By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Party on the lawn at the Bayer Estate, oceanside in Aina Haina.
Nikolai Tsang of Jade by Nikolai celebrated the 13th out of 15 days in the Chinese New Year Saturday with a dinner party and shopping event on the beautiful lawn of the Bayer Estate in Aina Haina.
Longtime clientele had an opportunity to see pieces that may not otherwise be shown here after Nikolai cancelled a trip to Dubai due to new international trade regulations that would have made it impossible to reintroduce her unsold jade pieces back into this country.
She always throws a great party, and this was the first I’ve attended that’s been outdoors. The lawn was dressed in auspicious reds and golds, with red lanterns circling the dinner area.
Adding more sparkle to the event was Kristin Wood, known for eyelash extensions, and now, touches of Thai Silk tied to individual strands of hair for a Mylar-like shine. I had a few strands of blue and dark purple which I thought would somehow work with my dark hair with red stripes from Christmas.
Jewelry designer and host Nikolai Tsang (right), in an Anne Namba creation, greets Susan Todani. Both wear Nikolai’s jewelry.
The event helped to invite happiness and good fortune for the Year of the Ox, which is not generally deemed to be an auspicious one. Check out this Wall Street Journal story. We all need as much help as we can get, and feng shui master and teacher Clarence Lau was there to offer some clothing advice.
He said I had too much water in my Chinese horoscope sign — particular to a person’s birth year and time — which means that I’m quick to learn but also too interested in too many things, so I lack focus. Well, that’s true so I really have the job I’m adapted to, which allows me to parachute into many places with quick deadlines that come up before I have time to lose interest in a subject. His recommendation, for a start, is to wear more reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, purples, colors to counter watery blues. And he told me no blacks and whites, when probably 80 percent of my closet is black. And this was after I had bought a black jade piece from Nikolai.
Guests study pieces of jade, gold and semi-precious stone jewelry. The butterfly is one of Nikolai’s favorite motifs.
Lobster and long bean salad with roasted chestnuts offered for good health.
The eight-course menu was also auspicious, and Alek Sato of Elite Catering did a great job of complying with Nikolai’s requests for dishes such as hoisin duck with a touch of oranges symbolizing outsize luck and wealth; whole baked soy-ginger chicken with star anise essence for prosperity; and noodles with spicy garlic jumbo prawns for laughter and long life. There was also jai with 18 auspicious ingredients, and whole suckling pig with bao, green onions and red date jam to assure our homes would be filled with gold, jade and treasures.
Among the guests were Laraine Tanabe, left, and another woman who knows jewelry, Valerie Yamashita of Craft Flair and Jewel Flair.
Wils Choy with Crystal Kapua, who wore a bandeau dress to show her own Jade by Nikolai necklace.
From left are guests Dale Fukumoto, Erin Okita and Dedre Galluci.
Susan Todani has strands of Thai Silk, foil strips, tied into her hair by Kristin Wood. The individual strands cost $4 each for application, and delivers a touch of metallic shine to hair, which fits nicely with the colorful spring season. If you have good eyes, you’ll see the glint of purple toward the left center of the bottom photo.
At the end of the evening, guests were treated to a dramatic performance of the Wah Ngai Lion Dance Association on poles.
And the evening concluded with a Buddhist liturgy and blessing, asking in return that we live with kindness, compassion, tolerance and thankfulness for the benefit of heaven and earth. Yes, the world as we knew it seems to be crumbling, but it should not be an excuse to be less than human.
BTW, it’s not too late to pick up Tori Richards Year of the Ox shirt, available at its boutiques at Ala Moana Center, Hilton Hawaiian Village, The Hyatt Regency Waikiki and The Shops at Wailea, Maui. Ox people are known for traits of deep resolution and fearlessness, and a systematic approach to every task they undertake. Famous ox people include Barack Obama, Meryl Streep, the late Princess Diana and George Clooney.