Style takes center stage with the Hawaiian fashion and design. Drop in for kapa-making, witness traditional tattoo demonstrations, and get a glimpse into the evolution of fashion in Hawai‘i and the cultural influences that inspire the contemporary designs of today.
The History of Hawaiian Tattooing
Hear from expert Hawaiian tattooist, Keone Nunes and learn about the ancient art form of kakau, or hand tapping.
Traditional Hawaiian tattooing is an art form that doesn’t use machinery, just traditional, handmade tools — made of whale bone, wood and fibers— to tap natural ink into the skin. Keone Nunes considers himself more of a cultural practitioner than a tattooist. He brought back the art of traditional tattooing to Hawai‘i in the 90’s, learning from the Samoan kākau (tattoo) master, Sua Suluape Paulo. The designs Keone creates relate to genealogies, protection or ‘aumakua (family gods), and the kuleana (responsibility) that goes with them. The placement and designs afford the person a connection with their ancestors and reaffirms that person as being kanaka (Native Hawaiian).
Manaola Fashion Shoot
Fountain of Life | in front of the Library Building
11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Come and join Hawaii’s hottest new fashion designer, Manaola Yap, to show how fashion is being used today in translating the spirituality and beauty of Hawaiian culture into an artistic language to be shared with the entire world.
Kapa-Making with Micah Kamohoali’i
11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Watch expert Micah Kamohoali’i perform the ancient Hawaiian tradition of kapa-making; a traditional Hawaiian fabric made from the beaten fibers of the paper mulberry or breadfruit plants.
Traditional Hawaii Tattoo Design Demonstration
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Come and witness the art of kakau—or hand-tapping tattooing—as Keone Nunes displays his expertise live and in-person on the Ross Hall stage.
Fashion Walk with Native Hawaiian Designer Manaola Yap
In this special fashion show, modern Hawaiian fashion designers come together to showcase their work which incorporates traditional methods within modern fashion design.
'Iolani Palace's Queen Gowns
On Display in the Orchid Rotunda and Ross Gallery
Get a glimpse into the fashions of Hawai’i’s monarchs. On loan from the ’Iolani Palace’s permanent exhibition, come and see designer, Iris Viacrusis’ reproductions of the gowns worn by Queen Kapi’olani and Queen Lili’uokalani.
Designers & Artists
Learn more about Fashion Weekend’s Participants.
Keone Nunes: Since the mid-’90s, Nunes has used a moli—a comb-like instrument—to hand-tap traditional Hawaiian tattoo motifs, using his years of apprenticeship to become the foremost revivalist of an ancient island art.
Micah Kamohoali‘i: As the kumu hula, or leader of the Halau Na Kipu’upu’u, a hula school on “the big island” of Hawai‘i, Micah Kamohoali’i is adept in the movements that make up hula and the fabrication of the regalia of the historic tradition.
Manaola Yap: Up-and-coming fashion designer Manaola Yap was born into a family whose cultural and artistic roots run deep. His ancestors were hula practitioners and artisans of traditional Hawaiian textiles and dyes. He is the first Hawaiian fashion designer to present authentic Hawaiian culture on a mainstream fashion stage and he recently became the first native Hawaiian fashion designer to be carried by Saks Fifth Avenue.
Images on this page provided by:
Hawaii Tourism Authority / Heather Goodman