Nordstrom fashion show wows crowd

March 6th, 2008


Nadine Kam photos
Easter colors on the runway at Nordstrom.


New faces on the runway. All but two of the 40 models were flown in for the fashion show. Guests were asking why there was a need to import models. Height plays a part, but it’s also all about the walk, which has become more apparent to me while attempting to shoot video and photographs. These models look good with every step.

Still recovering from the fun of the Nordstrom fashion show gala last night. Amazing! About 2,500 people paid $150 to be at the event, which raised $400,000 to benefit Hawaii Theatre Center, Bishop Museum and HUGS.

Guests had the run of all three levels of the store, with performances by Amy Hanaiali’i and Matt Catingub, Jimmy Borges and Mihana Souza centered around the First Floor piano, with attendees dancing when the mood struck. Food and dessert stations, with selections by Chai Chaowasaree, Elua’s Donato Loperfido and Philippe Padovani, and JJ Pastry, were set up all around the store, and cash register counters and makeup counters were turned into makeshift bars.


Guests rode the escalator from floor to floor to see all the store had to offer.

I could tell who reads this blog because they were the ones who came up to me and seeing I was wearing a black (after all) Alice + Olivia dress, told me, “Hey, you’re not wearing what you said you were going to wear!”

Yeah, well, there are always last-minute snafus. I got there close to 8, though I had planned to be there at 7.


For me, the runway show on the third floor was the highlight, and I rushed into the tent for the first show at 8 p.m. When I was told earlier that the show would repeat at 9 p.m., I didn’t understand the rationale, but as large as the venue was—almost as big as many of the New York Fashion Week Bryant Park shows—it would not have been able to contain all the guests, many of whom missed in show in favor of shopping, flirting, noshing, getting foot massages, etc., etc. Those who missed the show said they’d wait for my video. Ooh, the pressure!

Well, you really are going to have to wait because the show had so many segments, on a 64-foot catwalk, that I lost count. We haven’t had a show of this magnitude since Chanel imported models for a couture show more than a decade ago and when the French Festival brought in its share of couture designs.

I figured the party would run beyond its scheduled 10 p.m. close. I got home—just 4 miles away—at midnight, having turned down an invitation to go to Nobu, and when I left, there were still people shopping and trying on shoes, showing no rush or desire to leave!

Events continue tonight with the preview of the new Ala Moana Center expansion. Tickets are $40.

andy and reine

Former TV “Bachelor” Andy Baldwin and Reine Ah Moo. The joke is, the Prudential Realtor was misidentified as Tessa in a past newspaper photo, so now every time he sees her, he greets her with open arms as “Tessa!”


Gathered around Rochelle Ovitt, temporarily home from Hollywood, are, from left, Colt Dunteman, Dr. Alvin Chung and Ryan Woodward.

julie ann

“Hawaii InStyle” TV producer Julie Ann Aragaki and the Star-Bulletin’s Nancy Arcayna.

The show opened with a colorful tropical, resortwear segment.


Desserts and chocolates were tempting, and every time you looked, it seemed new desserts appeared.


Guests left with a gift of a box of notecards featuring the work of fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo.


yellow and brown

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12 Responses to “Nordstrom fashion show wows crowd”

  1. Johnathan:

    Nadine, know exactly what you mean about your models comment. I didn’t go but I heard from others “those mainlanders brought over models here because our girls weren’t good enough.” I would have imported models for a “real” fashion show here too. No offense but I’ve lived in New York after living in Hawaii all my life and the models abroad are tall, slender, poised, elegant, without fake breasts (which Hawaii gals seem to have a lot of) – the models here just can’t do designer stuff.

  2. BarbieQ!:

    I wished I had gone to it… Just to experience a professional runway fashion show. Who were the two lucky girls that got to work the runway?

  3. cw:

    wow! wow wow. so glad u blog. i would have never made it to this!

  4. cw:

    ps. TALL runway models! sounds soo lovely.

  5. "Tess":

    I found you! Thanks for a kind write up. I had a blast too! Why do we wait to hang only at events? Lets hang again soon- tell Nancy. Nobu was over the top again- fill you in later. XOXO

  6. Holly:

    As BarbieQ asked, who were the only two local girls that got to work the runway? Very curious. I agree with cw and Johnathan – tall girls very lovely. Johnathan, I think they should ban models with fake breasts off the runways as this is not the message we want to be sending to our young lovely ladies on this island. Being a natural beauty is the biggest fashion statement.

  7. mows:

    Now those dresses and models look funny and weird. I don’t think that any celebrity would wear stuff like that on the red carpet.

  8. Nadine Kam:

    Sydney Fasi and Marisa Gey.

  9. MAL:

    The two models mentioned – Sydney and Marissa – stunning and refined. Yet I would have loved to see someone like Brooke Lee up there as well.

  10. nadine kam:

    Ooh, but those are so beautiful. Celebs are not typically fashion people. That’s one of the reasons they pay stylists to dress them. Even then, they rarely take risks because the gossip mags and Fugly girls make fun of them, like Charlize Theron in her big bow dress. That dress was great and if anyone could pull it off, she could, tho it was better to look at than maneuver in, and comfort and ease do count for something.

    Appreciate your consideration.

  11. penny coffman:

    Where can I purchase the notecards that were given out at opening like in this e-mail. They are wonderful!!!!!!!! I need five boxes.

  12. Manga:

    Thanks for sharing your work with us! It’s just awesome!

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