Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Forever 21 Debuts in Harajuku!

Photo credit: Tokyo Fashion

With the recession hitting Japan's economy quite hard, one would assume that retail giants would curb their expansion throughout the country. Wrong! I recently wrote about Chanel opening a specialty cosmetic boutique in Omotesando about a week ago. Today, it's the affordable chic clothing chain, Forever 21, opening their very first store in Tokyo. Technically, since Japan is 19 hours a head, the grand opening of the store was yesterday. Thousands of shoppers anxiously waited in front of the 19,000 square foot store which inhabits the old New Balance building space on Meiji Dori, one of the main streets in Harajuku.

Look at that line!!!
Shop girls pass out goodie-bags... Japan is so eco-friendly...
Why don't they give away those cute cloth bags in the U.S?!
Photo credits: Tokyo Fashion

Usually when most American or European retailers open in Japan, the prices are always higher, if not double the original retail price. However, I browsed through the Forever 21 Japanese website, and the prices are actually very comparable. Most of the items are the same in terms of clothing and accessory selection but I did find a couple pieces listed only on the Japanese website below:

Military Vest (Approx. US $24.00)
Photo credit: Forever21 Japan

Layered Satin Skirt Black and Gray (Approx. US $36.00)
Photo credit: Forever 21 Japan

Set of three flower hair barrettes (Approx. US $3.80)
Photo credit: Forever 21 Japan
UPDATE: These weren't on the American website but a friend said she saw these in LA so apparently the barrettes are not Japan exclusive...

So cute! I may just have to contact friends in Tokyo/friends going to Tokyo to purchase a few things for me... :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stella McCartney on Heidi Montag

Promised my #1 fan and supporter, J, that I'd write my next post with her in mind. Hope this will suffice, and that you killed that architecture deadline.

Photo credit: MTV
This past summer, J, KT and I sipped green tea and lattés at Barnes & Noble while we studied the GMAT, anatomy of the human body and the LSAT, respectively. When we weren't vigorously working in the zone, we'd chat about vapid celebrity gossip (i.e. our not-so-secret obsession with that ridiculous, contrived "reality" show). Yes, I am unabashed. THE HILLS.

I mostly watch for the fashion (especially now with Whitney gone), so in my defense, it's educational. :) In the season premiere, Heidi was even wearing the new spring Stella McCartney platforms I posted a while back. Disclaimer: I am not a Heidi fan, but grudgingly admit she has some style and an array of to-die-for-items in her closet. Exhibit A: The Stella McCartney bandage dress she wore to her wedding rehearsal dinner last week... To see Heidi in it, go to CelebStyle.

Photo credit: Bergdorf Goodman

The dress is simple and sexy chic. The bandage across the shoulder is the detail that makes the entire piece. Besotted.

Stella McCartney: As the daughter of former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, Stella was born into the world of glitz, glamor and fashion. At the early age of 15, she completed her first internship with Christian Lacroix and continued to work in design on Savile Row, a London fashion hotspot. Her claim to fame as a designer was when three friends modeled her collection as a favor to her for the graduation runway show at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. These three friends were none other than model icons Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Yasmin Le Bon.
In March 1997, Stella was appointed head designer of the French fashion house, Chloé. Her appointment was initially met with skepticism from many including Chanel's leading man, Karl Lagerfield, who was quoted as saying, "Chloé should have taken a big name. They did, but in music, not fashion. Let's hope she's as gifted as her father." Wow. Despite remarks like these that implied her success was due partially to nepotism, today, Stella's talent is indisputable. She has gained much respect since her Chloé debut and has collaborated with Gucci, Lesportsac as well as designed for celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. In early 2007, she also released her own skincare line, CARE.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another Headband by Me


I hand-crafted the bow from a vintage tie. This is the headband that I was wearing in the Indah post! One of my favorites and looks great with long hair!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Designer Dictionary - i n d a h

In 1996, Libby De Santis, with the help of her husband, Joe, moved from her hometown, Hanalei, Kauai, to Brazil to pursue her dream: to create a clothing line that was beautiful, beachy, and breezy. And so she did. Today, Indah has not only gained popularity in the Hawaiian islands, but has also branched out to the mainland. Trendy boutiques like Los Angeles' Planet Blue carry her line and how's this for PR... Kate Hudson was spotted last year wearing a red, hot Indah bikini! For Spring 2009, De Santis took off with the boho-chic trend and created a line full of tie-dyes, ruffles and sexy drapey backs!

Indah tie-dyed keyhole dress, Faryl Robin slippers, asymmetrical feather earrings from a jewelry sale in Kailua, wooden bangle from my mom, wrap bracelet by me, straw bangles from Goodwill

My first Indah piece... Knit peasant tunic, gladiator heels from Tokyo, headband by me, necklace from the Malibu Flea Market

Chanel Opens First Beauty Boutique in Tokyo!

Photo credit: WWD

The 1,506 square-foot boutique with nothing but Chanel beauty products - perfumes/cosmetics/skincare opened today in Aoyama (which is like the new, hip, trendy, Rodeo Drive spot in Tokyo). Can't wait to check it out. I could seriously play in here all day... MAKE-UP HAVEN!

According to WWD, the french designer decided on the concept long before Japan was hit by the recession... And unfortunately, Chanel does not currently have any future plans to expand it's sole beauty boutiques to any other locations. So if you want to check it out, book that ticket to Tokyo!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contempo Gala 2009

Finally! It came and went... The much anticipated Contempo Gala, the biggest fundraising event for the Contemporary Museum in Makiki Heights. This year the gala was held in the Super Ferry terminal. A night of champagne, h'ourderves, wine, nigori sake, martinis (yes, lots of liquor on the rocks), mermaids, jelly fish ladies carrying umbrellas, lobster bisque soup, a silent auction, live band, and with it... Oh yes! Lots of dancing!

L & A - Thank you so much! :) Hostess with the mostest

J in D&G, E in DKNY, T in Marc Jacobs, L in Beijing couture, A in Custo

J & A

E & A

Contempo Ambiance


Jellyfish lady

The group in the limo!

Vionnet Exhibition

"When a woman smiles, then her dress should smile too."

-Madeleine Vionnet

Photo credit: WWD

TIMELESS, BEAUTIFUL, BREATHTAKING, et cetera. Where can I get it? NEWSFLASH! It's couture! And it's 72 years old! Designed by legendary couturier, Madeleine Vionnet, this exquisite tulle, silk, halter dress will be part of the Parisian exhibit scheduled to debut in her name on June 18 at the Les Arts Décoratifs. Umm...Take me to Paris? S'il vous plaît??? Merci, beaucoup!

The private non-profit decorative art museum are currently preserving Vionnet pieces from 1912 through 1939! However, before the couture items can be shown, there is much work to be done. Many of her gowns were made with delicate materials such as tulle, silk crepe and muslin which creates a challenge for curators in terms of displaying the designs over a lengthy exhibition period. "These dresses, that were worn for one evening 70 to 90 years ago will be exhibited on mannequins for [eight] months. The [new linings] are attached in such a way that, if a piece cracks, it's the new bit that gives and not the original fabric." says Pamela Golbin, head curator of the exhibit. Eeeek! Don't crack!

For the complete story go to: Vogue UK

Now these are REALLY vintage pieces yet still so avant garde! Just goes to show that true fashion isn't just trendy... It's timeless. More of Vienna's designs below:

Photo credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Madeleine Vionnet (June 22, 1876 - March 2,1975) is a French couturier hailed for being the "Queen of bias cut" when she introduced the charming shape to the world in the 1930s. Inspired by Grecian art, she used corsets and padding to accentuate the female form. The structure of Vionnet's pieces were delicate and sweeping, often characterized by a cowl neck or halter style. Vionnet modernized women's fashion and many stars such as Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich were fans of the couture maven. Today, her presence in the fashion world is ubiquitous and top designers, John Galliano and Marchesa, have created contemporary collections reminiscent of Vionnet's elegant styles. Her couture label, The House of Vionnet, has since been acquired by the Marzotto Apparel, a Milan textile powerhouse. It's designs are currently spearheaded by Rodolfo Paglialung, who was previously a 13-year veteran womenswear designer at Prada.

Friday, April 17, 2009

g r e e n @ f i s h c a k e

Last night I went to an eco-show called "Green" at Fishcake, a furniture and home design boutique in Kaka'ako (Thank you for inviting me, Andrew!). The event was centered around an "organic" theme with exhibits from various local artists, fashion designers and home/food vendors. I love these types of shows... Andrew's sister-in-law, Mele, was actually one of the featured designers and I finally got to see some of her handbags in person!

Meleana Handbags
Vivid, vintage fabrics adorn canvas/leather exteriors to create a handbag that is unique and island chic - Perfect for a beautiful day spent cruising around in paradise. My two favorites: Holoholo "Auntie's Prom Dress" (second column, top bag) and the Kolohe clutch (second column, third bag, lying flat)!

Pictured: Meleana with her Holoholo, Chinatown brown, Chinatown canvas, Chinatown green and Kolohe clutch handbags

Available online at or at Muumuu Heaven,
767 Kailua Road

Cloth Hawaii

Party-goers perused through vintage clothes and jewelry from Cloth Hawaii

Cloth Hawaii
909 Kapiolani Boulevard (cross street is Ward)

Soozou Sail Bags
Inspired by a nautical theme, the handbags are made of old sails and ropes.

Available online at

Licious Dishes - Raw & Vegan Foods

Pictured: Falafel Lettuce Wraps, Macadamia Nut "Cheese" spread on a Flax Seed Cracker (macadamia nuts, red bell peppers, lime juice, sea salt, yeast), "Wicked Chocolate Tart" (100% organic cacao powder, agave nector, coconut oil, cacao/almond/maple syrup powder)

Licious Dishes
Shops at Dole Cannery and the Farmers' Market every Saturday at KCC

Fishcake interior and artwork

Fishcake rose wall display and chest (I adore!)

Umbrella-straw mixers! If you look closely there was a light at the tip of the umbrella...So cute!

307-C Kamani Street
(Kaka'ako, across from Anne Namba Designs)
(808) 593-1231

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Madison and Diavolina Hop Off Robertson

Interior of new Madison flagship Photo credit: WWD

With retail sales plummeting, looks like some of the decline has hit shopping mecca Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood. WWD reports that boutiques, Madison and Diavolina have moved off of Robertson and onto the neighboring Third Street. Owners Mark and Emily Goldstein were one of the first to inhabit the street, which today is packed with trendy shops and restaurants (Kitson, Lisa Kline, The Ivy...Need I say more?) frequented by celebrities who are followed by a flurry of paparazzi.

According to WWD, the move was catapulted by an increase of rent which nearly tripled last February to $12-17 per square foot. But don't worry, the new location on Third Street is no small closet... Madison and Diavolina have been adjoined to create a 7,000 square foot flagship store.

I don't think the move will hurt the boutiques at all considering both have already established a great clientele and have been in the retail sector for more than a decade! Madison also has five other locations spread throughout Los Angeles. When I was last in LA, I purchased an amazing reversible ring and some boho sandals with fringe from Diavolina (I'll have to take some pictures). Can't wait for my next trip so I can check out the new flagship!

A Little About the Boutiques:

Estabished in 1989, Madison boutiques have grown to become among the most highly regarded shopping destinations in Los Angeles. The stores carry only the latest fashions and accessories from top designers such as Alexander Wang, Chloe, Rag & Bone, Elizabeth & James and Derek Lam to name a few. In addition to it's new flagship on Third Street, the company also has stores in Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and on Melrose Avenue. For more information, visit

Diavolina was established shortly after Madison and is popular for it's fashion forward shoes, flasy accessories and luxurious gowns/dresses. Up and coming designers such as Mayle, Jinny Kim and Alexis Lamontagna can be found mixed with classy chic designers like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marc Jacobs and Loeffler Randal. For more information visit,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Herve Leger Armor-Trim Dress


While I was researching for my post below,
I couldn't help but notice this...

Photo credit: Saks


Forever 21...SOS!

Oh no! Everyone's favorite cheap 'n chic retailer is in trouble. In 2007, Trovata, a ready-to-wear brand originated by three friends in California, accused Forever 21 of illegally cloning it's original designs. After two years of pending litigation, Trovata's suit against one of the fastest growing retail chains is scheduled for trial by jury next month on May 7.


Photo credit: WWD

I'm going to shift into major legal dork mode and say that this case is HUGE! It really will set precedence in terms of fashion copyright and infringement laws. Currently, U.S. copyright laws only protect original prints or graphics on clothes basic because they are considered artwork. They do not protect against a garment's basic design, silhouette or form. This explains why many lower-end designers will create replicas of luxury designers (Notable examples include: Balmain Studded Sandals-->Bebe,Aldo; Herve Leger bandage dresses-->Bebe, Arden B, Cache). Litigation regarding the enforced protection for garment designs is currently pending in Congress.

I'm not sure how I feel about this case... The poor, straight out of college, first year salary trend-follower says for Trovata to get over it! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?! But at the same time, fashion is a form of art... How different is it? Should it not be duplicated? Check out WWD for the full story.

This is one of my heavier posts... I'll leave a few pics (the real thing v. the "knock-offs") to ponder...


Photo credit: Luisa Viaroma

Photo credit: Bebe, Aldo


Photo credit: Saks, Bebe

Monday, April 13, 2009

Target Finally in HI!

Last Friday, my mom and I went on an outing to the new Target (pronounced tarjay) Store in Salt Lake. It was so much fun... And I could seriously spend hours in there... Oh wait, I did!

<6:00 p.m.>
Arrived at Tarjay

<6:02 p.m.>
After grabbing a cart, I made a b line to the clothing section

<6:03 p.m.>
I quickly perused through the racks in search of anything labeled McQ (aka Alexander McQueen for Target)

<6:05 p.m.>
To my dismay, the line is either sold out or not offered to Hawaiians (because they probably think we walk around 24/7 in bikinis and grass skirts)

<6:10 p.m.>
Arrived in the Health and Beauty section... Red Zone #2

<6:15 p.m.>
Discovered more Target exclusive lines - Pixi by Petra Strand, NP by Napoleon Perdis and JK by Jemma Kidd

<7:30 p.m.>
Finally left the beauty section with a Pixi Smokey Eye Wand, NP Lipgloss in Mykonos, Cover Girl eyeliner and Maybelline XXL Curl Lash mascara in tow

Pixi Smokey Eye Wand ($19)

NP Lipgloss
- Mykonos ($15)

<7:32 p.m.>
Dental Care Aisle. Uh-oh. For those of you who don't know, now you know. I am obsessed with teeth... More like white, beautiful teeth. If a guy has yellow teeth it is a complete turnOFF. If I really like him, I may/will try to convince him to start a Crest Whitening Strips daily regimen. So with that being said, I am a little OCD about my own teeth...

<7:50 p.m.>
Point taken? New Oral B toothbrushes, REACH Ultraclean Floss, Aquafresh Extreme Whitening toothpaste (best deal - 3 for $5) and DentaBurst on-the-go teeth cleaners added to the cart!

I'm going to stop with the play-by-play of my Target adventure. There was more... But it just gets a tad boring... Lean Cuisines, SmartWater, office supplies, etc., etc... Blah. Somehow I managed to spend $60.00 on various, frivolous items. Yeah, I know... ?!?!?!?! They get me EVERY TIME.

Target - Honolulu, Salt Lake
4380 Lawehana Street (Where the old Costco used to be)
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

UPDATE: I love all my make-up products!!! The Pixi Smokey Eye Wand goes on so smoothly and doesn't crumble (leaving black residue around your eyes). It's perfect for blending to get that sexy, smokey eye look! The wand goes great with my new eyeliner. The lipgloss is beautiful and actually moisturizes my lips, it's not sticky or heavy which I like. Love experimenting with drugstore makeup and mix-in-matching with higher end products!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Original Headbands by Me!

As promised... All hand-made and one of a kind! Custom designed and made with love by yours truly :)

***Amorette...Little love... My first headband... What started it all***

***Roxie... "Chicago"...Flapper girl inspired***

***Perlina... Delicate... Princess***

***Kassia...Pure... Flutter***

***Lianna - bond...Inspired by Lauren***

***Shaili...Style...Shy & Alanna... LA inspired***

***Holly... Chic & classy...Flower child inspired***

More to come! :)