LIVING LIFE WITH PASSION AND STYLE™

Ode to Hawaii: Hawaii Girls in the National Spotlight (Part 1)

June 2, 2010
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Like how we like to claim Barack Obama as our own, it’s natural for every town, city, or country, to feel kinship and pride of any of their countrymen or women achieving great success. Hawaii is no different. Indeed, the obstacles appear far greater as Hawaii is an island in the Pacific Ocean, the 50th state of the USA, and culturally diverse where stereotypes and generalities can emerge. Yet, professional athletes, actors, models, businesspeople, musicians, and scores of others have reached national and international success. I want to celebrate it. I also want to share the paradise I live in. And nothing seems more appropriate than to celebrate Maui girl, model (she is also the face of Billabong, too), and surfer Tori Praver, who has a featured photo spread in this month’s Marie Claire magazine. The layout captures the ethereal, yet active energy of our lifestyle; the fashion what we should all aspire to. And thanks to Marie Claire for setting an example of authenticity from the inside out. Now, that’s style.

-Stephanie

Photographed by Matt Jones; Styled by Isabel Dupre in Alexander Wang, Burberry, Mango and others.


SM road trip: Milano

March 11, 2010
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Milano is a business city; business first, fantasy second. It was our first stop after two red eyes from Honolulu, but jet lag could not curb the excitement to spend a day in beautiful Italy. Rather, it would hit me later like a falling 20 ton concrete slab. Well, we just had 24 hours before traveling again so we walked about even if the Winter Olympics were just underway! Walking from our hotel, the air was crisp, but not overbearing as sunlight swathe the city with pockets of warmth. The last time I was here was during late summer and groups of tourists populated the city centre, eateries, and streets with cameras, shopping bags, and tour guides. In winter, there are more locals and the cold weather wears on people. Yet, the duomo, the city’s prominent symbol, still stood majestically as people congregated in the city centre, roasted castagnias (chestnuts) filled the air and the feeding of the birds still ranked as an easy money-making opportunity.

Duomo in Milano

The birds scattered away. Of course, I did not have any feed in hand, yet.

Two birds pecking at my hand with the feed. Honestly, I love animals but I am not such a fan of birds. (Sorry, bird lovers). Pretty much, only the tourists do stuff like this. Well, we got the photos.

Scenes around the duomo in Milano:

Gelato! But it’s cold outside.



Like New York, black is a predominant color of choice.

In the Galleria with the Louis Vuitton store in the background.

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Sunlight through the glass ceiling.

Milano style!

-Stephanie


SM Style: My favorites and misses of the Oscar fashions 2010

March 8, 2010
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Check out my post on the Honolulu Advertiser’s fashion forum blog about my favorites and misses of the Oscar fashions 2010.

-Stephanie


Surfing and Hawaii does not get better than this…Here’s the day before the Eddie

March 5, 2010
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I never tire of watching this. Rev it up without even getting off the couch. Some days you just need that extra kick. My friend posted it on his wall and even if the event is more than a month old, it is one of those events to reminisce for awhile. Thirty thousand were on hand at the North Shore, crammed along the highway and beach, to watch the Eddie Aikau contest and millions watched the live stream on the Internet.  Just a natural wonder that man is trying to conquer.

-Stephanie


SKIER LINDSEY VONN ON THE “CONTROVERSIAL” SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER

February 9, 2010
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Well, this isn’t the most flattering pose of cute skier Lindsey Vonn. However, neither is it the worst. But people are talking about it because sites like WomenTalkSports believe the cover objectifies women. Listen in:

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“Vonn is first a GREAT athlete, but she also represents norm of feminine attractiveness. The combination of athleticism and attractiveness make Vonn the likely poster girl of the US Olympic Team, and the media hasn’t disappointed in constructed her as such.

Not to be left out, Sports Illustrated is featuring Vonn on their Feb. 8, 2010 cover. For those of you who follow SI Covers, know that female athletes are RARELY featured on the cover.

Over the last 60 years researchers have shown that about 4% of all SI covers have portrayed women.

When females are featured on the cover of SI, they are more likely than not to be in sexualized poses and not in action-and the most recent Vonn cover is no exception.”

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As I call it, let’s look at the facts. Lindsey Vonn is a downhill skier. She skies downhill, crouched, poles tucked under her arms, tush in the air, right? Arguably, she’s not doing anything out of the ordinary. She’s a superior athlete, cute (great makeup, hair and ski suit!) and marketable, so why would anyone want to hide her face behind goggles in an action shot. (See a male skier cover.) Very cool shot, but we can’t really see his face.

Does it hurt her credibility? Not really. Sport Illustrated crowns her in boldface type “America’s Best Woman Skier Ever.” Please, this is not an example of mockery or sarcasm like the Palin cover on Newsweek. Not by a long shot.  Well, could SI have shot her straight forward? Yes, but it is SI’s call and that is what the ruckus is about. Is it also that SI shot her in a bikini for its Swimwear edition? (see below). And all covers are on newsstands within a span of a week.

They speak like SI held a gun to her head. Lindsey Vonn consented to be shot on the Olympic Preview cover and the Swimwear edition. C’mon, who wouldn’t pose for SI knowing it could catapult your career, your marketability, your bank account. It is not sleazy, sarcastic, or demeaning. You are included with the top athletes of the world. Yes, SI should be better about having more female athletes on covers. Yes, SI does show the female form in sexy ways, but a woman should never try to be a man. How confining! Be yourself. Obviously, Lindsey Vonn shows her smart, playful, girlish side that loves to dress up, feel pretty, but let her accomplishments speak for itself.

Will SI probably sell magazines with Lindsey Vonn on the cover? You bet.

-Stephanie


THEY’RE BACK! Humpback whale season in Hawaii!

January 29, 2010
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Photo courtesy of http://www.sailhawaii.com website

Spotted a couple of humpback whales at Diamond Head breaching and exuberantly playing with one another. What an absolute delight! It was not my first encounter as I also saw them (and a pod of dolphins, turtles, and fish) up close off the Waianae coast, where the waters are usually glassy. They’re massive and awe-inspiring creatures. It never gets old. Check this website for more info on whale watching tours in Hawaii! Enjoy!

-Stephanie


Brilliant designer Ilan Delouis and Faith Connexion

January 27, 2010
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Brilliant design. Brilliant photographs. Brilliant concept. FAITH CONNEXION. I want these clothes. Must-have dresses. Just brilliant.  I am a broken record.

-Stephanie


Starting a tradition…showcasing the merchants of Queens’ Marketplace, Big Island Style

January 21, 2010
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When it is your first experience, you celebrate it: your first car, your first date, your first job, and all the emotions attached of experiencing something new for the first time. It’s momentous. Like a cover page of a chapter, it marks a defining milestone.

Opening of the show

With that said, welcome to the first fashion show at the Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa, Hawaii on the Big Island! I had the pleasure of attending the Queens’ Marketplace’s first fashion show to witness a first-rate production where the hearts and soul of all participants emerged as the stars of the show and fueled their desire to leave “no stone unturned.” Focus International, a modeling agency and producer of the fashion show, in conjunction with Queens’ Marketplace, one of the shopping centers located on the resort property that includes the Hilton Waikoloa and Marriott hotels, collaborated to produce an hour-long, first, fashion show showcasing 18 retailers, like Blue Ginger, Island Pearls, Hawaiian Quilt Collections and Island Gourmet, to just name a few. Throw in a local dance troupe; a local Hawaiian chanter and hula dancers; a “Michael Jackson” impersonator; a local harpist; a singer/musician, who during the day is a dentist in town; skillful guys operating the elaborate sound system and stage; 60 exotic models and precocious kids from Focus International working in Hawaii, nationally, and internationally; props; different, artistic themes displayed for each retailer’s product; two hosts; and of course,  a warm, balmy night set on the Big Island of Hawaii; and you have more than a “fashion” show, but live entertainment to keep you tapping to the beat and being captured by the creativity.

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A local dancer performing Tahitian with Martin, one of the top models.

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The segment is for retailer Island Pearls showcasing its Tahitian pearl jewelry.

This fashion show was not an easy task. It easily could have bordered on cheesy as the “fashion” ran the gamut from hair accessories, Hawaiian quilts, dive wear, Tahitian pearls, Hawaiian and surf wear. A fine line existed between being a “mall fashion show” and something more polished. But Focus International succeeded. It was pure entertainment and they nailed it. It’s a show that also could be taken anywhere: Honolulu, on the mainland, and internationally, because the audience would appreciate the integration of the Hawaiian culture, music, exotic models, and jubilant spirit of the children.

Featuring a segment for retailer Local Lizard & Friends and using a gecko theme.

From the opening, the show drew you in with horns blowing, beautiful chanting, hula dancing, flowers, and a sprinkling of anticipation of what was to come. My other favorite segments included the modeling by men, women, and children, combined with the Tahitian, hip hop, and jazz dancing by the local dance troupe Kealakehe Dance team. No one provided any reason to leave because all were so talented. If Queens’ Marketplace and Focus International continue to have a yearly fashion show of its merchants, I believe it can be one of the biggest events that both the locals and the tourists can look forward to as well as  a great opportunity to spotlight products from its retailers!

Segment from retailer Quiksilver. Not just bikinis and boardshorts.

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Segment featuring the retailer Claire’s showcasing accessories.

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The models for this segment all dressed in jeans and a white top, to showcase sunglasses from retailer Sunglass Hut.

Segment featuring bikinis from retailer Quiksilver.

The models dressed in black to showcase the retailer Pacific Nature’s jewelry (coral red here).

Models showing fashions from Savvy Butik.

Segment featuring quilts from the retailer Hawaiian Quilt Collections.

And of course, dancing with “Michael Jackson!

The participating merchants in the show included Blue Ginger, Local Motion, Blue Wilderness Dive Shop, Sunglass Hut, Reyn’s, Island Gourmet, Island Pearls, Giggles, Hawaiian Quilt Collections, Genesis Gallery Hawaii, Quiksilver, Perfumania, Lids, Exclusive Designs, Claire’s, Pacific Nature Jewelry, Local Lizard & Friends, and Savvy Butik.

-STEPHANIE
stephred email

2010 “Handbook” for Inspired Living

January 20, 2010
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I did not write this “handbook,” but I certainly enjoyed reading it when I had received it via email the other day. The actions seem simple, yet it appears more people should do it. To act, takes focus; to talk, symbolizes intent, but means nothing without action. No one is perfect, but I believe that in our imperfection, we can still be uplifting to others. Live as you act. I wish you a 2010 full of life, joy, love, peace, health, and prosperity.

Happy 2010 with love, health and prosperity…

Have a year filled with joy and fulfillment!
HANDBOOK 2010

Health:
1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:
11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present           happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

Society:
25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything..
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come..
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40.    Please Forward this to everyone you care about.
-Stephanie

What can we do now for Haiti?

January 13, 2010
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It is hard to imagine the unimaginable. Yet, people experience it and often times, it is the poorest of the poor. The earthquake in Haiti has the same reverberations as the tsunami damage in Indonesia, flooding in Philippines, and the countless natural disasters globally affecting the innocent. Like living in urban sprawl and hearing the sirens blare by night and night, we can become numb to the alarming sounds as well as tragedy, too. Everyday there seems to be a “shocking” event, but whatever way we can focus on the positive and help one another, it may help alleviate some burning pain. We can start by spreading the word about links to help the Haitians. You can check these sites out, albeit from ones being tangentially relating to fashion. There are a host of others on the Internet to learn of, too, such as the Red Cross. Here are the sites:

1. Ben Stiller’s site, Stillerstrong.org. Ben Stiller has been raising money to build a school in Haiti after he visited there for the first time  and has Stillerstrong headbands for purchase. I freely admit that Ben Stiller is one of my favorite actors and I love his humor. See his video on his website with President Clinton. Too funny! Maybe you may see one of the Stillerstrong headbands I bought. Who knows how it looks!

2. Fashion Philosophy is donating 100% of the their profits from purchases to Help for Haiti. Buy yourself a new dress or shirt while helping out, too!

3. Check out Twitter’s Fashion Bloggers for Haiti. Search for events!

-Stephanie


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    My Mantra

    DEFY FEAR™ Be open to change. Take risks. Revel in adventure and new experiences. Travel. Read. Engage your senses. Learn from your mistakes, your successes, and from the wisdom of others. Unravel a puzzle. Create and use your imagination. Be active. Find the positives. Keep it fun. Be EXTRAORDINARY. Love. Live the good life. Enjoy the ride. - I AM. Copyright 2009 by Stephanie Matsumoto STYLE. All rights reserved.