October 24th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Six little tropical fishes in exquisitely detailed enamel comprise the mystery bracelet.

This is the story of a mysterious bracelet that entered my life shortly after Mother died in 2013.

My sister, Roberta Rath Cullen, and I were going through Mother’s dressing table and discovered the bracelet, which neither of us had ever seen before. This seemed odd because Mother made a point of giving her treasured things away to her three kids and four grandkids throughout her later years. (She had a great give-away system, which I will share in a future blog.)

Three of the fish up closer.

I always wondered what the story of this bracelet might be. It must have been highly significant, or surely Mother would have given it away.

Recently, I was polishing some silver and decided to polish these fish, which are made of silver and had totally blackened over the years.

Aha! There, neatly etched on the back of the orange fish, was the following: RHR – JLJ, 9-10-37.

That would be my father, Robert Helsher Rath, inscribing a gift to my mother, Jacqueline Lee Jacobs, on September 10, 1937.

RHR-JLJ 9-10-37

My parents’ love was somewhat legendary. They met at a U.H.-Manoa beach party when mother was 16, a freshman at U.H. , and Daddy was 22, working as an office boy at Alexander & Baldwin. (Ahem, Daddy had no idea she was only 16, as she was 5′ 8″ and very mature.)

Daddy was known around the Jacobs household as “the barefoot boy who wouldn’t go away.” Sure enough, he stuck around for 66 years, until he passed away in 2006.

I remembered that my mother often spoke about her graduation trip with her father, Col. James Paul Jacobs, when they spent four or so months going around the world from Hawaii until he left her at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

In the 1930s, parents and their children shared passports.

I dug around for a passport and proof of her departure date. And guess what? It was September 10, 1937.

This wonderful bracelet, featuring Daddy’s beloved Hawaiian fish (he was the rare fisherman who could throw net off a reef or set a lobster trap beyond the reef, or put a pole in the sand at Yokohama Bay and provide dinner for the family), was his parting gift to the love of his life as she went off to college 5,000 miles away.

It was a remarkable romance. Daddy had never been to the Mainland before, but he and his eldest brother drove across the country at some point during those three years and he was able to visit Mother for a few days.

Meanwhile, they had agreed to date other people, but return to one another in Honolulu after she graduated.

Date other people? Oh yeah. At least she did! Mother once said with a secretive smile “I dated every Phi Beta Kappa at Johns Hopkins,” the brother school of Goucher College. I’m pretty sure Daddy was dating too, but neither of them ever forgot each other, not for a moment.

And I’m guessing she wore this fish bracelet every day she was away in remembrance of “the barefoot boy who wouldn’t go away.”

Mother returned to Hawaii in the summer of 1940, and I recall they told me that Daddy took a friend’s boat out to meet Mother’s ship as it came into Honolulu Harbor. They were married on August 28, 1940.

Jacky and Bobby Rath on their wedding day.

Now I wear this treasured bracelet often and it’s a reminder of the great love from which I came, a love that survived many years and great distances, only to grow stronger.

-Paula Rath

October 13th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Katharine Harts models Queen of Hearts print top. 

I discovered Queen of Hearts, my favorite line of dance clothing, about five years ago at Still and Moving Center in Kaka’ako. I have never received as many compliments regarding any of my workout-related clothes. In fact, I constantly have people saying “You look like you’re ready for a date night out, not a dance class.”

I love the clothes because they are made to move and flow in a way that is ultimately flattering to the body. They also come in yummy jewel tones, and rich earth tones, not just black and white, like so many other brands.

Natasha Marjanovic is head over heels – or should I say heels over head –  for Queen of Hearts.

The buyer at Still and Moving Center moved to the mainland and my favorite dance clothes simply disappeared. They are designed in San Francisco and I tried to find them there, but didn’t succeed. They are a tiny company with a hands-on designer who does not seek the limelight.

Natasha in a sleeveless top with a sexy but not too revealing back treatment.

The back of Natasha’s tunic.

Now Queen of Hearts has returned to Still and Moving Center, and their collection is bigger and better than ever. About 80 garments, including only one of any particular color, style or size, was ordered. This means you’d better not wait to check them out.  (And yes, some styles have sleeves! I don’t do sleeveless.)

Paula Celzo’s pants feature a little peplum that both flatters and conceals.

To celebrate the return, the studio is holding a Dress Up Party:

Tuesday, October 15

4 p.m.

1024 Queen Street

Phone: (808) 397-7678

Kendra Gillis loves Queen of Hearts for her yoga practice.

This is a perfect opportunity to grab a few girlfriends and play dress up together. And it’s an ideal time to have lots of like minded women critique the outfits you try on.

– Paula Rath

Asymmetry, slits, and a hoodie make Natasha’s workout top anything but ho-hum.

A characteristic Queen of Hearts detail which can act as an effective camouflage when needed (although on this model it’s obviously not needed.).



October 8th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Ron’s last design, hot off the sewing machine

Indige Design, the unique little Kaimuki boutique many of us have grown to love, will be closing its doors on October 19.

Owner/designer Ron Irwin reports his lease is up and he will not be renewing it.

So…that means everything in the store is on sale at deeply discounted prices.

Truth be told, this blog started to be about the tunic pictured above. It’s Ron’s last design, and the details are exquisite. But the tunic was sold within hours of being put out in the boutique, so this blog is about some of the other magnificent bargains you shouldn’t miss out on.

These popular pants come in many colors and fibers.

I love Ron’s narrow leg pants, with just the right amount of stretch to flatter your figure. They come in lots of colors, but the white pair are a go-to on hot summer days. Denim is always a favorite, and Ron’s denim is unlike anyone else’s.

There’s also a rack of chic women’s pants inspired by Japanese workmen’s pants in mixed prints that are fabulous with a simple T-shirt or tunic.

Wear it with leggings and ballet flats – so chic!

And where else will you ever find hand loomed or hand painted linen tops, tunics and dresses?

Everything in Indige is 30 – 75% off. Fabulous for holiday gift giving!

Owner/designer Ron Irwin is making arrangements for many of his garments to be sent to high end mainland boutiques, where they will undoubtedly be marked way up in price. Ron has spent many years visiting “his” village in Java, working with the weavers there to come up with highly original fabrics. I love knowing that this elegant man had a hand in weaving my new plaid hand-woven linen dress:

Javanese weaver who works with Ron.

Here is one of the weavers and looms that fulfill Ron’s exacting demands:

And the threads that become beautiful tunics, dresses and tops:

When I left the boutique today, there were still a few Tibetan carpets left, just a few men’s shirts (most of them were bought by none other than Robert Cazimero, a man of great taste), and some racks of beautiful pants, tunics, dresses, jackets and tops in knits and wovens of many varieties.

Ron is also selling furnishings from Indonesia and some beautiful handbags, hats and home decor items.

Indige Design is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through October 19. Then all pau.

Address: 3449 Waialae Avenue

Phone: 737-3377

– Paula Rath

October 4th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Remember these classic children’s books? These particular books are treasured editions, probably about 100 years old.

Ron Irwin is giving them away at his store, Indige Design, in Kaimuki. They belonged to his great grandmother.

Hurry to the store if you are a book lover, or know a book lover who would appreciate these very special editions.

While you are there, check out his beautiful Tibetan carpets, as well as his hand loomed linens and classic straight leg pants, with just the right amount of stretch; they’re among my favorites!

Paula Rath

October 2nd, 2019 / posted by paularath

Sassy shorts set from the ’60s or ’70s?

The Wiki Wiki One Day Vintage Collectibles & Hawaiian Show was given a treasure trove of ’60s and ’70s fashions from an anonymous Aunty. More than 200 garments! Look for them at tables 72, 73, 6 and 7 at the show on Sunday.

Sometimes a holoku is the perfect thing to wear.

These fashions of the times are the real deal. If you recognize any of the specific garments, or know the print or the designer, please let me know via comment or an email. It’s fun to share the stories behind your muumuu memories too.

This shift could go anywhere today. Great neckline!

Does this muumuu remind you of anyone?

Remember the show will also feature a rare and fabulous collection of Ming’s jewelry.

Classic Ming’s silver jewelry.

Wiki Wiki One Day Vintage Collectibles & Hawaiian Show

Sunday, October 6

Blaisdell Center Hawaii Suites

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there!


Paula Rath