Archive for the ‘Too much excitement’ Category

Maui shows up strong in SI Swimsuit Issue

February 15th, 2012

Sports Illustrated photos by Walter Iooss Jr.
Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit issue covergirl Kate Upton, photographed in a swimsuit by Maui-based Suit Yourself Bikinis by Kathleen Bruening.

Hawaii may not be the biggest state for swimwear manufacturing and distribution, but there are a lot of innovative brands here, led by designers who understand the magic trifecta of fit, style and utility.

So it makes sense that Hawaii brands are typically on prominent display when the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue and web site debuts.

There must be something in the water over on Maui because designers there are a hit with SI.

This year, Maui-based Suit Yourself Bikinis got the cover, with Kate Upton photographed in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, in a suit designed by Kathleen Bruening, who posted on Facebook, that the cover suit was sold out by 6 a.m. on Tuesday, once word got out. She has a wait list going, and you can get on it by emailing with your contact information and size.

Also among the featured brands is Acacia Swimwear, created by Maui-based designer Naomi Newirth and Lyndie Irons, wife of the late world champion surfer Andy Irons.

And the mother of Maui brands, Letarte, whose suits have now been in the swimsuit issue for 12 consecutive years. The brand created by Lisa Letarte Cabrinha and Michele Letarte Ross, and designed by Lisa, last made the cover in 2005.

Wearing one of Letarte’s suits is Kailua girl and ‘Iolani graduate Michelle Vawer. In a nice emailed note, reader Winter alerted me yesterday, “Your 2009 prediction of Michelle Vawer for SI just happened!”

Thanks! I totally forgot I said that, although I always think it when I see her.

Michelle Vawer in HI Luxury.

In November 2009, Michelle was the model for a Valentine’s 2010 lingerie spread, “In between the lines,” I styled for HI Luxury magazine. After the session, I posted, “I just wonder how long it will be before Sports Illustrated comes calling for its swimsuit edition?”

She was also the model for another photo session I styled for the magazine, in which she was cast as a femme fatale after a young heir’s diamonds. I made a video out of the storyline. Sorry for the sound quality and jerkiness; I was a video rookie two years ago:

Nadine Kam video
Non-flash video link

Michelle is up for the title of SI’s “Rookie of the Year” at In a “This Week in Beautiful Women” feature on, writer Jimmy Traina publicly wonders, “Who is this Michelle Vawer?” before naming her as his choice of “Rookie of the Year.”

I don’t see any reason why she wouldn’t win!

Anyone else make the issue? Speak up now!

Michelle Vawer, shot in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, in a top by Cecilia Prado Mare and Maui-based Letarte’s Lisa Cabrinha.

Michelle in a swimsuit by Maui-based Suit Yourself Bikinis, by Kathleen Bruening.

Sports Illustrated photo by James Macari
And Hawaii swimsuit designers aren’t the only ones who got in. Here, Alyssa Miller wears Ki-ele’s Zayit necklace, one of several pieces by Marylea Conrad featured in the magazine and online. The photo was shot on Desroches Island, Seychelles. The swimsuit is by Luli Fama.


Added Feb. 16: Heard from a Garden Isle reader who also wanted to give credit to designer Lennie Collins, whose company La Vida Aloha, also made it into the issue. One of her suits was modeled by cover girl Kate Upton, below:

Sports Illustrated photos by Walter Iooss Jr.

Added Feb. 22: Among jewelry featured are pieces by Maui-raised, New York based designer Tiffany Chou, and Makawao-based RockaBella Jewels also makes a prominent showing with stacking rings ($70 set) worn by Jessica Gomes, and a 14K gold-dipped shark tooth necklace ($80) worn by Chrissy Teigen, below:

Sports Illustrated photos by James Macari

Rockabella stacking rings.

Nabbing a piece of Jason Wu

February 5th, 2012

Nadine Kam photos (except Target models)
There were about 50 to 60 in line ahead of me at the Lawehana Street Target this morning, for the Jason Wu for Target debut.

There’s not much that would get me out of bed at 7 on a Sunday morning, but I didn’t want to miss out on the debut of Jason Wu’s collection for Target. Even so, I arrived at the Lawehana Street store about 5 minutes before opening Feb. 5, so at about 50th or 60th in line, didn’t get everything I wanted. It was only because I knew other shoppers there that I was able to walk away witha couple of their rejects.

After the fact, I also saw someone I knew who had put back two of the Milu scarves I wanted. Someday I’ll get it right. The secret, I learned, was to roll out of bed and get in your car without stopping to put on any makeup.

Missed out on the Milu scarves because I went for the clothes.

I was strategizing with people over the weekend, discussing whether Wu would be a greater or smaller draw than Missoni. I figured it might be less, because his designs tend to be more fitted and less forgiving than knits, and with Missoni, there was also a housewares collection. So I was sad to see the long line, figuring they had only come for one thing. After all, who really NEEDS to be at Target at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning?

Once we got in the door, some people detoured in a different direction, so I was hopeful. But they were heading for the handbags and scarves, wiping out the stock in no time. The entire frenzy lasted no more than 5 minutes. After that, people were waiting to see what came back from dressing rooms, but most people were going straight from racks to checkout.

At least the store personnel is learning, telling people toward the end of the morning that there is a one-item limit per style in an attempt to eliminate some of the buying for resale. But of course, people who do that will just show up with a larger contingent next time.

Next up for budget fashionistas is Marni at H&M. Guess I’ll be shopping online again March 8.

A girl walks off with a dress I wanted, shown below over the decimated racks. Although press materials said it would be available online only, it was in the Lawehana Street Target, and came with a black sash-style belt. One skinny size 2 shopper, who I followed around awhile, hoping she would give her dress up, had to be content buying the dress in size large.

After about 5 minutes, the racks were cleared, and a few latecomers and hopefuls stood around waiting for returns that never really came because few people were trying on and just headed straight for the registers. I did manage to pick up the blue top at the right, and I knew one of the shoppers who had grabbed the matching size 4 skirt and didn’t want it after all, so passed it along to me. The whole look is below.

Either the prices were higher than initially stated, or we pay Hawaii prices. The top was actually $31.99, and the skirt was $35.99.

I saw this nubby gold top on the racks but didn’t go for it because it looked heavy. But then someone who knew someone I knew asked if I wanted the one she had and said it was really cute on, so I tried it on and got it even though, at medium, it’s two sizes too big. It’s really cute and lightweight. It’s shown on the model below, but has a peplum that in the photo is tucked in.

The actual price of the top was $38.99.

This is the poplin dress that got me out of bed early, but it wasn’t stocked here. I’ll probably be shopping for it online now that I have a good idea of the fit.