CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Tiarra Hoyt wears a Cole of California ensemble ($20) featuring a one-piece swimsuit and matching skirt, photographed against Honolulu Design Center's Goldfish graphic sign ($1,749). The center will become a runway for "Act II: A Fashion Reprise." CLICK FOR LARGE
Hawaii Opera Theatre's fashion fundraiser offers couture and designer clothing for low prices
» Tricks of shopping secondhand
GIVEN THE abundance of Internet auction sites and consignment stores, there must be at least 101 ways to ditch your old clothes for cash.
But parting with beloved garments is not always about the Benjamins, and thanks to the generosity of Hawaii Opera Theatre supporters, Honolulu fashionphiles on a Forever 21 budget will have an opportunity to shop couture and designer labels through the theater's spring benefit fashion show and sale event, "Act II: A Fashion Reprise."
'ACT II: A FASHION REPRISE'
Hawaii Opera Theatre's spring benefit:
» Place: Honolulu Design Center, 1250 Kapiolani Blvd.
» Tomorrow: Red-carpet party and fashion show pre-sale with 6 p.m. cocktails and pupus on third floor, 7 p.m. fashion show in second-floor INspiration Room, and pre-sale at 7:30 p.m. in Cupola Events Theatre. Admission is $60. Call 596-7372.
» Saturday: Sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Cupola. Admission is $6 at door, or $5 in advance with a downloadable $1 coupon from www.hawaiiopera.org.
Up for grabs at 10 percent to 20 percent of their retail price will be donated garments ranging from daily to beach, evening and formal wear by such diverse labels as Laundry, Bill Blass, Prada, Chanel and St. John.
I suffered one of my daily "duh" moments when, upon receiving the list of prices for the pieces we photographed, I thought, "This can't be right, the prices are too low."
Of course, that's the point of the event, where a Carmen Marc Valvo gown that typically would retail for more than $3,000 will sell for $200.
Much applause is due to the many anonymous donors who contributed to the sale. It's one thing to disown an ubiquitous Gap T-shirt or trendy top that's in and out in a single season, but it's not easy to give up couture classics that are not only timeless, but retain their value as collectible clothing. Can you even imagine giving away your favorite Louis Vuitton or Gucci handbag after working so hard to own it? By the time you're ready to give it away, you've probably gotten good mileage out of it. Not so with many of these garments, worn once by the sort of high-profile individuals who would rather die than be seen twice in the same outfit.
"Act II" started as a biannual fundraiser, but due to the generous donations of clothing, HOT has been able to host the event two years in a row. Those who do manage to pick up steals might consider paying it forward next year to keep the exchange going.