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Entries in aloha wear (20)


fashion forward: alfred shaheen

the hawaiiana fashion house alfred shaheen has been enjoying a bit of a revival over the past few years with reissues of their vintage textiles making the home decor rounds. isla from soh inspired! recently shared the news that indoor and outdoor spaces wistfully waiting for lovely yet resilient island style can now be prettified with patterns from the designer's surf 'n sand label. duralee welcomed more alfred shaheen goodness last month with the introduction of the copacabana collection (loving the sophisticated motifs which remain quite modern!), and i spied a few tropical delights hiding in the abbey road and big sur offerings.

while admiring the fabric swatches, i noticed that the archives have also been opened to seascape lamps where you can illuminate your nest with a selection of shaheen shades. do have a peek if your home loves a retro luau look! since not everyone is well versed in mid-century aloha wear, i whipped up a fun diversion to capture the essence of the iconic honolulu label with a vintage outfit vs. modern design goods faceoff!

peek a few of my favorite fashion and design twins after the jump.

mini mum garden

the three tier mini mum garden ($290) meets its a-line doppleganger in this strapless lovely ($300).

kona tapa

love the handdrawn nature of the kona tapa design ($210). and the graphic sensibility of this darling surf 'n sand playsuit ($105) remains au courant with rompers all the rage these days.

regina asian blossoms

jackpot! i discovered the ladylike regina asian blossoms lamp ($210) has a deadringer in this très jolie cocktail dress ($69.95).

hooray for etsy where i truly lucked out sourcing coordinating vintage looks. the prices some styles are fetching are certainly incentive to go hunting through the closets of your fashionable mamas and aunties!

and, stay on the lookout for hawaii's alfred shaheen: fabric to fashion, a traveling retrospective which the star-advertiser reported is expected to stop in maui this fall.

p.s. surf & sand fabric sources include johnny mango at the gentry design center and housefabric.com which woos with discounted yardage (but beware high shipping charges to the islands).

{update: hancock's of paducah seems to be a better bet for online orders to hawaii. although a smaller selection of surf 'n sand patterns is offered, half yard orders can be placed & shipping via usps is an option.}


gidget goes glam

the ever expanding offerings of swimwear designed in the islands seems to have a style for almost every look - sporty, luxe, sexy, sweet, and, with the introduction of 1979, retro pinup silhouettes with a vintage twist. with a fondness for a bygone era that slipped away as more people discovered paradise, designer suzanna kuhlemann jumped into the family business (sister pia helms soozou) to bring back a more demure sensibility to the islands' beaches.

no longer loved mu'umu'us and aloha shirts are rescued from closets to be transformed by suzanna and local seamstresses into 1979's vintage line which offers limited edition suits (only two or three are made per garment) that highlight curves like it was done way back when. the styles are sweet yet wearable and a happy find for anyone wistful for bikinis designed to leave a little something to the imagination.

for those not inclined to rock a vintage look on the sand, suzanna has followed up with two more collections after finding the challenge of designing with only a slip of fabric too irresistible. the signature lineup translates retro styles with textiles more readily available, while the focus of the nylon collection nips in curves with a higher waist silhouette and utilizes modern stretch fabric for more support.

more peeks below . . .

vintage looks
retro meets modern looks

a peek inside etown

1979 swimsuits are currently offered in sizes small, medium and large with xs and xl options expected shortly. custom swimwear orders are also welcome, and, happy news, you are invited to recycle your own vintage aloha wear into a new-to-you suit.

the vintage collection ($120) is available exclusively at mu'umu'u heaven's kailua flagship, and the signature ($149) and nylon ($129) lines will be making their debut at the opening of etown (shown above), the chinatown studio space shared by suzanna and pia, which will be welcoming one and all on first friday.

jewelry from meesah will also be in studio as will photography from deaja fallas and ethan boone.

  • when: fri, sep 4th - 6p
  • where: 1164 smith street, chinatown
  • shop hours: tbd; check website for details

p.s. suzanna will be passing out 15% off coupons during the opening party so hele down and say hello!


kahala goes organic

the renaissance of kahala has been well documented since its relaunch last year with much of the credit being given to the return of creative director dale hope, former company man slash aloha shirt connoisseur. the old school aloha wear label's design team certainly found their muse when peeking into kahala's
vast archives when presented with the chance to rework the line's classic beach boy looks.

many of the patterns embrace the best of vintage hawaiiana design but with a welcome eco update. yep, kama'ainas patiently waiting to rock some sustainable style on aloha friday finally have a source of organic aloha shirts with the introduction of kahala's eco-friendly collection.

even better, acquiring kahala wear is now thoroughly modern with the recent opening of its online shop where you can stock up on aloha shirts, board shorts, and keiki clothing.

or, skip the shipping charges altogether and hele over to ala moana to shop at the label's flagship store.


girl's day sale at sig zane

sig zane is celebrating girl's day with a 25% off sale so enjoy this timely peek of recent arrivals to the online shop.

1 - sig zane's pu'umanawale'a print adds a modern abstract touch to the nohonaohae dress ($89).

2 - the strappy ho'ike ($125) looks even lovelier with the muted colorways of the kamakalaukoa design.

3 - the unisex mohalapua popoua wallet ($135) also doubles as a luxe leather checkbook holder.

4 - hula girl style compliments of the kapo'ulakina'u backstage bag ($45).

5 - stash your change in the liko'ula punahoa coin purse ($12).

the fellas are also welcome to shop the sale which is stocked with lots of new designs:

6 - holualoa's famous coffee blossoms wrap around the kehaukea aloha shirt ($79).

7 - big island hillsides roll across the pu'umanawale'a pullover ($79).

8 - the year of the ox design ($26) honors the sz 'ohana with a graphic take on china's bountiful rice fields.

9 - koa leaves and crescent moons mingle on the kamakalaukoa tee ($26).

the three day sale is exclusive to sz's online shop so hele over for the best selection!

  • when: today to wed, mar 4th - 5p hst
  • fyi: discount will be automatically applied at checkout

p.s. big island readers can opt to pick up their order at sig zane's hilo flagship by entering coupon code hilo at checkout (sale orders will be ready for pickup on fri, mar 6th).


sig zane summer 2008

2008 has been declared the international year of the reef and one way you can do your part to help save hawaii's coral reefs is to scoop up sig zane's limited edition kai palaoa design. the ancient hawaiian art form of 'ohe kapala (traditional bamboo stamps used to create tapa) inspired the bold pattern which celebrates both the creation of the reefs and the way of life the reefs sustain for all the creatures who call the ocean home (or consider the waves their home away from home).

a portion of sales from the collection will be donated to support the educational programs of the national oceanic & atmospheric association's national marine sanctuaries hawaii division.

be sure to take some time to click around the online shop which is stocked with lots of new goodies from pretty pillows to stylish leather goods and adorable keiki wear (how cute is that l'il dress!).

or stop by sz's hilo or wailuku outposts: