middleton’s slender waistline was emphasized by the gown’s narrow bodice and slight padding at the hips—a nod to Victorian style. It was a dignified acknowledgement of Arts and Crafts tradition but bore the streamlined, body-enhancing silhouette of contemporary fashion.”

Earlier in the week I had asked bridal boutique owners Gladys Agsalud of Casablanca Bridal, and Cecilia Domingo of The Bridal Boutique what they imagined her gown would look like, and they nailed it, with an eye on tradition, fine fabric and elegance that speaks to Kate’s personal style.

Grace Kelly’s 1956 gown.

They spoke of the return to tradition and the retro glamour of Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Ranier of Monaco in 1956. Her sense of style has long been evident, such that way back in December, when speculation began and designers started coming up with their own illustrations as to what they would design for Kate, I posted that I liked Monique Lhullier’s vision best: simple, streamlined, elegant, with a close fitting lace bodice.

Casablanca carries Lhullier’s gowns and I chose one for the styling in HI Luxury’s latest issue, in a session called “Happily Ever After,” paying homage to the royal wedding. Yet, I have to admit when I saw the gown, I was a bit disappointed, just because there was nothing beyond what fashion watchers were already expecting.

I think any fashion observer would have hoped for tradition combined with a bit of an edge, something a little more ground-breaking. Given all the speculation and excitement leading up to the event, I just wanted a little more dazzle worthy of the international stage. Givhan said as much when she wrote: “It was the most beautiful dress that was destined, doomed to be a disappointment—if only because so much was expected of it.”

But the morning after, the photos look beautiful, and true-to-form, Kate showed herself to be a sensible, tasteful, understated young woman, and that should suit her well as she makes her life in the public eye. Perhaps she’s sending a message that she doesn’t need to be a fashion icon if to be such detracts from William’s more important agendas. As an anti-Diana, she may be just what the troubled monarchy needs right now.

What was interesting is that the bridal owners said that a celebrity wedding always sends brides clamoring for the latest trend, and now, they’ll all want to look like Kate, reversing a seven-year trend in informal strapless gowns and toward traditional lace and veils. You would think that on her big day, a bride would want to be unique and true to her own personality and aesthetic on her day, but, like all most of fashion, trends and imitation rule. I always wanted a 1920s style flapper dress for my own wedding!