launching Sunday!

This is an extremely busy weekend for me! Please join me at any – or all – of these events:

Today I’ll be volunteering in the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator from 1 to 5 p.m. Come visit and shop!

Of course we will ALL be at Andy South’s show tonight at 7 p.m. at CenterStage in Ala Moana Center. It’s the premiere of South by Andy South!

Tomorrow I’ll be modeling for MegByDesign, a fabulous new line of easy to wear, perfect for Hawaii clothing by Meg, an Aussie designer who recently moved to Honolulu. The informal show is at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) in the Hifi space, followed by her launch party.

Saturday at 3 p.m. please join Allie Lee (the Twitter Queen) and me for a talk on “How to Promote Your Fashion Business.” We’ll offer lots of practical tips and ideas.

And of course on Sunday, our big launch of the website for this blog and the art of Jerry Mayfield and Paula Rath. We are both so excited and we would love to have you at the party!

This blog will have to be shut down this afternoon, Friday and Saturday to allow the web masters to do their magic. (I’ll be going through withdrawal right along wiht you.)

Here’s your invitation to the party:

Posted in Hawaii Fashion, Paula Rath's Art | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

1979 on stage at Ala Moana Center Friday, 2 p.m.

1979 by Suzanna Kuhlemann, photos by Filine Fink

A lot of people think there’s a lot of magic in fashion design: The designer sketches it and voila! the garment appears. Hardly. That sketch is just the beginning of a long, laborious, complicated process that can take months to complete. There are patterns to engineer, muslins to make, fabrics and notions to be chosen, samples to sew up and a myriad of details to be determined. And, hey, somebody has to sew those final garments.

Swim wear designer Susanna Kuhlemann, who lives bi-continentally in Honolulu, Hawaii and Berlin, Germany, first introduced her line, called 1979, in Honolulu. (See my original 2009 story from The Advertiser She struggled to find seamstresses here who could sew her one-of-a-kind swim wear. Initially the line was created from recycled aloha shirts. Now it has segued into sophisticated, sleek retro-inspired one- and two-piece suits in fine French fabrics.

In Honolulu, Suzanna could find an occasional seamstress who could help her sew her suits made from vintage aloha shirts but the quality was not always up to her exacting standards. Once she began creating her one-piece collection in European fabrics, there were even fewer people who could sew the designs. She turned to a manufacturer in Nevada. That didn’t work out ideally either.

“Production is the only issue holding me back,” Susanna said during an interview in eTown, her little boutique on Smith Street. “We had really good press in Germany during Fashion Week so all I need is to get things stocked and have them available.”

In the meantime, Suzanna was trying to keep a long distance relationship going with her boyfriend of eight years, law student Tarek Issa. Not easy to live by Sype alone. So last July she returned to Berlin to renew her relationship with Tarek and to see if she could find a manufacturer in Europe. He goal is to have dual manufacturers: one in the U.S. and one in Europe. This will help enormously with shipping, as she plans to sell her suits on both continents. She found a manufacturer in Lithuania and that worked for one season but will not work for the long term, so she will return to Europe next month to “shop” again for manufacturers.

1979 has a ladylike look.

One thing is settled: Her supplier of exquisite French fabrics is definitely going to work out. The fabrics come in beautiful colors such as aubergine and slate and they hold up to the standards of even the toughest water women.

Suzanna’s goal is not to become a Gottex or Jantzen. She would like to remain small and exclusive, to be sold in a few select boutiques in Europe and the U.S.

The aesthetic of 1979 is right in line with the direction fashion is taking right now. Ladylike and feminine, it’s based on the philosophy that “less is more,” seeing a little less skin can be a lot more sexy. One of her most popular styles came from a 1940s suit Suzanna found in a Honolulu Goodwill store and took apart to make a pattern. With her contemporary approach to pattern making, hardware and construction, she combines the romance of vintage with the functionality of contemporary sportswear.

See the latest collection from 1979 on Ala Moana Center’s CenterStage Friday, March 25, at 2 p.m. Then go shop for the suits in the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator. Note: If you love her original styles, made from vintage aloha shirts, this is your last chance to buy one. She will not be making them any longer.

– Paula Rath

Posted in Hawaii Fashion | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Hifi Pop-Up Incubator happenings for Thursday

Today is a HUGE day for fashion at Ala Moana Center. Tonight marks the public debut of Andy South’s first South by Andy South collection, his fall 2011. His show at 7 p.m. at Center Stage promises to be exciting and entertaining. In addition to his fashions, Andy has created costumes for 24/7 Danceforce and the group will showcase their own original choreography during Andy’s show.

There are also lots of activities at the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator on the street level, between Old Navy and Sam Goody. Here’s what’s on for Thursday:

10 a.m. Fashion Illustration for everyone, no experience needed

3 p.m.  Mom and Daughter Makeup and Skin Care 101 with Bella Torre Academy

4 p.m.  Drop-In Dyeing Techniques with Wendy Rosen

5 p.m.  Beauty Bar by Spa at Trump and Lashcard

7:30 p.m. Meet Andy South at his after party

Event details and registration at

– Paula Rath

Posted in Hawaii Fashion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Please come to our launch party!

Posted in Fashionating | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kaveh Kardan’s NYC Photos, part 2

All photos by Kaveh Kardan

Honolulu-based fashion photographer Kaveh Kardan recently made a trip to New York City to work with models there and to build up his portfolio – and theirs. He has graciously agreed to share his photos, and the stories behind them, with us. This is the second in his series.

I love the edginess and textural qualities of this photo!

Martina is a model I worked with during my previous trip to NYC in
September, and I made sure to contact her before this trip to arrange
for a photo shoot.  She is a dancer, actress, burlesque performer, and,
like me, a math major.  Not your typical waif of a model, Martina
exudes the sensuality of a 1940s Italian movie actress, a mixture of
Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.

We were planning to shoot around the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but
changed our minds once we were on location, due to the construction
and large numbers of tourists and their buses.  Instead, we headed
down to one of her favorite areas, the Lower East Side.

It was an unseasonably warm and sunny February day, with the
temperatures reaching the high 60’s.  A friend of Martina’s owns a
restaurant in the area, so we used that as our home base, changing
outfits and traveling light.  This allowed us to move around the
streets and shoot without drawing attention to ourselves, looking
like a pair of tourists.

I decided to use available light, taking advantage of the low sun
which poured down the streets.  I knew some of the images would be
black and white, and I wanted them to feel like something out of a
Fellini movie.

Several hours and many outfit changes later, we decided to end our
shoot at the Brooklyn Bridge.  Somehow ended up nearer to the
Manhattan Bridge, and ended up finishing our shoot using the Brooklyn
Bridge as a backdrop, along with part of the city skyline as the sun
disappeared behind the skyscrapers.  For some of these final shots, I
broke out my light stand and flash, going for a more 1950s glamour
look and lighting.

This was the first of three shoots with Martina during my week-long stay in NYC.

– Kaveh Kardan

Posted in Fashionating | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ask the Experts

We all have questions from time to time about fashion, styling, accessories, hair, makeup, nutrition or fitness:

  • What are the best new makeup colors for spring?
  • How can I take my hair from beach to a dinner date?
  • What is plantar faciitis and how is it treated?
  • Where can I find a good Pilates instructor?
  • What’s a good, quick and easy – but heathy – breakfast for me and my kids?

During my 15-plus years of writing about fashion, beauty and fitness, I have come to know many valuable sources.  Now, thanks to this blog, I can make those sources available to you. If you have a question, send it to me as a comment or via e-mail at I’ll find an expert to answer it.

– Paula Rath

Posted in Fitness, Hawaii Fashion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rebel by Lovelessizm Fashion Show Report

Assymetry is a signature of Lovelessizm. Photos by Jerry Mayfield

Lovelessizm, the line designed by Honolulu’s multi-talented Richie Miao, has already earned an avid following in Asia. Last night, in its premeir fashion show in Hawaii at Ala Moana’s CenterStage, the line got its big introduction to an appreciative Honolulu audience. I don’t think anyone expected such an extensive line to come down that runway. Some of us had seen a few pieces of Lovelessizm in Blue Buddha and on Richie himself, but no one was prepared for dozens and dozens of looks. Even makeup artist Liz Dahl (“Hawaii 5-0,” “Just Go With It,” etc.), who works in Etch Salon with Richie, said “He’s been holding out on us!”

Well, he didn’t hold out last night. It was a spectacular show and did the city proud. My husband Jerry, who isn’t always thrilled when I ask him to help me photograph fashion shows, loved every minute of the show. “Imagine all those people at Ala Moana Center who are just visiting Hawaii. If they were to see that show they would have a whole different idea of what fashion in Hawaii is all about,” he said with obvious pride.

The palette: Black, white and gray.

The collection is beautifully crafted with a plethora of details that would be a nightmare for most seamstresses. But Richie, ever the perfectionist, has found fabulous people in Asia who can do anything he asks, even multiple zippers, complex deconstructions and other baffling details. Even with my deisgn background I cannot figure out how he has engineered some of these garments!

Although originally conceived as a men's line, Lovelessizm can often be worn by women.

The versatility of Lovelessizm was made evident throughout the show. Models morphed their garments right on stage. Many of the pieces have functional zippers that can change the entire character of the garment.

Model Forest Gorham morphs his jacket.

Richie has taken some iconic men’s garments, such as motorcycle jackets, utility belts and jodphurs, and turned them on their heads.

Do these pants remind you a little of WWI?

Models were provided by Wilhelmina Models and styling was by Ryanjacobie, a Paul Mitchell Focus Salon.

Yes, it works for women.

There's an edgy side to Lovelessizm,

The music, by L.A.-based vocal percussionist (beatboxer) Jake Moulton  and violin player Jason Yang was fantastic.

Jason Tang, left and Jacob Moulton

Hats off to Malie Moran and Hawaii RED Magazine for a job well done in putting together the show. Mahalo to Jerry Mayfield for the photos.

– Paula Rath

At the After Party in the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator, L to R: Jake Moulton, Richie Miao and Jason Yang

Posted in Hawaii Fashion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment