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“MAMo Wearable Arts Show”photo

The MAMo Wearable Arts Show debuted in Maui this past weekend for the first time.  This highly anticipated event celebrates Maoli Arts Month which showcases native Hawaiian artists and cultural practitioners through a fashion show.   Both traditional and contemporary garments and adornments are featured in unique and mesmerizing media.  Kapa prints, feather work, ti leaves, tattoo and weaving were some of the featured works.

The art of Kakau, or traditional Hawaiian tattooing was used by several artists.  Keone Nunes, a traditional Hawaiian kakau artist highlighted his full body tattoo work on men wearing only the traditional malo loincloth.  Out of respect for this traditionalist, there was no hooting and hollering as each kane (male) turned around to bare – ahem – a bare behind. On the other hand, artist Manaola unveiled a line of men’s underwear on muscled men who encouraged the ladies to show their boisterous appreciation. 

Marques Marzan and Maui’s own Keali’i Reichel/Taupōuri Tangarō presented ancient cordage and incredible weaving techniques fashioned into contemporary designs that were both reverent and avante garde.   Its poised models staying true to character could be imagined on any New York runway.  

Maile Andrade unwrapped a line of velvet scarves hot stamped with native designs to a medley of Beatle’s tunes while Aunty Paulette Kahalepuna featuring her beautiful featherwork, danced down the runway  to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” song.  

And favorite Hawaiian fashion icons Wahine Toa from Kona on Hawai’I Island and Manuheali’i from Kailua on O’ahu Island highlighted their newest prints and contemporary styles that are the rage all over the state.   

The outdoor setting of the Yokouchi Courtyard at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) offered an amazingly intimate venue for this first time event.    With a resounding “Hana Hou” (one more time), we hope that it will be back again in the Spring of 2015.        


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