Honolulu Exhibit Will Focus on Hawaiian Fashion

Hawaii --hipho/iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images
photo by hipho/iStock / Getty Images Plus/ Getty Images

Visitors to Hawaii who want to learn more about a uniquely Hawaiian fashion will want to check out the "aloha wear" designs of Alfred Shaheen, which will be celebrated in an exhibit at Honolulu's Bishop Museum from November 9 through February 4, 2013. HI Fashion: The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen tells the story of how the Honolulu-based designer made "Hawaiian shirts" a popular clothing trend.
Bishop Museum’s HI Fashion: The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen will be the largest collection of Shaheen designs ever shown. The display of more than 200 pieces, including aloha shirts and the Hawaiian Bombshell Dress, represents Shaheen’s work over a 40-year period. An earlier version of this exhibit debuted in 2010, at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, and it is the first major traveling retrospective of Hawaiian textiles and aloha wear. The exhibit also includes archival photos and ads that recall how his textiles were designed, manufactured and marketed. The collection comes from Shaheen’s daughter, Camille Shaheen, and her husband, William Tunberg, who have been collecting Shaheen's designer wear since the late 90s as a way to document family history.

The exhibition opens to the public on November 10, and is followed a week later with a premiere evening fashion show featuring vintage wear by Shaheen as well as local “Shaheen-inspired” designers, including Andy South. Both events coincide with the biennial International Textile and Apparel Association Conference. The Museum will also host a series of lectures and presentations exploring Shaheen’s legacy, his cultural influences, the emergence and propagation of multi-ethnic identities within the fashion industry, and how his approach to design and business forged a new model reflecting ethnic integration. The exhibition will remain open until February 4, 2013.

Photo courtesy Camille Shaheen and William Turnberg

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