April 17th, 2014 / posted by paularath

This lovely layered silk top sold out in minutes!

Eileen Fisher is one of those designers who really “gets” her customers. The New York City-based designer’s clothing is simple, functional, comfortable and easy to wear. It is enormously popular with Hawaii women. And, it would seem, enormously popular with my friends. I felt as though I knew half the women in the audience at the Neiman Marcus Eileen Fisher fashion show last Saturday.

The dropped crotch and longer lengths were much in evidence on the runway. Slightly slouchy pants are a staple at Eileen Fisher.

This year marks the 30th anniversary for Eileen Fisher. She started out as an interior designer in Chicago. In the mid-’80s, she grew to hate all the power suits with padded shoulders and thought “I can do better than that.” With a budget of $350, she designed four pieces and had them made into samples by a seamstress friend. She received $3,000 in orders at her first show. In the next year, her orders rose rapidly to $40,000. A fashion business was born.

This is a year for layering, and Eileen Fisher uses crochet to create easy layering pieces. Pair them with tank tops or diaphanous long sleeves for a great look.

While many designers are presenting black with white this spring and summer, Eileen Fisher is all about black with cream. Silks and linens are her fabric mainstays.

These shorts can easily change length with a button at the cuff.

I have been to many fashion shows at Neiman Marcus but I must say I have never seen so many garments fly out the door so fast. There was a lovely long pleated skirt that three of my friends bought. Several of the layered tops with sheer details were gone within half an hour….all sold out! NM Ala Moana was the first store to receive this collection, so at least local women could order pieces to be delivered from other stores.

It was an added bonus that a portion of the proceeds went to the Women’s Fund of Hawaii.

- Paula Rath






April 17th, 2014 / posted by paularath


Go to this event if you dare – and if you, (unlike moi) have some room in your sewing room or closet. Because, I assure you, temptation will strike. It’s a textile trove for the textile nomad who loves pieces from around the world.

You’ve been warned. Now go!

- Paula Rath

April 16th, 2014 / posted by paularath

Photo courtesy of OluKai

Island Sole and OluKai are once again partnering to provide complimentary shoes and sandals to Hawaii lifeguards. It will be their largest donation to date, with more than 1,500 pairs of shoes donated to our deserving watermen.

Here are event details:

Wednesday, April 16

6 to 7:30 p.m.

Island Sole Kahala Mall

Four styles from OluKai’s spring collection will be donated: Kia’i Trainer ($120), Kamiki ($110), Kia’i II ($70) and the latest style, the Holomua ($90).

The event will be hosted by Hawaiian Waterman Hall of Famer and OluKai Konohiki, Archie Kalepa.

It’s an opportunity for folks to learn more about our state’s lifeguard program. (Not to mention checking out the amazing – and gorgeous –  men  and women who keep us safe on our beaches.) Customers may also support local lifeguards by buying a pair of OluKai shoes. A portion of the proceeds from every pair of HLA-inspired shoes or sandals sold will benefit Hawaii’s Junior Lifeguard Program to help train and inspire the next generation of lifeguards.

- Paula Rath

April 14th, 2014 / posted by paularath

Now here’s an original Easter gift idea for the keiki (of any age) in your life.

This adorable toy gives new meaning to the term “egg roll.” As you pull it along, the egg rotates or rolls! Designed and handcrafted by local artisan Eric Loo, they are sold exclusively at PLACE, an atelier by Philpotts, for $40.

- Paula Rath


April 13th, 2014 / posted by paularath


Jana’s cross body bags in bold colors

I must admit I find myself in Waikiki more often now that H & M has graced our shores.

The other day I was wandering through the Royal Hawaiian Center and popped into Aloha ‘Aina boutique.

I was so happy to find a wide array of Jana Lam bags at Aloha ‘Aina,as well as several other local clothing and jewelry designers – the real deal, not fake stuff from other countries!

Although Jana is now a busy mom, she still manages to find time to hand silk screen her beautiful textiles and have them made into clutches and cross body bags. Each print has a story that’s close to her heart. She silk screens them in very small batches, just a  few yards at a time. Priced at $40 – $82, I can tell you that these fabrics are so sturdy they will last for years  and years and years. Jana Lam bags are also carried at Riches Kahala.

- Paula Rath

April 11th, 2014 / posted by paularath

Spiderman demonstrated his web-slinging techniques for the keiki watercolor class at Palama Settlement yesterday.

We have learned that the keiki do their best paintings when they are engaged with the subject matter. Last session we had them working on entries to the Toyota “Paint Your Dream Car” competition. This session we are entering their paintings in Jelly’s Spiderman art contest. In order to provide them with a live model, my amazing husband, Jerry, dressed up as the Amazing Spiderman, much to everyone’s enjoyment.

Our watercolor students are mainly elementary school students from Likelike School. A few are younger or older siblings. About 90 percent of them are Chuukese, and proud of their heritage. They are fascinated when we introduce them to a new place or art form or concept.

Their real life experiences seem to be really limited, so we hope to be able to take them on field trips to places such as the Waikiki Aquarium, the zoo or the Honolulu Museum of Art. The outings will open their eyes to new environments and give them lots of subjects to paint.

It’s so gratifying that we have found some previously hidden artistic talent among these adorable Palama keiki. Mahalo to the Hawaii Watercolor Society, as well as our arts patron, Ginger Waters, for making theses classes possible.

- Paula Rath

The Palama Settlement keiki listen to the story of Spiderman before sitting down to paint the comic book hero.

April 9th, 2014 / posted by paularath

This just in from Joyce Tomonari, volunteer extraordinaire for the Hawaii Opera Theatre.

Every year Joyce spends countless hours sorting, hanging, steaming and pricing gently used garments, household items and art to be sold at incredibly reasonable prices during ACT II to benefit Hawaii Opera Theatre.

Joyce reported yesterday that she was unpacking a true treasure trove of designer items. Among them:

  • Eight pairs of Louis Vuitton sandals, sizes 6 and 7
  • Barely worn Chanel basic black shoes, size 6
  • Kate Spade black handbag with leather/chain strap
  • Louis Vuitton sweater, size 2 or 4
  • Vera Wang black evening dress, size 4
  • Black Chanel suit, size 10
  • Full sets of Limoges and Wedgewood china
  • Pegge Hopper serigraph
  • Clothing by Eileen Fisher, Anne Namba, Harari, St. John and Escada, to name a few

And she said that’s just a drop in the bucket: “We have many, many racks of clothing and this year our selection of designer and couture clothing is the largest ever. Are you looking for a fur coat? We have furs. They are priced to sell!”

If you are interested in getting first choice of all the treasures, it would be wise to attend the Preview Night on April 24, from  5:30  to 9 p.m. For preview night only, there is a cost: $50, which includes wine and pupus. Tickets are required for entry and can be obtained by RSVPing to Tracy at (808) 596-7372.

April 25 – 27 it’s free to shop at ACT II. Here are the hours:

Friday, April 25: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 26: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: HOT Rehearsal Space, located at 780 S. Beretania Street. There is limited parking at Hawaii Opera Plaza, 848 S. Beretania St.

Hey, if you have gently used items that you would like to donate, they will be accepted today through Monday, April 14. Please take them to the HOT Rehearsal Space.

- Paula Rath

April 8th, 2014 / posted by paularath

Island style, kilt with aloha shirt, interpreted by Ron McPherson, who loves his kilt and wears it every chance he gets.

Jerry and I have been immersed in the Scottish Highlands for the past few months because we’ve been Netflixing “Monarch of the Glen,” a BCC Scotland TV series that’s about ten years old. We love the innocence of the show, as well as the beautiful setting on a loch in the Highlands.

The show is about a fictional estate called Glenbogle that’s struggling to survive in modern times. It is filled with humanity and humor (and sometimes over the top behavior from the assistant gillie, Duncan, who helps run the estate and is never seen wearing anything but a kilt).

That said, it made sense that I would want to go to the Scottish Festival last weekend at McCoy Pavilion. As if the buffed men in kilts competing in Highland Games wasn’t enough, there was a lovely dance contest for the wee lassies, great Celtic music, scones with home made jam and of course, beer and scotch.

Slippahs with his kilt and a clan T-shirt with his tam.

But my favorite thing was to check out how our local Scots interpret their “native attire.” Kilt and slippahs anyone? Or a kilt with an aloha shirt? How about wee girls in diaphanous dancing costumes who take off their gillies (another meaning of the word is dancing shoes) as soon as they leave the stage?

The dancing girls wore gillies, the traditional lace-up dance shoes I am crazy about. I wore a pair of red gillies for an entire year when I went around the world.


During the Highland Games, the guys have to toss a heavy stone with a stick attached as far as they can fling it.

Watch my blog for a story on palaka, the Hawaii version of plaid or tartan.

- Paula Rath

April 4th, 2014 / posted by paularath


Makings of a Sherry Pornini: Cointreau and gin. Add a snippet of zest – not to include any rind , please! That white stuff makes the drink taste bitter.

People who know my husband, Jerry Mayfield, pretty well understand that he is a martini man. A creative mixologist, he is constantly experimenting with various versions of the classic cocktail.

For example, while in Bangkok, he created a cocktail he named the Sherry Pornini. It’s a mix of gin and a splash of Cointreau in lieu of Vermouth. He has taught a number of bartenders around Honolulu how to make it, including Justin Park of Manifest and Joey Gottesman of Young’s Market. How it got its name is a story you’ll have to ask him.

Jerry recently began writing his memoirs as a legacy for his adult children. This exercise has awakened in him a love of writing. (Yes, his talents are seemingly endless, from orthopedic surgery to sports to painting to print making to the art of travel to mixology to writing and who knows what….)

Jerry wrote a little story about his drinking buddy with whom he shares his bar. (Another talent of Jerry’s is design and carpentry – he sketched a bar he liked in Las Cruces, New Mexico – his home town – came home and designed and built it himself on our deck.)

I love the story and wanted it to find a wider audience than just family, so I decided to share it with my extended family: you, the readers of my blog. Enjoy!


My Drinking Friend,

I have a friend that I meet each night as I go out to my bar to mix my drink.  He is elegant! All dressed in an Irish green tux with a spot of red tie beaming from his neck which if you look closely is pulsating with vigor and perhaps a bit of humor.  He comes and visits me often, in fact nearly every night, whether rain or shine, he is there, just waiting to give me a brush of his shaded very dark black eye.

We have known each other now for a couple of years, and have developed a certain respect and common sharing of our imbibement.  Our mutual target of oral sensual satisfaction is centered on a dark brown, rectangular, opaque bottle the cost of which I won’t discuss.

He is very athletic, which just amazes me. Appearing suddenly from just around the corner he asks “You again?” manifested  in just the way he pauses and looks at me.  I look back and say “Hi there, great to see you.”  With his legs moving in synchrony he jumps on the bar and stares back as to say “I am not sure I trust you since our last outing when you put me in the spotlight.”  I reflect on that, and recollect, yes, I did expose his nude figure, poised in the flash of my camera as he indulged in one of our favorite pastimes. I reassured him I have not sent the image off to GEICO to be exposed to the TV masses in a commercial.

I am remiss not to introduce you properly to my friend with his name, which is Cointreau. Yes, he is French, although he looks a bit more like he came from the equatorial climes of the jungle. His tastes are impeccable, as I first met him licking, with his narrow darting tongue, from the area of corking of my favorite bottle of Cointreau, thus his name.  I have never seen him dribble even a drop of our favorite concoction as he scurries around the bar.

Our relationship has been put on hold, for, as I suddenly realized he wasn’t quite the mate that my usual bar buddies were.  First off, he was absent the two things that make man/woman what we are.  He did not have a thumb, or on closer inspection even an index finger, and only three toes on each foot! Yes, only three digits and they were not particularly articulated. However he did have these great suction cups that allowed him to climb the walls if he got particularly intoxicated, scared, or perhaps hungry for some ants or other vermin of a small stature that hang around bars.

Meet Cointreau, Jerry’s drinking buddy:

A slightly smashed gecko named Cointreau.

- Paula Rath & Jerry Mayfield

April 2nd, 2014 / posted by paularath

Easter Bunny paddle games at Red Pineapple

If you enjoy dressing up your home a little for Easter, as I do, Red Pineapple in Ward Centre is the place to go.

Owner Nalani Holliday has stocked her store full of fun Easter items for the home and table, as well as keiki and hostess gifts. There’s a wide range of items – and prices – from which to choose: linen table mats that say “Peep” ($7) that would also be perfect for lining an Easter basket filled with home baked goods, wood ornaments in case you want to decorate an Easter tree (4 for $15) and beautiful feathered birds ($16) – to name just a few.

But you’d better hurry – Easter is almost here.

- Paula Rath

A plethora of lovely Easter items await at Red Pineapple.

Easter birds, anyone?