Archive for October, 2014

It's all about sole

By
October 22nd, 2014



WAYNE AGSALDAWayne (on right) has serious business shoe game

WAYNE AGSALDA

Wayne (on right) has serious business shoe game

BY CHRISTA WITTMIER /

Special to the Star-Advertiser

I noticed not one but two of the younger male sales reps at work wearing a specific type of shoe to work that really stood out. It was a nice brown leather with a white sport sole I later learned was the Cole Haan LunarGrand business collection.

“They’re hipster, that’s why” my rep told me. “And the Nike sole makes them super comfy.”

I saw them on Hypebeast but they got ripped to shreds in the comments section.

“If you’re in the ‘business’ of looking like a tool and have never heard of any other shoemaker besides Cole Haan, then sure,” someone posted.

“Are these Sketchers Shape-ups?” another user posted.

I wasn’t hearing it though. Everyone I saw wearing these shoes looked damn stylie. It’s like when you go to a work function and you spot someone sporting a Roberta Oaks shirt. It’s the male fashion anthem of the late 20s-early 30s generation of cool. I’m digging it.

The deepest I get into shoe or sneaker culture is the Nike SB Classics or maybe a dunk if I’m in to the colorway, but I thoroughly enjoy seeing men take so much pride in their gear. These leather shoes are fantastic.

Upscale menswear brand Publish Brand is back in Hawaii this week and they are bringing a hailstorm of stylies and music industry greats that will blow our city away on Sunday. For free.

They have teamed up with Vans to bring the 2014 all-weather fall Brenton Boot. While we may not be so concerned with the fall weather, it’s a shoe that can brave any temperature or atmospheric condition, which after this past weekend, we all very well know, is needed. Publish Brand still considers itself fairly small even though it's been very successful with its classic styling that is meant to last a lifetime. They have had various collaborations including Honolulu’s Kicks HI and New York’s Reed Space. Their clothing is pricey but perfectly tailored, timeless and elegant. They have a lot of pride in this boot and have spared no expense to do a huge release party.

“This is a sensitive one.” They posted on their Instagram last week. “We hold the project with Vans super close to home, as growing up in Southern California, we have worn Vans our whole lives. We didn’t know that one day we would land a project with Vans.”

“This just breaks all barriers and walls for those who do not believe. Love and believe in what you do and one day it will happen.”

COURTESY PUBLISH BRANDSalva's remix of Kanye West's "Mercy" with RL Grime is played out more than the original in the nightclubs

COURTESY PUBLISH BRAND

Salva's remix of Kanye West's "Mercy" with RL Grime is played out more than the original in the nightclubs

Sunday’s release party will feature top talent from both New York and Los Angeles.

Salva is a record producer, engineer, songwriter and club DJ who has created crazy club masterpieces that are usually preferred over the original by club DJs. He is a very influential artist in the music world and one who has been working in the industry since he was 18. His unique method for combining multiple genres of music to create club bangers that are truly his own is celebrated by many.

Dam Funk is still blowing my mind from his Boiler Room set last year at the Treasure Island Music Festival after-party but he’s been regularly killing dance floors with his funky electronic and hip-hop sets, pulling out all of the classics and making us remember so many tracks we love from way back when.

Just Blaze is huge; he could be one of the greatest hip-hop producers of our time. His songwriting credits include everyone. His DJ sets are known to literally change people’s lives. At least that’s what they were saying after his appearance at SXSW this year.

COURTESY PUBLISH BRANDJustin Smith, better known as Just Blaze, has produced songs for an A-List of hip-hop's top talent including Eminem, Jay-Z, Cam'ron, Rick Ross, Kanye and many more

COURTESY PUBLISH BRAND

Justin Smith, better known as Just Blaze, has produced songs for an A-List of hip-hop's top talent including Eminem, Jay-Z, Cam'ron, Rick Ross, Kanye and many more

Kicks HI’s own DJ Delve gets to open for all of this. I would be nervous for him among these heavyweights but I remember him mentioning that the management for a recent headliner he opened for told him to dumb it down mid-set. If there’s anyone who can hold their own for an incredible show like this it’s him.

Vans Otw X Publish Breton Boot In-store Launch W/ Dam-funk

Presented by Vans OTW x Publish Brand

» Where: Kicks Hawaii 1530 Makaloa St. Honolulu HI 96814

» When: 1-3pm Saturday, Oct. 25

» Cost: Free

» Info: PHONE ORDERS ACCEPTED: 808.941.9191

» Info:After Party Sunday, Oct. 26, at The Republik 18+ Free with RSVP

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

Honey for the Vice crowd

By
October 15th, 2014



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014Vice Nightclub was popular among the EDM and 18-and-over crowds in Honolulu.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

Vice Nightclub was popular among the EDM and 18-and-over crowds in Honolulu.

Hearing the news last week that it was Vice Nightclub’s final weekend in business at Ward Centre wasn’t as disconcerting as it should have been.

I knew there had to be other plans. Element Group and Racesauce Events are both constantly working on something. Always. If one establishment closes there’s another one on its way to open. They have operated in this fashion for years.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013The dance floor at Vice Nightclub.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013

The dance floor at Vice Nightclub.

These guys cornered the market with a very strong hold on both the EDM and mainstream nightclub scenes. Almost so much that it’s uncomfortable even walking into their clubs if you have plans to do anything except rage. I liked to lurk at the bar right as you walk in, but after a while even that area was always packed with people. That's a good thing.

Accommodating the 18-and-over crowd as much as possible was another solid move at Vice, which opened in 2012. It only built their base, as those few years pass incredibly fast — and guess where everyone celebrated their 21st birthday? Vice was very good at that, as well as keeping the music fresh with a constant influx of top level EDM headliners to play alongside their resident DJs.

Last weekend the crowd that used to be at Vice moved to 1215, which is also home to Boda Cafe (aka one of the best places in town to get banh mi sandwiches) at 1215 Hopaka Street. (Editor's Note: The space previously housed nightclubs Reign, Zen, Xyloh, and most recently, Club Hype.) Honey started there last week with plans to continue as a weekly Friday promotion by Racesauce.

“The good thing about this party is it’s right next to Ginza, so your Honey wristband gets you free into the Ginza Friday after party,” said promoter Alex Kamm via email. “It's literally right next door.”

I was just so happy to hear there was a plan. I knew there would be.

COURTESY COURTNEY MAUDJ Debin is among the new resident DJs for Honey at 1215 every Friday.

COURTESY COURTNEY MAU

DJ Debin is among the new resident DJs for Honey at 1215 every Friday.

Honey will have a dress code and strict cover charge as well as resident DJs Graves, Strkly Bzness, and rising nightlife star Debin. Debin is a name that isn’t as recognizable as the face, but both are standouts in the club scene this year. The tall, lanky DJ has appeared in lineups at every top club in Honolulu and has engaged a very nice-looking following of girls who love trap and twerk.

This weekend will set the tone for the rest of October's Halloween parties. With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, by the time the day actually comes we'll all have more than a few costumes piled on the floor at home. Or at least I will. On Friday, I'll be playing the Ghost Ship party with DJs Shift, Jeff Phantom and Dee Wizzard.

On Saturday, local concierge company Funinthe808 attempts to fill a bit of the void the Diamondhead Hui leaves with this year's cancellation of Crazy, Sexy, GHOUL. Most of the same crowd will be at Longhi's this weekend to celebrate in costume, and the party's breast cancer awareness theme means anyone with boobs to enter at no charge.

Saturday is also the huge Zombie Crawl in Chinatown. Anything to get the crowds to Chinatown sounds great to me, and I heard organizers have pre-sold more than 3,000 tickets — and that was a week ago. Be ready!

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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Red carpet season arrives

By
October 8th, 2014



STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013The annual Eurocinema Awards Gala, one of Honolulu's biggest red carpet events of the year, returns to Waikiki on Nov. 8.

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2013

The annual Eurocinema Awards Gala, one of Honolulu's biggest red carpet events of the year, returns to Waikiki on Nov. 8.

If Honolulu has a red carpet season, it’s definitely coming up in the next few months. With the Hawaii International Film Festival, Hawaii Fashion Week, Hawaii Fashion Month and all of the typical holiday functions, now is the time to shine.

Some people look forward to getting dolled up. I dread it. Especially in this weather; pulling on nice garments and putting on makeup that is already melting off my forehead by the time I get to my chin, only to be greeted by people sizing me up and taking photos that will be posted everywhere (with or without my consent) isn't exactly in my top 10 list of things I love.

KAVEH KARDANI tried. The author with Blow Out Thursday beauty bar coordinator and super-connected woman about town Angel Deihl.

BLOWOUT THURSDAYS: FASHION BEAUTY COLLECTIVE

Presented by AMP Industries and The Makeup Studio School

» Where: eleven44, 1144 Bethel St

» When: 6 p.m. Thursdays

» Cost: $3; ladies free

» Info: (808) 260-7788, eleven44hawaii.com

I should be grateful to have a life where this is the norm, but as hard as I try to force myself into dressing and acting fancy, it just feels unnatural. When the cameras start clicking I try to clear my head and think happy thoughts. If it comes from the interior, it usually will project nicely on the exterior. Usually!

This is what I was thinking on Thursday as I tried my best to figure out a cute, model-ish pose while the bright lights kept popping and one of Honolulu's top beauty photographers, Kaveh Kardan, snapped away. I hadn’t seen Kardan since he starred in local cult feature film “Ecila,” but have seen his work all over social media as he worked with a lot of models I am friends with (or lurk).

I was on a couch in a raised VIP cabana at eleven44 in downtown Honolulu for Blow Out Thursdays with the beauty bar organizer and The Makeup Studio School founder Angel Deihl, doing my best to look sexy. It was a bit easier to feel sexy after having my makeup done by local makeup artist Kecia Littman. Still, after looking at Kardan’s screen I only liked one out of the 15 or so photos he took. I just don’t know where to rest my arms and legs. I give it up to professional models; it’s definitely not easy.

The Blow Out is a weekly beauty bar hosted by Deihl and Amber Halterman, who work with eleven44’s already sophisticated and stylish interior to create an environment where ladies can treat themselves to complimentary makeup and hair along with free professional photos with their pau hana drinks. They pair the service with a multifarious roster of resident DJs who bring a fresh musical direction that's different from what is typically heard in bars and clubs.

Beguiling duo Omia (Taylor McAlpin and George Reeves), Partius Monsterous and Matte Blac (formerly known in The Standard days as The Britt) are the residents closing the night with house and electronic music after rotating guests do their thing .

I noticed last week it was one of those ladies nights that had a nice assortment of gentlemen as well, many of them dressed to the nines. It was very refreshing to see on a weeknight in Honolulu.

I also realized much later — after seeing how good my friend’s impromptu headshots turned out — this is pretty damn killer service to offer people for free. I like that it starts right after work on a Thursday, so it's totally possible to get dolled up before you go out on the night many refer to as the last good night out before amateur hour.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

Big Pineapple breaks from the herd

By
October 1st, 2014



Ryan Miyashiro goes by Ryan DanceMachine on Facebook. He is the smiling shaggy haired Japanese kid in the front of every single indie dance show who is not afraid to be the only one dancing. He is the extremely warm, mega-talented, hilariously quick-witted guy I’ve known forever, and even though it’s been like 10 years he doesn’t seem to age whatsoever.

JOEL CHANGRyan Miyashiro and Travis Sasaki of Big Pineapple

COURTESY JOEL CHANG

Ryan Miyashiro and Travis Sasaki of Big Pineapple.

I met him back during a time a lot of us often refer to as the good old days, a period of about three to five years when Chinatown was the hippest place to converge. There were a solid three or four nights every week, with tons of bands playing — both local and visiting — and multiple photo blogs to capture it all. Ryan would usually be front and center of every single one. He was basically the It Boy of that whole era.

I met him in the capacity of a DJ with a long-running show on KTUH as well as performing all over town. He participated in tons of music festivals, including Budget Rock (S.F.), Mission Creek (S.F.) and SXSW (Austin). He's collaborated with Sabrina, G. Liu Jr., The Why Because, Sisely Treasure (Shiny Toy Guns) and members of Subtle (Anticon). He's shared stages with acts, such as Ty Segall, Das Racist, MU330, Diplo, Meiko, The Hold Steady and Kottonmouth Kings.

While his KTUH show, Timbre Tantrums, is no more, Ryan is still front and center in the scene, often with his camera in hand.

After spending a year in Japan he is back to dedicate his talents to Honolulu in the form of wearable art.

"Since graduating in May, I’ve been trying to live my life unconventionally, and am succeeding splendidly," he said.

COURTESY PHOTOBig Pineapple is officially for sale in Honolulu

COURTESY BIG PINEAPPLE

Big Pineapple is officially for sale in Honolulu.

A few weeks ago I bumped into his business partner and UH-Manoa art graduate, Travis Sasaki, at Bevy in Kakaako. He was playing Crystal Castles as I walked in, so I kept walking straight to the DJ booth to say hello and thank you when I noticed his epic T-shirt. I offered to buy it right off his back.

Turns out Sasaki in in business with Miyashiro and the shirt was for sale.

“Scene not Herd,” it said on the front in tall letters. I gave him cash right there and he promised he would bring the shirt to me that weekend. I wound up wearing it to play the Cut Copy show and got tons of compliments. What an awesome thing to be able to tell people it was made by two local guys who are heavily immersed in the local arts and music scene.

The two met as DJs at KTUH and have become very close friends. They currently DJ together at Bevy every second Thursday.

"Both of us were born and raised in Hawaii, me in Honolulu (and) Travis in Kona, so our brand reflects both our local roots as well as our Japanese heritage." Miyashiro said. "If you look closely at our logo, you can see a tsuru, a Japanese crane in the crown of the pineapple."

Big Pineapple is currently available online and at the monthly mega-mart Art + Flea. They have big plans for their company and knowing these two and how hard they work, there are only big things in their future. All of their designing and printing happens in downtown Honolulu and the guys plan to open several shops in Waikiki.

———

Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for Pow! Wow! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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