Pearl launches Fashion Week


POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2009

With few non-retail venues for fashion, Pearl Ultra Lounge is stepping up in a big way with the launch of its first “;Ready to Wear Fashion Week”; today, with evening events continuing through April 5 for a 21 and older crowd.

Events feature fashion shows by University of Hawaii at Manoa fashion design students as well as local designers Allison Izu, Fighting Eel, Maggie Colombe, Roberta Oaks, Mu'umu'u Heaven, Recycled Sweetheart, Martinique and Indah. The week will conclude with an open market sale where guests can purchase designs featured at the events.

Izu said such special events are important to local designers as a way of gaining exposure, and plans for the Fashion Week started when she was talking to Pearl Ultra Lounge managing partner Emi Hart about her desire to show her Spring 2009 denim collection.

“;It's tough as a designer not being in Los Angeles or New York, because you don't have the options for fashion week events like you do out there,”; she said.

“;It just steamrolled into this big thing,”; said Hart, who was able to draw on her experiences as co-founder Fashionista's Market.

“;Individual designers don't always have the means to do a full show, and it's not the best time in the economy for fashion, but I think that by working together, having multiple shows works, where they can pool models and expenses. It helps out a lot.”;

One of the newest designers to be featured is Moani Silva of Recycled Sweetheart, who transforms unwanted clothing into desirable dresses, priced from about $65 to $140. In trying to find a niche for herself, Silva said working with one-of-a-kind fabric solved one of women's biggest laments, seeing others with the same dress.

Silva started sewing for friends and family members three years ago, and with their encouragement, decided to go public at a Women's Expo Fair.

“;The line did really well and I got good feedback,”; she said. After that, boutique owners were asking to carry the line, I started doing events at Fashionista's Market, First Fridays, and trunk shows.

“;It's still kind of an underground thing, and I like it that way.”;

Here is the Fashion Week schedule:



”;Back to Basics”;: Designers from University of Hawaii's Apparel Product Design and Merchandising program will present a preview of their April fashion show, with a portion of proceeds going toward the production. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, or $15 for a week pass.



”;Fashion Renew”;: Designs by Mu'umu'u Heaven and Recycled Sweetheart will be shown. Both designers use vintage and recycled fabrics for their eco-friendly collections. Doors open at 6 p.m., with first show at 8 p.m. Free admission with happy hour all night.


April 2

”;Fashion Resort”;: On view will be swim and resort collections from Roberta Oaks, Indah and Martinique. Doors open at 6 p.m., with first show at 8 p.m. Free admission and happy hour until 8 p.m.


April 3

”;Fashion Spotlight”;: The focus is on designers Fighting Eel, Machine Machine, La Pistil and Sugar Gems, presented by The Butik. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with first show at 10 p.m. Free admission with happy hour until 8 p.m.


April 4

”;Fashion Forward”;: Showcases designs by Roberta Oaks, Allison Izu, and Maggie Colombe. Doors open at 7 p.m., with first show at 10 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.


April 5

”;Open Market”;: Pick up some of the pieces showcased throughout the week, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 944-8000 or visit www.pearlhawaii.com.