August 17th, 2012 / posted by paularath

Anna Tomita shops Goodwill Kaimuki. She bought this little v-neck number to wear while hanging out in her Chinatown studio.

It was love at first sight for Hawaii’s first lady, Nancie Caraway, when she saw Anna Tomita’s collection on the runway. It was the  U.H.-Manoa APDM fashion students’ senior fashion show and Anna’s collection simply captivated Ms. Caraway.

The gracious first lady is extremely supportive of Hawaii fashion designers, as is her husband.  It’s not just talk, they both act on their convictions. Immediately after the show, Dr. Caraway asked me to help her get in touch with Anna. They met and bonded and have since developed a delightful relationship, both personally and professionally.

Since Dr. Caraway is honorary chair of Goodwill Goes Glam, the fashion extravaganza coming up next Thursday, she thought it would be appropriate if she donned an outfit from Goodwill. She asked Anna to help her customize some Goodwill finds to make them her own. Dr. Caraway slipped magazine photos that provided Anna with some idea of what she was looking for.

“She chose cute rather than classic or sexy,” Anna explained over lunch at Coffee Talk in Kaimuki. (Their tuna/avocado sandwich is fabulous!) She also asked for a mix of prints.

Anna scouted Goodwill stores and found five or six dresses in prints she thought might appeal. Dr. Caraway chose two and Anna began work.

Anna chose draping as her pattern-making method. Lucky girl, it just so happens that her mannequin is a perfect fit for Dr. Caraway.  “I wanted to keep the shapes of the dresses and work form them,” Anna explained. “The skirt and yoke came from one dress and the bodice from another.

Anna is still working on the dress. She said it will have a cape-like sleeve that will go from the shoulder to above the elbow.

You can see the final dress on Dr. Caraway at the Goodwill Goes Glam Gala Fashion Show and sale  Thursday, August 23, from 6 to 10 p.m. I will see you there as well. I’m the emcee for the fashion show and will be wearing a LBD and strappy sandals I found at Goodwill Kaimuki yesterday.

If you don’t have your tickets yet, it’s not too late. Here’ s the information from Amanda Stevens:


Go to to get your VIP Fast Pass invitation!

Receive exclusive VIP benefits to this inaugural Goodwill GALA and VIP Pre-Sale event. The $70 VIP Fast Pass benefits include entrance to the Welcome Reception, Fashion Show and first access to the Pre-Sale to the official Goodwill GLAM! Sale – a Treasure Hunting & Shopping Experience happening the following days Aug. 24-26.

I hope to see you there!

– Paula Rath

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