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Entries in machinemachine (12)


new peeks: machinemachine

although machinemachine was one of the very first designers featured on h|h way back in 2007, with the exception of a few small peeks here and there, it's been quite some time since the last big show and tell of kauai-born (& now honolulu-based) designer shannon hiramoto's indie label. the etsy shop remains a must stop on my interweb wanderings if only to see what's new in the one-of-a-kind collection which has evolved from the line's signature smocked pa'u waistband to fresh and flirty separates and minis, keiki tunics, and the summer introduction of simple yet sweet bikinis.

the entire lineup continues to be constructed from discovered castoffs and upcycled textiles rescued from local thrift shops and yard sales, and shannon is constantly experimenting with new ideas and approaching design with a thoughtful, artistic philosophy paired with a playful dose of serendipity. a favorite project shared on her blog was a birthday dress made for her niece where a drawing was transformed into an abstract screenprint. the resulting fabric became a darling keiki frock rocking the little one's very own charming, handmade pattern infused with a whole lot of love once you discover its behind-the-scenes production story.

machinemachine swim
keiki before & after

notecard set

since machinemachine is a favorite of modern island girls near and far, i asked shannon to share a glimpse into her day along with a few hints of daily inspiration floating around her studio which may pop up in her next sewing session.

{designer notes}

how has growing up in hawaii influenced your designs?
i can never - and would never want to - forget my fondness for growing up on kauai, where life is lush, friendly, colorful, old, quirky, hilarious, and laid back. i want that playful island attitude to resonate in each machinemachine garment. you wear something beautiful, you feel beautiful. you wear something that could only have come out of hawaii, you feel connected to the islands. i want to help customers feel that connection.

i try to accomplish this sort of recognition of self into something wearable by utilizing vintage prints and certain clothing styles to twist up nostalgia and humor. when you put on one of my handstitched hats or pa'u shorts, you recognize yourself. and hopefully you say, "ah, yes! this is so me. this gets me."

describe your design philosophy and how has it evolved since you launched machinemachine?
first is fun: everything has to be fun - needs to make me smile and giggle. that's one reason why i love vintage fabric, it's ridiculously funny. second is context: we are in hawaii, it's warm, sunny, bright, beautiful, and loving - i want my customer to wrap themselves up in those qualities. third is comfort and simplicity: i am drawn towards quite loud prints which i let do their thing without competing with overly designed or complex structures. fourth is to be true to my own self. i dubbed the company machinemachine for a bunch of reasons, but primarily to poke fun at the machines (literally and metaphorically) that run our lives and muffle our voices.

machinemachine has evolved a lot since its first rumblings in 2007. i've learned/played with new sewing techniques, textures, and audiences - managing to fine tune some wacky ideas into more wearable pieces. also, i have been designing a few more mature and conservative looks, a consequence of my own personal growth. my circle of friends are now starting families, which prompted keiki/mini-machinemachine garments.

and the men are begging for machinemachine, so i began the handstitched hat line (which women love too). the company is moving along with its own momentum; i am just along for the ride - enjoying the creative process, meeting customers, and cooperating with the wonderful shops that carry/nurture machinemachine. it just keeps getting more exciting!

if we peeked into your studio, how would you be spending a typical design day?
waking up is important - it's best to do that before anything else - so i make sure to have my 3 cups of coffee as i read the paper and do computer tasks. then i do some quick tidying up, as the workspace is an inevitable mess. i mean, seriously, it's messy. one would almost wonder whether the tsunami really did hit, except it just hit my house.

i spend a few moments staring at my 3 tall shelves of fabric and ponder, considering which garments would work with which material. then i sit on the floor and cut. this is how my grandma taught me to cut fabric, so it is the way i will always do it. the next few hours are loud. my machines and hands are busy whirring, snipping, and clanking with npr, podcasts, audiobooks, and netflix to keep my mind occupied.

i make sure to do a bunch of downward facing dogs to stretch out my back - sewing is tough on the body. i usually pop out for a little bit and run to the post office, thrift store, or to see friends, but i always hurry back to finish up a project. before i know it the sky is dark and it's evening. sometimes i forget to eat lunch.

of all the loveliness posted on your inspiration board, what is capturing your fancy most these days?
afghan blankets, baskets, origami, batik, classic movies, branches, ferns, and hawaiian/aloha prints.

little moments of bliss that recharge your soul?
iyengar yoga, walking around kaimuki, hugs, thrift store hunting, coke icee, google reader, playing with adobe illustrator, playing in the ocean, eating thai with the mr., midweek's crossword puzzle, and backyard bbq's . . . oh, and even though it is a rarity, getting super groovy on the dance floor.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
li hing mui sour patch kids, wasabi peas, and govinda's ginger rush juice. i guess i like flavors that bite back.

pay it forward with a few words of wisdom that were passed on to you:
i was impacted a few weeks ago by a radio interview with the author karen maezen miller. she said, "attention is the most concrete expression of love you can give." i've been thinking about this statement a lot and feel it can be apply to all aspects of our lives - relationships, work, friendships, art, the environment, our own bodies - to help us express love and create more solid connections. i want to connect more and connect deeper.

mahalo shannon!

selections are slim in the etsy shop since shannon is stocking up on looks for machinemachine's weekend appearance on kauai, but pieces can be hunted down at local stockists including the butik and split obsession (honolulu), pueo (kona), and wings hawaii (paia).

if you call kauai home, hele over to halele'a and meet shannon and her newest handmade designs during machinemachine's i'm ok, you're koke'e trunk show:


weekly sales sheet

diva days * machine machine * sasaki bags

scoop up a diva days shopping pass to enjoy a weekend of deals at oahu's top indie boutiques and online shops. pass holders will score 20% off at alliway, the butik, cloth hawaii, cupcake boutique, fashionista's market & many more!

p.s. ticket proceeds will be donated to the japanese chamber of commerce's annual cherry blossom festival.

  • tix: $10 (now on sale at the wedding café, ward warehouse)
  • shop dates: fri, nov 13th to sun, nov 15th
  • fyi: one ticket per diva, please

first friday style arrives compliments of rock shop which is hosting a one night sale featuring looks from cloth and mck metal plus sample deals from indah!

and, toast is offering a pre-order special of it's delightful cheers mini pop gift set and knocking 20% off the price tag through the end of the month!

p.s. pickup at toast's kaimuki studio begins nov 30th.

  • pre-sale deadline: sun, nov 29th
  • fyi: off-island delivery is also offered. email toast for shipping rates.

Click to read more ...


pint sized finds

it seems like only yesterday that our friends' baby boom of 2008 was in full swing so, to celebrate the arrival of the first year baby luau invites, enjoy a short and sweet roundup of fresh new keiki goodness.

1 - little ones can get a head start on their abc's with little sprouts' alphabet onesie plus remind their 'ohana to take care of the 'aina and "save some for me" compliments of organic keiki.

2 - she may be too tiny to go on the big kid rides but is just the right size for mini eel editions of the honolulu label's stylish jersey knits (available at cupcake).

3 - keiki and young-at-heart grownups will certainly have a crush on berrysprite's irresistibly cute crocheted bear lollipops crafted in a rainbow of colors.

4 - machine machine designer shannon hiramoto first sewed up teeny keiki tunics out of vintage fabric for her niece and now offers the sweet designs in her etsy shop.


happy hale*days 08: budget edition

shopping on a budget can be a challenge but you can still gift stylish and thoughtful presents without breaking the bank. scroll down for a few finds under $30 that will make for a happy surprise on xmas morning.

1 - machine machine designer shannon hiramoto offers hand stitched hats ($30) with a vintage twist. (fyi - the honolulu-based label is now stocked at shasa emporium)

2 - baltimore-based momi antonio-barnes of space moderne crafts gorgeous felt goods from wine pockets to this lovely blossom brooch ($20).

3 - all of lunchbox clothing's charming illustrated tees, including this cute pueo design, are now on sale for $10!

4 - the berrysprite workshop has been busy whipping up handy zip bags ($8/each or 3/$20) in a mix of sweet patterns.

5 - stash your gift in a reusable tote ($5) rocking a design by artist heather brown to support a plastic free haleiwa.

6 - stop by one of honolulu jewelry designer stacey lee's upcoming appearances to scoop up minimalist gemstone necklaces priced just right ($20).

7 - go kawaii with len & jen's adorable bags ($10) perfect for toting groceries and sundries home from the market.

8 - french-made barrettes ($22) by laurent olivier mimic the graceful curves of traditional hawaiian quilt designs.

9 - scoop up a copy of the just released honuguide ($15) filled with deals from eco-friendly local businesses that tally up to a cool $3500. (fyi - pickup available at tomorrow night's ecolounge at indigo)


pau hana clicks

  • it was a good week for emerging island designers with shannon hiramoto of machine machine and dan weaver both scoring feature ink in the local papers.
  • drying laundry outdoors is so old school and making a comeback as the world gets a little bit greener. kat from our adventures in japan and rowena of rubber slippers in italy show readers the contraptions used to dry the wash in their homes away from hawaii.
  • week seven of sytycd finds mark kanemura paired with comfort for hip hop and a foxtrot plus a solo!

have a happy weekend!