What the Heck?
Fashionistas descend on E&O Trading
No Accounting For Taste:
Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan from "Lost" were there. As were Al Masini and wife Charlyn, actor/arts promoter Andrew Meader and wife Arlette. But the real stars of last weekend's Iona Dance Theatre benefit, "Shake Your Buddha," were the company's avant-garde dancers, in their make-you-look-twice costumes, with headdresses from peacock feathers to toilet paper rolls.
Not to be outdone, guests sported spangles, polka dots and light-up glasses. They danced on the tables, up on the booths, even on the dance floor. The party took over all of E&O Trading Company. Sand, bags of it, turned the private dining room into a Zen garden. There shirtless young men massaged the guests' tired feet, washing them in rose petal water.
Quite a night. Dean Ueda, management accounting analyst for HECO, recently joined the Iona board. "My first experience," he said. "Accountants usually don't get to see stuff like this."
Generation Gap: Lured in by jazz trio Melogic, novelist Lee Siegel paid his first visit to Hotel Street's Next Door. "The crowd looks young here," he said. "In fact, this is the first time I ever wanted to card a bartender before I let him sell me a drink."
Sax for Hire: A tenor sax rendition of "When I Fall in Love" begins and ends George Clooney's new film, "Good Night, and Good Luck." It's played by Honolulu Symphony Pops' Matt Catingub. "I hadn't played a tenor sax for years and years," says Catingub. "But a tenor was what George wanted. So I didn't tell him, I just went out and bought one."
Divas: Gathered at Alan Wong's last Thursday were the Dining Divas, a group of 13 stylish Honolulu women organized by wedding planner Beth Bowlen Harbottle. Monthly, the group meets to critique restaurants.
Not to say the Divas are hard to please, but for the Wong's dinner, Diva Ann Grune got Tom Leonardini, owner of Napa's Whitehall Lane winery, to come pour his top-of-the-line cabernet. Executive chef Lance Kosaka flew in duck from New York. He better -- his sister is Diva Melanie Kosaka. Wine director Mark Shishido went out and ordered an extra five dozen Riedel crystal wine glasses.
"We're not like this in real life," insists Harbottle. "We have kids, we're busy. But once a month, yes, we're demanding Divas."
Shoes and Champagne: Who knew Honolulu harbored such a desire to get dressed up? Nearly 3,000 people donned some version of fashionable finery and turned out for Ala Moana Center's gala World Festival Party last Sunday.
The center of the mall was all throbbing music, food stations, martinis, camera flashes -- a chance to feel glamorous. Much of the action migrated to the smaller parties inside boutiques.
At the Cole Haan reception, Kamehameha Schools' Anne Botticelli and powerhouse attorney Crystal Rose sat on one of the couches. "What could be better than this?" asked Rose, as the saleswoman brought her a pair of pumps. "A party with champagne and a chance to buy shoes."
Japanese actress/supermodel Rinka floated from store to store, surrounded by cameras and fans. As supermodels go, she was underwhelming. That night you could hardly walk anywhere without bumping into a young woman as or more attractive. Still, to get Rinka to visit a boutique, the store had to give her presents, a watch here, a handbag and pair of embroidered boots there. "How can I get her job?" asked every woman who saw her.
To enter Fendi's "Garden of Earthly Delights," you need a big plastic key around your neck. To get into Dior, you had to have red dog tags.
At Fendi, I ran into singer Cathy Foy in a red sequined jacket talking to fashion promoter Philana Bouvier in a stunningly diaphanous dress. "How come you never put me in your column?" demanded Bouvier. In that dress, no problem.
Dior was all loud jazz, smoke and mirrors. Some former members of the UH volleyball team in white muscle shirts passed mojitos. In walked Linda Coble, who took one look around and said, "Well, this is a whole other world, isn't it?" Coble came by because her sister, Cameron Maheras, is Dior's regional director. "You wouldn't think two such different women could spring from the same womb," she said.
Leaving the Dior party, I ran into Carson Kressley, the fashion savant from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," wearing a red-on-white print sport coat. "My 16-year-old daughter is going to die when I tell her I met you," I said. He immediately wrapped me in a hug. "Give this to her when you get home," he said.
John Heckathorn's radio show, Heckathorn's Hot Plate, simulcasts weekday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. on SportsRadio1420 and sister station 1080 AM. Reach him at email@example.com