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VOLUME 5, ISSUE 3 | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

EXCLUSIVE

THE DESCENDANTS “I couldn’t be more proud of this film.”

GEORGE CLOONEY The Star

ALEXANDER PAYNE Director/Screenwriter

JIM BURKE Producer

KAUI HART HEMMINGS Novelist

Plus:

KONA COFFEE IN THE WHITE HOUSE SWISS CHILLIN’ PRIVATE PONDS CUSTOM COUTURE MUSEUMS MERGE TEE OFF IN THE SHADOW

NEWSSTAND PRICE $3.95

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ALA MOANA CENTER 808-973-6101 ROYAL HAWAIIAN CENTER 808-971-4267 SHOP FERRAGAMO.COM

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editor’s letter

Listening to the stories our writers came back to hiLuxury hQ with—following their interviews with the stars and filmmakers behind The Descendants, this issue’s theme—I was amazed at the notso-obvious things others might overlook. Sure, it was wonderful that we secured the only on-set interview with Hollywood’s most perpetual leading man, George Clooney. (The fact that he felt loose enough to share with our writer his plans for future pranks on his pals speaks volumes to our pool of talented writers.) Likewise, it was rather fortuitous that we were able to sit for a one-on-one conversation with director/screenwriter Alexander Payne, who also churned out perhaps one of the most memorable wine flicks of all time, Sideways. And novelist (and local gal) Kaui Hart Hemmings, a rising star in her own right, was rather forthcoming with her fledgling fame, while producer Jim Burke prefers staying out of the limelight. All this makes for four incredible feature stories, each of which you’ll certainly enjoy. Yet, as I earlier alluded, these weren’t the things that struck me as particularly unique. More, it was hearing second hand the subtle nuances that The Descendants players observed (as well as fell into) of the luxuries of our island lifestyle that I found so fascinating. Take Clooney: From what we know of him, he has homes around the world (including the ever-elegant Lake Como in Northern Italy), commands upwards of $10 million for appearing in a lead role, is a car and motorcycle fanatic, so on. Yet, what he found most intriguing about Hawai‘i was how easy going and not-out-toprove-anything the residents were. How people

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opted to drive slow (too slow, some of us might say), even when no one was around. I’ve said it before, and I’m happy to say it again: The luxurious aspects of Hawai‘i living aren’t measured entirely by price tag or zip code—it’s a state of mind. Within these pages are little anecdotes to get you in a luxury mindset. In truth, having your own custom handbag made by a couture house may not be more expensive than walking into a Luxury Row shop and picking out the latest and greatest; but the knowledge that the color, skin and shape are yours and only yours—is luxury. While some pied-a-terres in Gstaad (Swiss Chillin’, pg. 106) might break the bank, others in Zermatt won’t. But that doesn’t mean you won’t experience the most incredible day of skiing, sipping and dining on world-class cuisine (and arrive there via horse-drawn carriage). Whether listening in on Chef Morimoto and our nation’s Presidential choice of coffee bean (from Kona!), talking tannins with master winemaker Fred Schrader or following our gorgeous models through downtown Honolulu, there’s a little luxury to be had on every page. Enjoy. Brian Berusch Editorial Director

Feel free to “friend” our HILuxury Facebook page to find out about events and news throughout the luxury community as they are happening. Also, electronic versions of issues past can be read at www.hiluxury.com.

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HILUXURY’S EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE

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The Descendants

WHEN WE HEARD THAT OSCARWINNERS George Clooney and Alexander Payne were making a movie based on a novel written by kama‘aina author Kaui Hart Hemmings, well, it got our attention here at HILuxury. We started to work on getting these exclusive stories on Payne, known for his Oscar-winning flick Sideways, Clooney, producer Jim Burke (Election, The Savages) and Hemmings more than a year ago while the movie was being filmed here in Hawai‘i. Our cadre of writers sought out opportunities to sit and chat with these busy filmmakers and found that they were all professionals, committed to making a film that will ring true to Hemmings’ words and the Hawai‘i lifestyle in which they immersed themselves while here. Burke and Payne are both known for creating movies that treat the film’s setting as another character, and they both—along with Clooney—found a lot of character here in the Aloha State. Silvia Bizio was the one reporter allowed an on-set interview with Clooney. Bizio gives us a rare glimpse into what it’s like to sit with the Oscar-winning actor between scenes. She marvels at the ease with which he transforms into his character, Matt King. One moment Clooney is discussing pranks, and the next he’s King, standing at a hospital bed

receiving life-changing news. We asked Hemmings herself to interview Burke. In her story, she reminisces about her apprehension in meeting him—wary that he may be a slick character. Instead, she found in him a dedicated storyteller like she is. They remain friends and commiserate over island traditions like pau hana. Payne let Jefferson Finney in on his process and the unique challenges of bringing a book to life on the big screen. He tells Finney that it’s the humor in life that he strives to share with the audience. “I always gear it toward what makes me laugh—even if it’s the type of laughter that isn’t laughed out loud.� And finally, Hemmings reveals to writer Malia Mattoch how she created protagonist Matt King and what it was like to collaborate with the moviemakers in bringing him to life on screen. Hawai‘i’s appearance on the big screen almost always starts chatter about how our state will be portrayed. Given that people of the caliber such as these four featured in HILuxury’s exclusive interviews are involved, movie fans (here and beyond our shores) have much to be excited about The Descendants. There’s early buzz that this film will be a player come awards season. For now, read on about the minds behind the movie. ◆

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A HAWAI‘I OF SEDUCTIVE BE AUT Y A LUXURY LESS TRAVELED A COMMUNIT Y TRUE TO PARADISE

Kukui‘ula is an uncommon Hawaiian community – a luxurious private club with a casual, open heart that connects you and your family to a clubhouse of authentic pleasures, a dramatic spa, a village of artful provisioners, a postcard-perfect Weiskopf

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golf course, a working farm and fishing lake and a team of island adventurers. Here, on the sunny south shore of Kaua‘i, Kukui‘ula connects you to one another and to the profound peace of this lush land. Kukui‘ula. Hawai‘i as it once was. Hawai‘i forever.

HOM E SI T E S F ROM $1 M I L L ION. COT TAGE S F ROM $2 . 2 M I L L ION. K U K U I U L A .COM 1 855 742 023 4 Kukui`ula Realty Group LLC. Obtain a property report or its equivalent as required by Federal or State Law and read it before signing anything. No Federal or State Agencyhasjudgedthemeritsorvalue,ifany,ofthisproperty.ThisisnotanofferorsolicitationinCT,NJ,orNYorinanystateinwhichthelegalrequirementsforsuch offering have not been met. Warning: CA Dept.of Real Estate has not inspected, examined or qualified this offering. Fees, memberships and restrictions may apply for certain amenities. Details available. Price and availability subject to change.© January,2011. Kukui`ula Development Company (Hawai`i),LLC.All rights reserved. H I L U X U RY OC TOBER / NOVE M B E R

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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011 | CONTENTS 86

FEATURES 66 74

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COVER STORY George Clooney

The Oscar-winning actor discusses his role in The Descendants.

THE DESCENDANTS

We sit down with Hawai‘i writer Kaui Hart Hemmings, director Alexander Payne and producer Jim Burke as they gear up for the release of The Descendants.

FASHIONS City Chic

Fall fashion takes to the streets of Honolulu.

PHILANTHROPY Ronald McDonald House Charities Hawaii

Jerri Chong, president and executive director of RMHCH, discusses the organization and its 25th anniversary.

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BOOK ’EM

We present a roundup of Hawai‘i-related books that everyone should have in their personal library.

HI SOCIETY

Luxury in the community

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RSVP

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BUSINESS PROFILE Peter Ho

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THE ARTS Two Become One

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Take a whirl through Hawai‘i’s social scene with a ball fit for a queen, a foodie fundraiser at Four Seasons Hualalai and a celebration of the latest from Tiffany & Co.

As head of Hawai‘i’s biggest independent bank and chairman of the Hawai‘i Host Committee for APEC, Ho has his hands full.

What changes can art aficionados look forward to now that the merger of Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum is complete?

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Contents

yves saint laurent

Cabas ChYc in bluette ranch leather, $1,995. Photo courtesy Yves Saint Laurent

Indulge

The lastest splurges

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shoppinG finds World-Class

The latest in must-have handbags for women as well as shoes and ties for men from the crème de la crème of international designers.

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Golf Out of the Shadow…

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Swinging in the Rain

GroominG & Beauty Thai One On

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Watches Black Tie Affair

The chic-est dress watches for the social season.

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fine autos Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

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Discover the desert oasis that is Shadow Creek. Gear to protect you when Mother Nature strikes on the links.

Get the details on Thai massage.

Color Time

What’s hot for men’s hair color?

This Caddy combines emboldened power with a smaller package.

High Jewelry Astrale Watch, by BVLGARI. 18kt white gold with diamonds and rubies. Photo courtesy Bulgari

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CONTENTS 106

EXPERIENCE Elite Escapes

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TRAVEL Swiss Chillin’

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A-LIST ADVENTURES My Way

Head to the Swiss Alps for a different kind of getaway.

Get the ultimate VIP experience with luxury house custom-designed accessories.

SAVOR

Food and Wine

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DINING OUT Pop Art

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FINE FOOD Hawai‘i’s “Rainforest” in the Limelight

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WINES Fine Tuned

Foodies find a new way to dine.

Kona’s Rainforest Organic is the exclusive coffee poured at Morimoto Waikiki. Oh, and the White House, too.

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Fred Schrader shares his recipe for crafting sought-after wines.

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808.923.2311

www.halekulani.com

photography by Barbara Kraft

Extraordinary Setting. Extraordinary Dining.

Neo-Classical French Cuisine

Contemporary Seafood

Late Night Libations

Sunset Cocktails & Light Fare

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Let tradition guide you... Ancient Sites of O‘ahu, A Guide to Hawaiian Archaeological Places of Interest

Surfing: Images from Bishop Museum Archives

DENNIS E. FRANCIS CEO

J. DAVID KENNEDY President

LINDA WOO Publisher

BRIAN BERuSCh Editorial Director

LIANNE BIDAL ThOMPSON Managing Editor

GINA LAMBERT Creative Director

XENIA ING

Senior Designer

LEAh FRIEL

Hawaiian Petroglyphs

Chief Photographer

JAY hIGA

Amy Greenwell Garden Ethnobotanical Guide to Native Hawaiian Plants

Project Director

JENNIFER SOJOT JEFFREY WILLIAMS MOLLY WATANABE Sales

‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings Folktales of Hawai‘i

CONTRIBuTORS Writers: Silvia Bizio, Jefferson Finney, Alana Folen, Bill Harby, Terri Hefner, Kaui Hart Hemmings, Nadine Kam, Ed Kemper, Malia Mattoch, Christina O’Connor, Larry Olmsted, Sarah Pacheco, Noel Pietsch, Allison Schaefers, Shawn Steiman, Yu Shing Ting, Roberto Viernes Photographers: Anthony Consillio, Leah Friel, Tony Grillo, Gary Hofheimer, Twain Newhart, Lawrence Tabudlo, Nathalie Walker Cover image courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures

TELLING THE STORIES OF HAWAI‘I AND THE PACIFIC FOR OVER 100 YEARS. Available at Bishop Museum’s Shop Pacifica and other fine booksellers throughout the islands. www.bishopmuseum.org/press

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HILuxury is a bi-monthly magazine with an annual subscription price of $18. Our offices are located at 500 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Rate is Pending at the Honolulu Post Office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to HILuxury, 500 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813. © 2011 Oahu Publications Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.

For advertising information: Jennifer Sojot, Sales Manager jsojot@staradvertiser.com | 808-218-6712 For subscription inquiries: www.hiluxury.com | 808-628-3792 For editorial submissions: Melissa Lui | mlui@staradvertiser.com Lianne Bidal Thompson | lthompson@staradvertiser.com

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HiLux Size: (8.125 Issue: Ship:

WAIKIKI’S NEWEST ADDITION

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Indulge | Shopping FindS

Growing the Line Tiffany & Co.’s Leather Collection Adds New Materials, Colors By yu Shing Ting

Tiffany & Co. ComplemenTs fall fashion wiTh iTs new sophisticated Leather Collection created by design directors Richard Lambertson and John Truex. Available are 51 different handbag styles, as well as wallets, coin purses and elegant opera-length gloves. For the gentlemen, there’s a duffle, a Dopp kit and gloves. “The collection reflects an urban influence on fashion and a preference for more tailored, cleanlined silhouettes, and we’ve further defined them with rich, saturated colors,” says Lambertson. “We’ve used new materials including velvet and ostrich, and fresh colors such as burgundy and navy.” Most of the handbags include a signature Tiffany Blue interior, and some of the hardware has a Tiffany Blue enamel finish. The collection also incorporates many important trends of the season, such as leopard print, studded nappa and lean shapes. However, each bag was designed with a timeless objective. “The new leather collection serves the functions of modern life while also recognizing and honoring timeless quality, design sensibility and chic style that has made Tiffany & Co. one of the world’s most famous luxury brands,” adds Truex. “It speaks to a modern, easy and elegant way of living.” The Tiffany Leather Collection ranges from $50 to $17,500 and is available at select Tiffany locations worldwide. u

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INDULGE | SHOPPING FINDS

TOD’S ‘D-Styling Luxury’ bauletto mini with crystals $8,175. This gorgeous crystal embellished bag is part of Tod’s D Styling family of bags, a Tod’s iconic style that has been a favorite of Princess Diana and Princess Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Hollywood royalty such as Anne Hathaway, Demi Moore and Charlize Theron. Diego Della Valle founded Tod’s in Italy in the late 1970s with the signature Gommino moccasin, and in 1997 expanded his vision of contemporary luxury to bags.

EMPORIO ARMANI ‘Natalie’ mohair clutch in teal $1,095. Emporio Armani, created by Giorgio Armani in 1981, is the fashion-forward extension of the Armani house featuring men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories.

Pack Your (Hand) Bags Globetrotting in Style

BY YU SHING TING | PHOTOGRAPHY BY TWAIN NEWHART

FOR WOMEN, luxury handbags are not only must-have fashion accessories but they’ve also become international status symbols. Here are some of the newest beautifully crafted purses from the world’s top fashion houses.

HERMÈS

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

FENDI

‘Toolbox 33cm’ $8,600. In 1837, Thierry Hermès opened a harness-making shop in Paris. Hermès is now known for its legendary pieces such as the Kelly bag, the Birkin bag and its popular silk scarves.

‘Gancio Lock’ $2,090. In 1919, Salvatore Ferragamo opened a boot shop in Santa Barbara and became the shoemaker for stars before returning to Italy in 1927 to start the Salvatore Ferragamo company.

‘Chameleon’ $2,420. Fendi’s first handbag and fur workshop was established in 1925 in Rome. Fendi continues to deliver exceptional collections under the design leadership of both Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. Photo from Fendi.

Photo from Hermès.

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ALEXANDER WANG ‘Marina’ $850 from NEIMAN MARCUS. A San Francisco native, Alexander Wang moved to New York and launched his first women’s collection in 2007. Only 27 years old, he opened his first flagship store in March in SoHo.

BURBERRY

MARC JACOBS

DIOR

‘The Stam’ $1,350 from DFS GALLERIA. Born in New York City in 1963, Marc Jacobs designed his first collection with the Marc Jacobs label in 1986, and in the following year was awarded The Council of Fashion Designers of America Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent.

‘So Dior’ $3,000. Christian Dior showed his first collection in 1947 in Paris, with a “New Look” of women’s couture ready-to-wear. Today, the fashion house has expanded to include handbags and accessories, as well as designer clothing and accessories for men and children.

‘Shrimpton’ landscape haymarket luggage bowling bag from the Prorsum Collection $1,995. The iconic British luxury brand was established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, who is credited with developing the weatherproof gabardine fabric and later the Tielocken (the predecessor of the trench coat) worn by British officers during the Boer War. Its signature trench coats continue to be a fashion staple (even for the Queen of England and the Duchess of Cambridge), however, the company has since evolved to also offer readyto-wear and accessories for men, women and children.

GUCCI

MARNI

MIU MIU

‘Bamboo’ $2,350. Founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921 in Florence, Gucci’s iconic designs have become timeless classics, such as the bamboo bag, which first debuted in the 1940s and remains a favorite of royalty and celebrities today.

$1,225 from NEIMAN MARCUS. In 1994, Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni launched the Italian luxury brand Marni featuring eclectic women’s clothing and accessories.

‘Nappa Borchie’ $1,495. Created in 1993 by Italian designer Miuccia Prada (granddaughter of Prada founder Mario Prada), Miu Miu is designed for the avant-garde and sophisticated woman.

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INDULGE | SHOPPING FINDS

One of the most entertaining things about fashion (next to shopping, of course) is creating your own personal look—or as I like to call it, a style point of view. Dressing is a fantastic way to express your creativity, even for those who wouldn’t consider themselves as such. It’s your calling card, your chance to let people you meet know how you feel about yourself.

Aaron Placourakis Uncompromising Since 1985

F

ounder/CEO Aaron Placourakis was raised around great food. And like all Greeks, he was instilled with the belief that “family” isn’t just limited to close relatives, but to anyone who’s gathered around the table. It’s an approach that’s perfected by his team, who greet you at the door as a friend, not as a customer. So join us. Be a part of the family. Experience unforgettable times in the most spectacular settings on earth. And rediscover the joy of good living.

Gucci’s medium shoulder flap bag in malachite green python with double G closure. Photo from Gucci

For some devotees to all things fashion, style seems to come easily. Yet for the rest, there is one little secret that keeps the well-heeled the envy of passers-by: The notion that a classic will always be in style. Trends will always come and go (and come back again and again), yet the classics remain. What may have begun as a trend, yet manages to endure, eventually making its way into the lexicon of classics, is an item that can be modernized with a simple twist to keep things fresh. Take the white shirt, or the cashmere sweater, or the loafer, or the little black dress: each of these has been done over and over again in a number of ways to keep the look new and different. Turning to classic accessories, a trend that has become a classic is python, best shown in the handbag form. Python (or another snakeskin), much like its jungle-dwelling sister, leopard print, is always in style. This fall is no exception. Designers from Gucci to Chloe to Bottega Veneta to Burberry showed python handbags on their runways—but, of course, with a twist. Some incorporate the season’s love of bright colors with bright blue- and green-skinned bags, while others mix python with luxe materials like velvet. Gucci adorned its with its signature signature bamboo. Others kept it classic, using black or brown— which best complements the bright pop of fall color. However you choose to wear your skinned accessories—whether classic or with a twist—embrace it as your own. The stylish woman knows: Making python one of your top go-to looks—no matter what the season—is utilizing a classic accessory that is always in style.

ON

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with Molly Watanabe

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Trophies Come in Many Forms...

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Magnificent and rarely available - Avenue to Ocean 37,000 square foot parcel to build your dream estate. Existing 1978 home is a welcoming beach retreat, but not worthy of this magical site. Premier location on Kailua Beach - calm wave action, and walk to Kailua Town. No public access nearby. Choice! Offered at $9,800,000. ANNE OLIVER (R) VICE PRESIDENT (808) 292-2800 anneoliver.com - oliver@cbpacific.com Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties 4211 Waialae Avenue, Ste. 9000, Honolulu, HI 96816 h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

Š2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. And Equal Opportunity company. Equal Housing Opportunity each Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties Office is Owned and Operated by NRT LLC. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We are happy to work with them and cooperate fully. All square footages are approximate. The information contained herein, while not guaranteed, has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable.

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IndulgE | Shopping FindS

HERMÈS silk and cashmere ties $185 each. Photo from Hermès.

Business Trends Tie-up and Climb the Ladder in Style

By yu Shing Ting | PhoTograPhy By Twain newharT

When a business suit is the office dress code, your tie and shoes are statement pieces that personalize your look, ultimately setting you apart from the rest. Think of them as the finishing touches required—like your signature when closing the deal.

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MAGNANNI for NEIMAN MARCUS croc-embossed velvet formal loafer in burgundy with black grosgrain trim, made in Spain $325.

TOM FORD from NEIMAN MARCUS purple plaid tie, made in Italy $225.

CHARVET from NEIMAN MARCUS blue floral silk tie, made in France $215.

TOD’S ‘Laurent allaciato bucature’ with rubber sole and a slight groove at its base making the sole lighter and more streamlined $495.

EMPORIO ARMANI from DFS GALLERIA silk ties $130 each.

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO ‘Calvet’ derby with cap-toe in polished cuoio calfskin on a leather sole $670; and ‘Jacquard’ woven ties $170 each.

PRADA modernist wedge heel shoe with rubber sole characterized by a classical shape inspired by the athletic world, $595; and tartan tie in silk $195.

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HI SOCIETY | RSVP

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QuEEn Emma Ball St. Andrew’s Priory honored Connie and Russell Lau for their commitment to changing lives through education at the fifth annual Queen Emma Ball, held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa’s Coral Ballroom. Guests were treated to an elegant evening of dining and entertainment, while they bid on great finds such as a Colorado ski trip, a Hawaii 5-0 behind-the-scenes tour, fine wines and more.

1. Judge michael Broderick, adelia Dung, Stephen Dung • 2. Sean and Trini Clark • 3. moki Hino, Paulie Jennings • 4. Russell lau, Connie lau, mike Pietsch, Judy Pietsch • 5. Peter Young, nancy Skardon, Taylor Skardon • 6. Dr. nancy Pace, David Kostecki, Dr. Elizabeth Ignacio • 7. nancie Caraway, Gov. neil abercrombie, aunty agnes Cope, Kamaki Kanahele, Djuan Rivers, uilani Hew len, Kalena Hew len (photos by lawrence Tabudlo)

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HPU PReSIDeNt CHAtt G. WRIGHt RetIReS Hawai`i Pacific University supporters and friends attended a gala dinner at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel June 22 to honor retiring HPU President Chatt G. Wright. More than 200 guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, live entertainment and a slideshow. President Wright served nearly 40 years at the helm of Hawai`i’s largest private university.

1. Geoff Bannister, Jerri Ross • 2. Jean Cornuelle, Sandy Rice, Betty Perry, Maggie Walker, Chatt Wright, Henry Rice, Jim Pappas, Peter Ho • 3. Linda Howard, Janice Wright, Martin Anderson • 4. Sheldon Zane, Ruth Ono, Koren Dreher, Nick Dreher • 5. Indru Watumull, Nora Zecha, Allen Zecha, Kris Allison, Gulab Watumull, Julia Ing • 6. Nancy Lockwood, Jack Lockwood (photos by Gary Hofheimer)

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INSPIRATION VIP EVENT INspiration furniture owner Thomas Sorensen hosted a party to introduce his VIP clientele to the new Jesse Gallery. The select crowd browsed the European-styled furnishings and custom closet systems from the international furniture manufacturer headquartered in Francenigo, Venetia, Italy.

1. Ulrik and Hallae Aarhus • 2. Joett Colgan, Audrey Hughes, Lillian Klein • 3. Christopher Clark, Rodney Baptiste • 4. Joan Jensen, Troels Oestegdard, Leif Petersen, Soren Jensen • 5. Imelda Mateo, Doreen and Terry Sue-Ako, Thomas Sorensen • 6. Joan Robinson-Whitaker, John Whitaker • 7. Toni Castro, Ken Panosh, Vilma Tamayo-Navarro, Cassidy Cabel, Sophia Drake (photos by Leah Friel)

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TiffANY & CO. Honolulu had the honor of being the first stop for the launching of the Fall-Winter 2011 offerings from Tiffany & Co.’s Leather Collection. Designers John Truex and Richard Lambertson were on hand to introduce the line. The instantly iconic Tiffany Reversible Tote (TRT) was an evident favorite among guests.

1. Kayoko Matoba, Akiko Sugawara, Reilynn Yamane • 2. Mei Tam, Sean Combs, Tawnya Skinnner 3. John Geppert, Jennifer Sojot, Tom Carroll 4. Amy Meng, Jackie Takeshita, Michelle Richardson, Diane Ohyoung • 5. John Truex, Anna Meng, Richard Lambertson, Paula Monma, Mike Hogan • 6. Patti and Bob Kawakami, Hiromi Eko and Akiko Riley • 7. Carolyn Carroll, Nancy Denz, Javier Zarzosa, Rae Seki, Marisa Lynn (photos by Anthony Consillio)

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FEndI FaTTO a ManO FOr THE FuTurE HawaII Roman craftsmen from Fendi worked with Hawai‘i artists Eli Baxter and Aaron Padilla to create contemporary design pieces that meld each artist’s signature craft with Fendi’s Italian sensibilities and materials. To celebrate these pieces, guests gathered at the Ala Moana Center and Royal Hawaiian Center boutiques to view them and mingle with the artists themselves. The Roman craftsmen were also on hand, taking appointments with attendees to customize their own Fendi Selleria handbag. Proceeds benefited the University of Hawai‘i Art Department.

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1. Ester Di Sarno, Lindsay and Lisa Kosasa and Charlyn Honda Masini • 2. Aaron Padilla, Cammy Maheras • 3. Aaron Padilla in front of his artwork • 4. Jay Freis, Linny Morris • 5. Cheryl Jamitkowski, Marco Comazzi and Tiffany James • 6. Karen Hwang, Ester Di Sarno, Stacy Hwang • 7. Taylor Yonker, Katrina Langford, Donna Simonelli, Amber Chesebro • 8. Marilou Chico Seki, Ester Di Sarno, David Lee • 9. Carolyn Berry, Cherye Pierce and Eli Baxter • 10. Jaimey Hamilton, Nandita Sharma, Amber Ludwig, Gaye Chan, Jason Faris, Dean Christopher • 11. Azzurra Alliata, Tommaso Buranelli, Giada Cardini, Fabrizio Alliata, Dialta Alliata, Marco Comazzi, Allia Alliata, Mirtilla Alliata • 12. Tiffany Lay, Michelle Gibson • 13. Chad Miller, Tiare Miller, Guido Carlo Pigliasco, Molly Watanabe, Sarah Honda, Terry Hubbard • 14. Linda Woo, Michelle Ho, Jan Lai, Cori Weston (photos by Nathalie Walker, Tony Grillo and Lawrence Tabudlo)

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LA DOLCE VITA HILuxury and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai hosted La Dolce Vita, an elegant food and wine pairing dinner at the resort’s signature restaurant, Beach Tree. Chef Nick Mastracusa and restaurant manager Chuck Wilson shared the fruits of their of culinary research (in California and Italy) at this special event that not only treated guests to a beautiful evening filled with great food and wine, but also raised money for The Kona Hospital Foundation. 1. Masi Oka, Kinomi Ozawa • 2. Jenny Stitz, Drew Clarke, Swantje Sackniess, Haley Vote, Colin Daley 3. Musicians were on hand to entertain the crowd. 4. Patrick Klein, Robynne Kamidoi, Marjorie and Dennis Francis • 5. Chef Nick Mastrascusa, Greg Chun, Anne Irene Wilcox, Jim Higgins, Reba Silva, Meg Greenwell, Judi Nakamaru • 6. Guests dined ocean side under the stars. 7. Chuck Wilson, Ilse Harley, Nick Mastrascusa (photos by Leah Friel)

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Po‘okela awards It was a night of drama as Hawai‘i’s theater community gathered at the Ko‘olau Ballrooms to celebrate their best and brightest at the Hawai‘i State Theatre Council’s Po‘okela Awards. Diamond Head Theatre walked away with 27 awards, followed by Manoa Valley Theatre with 19 awards and Army Community Theatre with 14. Brad Powell, Artistic Director for The Actors Group (TAG) received the Pierre Brown Award. 1. Fedrico Biven, daniel kunkel, Maggie kunkel, randl ask • 2. Cindy ramirez, scott Francis russell, kayleigh Hudson 3. John rampage, Becky dunning 4. Joel libed, levi oliveira, darcie Yoshinaga, Brittany Browning, lydia Pusateri • 5. erich steinwandt, Jennifer Muehle, Mathias Maas, ahnya Chang, Tara Hunt • 6. Terry koeck, adriane Flower, Matthew and kirsten Pennaz • 7. Jessica kauhane, richard Bragdon, Braddoc deCaires, eric Manke, Tracy Hanayo okubo, Virginia Jones, shannon winpenny (photos by Nathalie walker) h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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TREASURES of WAiKiKi Na Mea Makamae o Waikiki (Special Treasures of Waikiki) was a benefit for the Waikiki Community Center held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hawaii Ballroom. Highlighting the night’s festivities was the presenting of the 2011 Kahiau Awards to honorees Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa and Myrna and Eddie Kamae and the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation.

1. Eddie and Myrna Kamae • 2. Sen. Brickwood Galuteria, Vicky Cayetano, Lehua Galuteria, Denice Keliikoa 3. Mike Lee, Linda Wong, Danny Kaleikini 4. Lynn Ariyoshi, Mike McCartney, Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Billy Richards, Ann Kobayashi • 5. Ruben Carrillo, Kalei Maioho, Michelle Uchiyama, David Uchiyama • 6. Chris Dey, Kimberley Dey, Susee Whitty, Steve Whitty • 7. Ed Keough, Leilani Keough, Dr. Lawrence Tseu, Jeff Apaka, Carolyn Wong (photos by Tony Grillo)

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HI SOCIETY | Business Profile

Banking on APEC Chairman and CEO Peter Ho Talks Roots By Allison schAefers | PhoToGrAPhy By leAh friel

Peter S. Ho comeS acroSS as uncharacteristically low-key for a guy with enough drive to head the state’s largest independent bank. If that weren’t enough, he chairs the Hawai‘i Host Committee for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which many in the isles consider the most significant event to date. “I’m just a normal guy,” says Ho, who despite being born into privilege began his working life scooping pineapple scraps onto a conveyor belt for $3.40 an hour at Dole Pineapple Cannery. When pressed for tales of his accomplishments, the 46-year-old Ho seems at a greater loss for words than most. Ho attributes his humble nature to his father, famous Hawai‘i businessman Stuart T.K. Ho. “He often advised, ‘Never wear your resume on your shirt sleeve,’ which translates into, ‘Don’t make big chest.’” Still, Ho gets animated when asked about his wife Michelle and kids Kahn, 4, and Lia, 2, or about APEC, which will bring President Barack Obama and the heads of state from 20 other economies to Hawai‘i in November. In Michelle, Ho attests that he found someone that shares his vision for a strong family—and a greater Hawai‘i—one where children do not have to permanently leave home to build a life. “There needs to be vibrancy in the community,” he says. Ho, who earned degrees at the University of Southern California and began a banking career in New York City, returned to O‘ahu in 1993 to serve as assistant vice president of Bank of Hawaii’s National Banking Division. By 2008, he had completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program and had worked his way up to Bankoh’s president. Last year, Ho added Bankoh chairman and chief executive officer to that title. Ho’s banking achievements are part of why he was tapped to lead Hawai‘i’s APEC hosting efforts, says U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. “Peter Ho’s experience as head of one of Hawai‘i’s oldest and largest financial institution is an invaluable asset to the APEC host committee,” Inouye adds. Ho’s connections and enthusiasm helped Hawai‘i Host Committee raise $4 million for APEC, double its original $2 million goal. His understanding of Hawai‘i and the Asia Pacific business community also has helped Ho steer the strategic planning and preparation for APEC’s November meetings, Inouye says.

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“I’ve known Peter for quite some time. His father, Stuart Ho, used to be my campaign manager,” he says. “I’ve watched this young man grow up and I am very proud of the leader he has become.” Some might say that seizing opportunity and building relationships are part of Ho’s DNA. His great-great grandfather, who emigrated from China in 1875, earned a modest living planting rice in Waikiki. Ho’s grandfather, the late Chinn Ho, nearly seven decades later shattered racial barriers to become a self-made multi-millionaire, and was affectionately dubbed the “Chinese Rockefeller.” Through APEC, Ho is working to create an environment where Hawai‘i’s children can find the opportunities here that he and his family have. The event, which will bring 20,000 government and business leaders to Hawai‘i as well as international media, is Hawai‘i’s best chance to capitalize on the long-sought “Asian Century,” he says. “It alone won’t move the needle, but it can spark thought and get leaders discussing how best to take advantage of our location and of a culture and a community that is so international and Asia-friendly,” Ho says. APEC could help grow Hawai‘i’s clean energy, ocean and natural sciences, health and business travel industries, he adds. As a boy, Ho says he often heard his family discuss their hopes that Hawai‘i could benefit from Asia’s expected growth. “My parents told me if you do anything you should really learn how to speak Chinese because someday China will be a big deal,” Ho admits. “I was 12, so I said, ‘That’s great, but I’ve got other things going on. I’m going to be a basketball player.’” Ho says he should have listened more to his family and their influential friends, adding that his famous grandfather Chinn Ho would have been “really excited and tickled by the whole (APEC) thing.” Ho remembers that his grandfather, while proud to be an American, always had an interest and desire to understand what was happening in China and Asia. “He did a lot of traveling to China early in his life,” Ho says. “It was an area that he believed had potential and where Hawai‘i could play a meaningful role.” u

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Two Become One The Merging of Art institutions By NadiNe Kam

While the initial shock of last year’s merger announcement between Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum was astonishing, arts lovers are now beginning to breathe a sigh of relief. The two museums still stand, and the arts are still in full swing. Incumbent director Stephan Jost says it’ll take another six to 18 months to see changes, which will likely include more community outreach and an increase in contemporary art shows at the Academy. This will be an effort that both he and the newly formed museum(s) board (comprising members of both museums’ former boards) hope will put Hawai‘i’s arts on the international map. A huge endeavor indeed. But Jost arrived on our shores looking for a challenge and admits that the prospect of creating a new single entity out of two museums with two distinct missions “was one of the attractions of the job.”

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photo courtesy Shuzo Uemoto/Honolulu Academy of Arts

HI SOCIETY | The ArTs

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit daunting, only because it happens so seldom,” he says. “There’s no a track record—so people didn’t know what to expect. That’s also what makes it really exciting. And … there’s an openness to change. People really want to create something they can be proud of.” Since packing up his duties at Shelburne Museum in Vermont and arriving in Honolulu in May, Jost has been avidly listening to a variety of local groups as to what they want from the new museum. “I’m not going to waltz in and tell people how to do things. I’ve done everything from talking to art groups, to participating in question-and-answer sessions at thirtyninehotel, to meeting with Rotary Clubs and The Pacific Club. They’re totally different audiences, but it’s important to listen to the community and artists, and give them the

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photos courtesy Honolulu Academy of Arts

institutional support they deserve. The first thing you look at is how the organization will benefit the public.” Arts patron, curator and new museum board member Sharon Twigg-Smith adds, “I think many people believe The Contemporary Museum has ceased to exist and the Academy has swallowed its assets. I like to think that the Contemporary has gifted its assets to the Academy with an agreement to grow one museum into a world-class institution. Together, I think that’s possible,” she says, noting that the changes will be gradual, at first. “Even before the economic downturn, we thought both

Opposite page, top: the contemporary museum viewed from the garden. Right: Stephan Jost leads the now-combined board of directors for Honolulu Academy of Arts and the contemporary museum. This page, bottom: the contemporary museum gallery, featuring the exhibition Darren Waterston: Forest Eater.

museums could do better working jointly. Separately, I don’t think either one was doing a terrific job,” Twigg-Smith adds. “We don’t want to make any mistakes, but you’ll see it in better programs and all kinds of exhibits representing community interests.” Jost comes to Hawai‘i with a history of increasing museum attendance by reaching out to various community groups that formerly had not been included in the museum experience. He noticed immediately that Filipinos, who comprise a growing majority of the local population, have yet to be encouraged to come to the museum. Does the huge number h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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HI SOCIETY | THE ARTS

Above: Art aficionados gather at an exhibit at Honolulu Academy of Arts.

of Chinese and Japanese art shows that prevail at the Academy provide the incentive for potential patrons from other ethnic groups? Just a few of many questions he’s raised. Although he says the museums’ combined 107-year history and accomplishments are impressive, he’s also found that many people don’t recognize when they have benefited from an Academy of Arts or Contemporary Museum experience. “People tell me they haven’t been to the museums in ages, but then they’ll tell me they’ve been to the Doris Duke Theatre or Linekona School. But if you’ve been there, you’ve been at the Academy of Arts.” He aims to tackle branding issues that would connect the museum’s various community arts programs—from The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Bank to Shangri-La tours—to their source. It’s one thing to draw a local audience and another to lure in visitors, as well as international art collectors and critics. Over at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Gaye Chan, a conceptual artist, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, has a more subdued outlook. “In a city with so few venues, it is unfortunate to have one

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less perspective,” Chan says. “I’m not saying the merger is a bad thing, but there’s one less entity that would provide a distinct vision. Now my department gallery will play a more important role in the community, and in contributing to filling that void.” Chan hopes for a collaborative relationship with the new museum; in the past, artists-in-residence at The Contemporary Museum taught summer sessions at UH, while UH art history students were able to curate shows—like a recent exhibit of Japanese prints—at the Academy. One of Jost’s aims is to have Hawai‘i “added to the conversation between Los Angeles and Tokyo,” and that entails bringing edgier shows to avoid marginalization. All this is good news to the board of directors, who initially viewed the merger as a fiscally responsible way of combining operations and fundraising efforts. Board member Linda Ahlers says that museum supporters agreed “it made sense for us to leverage the strengths of both museums, acknowledging all the great things in our past while creating the power of one. “It’s taken a lot of work to fully merge the programs and the staff, and now the exciting work can begin,” says Ahlers. ◆

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HIFF3


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Photo courtesy Diamond Head theatre

photo by Joan Osato

Above: National Poetry Slam champion marc bamuthi Joseph brings his Word Becomes Flesh to mAcc and Kahilu theatre. Right: Special guest star mary Gutzi portrays Nora Desmond in DHt’s Sunset Boulevard.

To The Stage Theater Listings

A special performance of the classic Sunset Boulevard will feature guest performer Mary Gutzi in the role of Norma Desmond. Runs through Oct. 16 at Diamond Head Theatre, 733-0274. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will show Oct. 1 at Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC), 242-7469 Terence Blanchard, award-winning trumpeter, composer and bandleader will perform Oct. 6 at Kahilu Theatre, 885-6868; a second show on Maui will be Oct. 7 at MACC, 242-7469 Two Hawaiian music greats perform together on the Big Island during An Evening with Cyril Pahinui and Peter Moon, Oct. 8, Volcano Art Center, 967-8222 Taj Majal & the Hula Blues Band is in concert on Oct. 14 at MACC, 242-7469

Huli‘au, a hula concert for Halau Hula Ka No‘eau, led by kumu hula Michael Pili Pang. plays Oct. 22 at Hawaii Theatre, 528-0506 American alt band Cake brings their tour to Hawai‘i with performances on Oct. 21 & 22 at The Republik, 1349 Kapi‘olani Blvd., and Oct. 23 at MACC, 242-7469

Kulanihako‘i: Living Waters, a hula drama by Na Kinimalehua opens Oct. 15 at MACC, 242-7469; Oct. 29, Kahilu Theatre, 885-6868

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Oboe soloist Basil Reeve, principal oboist with Minnesota Orchestra joins Kamuela Philharmonic for All-Mozart, on Oct. 16 at Kahilu Theatre, 885-6868 Sheetal Ghandi’s Bahu-Beti-Biwi, Oct. 19 at MACC, 242-7469; Oct. 22, Kahilu Theatre, 885-6868 Grammy Award winner George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Masters series continues with Bobby Ignacio on Oct. 27 at at MACC, 242-7469 Due to last year’s sold-out event, the Pacific Rim Jazz Festival decided to return at a larger venue for its sophomore year. World-class artists Jeffrey Osborne, Boney James, event producer Michael Paulo and Pauline Wilson are slated to perform with a special appearance by Rene Paulo, Oct. 29 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center; pacificrimjazzfestival.com

Little Shop of Horrors runs from Oct. 27 through Nov. 13 at Manoa Valley Theatre, 988-6131 Tailored for young audiences (or maybe just the uninitiated) Hawaii Opera Theatre stages Aida, Nov. 2, at Hawaii Theatre, 528-0506

The Futrelle-ogy Dearly Beloved, Christmas Belles & Southern Hospitality in Repertory, three comedies by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, play from Nov. 4 through Dec. 4, at The Actors’ Group, 722-6941 Oedipus Rex, a modern-day retelling of the classic tragedy. Nov. 11-13, 17-19, Leeward Community College Theatre, 455-0385 Oklahoma! swoops down from the plains from Nov. 4 through 20 at Kennedy Theatre, 956-7655 Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh, Nov. 13, MACC, 242-7469; Nov. 18, Kahilu Theatre, 885-6868 David Sedaris, the celebrated American humorist, shares his wit with Hawai‘i Nov. 22, Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall; ticketmaster.com

Tasi’s Gift: The Tale of a Samoan Bowl, Nov. 25, 26 and Dec. 3, 10 and 17, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, 839-9885 x720 Get in the holiday spirit with A Christmas Celebration with the Brothers Cazimero, Nov. 26, Volcano Art Center, 967-8222

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INDULGE | WATCHES

CHOPARD Xtravaganza 18kt white gold The guilloche white gold dial, set with diamonds of varying sizes, is designed to evoke a star burst or fireworks. Alligator strap

BREGUET

Black-tie Affair Timepieces for the Social Season BY HILUXURY TEAM

WITH THE ONSET OF TRUE AUTUMN, we look fondly over our shoulder at the eclipsing glow of summer, and ahead at the (ever-so-slightly more) crisp winter. As you prepare to shelve your polo shirts and itsy bitsy swimwear, thoughts turn to “the season” of galas, cocktail parties and festivities surrounding the holidays. What a perfect time to consider a new timepiece—one that suits… your suits. These carefully selected watches are the pinnacles of timekeeping, right down to the second. Whether your penchant leans toward the sleek and sexy, or bold and weighty, there’s something here for you. Chopard and Bulgari dazzle us with diamonds; Breguet and Maitres Du Temps offer nods to classic styling; Vacheron Constantin and Breitling won’t leave out the globetrotting sportsmen, while Panerai and Rolex warm things up with earthy hues. Tick tock!

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Reine de Naples Ovoid-shaped case in 18kt red gold Bezel and flange set with 117 diamonds Crown set with 0.26ct diamond Dial in silvered 18kt gold, hand-engraved on a rose engine, individually numbered and signed by Breguet 0.09ct pear-cut diamond at 6 o’clock Strap in natural black satin with folding clasp set with 26 diamonds Also available with a chain bracelet in 18kt red gold. $33,400

BULGARI High Jewelry Via dei Condotti 18kt white gold with diamonds Price upon request

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ROLEX Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 40mm Self-winding, chronograph Monobloc bezel made of advanced ceramic, highly resistant to scratches, corrosion and fading 18kt Everose gold case Chocolate brown dial Black alligator leather strap with Everose gold folding clasp

BREITLING

MAĂŽTRES DU TEMPS Chapter Two 58mm x 42mm x 16mm Automatic winding mechanical movement 18kt red gold case Day and month rollers in black anodized aluminum Chocolate dial with sun-ray guilloche Sword-shaped 18kt red told hands Hand-sewn alligator strap with 18kt red gold deployment buckle $82,700

Barnato Racing 49mm Breitling Calbre 25B, officially chronometer-certified by COSC selfwinding chronograph Steel case with cambered sapphire crystal, glareproofed on both sides. Royal Ebony dial Speed B bracelet in steel Water resistance up to 100 meters

VACHERON CONSTANTIN Tambour Diving II Automatic Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time 42.5mm 18kt pink gold case First world time watch to display all 37 time zones of the world simultaneously, including those offset from the UTC by a quarter hour. Three dial display, including a unique shaded sapphire crystal disk indicating day/ night across the globe. Brown alligator leather strap with 18kt pink gold clasp Water resistance up to 30 meters $45,500

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PANERAI Radiomir 3 Days Platino 47mm Hand-wound mechanical Panerai P.3000 calibre movement. Power reserve 3 days. Platinum case with removable wires loop strap Platinum bezel Panerai personalized alligator strap and white gold buckle Water resistance up to 100 meters $44,800 H I L U X U RY OC TOBER / NOVE M B E R 20 1 1

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INDULGE | FINE AUTOS

Cadillac CTS-V Coupe A Sleek Screamer By Ed KEmpEr

In recent years, Cadillac has moved away from the shrinking “land yacht-sized,” 4-door sedan market. Witness the Cadillac Escalade for the ultimate in oversized, flashy SUV and, more importantly, the less expensive CTS. When the first CTS 4-door hit the market in 2002, with its cutting edge styling, it was a hit. Besides the competitive price, the CTS was, like its competitors, rear drive with an independent suspension. Fast forward to present day, and Cadillac has spun off two more models—a wagon version and a more sporty (and attractive) coupe. All the current editions start with a 304 horsepower V-6—plenty of pep for most drivers. But for those seeking rocket launchers that might propel them down whatever asphault-laden locales they can find, check the V option on your order form and your engine compartment will be bursting at the seams with a 556-horsepower powerplant. This V-8 is not only large (6.2 liters), but it is topped off with a supercharger. Sixspeed automatic or stick transmission provides the gears. Zero to 60 time is a mere 4 seconds. While corners are gracefully handled with shocks that adjust to conditions in milliseconds, Brembo four-wheel disc brakes and Michelin sport tires have you turning (or stopping) on a well-spent dime. Furthermore, the driver can adjust the suspension by choosing either “Tour” or “Sport” with the ease of a button. To boot, the already distinctive exterior of the coupe receives some changes with the V choice. Massive dual exhaust pipes centered on the rear bumper are prominent and striking. On the

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CadillaC CTS-V Coupe:

Engine: 556 hp, 6.2 liter, supercharged V-8 Acceleration: 0-60: 4.0 seconds Brakes: Brembo 4 wheel disc brakes with 6 piston front discs, 4 piston rear discs Sound system: Bose 5.1 surround sound system, 10 speakers, with 40GB hard drive for music storage. Price: $63,660 base price. Options—Black Diamond Edition $4,850, Recaro seats $3,400. h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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INDULGE | FINE AUTOS

front, a much larger grill and lower valence is presented in contrast with the basic CTS. Optional is a dynamite paint scheme called the “Black Diamond Edition.” Essentially, it looks like shiny metal flakes in black-colored glass—truly unique. On the road, the ride can be both quiet and civilized. But if performance is desired, roll down the window and welcome the thunder of the V-8. As one can imagine, acceleration is instantaneous in any gear. Carried over to the interior is the racing and sport motif. Special Recaro seats with super high side bolsters and contrasting colors are optional. Like all Cadillacs, luxury features are not left out. As with many high-end vehicles, simply approach the CTS with the key in pocket and the door unlocks. There are no door handles—at least, not visable ones. Simply press a small button under a concealed flap and the door opens. Likewise on exit, push a small round button and the door pops open. No key is needed for starting—just turn a small handle and pull the electronic parking

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brake lever and off you go. Every possible navigation, telephone, control function and information feature is found in the brilliantly designed video screen in the center of the dash. Why is it brilliant? Unlike most video screens, it is not fixed. When you do not need navigation or the information center, only a small portion of the screen is shown. But push a button and the full screen rises from the dash. Likewise, if you place the transmission in reverse, the screen pops up to show what is behind the car. Only two passengers can be accommodated in the back seat, but the trunk space is ample. By dropping the back of the rear seat, large or bulky items can be stowed. With this new CTS-V lineup, Cadillac has wiped out any contention that this vehicle is a sedate cruiser. In fact, Honolulu residents commented favorably on the sharp-edged styling of the coupe. With performance that is nothing less than astonishing, great looks and many luxury features, this Cadillac is on the right track. u

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induLGe | FINE AUTOS

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Luxury Asides ContradiCtion: Luxury Sedan HatCHbaCkS Not many years ago the possibility of a luxury sedan with a hatchback was unthinkable. After all, only small, cheap compacts had a fifth door instead of a trunk. But all bets were off when Mercedes introduced the CLS—a four-door high-end luxury sedan that looks like a coupe with a steeply slanted roofline (yet still maintaining a standard trunk). With the proverbial door now open, the next step was the luxury hatchback. Porsche stepped to the plate with its four-door sports sedan based on the classic 911 look, and a rear utility hatch— the Panamera was born. Others have followed suit: BMW added the 5 series Grand Turismo four-door, Acura recently introduced the ZDX hatchback to its repertoire, and Audi just brought out a brand new model, the A7, which is truly a hatchback looker. Just don’t expect Rolls Royce to junk its trunk for the now ubiquitous rear fifth door. affordabLe SuV Luxury For those interested in luxury SUVs at quite reasonable prices, Mercedes offers a compact variety with the GLK. Starting in the $36,000 range, this SUV offers plenty of umph (in the form of a 268 horsepower V-6 connected to a sevenspeed automatic) with an all-independent suspension to boot. With its lightweight, zero to 60 mph time, it is the fastest to class with 6.5 seconds ticked off the stopwatch. For the off-road types, all-wheel drive is offered as an option. For those who (or those wishing to) spend the majority of their behind-the-

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wheel time in adverse conditions or mountainous terrain, the relatively new Land Rover LR4 offers standard all-wheel drive. Merely spin the dial to match the terrain from desert to snow, and the power will be sent to appropriate wheels to keep you on the up and up (and moving forward). The tall LR4 has seating for seven and the ability to lower seat backs to carry nearly anything. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V-8 with a six-speed automatic transmission. Leather dominates the interior along with many sumptuous features. Pricing is in the high $40,000 range. Crazy Car apps With hundreds of apps for everything under the sun, one should not be surprised by some wild car apps for smartphones. With CarEngines, you touch the screen of your favorite car, pick a model and the engine starts to rumble and rev. Good for bar games and quieting the most boisterous gear heads. On the slightly more practical side, Dynolicious has one-upped standard GPS programs by telling you your 0-60 time down the hundredth of a second. Want to know how well a car handles? Click the skid pad option and your G force handling capabilities are graphed and explained. The list goes on‌

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Indulge | Golf

Out of the Shadow‌

Behind the Bright Lights of Vegas, This Desert Oasis Shines Shadow Creek #18, Las Vegas, NV By Larry OLmsted | PhOtOgraPhy By rOB BrOwn

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FORGET CELEBRITY CHEFS, SPAS, FOUNTAINS AND EVEN GOLF—gambling is why people come to Vegas. The rush of risky bets built this city in the desert, and explains why Shadow Creek is a golf course unlike any other—a golf course for gamblers. For years Shadow Creek was a private haven for the highest of high rollers, the “whales,” in Vegas parlance, and no one could pay to play here. Instead, if you wagered enough (a lot!) at the tables, the course was “free,” like complimentary show tickets. But Shadow Creek eventually relented and became the nation’s least-public public course: During off days (MondayThursday), guests staying at one of current course owner MGM Mirage Resorts’ properties (the best in Vegas: Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, etc.) can pay the nation’s highest greens fees, $500, for the experience, which includes caddies and a round-trip limo ride. Shockingly, it is worth every penny. Shadow Creek is pure Vegas, a place of legend and mystique, the highest-ranked course that the fewest people play (Golf Digest ranks it sixth best in the U.S.) alongside Pebble Beach and Pinehurst. It was believed to have been the most expensive course ever constructed, and Wynn quipped he gave architect Tom Fazio an unlimited budget—and he exceeded it. The 320acre site was flat, barren desert, but Fazio moved so much earth the elevation change went from six to 213 feet. He transplanted 21,000 fully grown trees, many more than 30 feet tall. Most memorably he added gorgeous boulder-lined streams, lakes and waterfalls—including three ponds cascading into creeks on the final hole alone. The aforementioned 18th at Shadow Creek is one of the greatest closing holes in the game, the round’s last gamble, a true risk/reward, all-or-nothing proposition. One of the many things that sets Shadow Creek apart is that it has no slope or course ratings: It is not meant to be played for handicap rounds but rather in match play, and millions of dollars have changed hands on its fairways, especially among legendary golf bettors like Michael Jordan, one of many top pro athletes who enjoy playing here. On my most recent visit, I came to the 18th needing to win the hole, down one against a better player. A tie would have meant an ultimate loss. The par-5 is more like a par 4 ½ and definitely reachable in two, but fraught with danger all the way. From the back tee it reaches just 529 yards in an era where par-4s are approaching that length. The tee shot is compounded by the fact that the hole doglegs in the landing area and a

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INDULGE | GOLF

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drive slightly off line will run through the fairway and into trouble. But from the middle tees I play at 516, the line is much straighter, encouraging me to swing away. The problem with swinging away is an omnious pond that fronts the tee box, not to mention water down the entire right side, and another pond and creek combo directly in front of the green. Whether I try for two heroic shots or play “safely” for three, on every swing I have two different ways to lose my ball in Fazio’s elaborate water hazards. My caddie and I plan to win the hole by playing for birdie and reaching in two, and to do this I need to hit a drive about 260-yards down the middle, which will leave me on a stage-like plateau looking down at the green with a great view and a 200-yard shot, all carry. I’ve been to this plateau once before and it is a great feeling, but today I hit my drive about 235, with no choice but to lay up short of the creek, leaving me a nasty 45-yard pitch over the water to a front pin, which I need to attack to save birdie. As if the pressure of water very much in play is not enough, there is the fact that the clubhouse overlooks the green, and I know that high rollers like to sit there betting on the action below, and that someone likely just wagered 20 bucks—or 20,000—that I will chunk it into the stream. Instead, I push it just right, but being that this is a reachable par-5, part of its defense is that you cannot miss the green: It has water short, out of bounds left, a steep hillside of rough long, and two bunkers right, which is why I find myself in the sand. After extricating myself I am able to two putt for bogie, losing to a routine par, but having survived a hole that swallows balls like blackjack players quaff free drinks. ◆

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INDULGE | GOLF

IDEA PRO A12 HYBRID Adams Golf’s newest tour caliber hybrid features a hotter face designed for improved playability, a sole optimized with a steel skid plate and flush-mounted weight screw aimed at reducing turf interaction. adamsgolf.com

HENRY-GRIFFITTS O2-1 IRONS

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The successor to the RDH3 Iron Series, this OS-1 series features a Curvilinear Sole, offering improved consistency, control and playability. Tungsten/Copper sole weights lower the center of gravity, so as to stabilize the head through each shot. Other features include a cutout back design and machineengraved grooves. All to launch even offcenter hits higher and faster. $175

MIURA LIMITED FORGED BLACK BLADE This forged iron is a version of the popular muscle back Miura Tournament Blade, created with the distinctive Miura Black finish. It’s the same finish found on Miura’s Black Wedges, and they will wear to your own personal patina with each use. $275

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Indulge | GroominG & Beauty

Thai One On

Massage Traditions Unveiled at Mandara Spa by Noel Pietsch shaw

As A teenAger in northern thAilAnd, Piccione remembers the exact moment she realized the importance of massage. One evening, her mother asked her to massage her aching legs. Unfamiliar with the techniques of Thai massage, she eluded her mother’s plea. The following morning her mother couldn’t get out of bed. Deeply concerned, Piccione spent the next few days rubbing and massaging her mother’s legs. In a matter of days, circulation returned; with a healing touch, she was back on her feet shortly thereafter. The experience inspired Piccione to commit her life to traditional Thai massage. In stark comparison to relaxation-based Swedish and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, the Thai method uses pressure and body manipulation to stimulate natural healing abilities by releasing blocked energy to restore circulation. The end result

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leaves your body rejuvenated and “calmly energized” for days following the treatment. Now, after much training, Piccione shares her passion for the Thai technique with clients at the Mandara Spa in Honolulu. Following his first traditional Thai massage (during a business trip to its country of origin), Darryll Leiman, vice president of resort operations at Hilton Hawaiian Village—where Mandara is located—was instantly convinced to meld the offering into the program at Mandara. “Thai massage can be used to treat certain injuries or conditions. In a traditional sense, Thai therapists are trained to work in a clinical setting,” says Leiman. “For a spa setting, the treatment has been slightly adapted to focus on overall body rejuvenation.” Having experienced several massages in Thailand, I thought I

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knew exactly what I was getting into. However, just a few minutes into my hour-long treatment at Mandara, I quickly realized that my Southern Thailand experience had been heavily edited to appeal to westerners. Be warned: Piccione’s treatment is more of an intense workout than a relaxing therapy treatment. Starting with my feet, she uses her incredibly strong hands to stretch and press the build-up of toxins, blockages and stress out of their resting points in my body. She pulls my legs and twists my arms, as I continuously take deep breaths to keep my mind calm. As the session progresses, and she works through my legs, arms, shoulders and neck, I find myself slowly relaxing—in a manner completely foreign to the massages I’m used to. My muscles melting like butter, I feel the amazing euphoria Thai massage is so popularly know for. The grand finale includes the cracking of my spine, from top to bottom like xylophone, as Piccione gently manipulates my body left, then right. A custom treatment room has been constructed around this experience. Instead of a raised massage table, patrons lie on a soft mattress on the floor and remain fully clothed. Surrounded by candles, flowers and relaxing music, the practitioner begins the massage with a puja—a meditative, Buddhist offering. “A Thai massage … is almost like hard work, in a way. I describe it like yoga being done to you. It stretches and pulls you in the most unusual positions and leaves you feeling indescribably amazing,” adds Leiman. Piccione warns that the most common misconception about Thai

massage is that it hurts. “While Thai massage is a lot of stretching to circulate the blood through the body, it should never hurt. If anyone has had a Thai massage that caused them pain, their practitioner was not properly trained and was pushing their body too far,” she explains. According to Leiman and Piccione, if you are willing to push through the treatment, you will reap the ultimate reward of feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and as though you have taken years off your body—the ultimate luxury. u

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Indulge | GroominG & Beauty

The Color of Fall Men Get Into the Game of Shades

By Christina O’COnnOr | PhOtOgraPhy By nathalie Walker

For years, women have Fussed over their hair— teasing, straightening, curling or adding color. But times have changed, and these days, you’ll likely find a more even mix of men and women at any salon. Men are increasingly receptive to the idea of being pampered, and according to three top stylists in the Islands, hair color is a big part of that. “Nowadays, men love to do color,” says Thi Nguyen, the artistic director at W Salon. But if you’re considering a dye job, the trends have changed. Gone are the days of chunky highlights on unkempt cuts. In this year are clean, natural and subtle looks. “Looks today are more understated,” explains Nguyen. “Less is more for men.”

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Rather than going for a complete color change, many men are opting to add color in a way that complements their natural tones, even if those natural tones are starting to include some gray. One popular trend is called blending, which involves mixing the gray with a darker or lighter hues rather than covering it up. “This actually creates a little bit more dimension,” explains Jentry Petzold, the founder of Black Cat Hair Studio. The blending technique is popular with working professionals, says Alan Vuong, owner of Salon Blanc, as it allows them to achieve a clean appearance that works well for the office. Demi-permanent coloring is another popular technique that

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Alan vuong of Salon blanc says that blending is a popular color technique for working professionals.

creates a natural effect. “Demipermanent gives you a little more tone and shine,” Nguyen says. “It looks nice without changing too much.” Dark solid colors, especially medium or wooden solid browns, are also in this year, Voung says. “We’re doing more darker tones, which bring out a man’s features a lot more and keep them looking refined.” Nguyen notes that red, mahogany and auburn blends are also popular. These clean and subtle looks

are a vast departure from the days of faux hawks and highlighted spikes, which were popular up until last year. Petzold muses that the economy likely had a large role in the shift. “I think with the job market the way it is … everybody is trying to exude a lot more professionalism,” he says. “If you are to really look at men’s trends right now, I think it’s going to be erring a little more on the conservative side.” And for the busy professional, it isn’t only about the look, being able to style quickly and simply is integral. Gray blending and demi-permanent are both quick processes, meaning you can get the look without spending all day in the salon. Besides achieving a neat, professional effect, different hair colors and subtle tones can really bring out a man’s natural eye color and skin tones. Stylists recommend colors that neutralize skin tones. “If the skin tone is warm ... we recommend something with ash or cooler. If a person has fair, or cooler, skin tones, we recommend something a little warmer,” Nguyen explains. “And we also really pay attention to eye color. We want to bring out the eyes. If a gentleman comes in with blue eyes, a nice golden touch of copper would bring out his eyes. And for brown eyes, a lighter chestnut brown hair color would make his eyes a little lighter looking.” If you’d like to change your color but aren’t sure what to do, Petzold, Nguyen and Vuong all stress the importance of getting a thorough consultation with your stylist. “Before we recommend something, we want to know guidelines of what they like, what they don’t like, where they work and lifestyle,” Nguyen says. “Then we can design the color and cut that is based on that.” But above all, if you’re thinking about color, the best thing could be just to go for it. “The first thing I would say is ‘don’t be afraid,’” Petzold adds. u h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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indulge | Home & Garden

On Gilded Ponds The Allure of Water Features at Home By Sarah Pacheco

colorful plants and fish not only add to a pond’s beauty—they help to maintain an ecological balance as well.

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photos courtesy mulkern Landscaping HILux 5.3 OctNov 128+4 converted0830_Li.indd 63

Islanders have a natural affInIty for water. It provides us with everything we may need: food, modes of travel, even spectacular backdrops for leisure and relaxation. So when it comes to creating the perfect island domicile, it comes as no surprise that Hawai‘i homeowners seek to include some sort of water feature in the blueprints. And the easiest solution for this water-lust, aside from owning an ocean-side retreat, is with the single addition of a worthy pond that can turn even the mighty Pacific green with envy. In fact, ponds have become a standard feature in most Hawai‘i luxury homes. Whether it is a modern fixture made from slick rocks and sleek lines, or a traditional pool grounded with water lilies, moss and koi, ponds add another dimension of value to a home—and not just the monetary type. “They serve as a place of serenity or as a focal point for family enjoyment,” says Susan Mulkern, head of administration and management with Kevin J. Mulkern Landscapers. Located on O‘ahu, the licensed landscape contractor has noticed a trend in return clients asking for a pond. Recently, Mulkern and her team designed and installed two natural rock pools with connecting streams at a Kaimuki home after the client decided he wanted a water feature to accompany his pre-existing walkway. “It is something that people naturally gravitate to; they love to see those water features,” explains Craig Chambers of Chambers Landscaping. Based in Pu‘uloa on the Big Island Chambers’ company has worked on a myriad of in-home pond projects, his favorite being a dramatic water feature with a 25-foot waterfall installed at the Fisher House in Kuki‘o. “So many of the homes we (work on) have water features in them,” he notes. “All of these super high-end, $5 million to $30 million homes, a water feature is part of the deal.” Perhaps that is because ponds are more than just visual sources of pleasure. According to both Chambers and Mulkern, clients often request their ponds have some sort of running water—the universal sound of stress relief. “Running water … reverberates and goes inside the house,” says Chambers. “It’s more for the sound, not just the visual of the water feature itself.” Homeowners also want to be able to interact with their ponds: “Recently people want to feel like they’re walking on top of the water, so they set stones so they feel like they’re floating or walking right over the water,” adds Chambers. Floating steps are a feature that was recently included in an ultramodern reflecting pond that Long & Associates recently designed on h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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photo courtesy Long & Associates

indulge | Home & Garden

A modern take. this reflecting pool uses the same custom blend of tiles as the home’s swimming pool. travetine steps and platform appear to float on the water.

O‘ahu. Travertine steps appear lead to an 11-foot square platform at the center of the pond that’s backed by a waterfall, providing a steady, comforting trickle of water. Another way to be one with the water is by incorporating living organisms. Built to be balanced eco-systems, natural pools, as they are called, often house water lilies, lotus, bog plants and small fish that not only add color and depth to the outdoor living space, but also help maintain the pond itself. “Natural pools need plants and fish to balance properly,” explains Mulkern, whose company specializes in these types of ponds. “Natural eco-systems don’t require a lot of maintenance once they are balanced.” There will be some upkeep to ensure a pond stays in good condition. Regular skimming of any dead leaves and thinning out water plants is required. Plants should be fertilized periodically. Water plants generally do well in full sun and need adequate room to grow, so if your pond’s location will be small or partially shaded, select plants carefully. Mulkern, who owns and operates a nursery in Waimanalo that sells ornamental plants for ponds and outdoor landscaping, says the most popular water plants customers purchase are Jack Wood, Woods Blue Goddess and Texas Dawn,

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all of which offer a dazzling display during the daytime hours. For night bloomers, Mulkern recommends Woods White Knight and Texas Shell Pink, which she says are very popular and easy to grow. “Once you go with anything organic, whether it be fish or plant material, your maintenance is going to be a factor,” says Chambers. No matter the type of pond a homeowner desires, both Chambers and Mulkern agree design comes first and foremost. In fact, another of Chambers’ most memorable pond projects, also located at a property in Kuki‘o, actually incorporated the architecture of the home in its design so that it perfectly blended with the building. “The biggest thing homeowners should decide on is the design,” Chambers advises. “They really need to look and do a lot of exploration and research on it so they get the proper design in what they’re looking for. That’s critical—it’s all in the design and getting that right.” Adds Mulkern: “Consider why you want the pond. Is it for your personal quiet time? How will it fit into your existing landscape area? Do you want the sound of water near your bedroom or not? Will you maintain it yourself or employ a professional? All the answers will determine whether you should install a pond … or nothing at all.” u

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HILUXURY EXCLUSIVE - ON SET WITH THE DESCENDANTS

photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

FEATURES | THE DESCENDANTS

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The Star

GEORGE CLOONEY A BASKETBALL NET IN THE PARKING LOT of a shuttered CompUSA (now transformed into a movie set) is the first hint that George Clooney is here in Honolulu. If there’s anything he’d like to accomplish between scenes, it’s to improve his standing jump shot. The in-demand actor was on location for several weeks last year during the shooting of The Descendants, a film directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt) who adapted the script from a novel written by Hawai‘i writer Kaui Hart Hemmings. Although Payne had turned down the project more than once, producer Jim Burke convinced him to rewrite it. After Clooney was attached, Fox Searchlight swooped in to cover the budget, as Payne’s cult classic Sideways has earned him the proverbial “gold star” within the vast Hollywood fundraising circles. Then again, $23 million is modest by both Hollywood and Clooney-vehicle standards. Yet unlike countless films shot here, The Descendants has cast Honolulu and its comings and goings as a silent character. The traffic, private clubs, land heritages and poverty are all not only part of the story’s background, but part of its characters’ motivation. “It’s a sad story,” says Clooney. “But there are funny moments.” Clooney assumes the lead role of Matt King, whose beloved wife Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) has entered an irreversible coma following a boat accident. It is King’s burden to decide whether or not to pull the plug on his long-vanished spouse, while at the same time attempting to recover relations

Photo by Jacopo Raule/FilmMagic

BY SILVIA BIZIO PHOTOGRAPHY BY MERIE WALLACE

with his two daughters. Having not seen them—16- year-old Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) and 12-year-old Scottie (Amara Miller)—in quite some time isn’t playing in his favor. Drama ensues. Meanwhile, this iconic Hollywood actor (with notable pied-a-terres in Lake Como, Italy, among other locales) tackles surprisingly succinct issues that plague real-life kama‘aina (where Hemmings’ localism plays favor). King must decide to whom he will sell the land he inherited: the irresponsible purchasers who dream of McDonald’s and strip malls, or the humble buyer that intends to respect the land and its history.

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HILUXURY EXCLUSIVE - ON SET WITH THE DESCENDANTS FEATURES | THE DESCENDANTS

From left to right: Shailene Woodley as “Alexandra,” George Clooney as “Matt King,” Amara Miller as “Scottie,” and Nick Krause as “Sid.”

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“There are tormenting scenes in the picture,” Clooney says during a break on the set. “Yesterday we shot a scene where I tell my youngest daughter that we have to go scatter the ashes of her mother—and she doesn’t know what ashes are. Then she asks me if even Mom’s eyes have become ashes, too. How do you explain such a thing to a child? I had never played a role like this. But it was my longing to work with Alexander [Payne] that brought me here.” Before we are able to delve deeper into this, he’s called to action. From the monitor, I see him conversing and laughing with Robert Forster, who plays the role of the bitter and angry father-in-law (to Clooney’s King). Within a moment, the two have snapped into character, as Forster has just arrived at the bedside of his dying daughter. As soon as the director yells “Action!” the two nail every line. The scene is dramatic: Forster accuses Clooney of wanting to sell his land and become a millionaire before his wife is even departed. The notion—and emotions—seems to wash over a seemingly void Clooney. As Forster vents, Clooney rises to take his eldest daughter out of the room. Simple enough, yet, it is a turning point in the story: Clooney has just found out that his wife had a lover. He ventures to Kaua‘i in good faith, and to offer the man responsible for bringing some joy to his soon-to-be dead wife the opportunity to say goodbye. This, while his instincts are telling him to kill the bastard. “It’s an act of love,” Clooney explains to me shortly after the director shouts “Cut!” To my surprise, he’s merry about the whole scenario. As we chat about the nuances of the character’s emotions, he lets me in on a practical joke he’s trying to set up against Brad Pitt. As he talks about revenge for the last one Pitt played on him (it involved spreading a rumor about

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a fictional gay experience), I realize how light-years away this is from the sorrowful and desperate character he was just acting out with incredible likeness a few minutes earlier. “Matt thinks his wife would want her lover to know she is dying, even though he’ll never come visit her,” he says. “For me, this movie means all these things. The love of a man for his wife, and of a father for the daughters he’s never known.” Working in Hawai‘i was an added value. “Let’s just face it: Shooting here is far better than in Detroit,” the actor says. “The place is magnificent, the locals are great. Everyone is relaxed, and this allows us to do our job efficiently and at ease. What’s amazing is how they live above the rules: People go around on motorcycles without a helmet, they crowd up on trucks, go slow when nobody’s on the street. I rented a motorcycle and I love going around, even in the rain,” Clooney adds, noting his fondness for biking along the coastal routes and through the rural neighborhoods. “Once out of the city, you’re in another world full of modest houses that take you back in time, free from the pressure of our life.” One has to understand the philosophy of Clooney to comprehend the astonishing rhythm that propels him into his work. He insisted on working only five days a week; normally films are under such budgetary limitations that every production day—and hour—needs to be utilized. But not on a Clooney-controlled set. “It’s too hard for the crew to work more,” he attests, adding that they even organized a crew softball tournament. “That’s what I did for Michael Clayton and other movies of mine. Ours are low-budget pictures, so we can work more relaxed, and the crew is happier.”

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George Clooney as “Matt King” and Shailene Woodley as “Alexandra.”

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(Clooney had the last laugh during the softball tournament: He shares how producer Jim Burke said he didn’t want any actors on his team, under the guise that actors “can’t do anything.” Clooney, an all-star baseball player in his collegiate years, proved to Burke the error of his thinking.) His words of deep admiration for Alexander Payne are not in short supply. “I worked with many great directors, from Soderbergh up,” he asserts. “But this man is amazing. Great,” Clooney says, pointing to a “mess” that happened on set a few days prior, which hardly even fazed Payne. “I was convinced he was going to go mad. Instead, he simply shrugged his shoulders, as to say ‘Not much we can do about it!’” When Clooney comes back after another set change, we talk about his finding time to visit

President Barack Obama’s school to dig up a yearbook photo. Fodder for another practical joke, perhaps? The actor refused to comment, with a sheepish grin. Showing me the photo he took on his iPhone, I see a cute little kid with curly hair. “Funny, isn’t it—to see Barack as a child?” No slouch himself, Clooney dove head first into a new project—as director—shortly after wrapping Descendants. The Ides of March, which was chosen as the opening night film at the Venice Film Festival, garners a different buzz than Descendants ultimately will. Already, there’s Oscar buzz around the latter. “I couldn’t be more proud of this film,” Clooney concludes. “It’s one of those film that Alexander does so well—a comedy with a very sad undercurrent.” ◆

George Clooney as “Matt King.”

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photo by Dennis Oda - Honolulu Star-Advertiser library

FEATURES | THE DESCENDANTS

The Writer KAUI HEMMINGS BY MALIA MATTOCH

NOT MANY PEOPLE CAN SAY THEIR VERY FIRST TRIP TO LOS ANGELES was for the test screening of their own movie. For Maunawili-based author Kaui Hemmings, life at present is filled with such unlikely scenarios. Her first novel, The Descendants, is about to arrive in theatres with Oscar-winner Alexander Payne as the film’s director and George Clooney as its main character, Matt King. King is the sort of established Hawai‘i businessman well-known to anyone who has walked Bishop Street at lunchtime. A 50-yearold attorney from an old kama‘aina family, he’s in the throes of deciding the fate of his ancestral land holdings on Kaua‘i. At home, he’s unraveling the mystery of his wife’s pre-coma affair while reconfiguring his family in the face of her approaching death. “I wanted to write about a situation I didn’t really know about and imagine the worst possible thing that could happen to someone,” says Hemmings, who was only 25 when she created King’s middleaged male character, who serves as the book’s narrator.

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“I initially started the story from his youngest daughter’s point of view, then I changed it to his wife’s, with Matt being the one in the coma. But I couldn’t get her voice. And what’s really at stake with that plot? Caring for children is the norm of most every woman’s life. For some women, it might actually be easier to do with their husband out of the equation,” Hemmings says with a laugh. Hemmings had pictured Clooney as Matt King while writing the book and suggested him for the part in her early conversations with the producers. On the first day of filming in March 2010, her vision came to cinematic life with George Clooney decked out in a Reyn’s Spooner aloha shirt whilst driving down Kalakaua Avenue. “It was so funny—the shirt, the high-wasted Dockers,” says Hemmings. “It fit, and it didn’t fit. His character in the movie is a little dorkier than I envisioned, and yet now I can’t envision it any other way.” Hemmings played Clooney’s receptionist in the film—a notable

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detail that can be attributed to much of Payne’s work—using snippets of realism to set the tone. It’s a familiar world to Hemmings, whose husband, Andy Lautenbach, is an attorney (with Honolulu law firm Starn, O’Toole, Marcus & Fisher.) “Alexander asked me where Matt King would go to lunch, and I said, ‘He wouldn’t. He’d make his own and eat it at his desk, just like my husband.’ And the first day of walking into King’s office as his assistant, I see Clooney at his desk with his brown bag lunch and I thought, ‘This is perfect. I feel like I’m hanging out in the office of a Honolulu dude.’” Hemmings grew up with prominent local male figures that might seem likely inspirations for Matt King. Her grandfather was Honolulu Federal Judge Martin Pence. Her stepfather is surfing legend and politician Fred Hemmings. But it was her husband, a Wisconsin native who shares nothing in common with Matt King’s missionary/Hawaiian ali‘i heritage, whom Hemmings thought of while writing her main character. “I thought about Andy’s integrity, his desire to do the right thing, and being a quiet force,” she says. Hemmings calls her process of creating her book’s characters and settings “something like Mr. Potato Head,” a combination of various details of her family and friends combined with imaginary touches. Matt King’s house was likened from her own grandmother’s home in Maunawili (in the film, the home’s location is Nu‘uanu). A beloved longtime bartender at Outrigger Canoe Club as well as the club itself will be recognizable to readers who know the club (though the neighboring Elks Club was used in the movie).

Opposite page: Hemmings in her office, with various printings of The Descendants. Above: Hemmings says she created her characters from the combined details of her family and friends.

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FEATURES | THE DESCENDANTS

The author with her daughter

While a few locations changed, the story remained true in Payne’s hands, who moved into a Manoa home months prior to shooting. He and Hemmings quickly formed an artistic kinship. “We have a similar sense of humor and commitment to tone,” she says. Hemmings joined Payne, producer Jim Burke, the cast and crew in Hanalei, Kaua‘i, for three weeks that proved to be the highlight of filming for Hemmings, whose ties there go to the Wilcox family. “Our main base was Kauikealani Estate, which belongs to my cousins. We stayed at Mahamoku, which was the first house on Hanalei Bay to have electricity. It’s still untouched, mosquito nets at all. The cast and crew had serious awe for this little spot of the world. My cousins … were in the film as extras. The fictional and real worlds sort of collided in Hanalei.” That collision paid off when Hemmings first saw the film nearly a year ago at a test screening. “Watching the film, I was just struck at how lucky I am. Matt King is a different character than Clooney’s usual role. Even when Clooney isn’t playing a stud he’s playing someone powerful, and this time he wasn’t. I loved it.” She was particularly satisfied with the film’s portrayal of her book’s 18-year-old female character, Alexandra, Matt King’s older daughter. “The actress who plays Alexandra is Shailene Woodley, and she was incredible. It is so rare now to see an 18-year-old girl not being

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super sexed-up. They allowed her an innocent beauty and her own voice, and they made it this wonderful love story between father and daughter, them becoming allies for life. In the book, his relationship is primarily with his youngest daughter. In the film, they focused on the older, and it worked better for the movie.” They also focused on a Hawai‘i rarely, if ever, seen on-screen. A Hawai‘i that feels the way living here actually does. “Hawai‘i is not scenery or a prop,” says Hemmings. “In most movies set here tourists are the stars. They’re about a visitor who comes to this exotic location, peopled by one-dimensional characters. This film is about people who live here and work here, live and die here. For the first time in film we see Hawai‘i in all its beauty and all its complications.” As the film’s release approaches, Hemmings’ work life continues with new writing projects. Her home life in Maunawili took a happily dramatic turn in June when she travelled with Lautenbach and their 6-year-old daughter Eleanor to Ethiopia, where they completed their three-year process of adopting a little boy, now named Leo. “It has been a full year. Two things have happened that have changed the course of my life, and yet there are little things that change your life, too, in ways we may never know. Life is both huge and mundane. I hope to not look back too much. Hopefully something both huge and mundane will always be happening.” ◆

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The Director/Screenwriter

ALEXANDER PAYNE CAPTURES THE HUMAN CONDITION BY JEFFERSON FINNEY

HILuxury: I really enjoyed reading The Descendants. I felt sort of voyeuristic at times—annoyed at King for his lack of connection with his kids, empathy for the overall situation, the humor and the realness of it all. Will the film be similar to the book? Alexander Payne: The shifting sense of identification with the protagonist—one of the great things about books is that books are infinite, the images of the characters, the tone of the narrative—the relationship changes from reader to reader, where you are in you life. The trouble with cinema is that it takes that infinite potential and makes it concrete and finite.

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The film will be different than the way people interpret the book. When a book is transformed into a movie it becomes something else, and there is a certain way I interpret the book, and then my ideas are executed in the process of filming. And then there is another way which it blows through me and I watch this thing come to life—the actors, the location, my sensibility and my tone all play a part. One’s style and one’s tone is oneself and who you are—it’s not something you think about—it’s just what comes out in the end. photo by Eleanor Thurber

ALEXANDER PAYNE IS THE SCREENWRITER AND DIRECTOR OF The Descendants, a highly anticipated film soon to be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, which is based on the novel by kama‘aina writer Kaui Hart Hemmings. The Descendants is the first film for Payne since Sideways, a now cult-classic tale about male buddies in search of wine, women and themselves during a ramble through California’s Santa Ynez Valley, and for which Payne received the 2004 Oscar for Best-Adapted Screenplay. Dressed in jeans and exuding the comfortable demeanor that seems to accompany well-traveled observers of life and living, Payne arrived at our agreed location for a chat. Following general pleasantries, a splash of pinot noir and a hunk of Queso Manchego, we sat down to talk.

HILuxury: Are there surprises in this process?

AP: There are surprises. It’s always interesting how it turns out. I always gear it toward what makes me laugh—even if it’s the type of laughter that isn’t laughed out loud. The Descendants has more drama in it than I’ve ever done before—I found directing dramatic scenes, even horrifying ones, to be like comedies. I think it is good to have a certain sprightly comic approach in dramatic scenes—it makes scenes even more dramatic when you are directing a film as if it were a comedy. HILuxury: When editing, do you find it necessary to clear your head? Do you go for a run, go cycling or take a brisk walk in order to come back with fresh eyes? AP: I’m so much not interested in having fresh eyes—I’d rather be immersed—it’s a concentrated effort. I’ll take two weeks off when

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photo courtesy Zade Rosenthal™ and ©

“I make the types of films that aren’t made a lot in America,” says Payne, pictured here on the set of Cedar Rapids with director Miguel Arteta.

we’re done shooting and then start the editing process—I’ll approach the film anew in the editing room and watch it as though I am just an editor.

scene, Gable removed his shirt, revealing his bare chest, and sales of undershirts were said to have dropped 75 percent)

HILuxury: In making this film, what steps did you take to make sure that the vibe and culture of Hawai‘i are portrayed correctly?

HILuxury: The anticipation of the film coming out and the reaction to it—are you on pins and needles waiting for the moviegoers’ response?

AP: First of all, I feel very lucky to have found this project—the characters, the story and the strong sense of place really spoke to me. To make sure Hawai‘i is portrayed correctly, I shot in Hawai‘i. You are in a place and you turn the camera on and it records time and movement in that place—so hopefully you’ll see Hawai‘i in the film. Casting? I cast here as much as I could. I asked a lot of questions—mostly of the author Kaui, as the film is based on her novel. Look, when I made Sideways—for me it was a slight little wine movie—I never had any idea that it would have any impact on the wine business—I had no idea. You cannot foresee the outcome. Who knew in 1934 when Clark Gable removed his shirt and revealed he had no undershirt on that undershirt sales would plummet in the U.S.? But they did. (Payne is referring to the film, It Happened One Night. In what was considered a racy

AP: When asked at studio meetings—‘whom will this film appeal to?’—my answer is, my friends and me. That’s who I make films for, my buddies and myself. Then luck comes in and what occurs to you as being a good movie will also occur to a significant amount of the public so as to enable you to continue making films—like with any artistic endeavor. Many people can be doing art—you can be working in a medium and doing really beautiful, honest, soulful work which never reaches an audience—painters, writers, poets—they are not lesser artists. I think that the fact that I make comedies helps sell my films. I have a good filmmaking sense of what a movie is. That it’s cognitively made with a good sense of rhythm. Also, I make the types of films that aren’t made a lot in America. Human comedy, not plot driven or easily summarized. Life is not easily summarized. H I L U X U RY OC TOBER / NOVE M B E R 20 1 1

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photo by Merie Wallace

FEATURES | THE DESCENDANTS

Director Alexander Payne on the set of The Descendants.

AP: I was a teenager in the ’70s; films that were adult commercial American Hollywood films are now considered art films or that ‘Golden Age of the Seventies.’ Films by Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), George Lucas (American Graffiti) Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver), Alan Pakula (All The President’s Men), Hal Ashby (Shampoo), just about all of the films of that whole decade. There is masterpiece after masterpiece. I insist that we can still strive to make these films.

(Referring to Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s most famous novella in which the Prince is compelled by his love for the rose he has left on his home planet). There are many towns in the world, but this one is mine.

HILuxury: You were raised in Omaha; do you think your unique talent might not have bloomed had you been raised in another environment?

AP: Projects in the future—I’ve been sitting on one for a while—it will be the first thing I will direct that I haven’t written. It’s a father-son road trip film from Billings, Mont. to Lincoln, Neb., passing through Rapid City, S.D. A father and son get waylaid in a crappy (laughing) little town in North Central Nebraska where the father grew up and where his relatives still reside. Alexander Payne is a keen observer of the human condition and passionate filmmaker. His latest endeavor, The Descendants, is set for release on Dec. 12, 2011. ◆

AP: There are many very thoughtful, well-read people in Omaha— people really interested in the world. Omaha is the birthplace of many film luminaries, including Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Fred Astaire and Nick Nolte. I like Omaha—it’s like The Little Prince and his rose.

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HILuxury: What projects do you have lined up in the immediate future?

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photo courtesy Ad Hominem Enterprises

FEATURES | THE DESCENDANTS

Producer Burke’s past films include Election, The Savages and Cedar Rapids.

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The Producer JIM BURKE BY KAUI HEMMINGS

BEFORE MY FIRST NOVEL WAS MADE INTO A MOVIE, before Alexander Payne and George Clooney, there was Jim Burke, the producer. I remember being afraid to meet him, thinking I was about to encounter a slick, cigar-smoking, name-dropping dude who would make my face cramp up, as it does when I’m feigning interest in people who care and talk too much about themselves. We met at a coffee shop in Cole Valley in San Francisco. This was in 2007 right after his and Alexander’s company had optioned my book for Fox Searchlight. We sat down and he talked about my novel, clearly familiar with every character and even snippets of dialogue. He had an enthusiasm for my work that even I didn’t have; I liked him immediately. Not because he flattered me, but because this was a person who was clearly passionate about work, film and life. One (among many) questions he asked that morning was, “Who do you see playing Matt King?” “George Clooney,” I said, then shy and embarrassed I added, “Or whoever.” Since then I have moved to Hawai‘i, The Descendants has been made into beautiful film, George Clooney soars as Matt King, and Jim Burke has become a wonderful friend. Exclusively for this publication, I had the opportunity to reconnect with him. The first thing I felt inclined to ask, donning my reporter hat—recalling all-too-vividly my preconceptions about producer-types—was, “What’s the biggest misconception about being a producer?” “That we’re the money guy,” he says. “I mean, we are, but it’s not like it comes out of our checking account. We have to speak to the investors ... but money is just a part of what happens, not that it isn’t a big part.” When I consider my interactions with Burke—his inquisitiveness on Hawai‘i’s history, quirks and details—I press further, wondering if this truly a “norm” for producers, or just him. While this would make for an opportune time to dismiss other producers, I have no recollection of Burke ever talking badly about someone, no matter how I’d try to goad it out of him. He didn’t take the bait this time either. “There is no wrong or right way to do it,” he said. “Same with directors—I know directors who don’t even talk to actors. You just have to be yourself. You can’t copy somebody else’s style. You have to do it your way,” Burke adds. His way seems to be marked by a genuine connection to the

material, which, I learned, hasn’t always been the case. “I am more and more focused on sorts of films I want to make. Pictures where I would buy a ticket. I hadn’t had that revelation. I would do what a lot of people do—try to make blockbuster hits. Relied less on my own taste, and more on collective taste.” Burke continues by reminding me just how deeply he needs to be into a story, solely because of how long he has to remain active with the project until it’s completed. “I have to connect to it in some way. And it’s cool if it teaches you something,” he adds, a notion that I have long subscribed to as a writer. Naturally, I need to know what made him think he could be with The Descendants for the long run. “I related to Matt King,” he says. “I couldn’t believe you wrote this. I’m a father. I became a single father, a full-time one and it’s more unusual than you think. There aren’t a lot of single dads. There’s a steeper learning curve.” Besides connecting to the material it was obvious to me that Jim (as well as so many of the cast and crew that worked on the film) formed a relationship with Hawai‘i. “My favorite thing about Hawai‘i is the people,” Jim says. “I love the diversity—it’s a natural diversity—not a lot of attention is paid to it, which is cool. I love the attitude, I really love all of the tradition.” “Like pau hana?” “Like pau hana, and how just about everyone can tell you their lineage—they can all tell you how their family got to Hawai‘i. I’m from Minnesota. I love it, but no one can tell you how they got there.” I remember observing the progress of his full immersion into Hawai‘i. I don’t think many producers land here then take it upon themselves to delve into the complex cultural and social system—at least, those beyond the pools of their 4-star resorts. Burke pulled the curtain back far behind pau hana, reading all of the Hawaiian history books he could get his hands on, listening to countless recordings of Hawaiian music. He (along with Alexander) dissected Hawai‘i with precision and care. In my humble opinion, we will all benefit from it. “I think The Descendants is Alexander’s finest film,” Jim says. “I know this movie will stand the test of time.” It’s a big statement, yet I didn’t hear him stutter. But that’s part of the job, too, right? Conviction and perhaps a little cheerleading on the side. How perfect that Jim Burke has found a team and a game he so genuinely supports. ◆ H I L U X U RY OC TOBER / NOVE M B E R 20 1 1

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Warm, Welcoming, Fresh and Fun Experience dinner at the ocean’s edge, at Zagat’s #1 Hawai‘i island restaurant. Bringing farm to table to a whole new level, 90% of the menu features local farm and ocean fresh tastes. Enjoy variety thru shared plates or dine a la carte. Prepare to be inspired Dinner 5:30 to 8:30 pm (Sunday-Friday) On Saturdays, our signature Surf, Sand and Stars beach barbecue features a live band, hula and astronomy.

For reservations contact Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Concierge at 808-325-8000 or just drop in h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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C FASHION | FALL TRENDS

CITY CHIC

WE HIT THE STREETS OF HONOLULU WITH FALL’S MOST EXCITING COUTURE FINDS FASHION WRITER: YU SHING TING PHOTOGRAPHER: LEAH FRIEL

MODELS: ANGELA BYRD, MICHELLE VAWER AND VASIL YOUCHEV MAKEUP BY KECIA LITTMAN OF BELLA BEAUTY AGENCY HAIR STYLING BY ANOU SITHAMMALAT AND ASHLEE VALEROS OF REVE SALON

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Michelle plays the tough girl in a leather jacket with mink collar, $5,200; ‘sprouse’ mini skirt, $1,220; and ‘gimme a clue’ sting ray hoop earrings, $550. All by LOUIS VUITTON.

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Fashion | FALL TREndS

Angela is on her way in a red dress, $1,490; ‘ellis’ python clutch, $1,950; and earrings, $160. All by SALVATORE FERRAGAMO.

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Vasil wears a dress shirt with tab closure stand collar, $275; four-button charcoal gray check vest, $425; slim-fit trouser with drawstring closure, $395; and ‘Denis’ boot, $525. EMPORIO ARMANI. H I L U X U RY All OCbyTOBER / NOVE M B E R 20 1 1 89

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Fashion | FALL TRENDS

Angela wears a DOLCE & GABBANA black ruched dress, $1,745; HERVE VAN DER STRAETEN gold necklace, $1,225; HERVE VAN DER STRAETEN gold earrings, $305; HERVE VAN DER STRAETEN gold cuff, $500. All from NEIMAN MARCUS.

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vasil wears a classic dress shirt, $625; necktie in ecu noir $190; riveted suede leather belt, $490; classic pants, $625; and ‘montana’ ankle boot, $895. All by LOUIS VUITTON. h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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Fashion | Fall Trends

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michelle wears a pequin mink fur coat, $14,000; ruffle dress with pequin belt, $1,680; logo earrings, $250; and green satin pumps, $695. All by FENDI.

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Fashion | Fall TRenDs

Angela dons her best lady chic: ‘Abigail’ dress, $5,900; ‘Dior duchesse’ boot, $1,400; ‘Dior Poudre’ cuff with velvet, $1,950; ‘Dior Paudress’ earrings, $890; and ‘Lady Dior’ knot handbag; $3,400. All by DIOR.

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Angela wears a vINce coyote fur jacket, $1,875; NIcOLe mILLer gold shimmer cocktail dress, $430; ALeXIS bIttAr earrings, $245. All from NeImAN mArcUS.

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FASHION | FALL TRENDS

Michelle mixes trendy with classic in an asymmetric tank top, $295; classic pencil skirt, $395; suede and elastic belt, $495; and suede ankle-strap shoe with chain detail, $695. All by EMPORIO ARMANI.

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Fashion | FALL TRENDS

vasil walks the line in ARMANI COLLEZIONI jacket, $825; ETRO green paisley print shirt, $385; DOLCE & GABBANA khaki denim cargo pants, $550; and LANVIN black sneakers, $495. All from NEIMAN MARCUS.

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m

ichelle vawer was destined to be a supermodel… she just never knew it. this down-to-earth Kailua girl started modeling at the age of 17 on the suggestion of a friend. two years later, the international model management firm, ImG models (the same agency that represents Heidi Klum, Gisele bundchen, Kate moss and miranda Kerr) recruited her in New York. Now 21, vawer has traveled the world for photo shoots to exotic locales that include Africa, bali, Germany, milan, Australia and Paris. (Following our exclusive HILuxury shoot, she was scheduled for colombia, London and Japan.) When asked about rumors of an upcoming big gig, michelle couldn’t reveal anything except that it is a “really exciting” opportunity that will come out soon. vawer’s work includes ads for numerous lingerie and swimsuit companies, as well as editorials found in vogue Italia, vanity Fair Italy and vogue India. this is her third appearance in HILuxury magazine. “I love that this is my job,” says vawer during a visit back to Hawai‘i,

where we caught up with her. “For a lot of my jobs I get to hang out on the beach in my bikini. I also get to work with different people every day. And it’s nice to get paid to travel.” When she’s not busy posing for the camera, vawer enjoys writing, reading (her favorite authors include Haruki murakami, roald Dahl and Jonathon Safran Foer), watching movies (including breakfast at tiffany’s and Arizona Dream), drawing and listening to music (her range includes Hawaiian and reggae to the rolling Stones, etta James and Al Green). born in vancouver, vawer moved to Hawai‘i at age 4, attended Ka‘elepulu elementary, La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls and ‘Iolani School before graduating from myron b. thompson Academy. She currently lives in New York, but returns to Hawai‘i often—and always for the holidays. “I love the music, the food and the art in New York,” she says. “I also like that it’s easy to travel from there. but I love coming home to Hawai‘i, especially during christmas time to be with my family—my mom, dad and older sister.” u h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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Features | PHILANTHROPY

Shelter From The Storm Providing a Home Away From Home in Hawai‘i By Lianne BidaL Thompson

Life can change in a matter of moments. This universal truth is the common thread that runs between families staying at Ronald McDonald House. “For most of our families, they find out their child is ill, and they have as little as 2½ hours to get things together,” says Jerri Chong, executive director of Ronald McDonald House

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Charities, Hawaii (RMHCH). She describes, in her quiet yet crisp manner, what those moments can be for a worried parent: “They have the doctors telling them their child needs medical attention—in Honolulu—and they have to get all their affairs in order and maybe even get on a helicopter to fly with their child

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photos courtesy ronald mcDonald House charities Hawaii

Top left: the ronald mcDonald House on Judd St. in manoa is home to the families of sick children while they’re receiving medical care in Honolulu. Above: Jerri chong sits with one of the many children who’ve stayed at the house.

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to the hospital,” she explains, adding that a second parent is often left behind to tie up further loose ends and figure out how to get to Honolulu, on their own. This is where Ronald McDonald House comes in. After a referral—no one is turned away—the organization will have someone greet parents at the airport, shuttle them between the house and the hospital, and arrange each family’s room. In addition, the house is equipped with a laundry area and kitchen—filled with supplies—so the family can remain strong, together. The ability to be a steadying hand during a family’s most dire moments is what inspires Chong and her staff. RMHCH is here to provide as much normalcy as possible during rather abnormal times, according to Chong. Children have places to play: There is a lawn with playground equipment, areas filled with stuffed toys, the latest video games and books. Walking through the airy abode, one can hear the beginnings of a song as someone starts to tickle the ivories on a piano located just outside the dining room. In addition to patients from the Neighbor Islands, the homes house families from throughout the Pacific, and even visitors on vacation—some of whom have endured medical emergencies that require longterm acute care. “In our 25-year history, we have never turned a family away,” Chong emphasizes proudly. And she, as well as the rest of the RMHCH organization, has a lot to be proud of: In the coming year they will celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary in Hawai‘i. The first house on Judd Street in Manoa was established in March 1987. After that, in January of 2006, a second home on O‘ahu Avenue was opened. While the first houses

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photo courtesy Ronald McDonald House Charities Hawaii

FEATURES | PHILANTHROPY

entire families (“… sometimes grandparents are there too,” Chong explains), The O‘ahu Avenue house is for adults only. “They bond, through their shared experience,” Chong says. In 2003, RMHCH opened a Family Room at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children. If your child is sick, she explains, yet you live in Wai‘anae or Kahalu‘u, you might as well be from a neighbor island. The distance and time it would take a parent to travel to and from a hospital would be taxing for anyone. The Family Room is there to provide a home-away-fromhome within the hospital. Parents can catch up on emails, siblings can relax, play games or read a book, and there’s even a teen privacy room that allows patients who are well enough to leave their hospital room and visit with friends.

Janelle and Scott Komatsu were parents who once found themselves caught up in the maelstrom. Because they are O‘ahu residents, they weren’t eligible to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, but they made great use of the Family Room. “The Ronald McDonald House Family Room was an oasis for us when our daughter Maddie would spend days at a time at Kapi‘olani … while being treated for leukemia,” Janelle says. “Our son Trevor, who was 5 at the time, would always ask when he could come to visit Maddie and go to the Family Room so he could play video games. For us parents, the Family Room was always stocked with hot coffee, snacks and food to fill our bellies, along with a friendly volunteer who made sure we made ourselves feel at home.”

“We’re always thinking about the kids, their families and what changes can be made,” Chong points out.

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photos courtesy ronald mcDonald House charities Hawaii

Chong, who’s been with the organization since 2000, is quick to point out that RMHCH is a team effort. “That’s one of the most beautiful things about our community,” she says. “The people want to take care of their own. It’s amazing the type of support we receive.” She points out that volunteer Mary Balding has been baking for the house every Wednesday for 22 years. Other individuals, such as professional golfer Michelle Wie have also contributed— Wie’s donation helped provide seed money for playground equipment and also provided fun additions to the playroom in the form of video gaming systems. Corporate donations, like the rooms that Outrigger Resorts provides for families who can’t get a room at the house are precious as well: It’s because of those hotel rooms that no family has been turned away. In all, Ronald McDonald Houses service 300-400 families each year, and the Family Room services more than 10,000 people a year (the average stay in the room is about an hour). Other annual efforts are made to raise funds to help provide these services for the families. “We’re always thinking about the kids, their families and what changes can be made,” Chong points out. There is a golf tournament each July and a fundraising gala scheduled for Nov. 20, kicking off the yearlong celebration of RMHCH’s 25th year. All of these efforts don’t go unnoticed by the families whose lives are turned upside down by the scary news that their child is ill. “I’m so thankful to Ronald McDonald House Charities for providing families in crisis a place to go to breathe and relax, even if only for a moment!” says Janelle Komatsu. u

Opposite page: Families can maintain some semblance of normalcy in the midst of dealing with a child’s illness at ronald mcDonald House. This page, top: Watching patients make progress is one of the rewards for the staff of rmHcH. Bottom: community volunteers are valuable assets for rmHcH.

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Features | Books

Book ’em!

Literary Finds about Hawai‘i By HILuxury Team | pHoTograpHy By NaTHaLIe WaLker

From Twain’s wriTings abouT his Travels throughout the kingdom of Hawai‘i to Kaui Hart Hemmings’ modern-day kama‘aina story, our Island home has never failed to fascinate. Here are three tomes that look at the Islands through very different eyes. Each is an equally engrossing read and must-have for the “I live here” section of your library. Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesia Art By Adrienne Kaeppler; University of Hawai‘i Press This volume offers up the first glances at this unique art collection that encompasses all of the cultures of Polynesia. Here, readers can peruse paintings, artifacts, fabrics, implements and more from such far-flung cultures as the Marquesas, Tokelau, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Rapa Nui and of course, Hawai‘i. Better yet are the descriptions that accompany the images, describing where each piece fit into each society.

this book lays out in vivid detail architect Hart Wood’s legacy to Hawaii architecture. The book follows Wood’s path from Denver, then to San Francisco and finally Hawai‘i. The authors examine his designs (and compare them with those of his contemporaries) along the way. Unfamiliar Fishes By Sarah Vowell; Riverhead Books This New-York Times best-selling author set her sights on the Aloha State as the latest in her humorous brand of historytelling. Vowell covers it all: New England missionaries, the monarchy, sugar barons—even plate lunches. She makes no bones about the fact that she’s an outsider, and it’s that fresh perspective—combined with her honest curiosity and a sharp wit—that makes this a very enlightening read indeed.

Hart Wood: Architectural Regionalism in Hawaii By Don J. Hibbard, Glenn Mason and Karen Weitze; University of Hawai‘i Press One can see his fingerprints are all over town—the S. & G Gump Building on Kalakaua Avenue, Alexander & Baldwin Building on Bishop Street and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply Administration Building on Beretania Street, to name a few—and

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We have them all! the ultimate uGG shop 速

every style

s every color s every day

Royal Hawaiian Center (808) 923-9255 h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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EXPERIENCE | Travel

Swiss Chillin’

If you prefer the “mountain view” suites at Hawai‘i resorts, then you’re going to love the Swiss Alps—especially in winter. Schuss along to these famous winter wonderland towns. By Bill HarBy

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eNGADIN St. moritz

For surFers, Mecca is a place called Hawai‘i. For skiers, it’s got to be Switzerland – because the top Swiss winter resorts offer more than just mind-bogglingly beautiful mountain slopes for winter sports. Consider three of the most famous Swiss resort towns.

eNGADIN St. mOrItZ - view of the Lake of Sils surrounded by autumn larches. the snow-covered Piz da la margna can be seen In the background.

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eXPerIeNCe | Travel

Zermatt It took me just an afternoon to fall in love with Zermatt. Despite the throngs of tourists, winter and summer, the charm of the bustling village remains intact—its narrow lanes, stately old hotels, medieval chalets, enticing restaurants, souvenir shops selling 9 jillion Swiss Army Knife variations, and inspiring outdoor gear stores (you can climb that mountain with those $600 boots!). Yes, there’s that famous mountain. I’ve gotten a stiff neck and sore jaw from staring up, mouth agape, transfixed by the piercing majesty of the Matterhorn. Sorry Diamond Head, but for sheer iconic beauty and mana, this Swiss peak one-ups you. (The Matterhorn is a tourist, too: A few millennia ago, tectonic upheaval sent it to Switzerland from Africa.) Not least among Zermatt’s charms is what isn’t there: cars. You arrive by train, and the only vehicles are a few

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horse-drawn tourist carriages and silent electric micro-vans delivering goods and guests. But you’ll likely only take a taxi to and from your hotel, and walk otherwise. I love staying at the striking Hotel Alex, only 3 minutes from the train station. This quietly dazzling 110-room, second-generation, family-owned hotel manages to beautifully blend rustic, renaissance and Bohemia. Every room is uniquely decorated—carved wood ceilings, Chagall-esque stained glass, Renaissance-style furnishings and lush draperies (all they have in common are flat-screen satellite TVs). Or if this style doesn’t ring your bell, you have more than 125 other hotels to pick from, including the venerable 5-star Grand Hotel Zermatthof, and the hip new super-modern V boutique hotel, which boasts an attached cinema for post-skiing movie night. But you won’t be spending much time in your suite. During winter, it’s snow sports galore and après-ski Armagnac on

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Switzerland tourism eNGADIN St. moritz swiss-image.ch

Opposite page: Olten, the largest city in canton Solothurn, is situated along the river Aare. the wood-covered bridge leads right into the historic center with the city tower as its landmark. This page, left: WeNGeN - the station of the Wengen-maennlichen cable car is conveniently situated in the center of the village. the journey to the top, measuring over 930 meters, takes only six minutes and offers splendid views in summer as well as in winter. Right: the famous Glacier express of the rhaetian railway on its track along the river Inn.

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photos courtesy Switzerland tourism photos courtesy Hawaii Island retreat

EXPERIENCE | Travel

above: Grindelwald in the bernese Oberland. carving at maennlichen (2343 m). the peaks of eiger, moench and Jungfrau can be seen in the back. Opposite page, top: Family sledding in toggenburg, canton St. Gallen, eastern Switzerland. Bottom, left: Ice fall climbing in the val Ferrera, canton Graubuenden. Bottom, right: the festive event of a snow sculpture competition is held every year in Grindelwald (1034 m) in the bernese Oberland.

sunny mountain terraces. During summer there’s great hiking, mountaineering and, yep, skiing—Zermatt is one of only a few winter resorts in the Alps offering year-round skiing.

Gstaad Welcome to Chalet Land. Here too, I have experienced stiffWelcome to Chalet Land. Here too, I have experienced stiffneck-sore-jaw syndrome. If you love historic architecture, you’ll love Gstaad. If you’ve ever dreamed of carrying out the fantasy of living like Heidi, this is your town. And if your passions lie in boutique shopping, gourmet eating and drinking—or perhaps a bobsled ride on steel rails—you’ve come to the right place. Julie Andrews and Roman Polanski have chalets here. (Poor,

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poor Polanski was under house arrest at his deluxe “Milky Way” chalet during his recent Swiss-U.S. extradition hearings.) I stood outside Polanski’s chalet shivering in the snow a few winters ago, but he didn’t invite me in. In winter, the little village center looks like a powdered sugar on gingerbread fantasy, complete with haute couture boutiques. Blessedly banned to cars as well, it’s fun to crunch through the snow among the exquisitely preserved 17th-century chalets where modern storefront display windows show off après-ski fashions, fancy kitchenware and fine wines. You’ll want a car to sample the outlying country restaurants and hotels; and to get to the cable car stations that go up to the winter sports slopes.

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Gstaad’s weirdest summer event: an international beach volleyball tournament. Or maybe it’s the country music festival. There’s also a tennis championship, and the famous Yehudi Menuhin Festival (a showcase of international music prodigies). Whether you come summer or winter, you’ll want to stay just one more day.

St. Moritz Swiss winter tourism began, so the story goes, in 1864, whSwiss winter tourism began, so the story goes, in 1864, when Johannes Badrutt, owner of the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz, told some visiting Englishmen that if they came back in winter they could stay at his hotel for free, and if they didn’t enjoy h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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photo courtesy Switzerland tourism

EXPERIENCE | Travel

Ski bar on the corviglia ski slopes above St. moritz, canton Graubuenden. Panoramic view of the Upper engadine Alps with Piz corvatsch to the right.

themselves, he’d pay all their return expenses. Apparently, they came, reveled in sunny St. Moritz (now advertised as having 300 sunny days a year), skied in shirtsleeves and told the world. (Confirming that Herr Badrutt was a man with a light bulb over his head, he also brought the first electric light to Switzerland.) If Zermatt is a delightful tourist village, and Gstaad is Chalet Land, St. Moritz is a resort town riche. Really riche. The town is named for Saint Maurice, who sampled the healing springs here in the third century, some years before the Ferraris and Jaguars began whizzing around the six 5-star hotels. The frisson of money is in the air like ozone after a lightning storm.

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You won’t feel left out if you forget your ski boots at home. Only about 40 percent of winter visitors even ski. Instead, they take cable cars and funiculars up the mountains to frolic in the snow and eat gourmet lunches at superb mountain restaurants while gazing upon the stunning panorama of snow-covered mountains and the lakes, whose colors shift through the day. The little lake aproning St. Moritz is where two interesting events with great Marx Brothers potential take place each winter: an ice-polo match, and a horse race with the jockeys towed behind on skis. But St. Moritz is no joke. It’s an exciting little town in a gorgeous setting. Just make sure to pack an extra suitcase full of money. u

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2011 INFINITI

G SEDAN 319 starting at $

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photos courtesy Fendi

EXPERIENCE | A-LIST ADVENTURES

As You Like It Craft Your Own Leather Luxury By HILuxury Team

Anyone with deep enough pockets can acquire the handbag-of-moment or the stilettos du jour—but what really sets someone’s style above the rest is creating a oneof-a-kind piece under the tutelage of luxury fashion house craftsmen. For this, the sky’s the limit: color, materials, details, even personalization are forged together to create an unforgettable piece. Most fashion houses have some sort of customization for their VIP customers. As demand for the latest and best pieces from a house grows, the need to provide even more personalized service for die-hard fashionistas has manifested

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itself in unique opportunities for customers to work with designers and craftsmen to create truly envy-worthy pieces. Leading the field in customizing handbags is Louis Vuitton. The Parisian brand has been making build-to-order handbags since the company’s inception in 1854. Their “mon monogram” or “my monogram” allows you to choose 17 different colors of stripes to accent one of three different bags (Keepall, Pegase and Speedy). In addition, you have the option of getting your initials emblazoned on the bag. “Hot stamping” your name on leather is another way Louis Vuitton customizes its wares. Luggage tags, purses, wallets, or

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Fendi craftsmen work with customers to create a personalized piece that showcases the customer’s taste as well as the craftsmanship for which the house is renowned.

any soft leather goods can be hot stamped, adding an instant sense of exclusivity. The process takes between three and seven days to complete. In very special circumstances, Louis Vuitton’s most valued clients are offered a rare opportunity to visit the family home in Asnieres, Paris. The home, now used as a museum and trunk workshop, is the historical heart of the now-legendary brand. Fendi makes made-to-order a reality via its popular Selleria and Peekaboo Bags, which are available for customization. Working with Fendi craftsmen, the customer chooses from Selleria leathers such as Cuoio Romano; exotic skins (crocodile and ostrich) and even precious furs (mink, fox and orylag). There are also 37 colors and an assortment of refined details such as suede, nappa lining, lino lario and gold accessories. When finished, the custom creation comes delivered in exclusive packaging: a Selleria box in a lino lario bag, complete with a Selleria pamphlet and conditioning cream, along with personalized (and signed) letter from Silvia Venurini Fendi. Fashionable gents get to turn back the hands of time to a bygone era when fine shoes were cobbled for each individual. Hawai‘i’s well-dressed men (as well as many from Japan and beyond) head to Leather Soul for fine footwear. And while the Royal Hawaiian Center location has specific bespoke events throughout the year, it’s the Beverly Hills outpost that allows for year-round custom services. “I believe that our Beverly Hills location is the only place in America where you can get fitted for bespoke shoes at any time,” says Leather Soul’s founder and owner, Thomas Park, noting that other places offer some bespoke services, but only at certain times of the year. h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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EXPERIENCE | A-LIST ADVENTURES

A finished made-to-order Selleria Peekaboo bag.

Leather Soul’s two locations are the only place in the U.S. where customers can find George Cleverly, a London-based brand that’s world-famous among the well-heeled. Park explains how customers are measured for a “last” (a wooden mold of in the shape of your foot) from which all your shoes will be created. “George Cleverley offers many exotic skins such as carpincho, alligator and they have the exclusive rights to use Russian leather,” Park points out, alluding to precious Russian reindeer leather that was discovered in the hold of a ship found resting at the bottom of the sea for 200 years. In all, it’s a 12-month process of measuring, fitting and

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adjustments to ensure perfection. But Park says that many of his discriminating customers—who happily endure the process— will have several pairs made at a time. This way, they are always eagerly anticipating their next custom shoe. It’s like Christmas all year round. While toting the same logo along with you isn’t the worst fashion faux pas, customers in search of truly unique garments and accessories will scour gilded avenues in search of one-of-akind items. Thankfully, the design houses that offer such services are often the same that recognize quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail are the hallmarks of true luxury. u

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SAVOR | Dining out

The Art of Pop-Up Foodies Find a New Way to Dine By ALANA FOLEN

Roam thRough the stReets of bustling cities across the U.S. such as Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco, and you’ll find a wave of foodies and eclectic chefs satiating themselves away from the “traditional” restaurant model. The buzz surrounding the no-longer illusive (yet still evolving) pop-up restaurant is all the eatery rage. And it’s a good thing.

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As the avant-garde of “underground” food frenzies, pop-ups can essentially be defined as thus: A temporary restaurant installation that encourages unique talent and contemporary flair without having to dish out the weighty capital—and commitment of a long-term concept—into a permanent location.

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photoS courtesy the Pig and the Lady

Opposite page: the Pig and the Lady seats 22 diners, communal style, making for an intimate foodie experience. This page: A sampling of dishes from the Pig and the Lady.

Martha Cheng and chef Andrew Le have collaborated to introduce one of Hawai‘i’s first pop-up restaurants, The Pig and the Lady, this past June. Didn’t hear about it? That’s part of the allure. “Pop-up restaurants have been popular on the Mainland for some time, as a way for up-and-coming chefs to get their cuisine

out there, or for well-known chefs to do something different or unexpected,” Cheng says. “I thought it was the perfect vehicle for Honolulu to connect interested, adventurous diners with talented chefs, such as Andrew Le, who has years of experience and most recently left his Chef Mavro sous chef position to start The Pig and the Lady.” h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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SAVOR | Dining Out

Having taken residency during off-hours at Hank’s Haute Dogs (324 Coral St., Kaka‘ako), The Pig and the Lady seats 22 people in communal style—another typical trait of the pop-up concept. “It may not be a romantic, intimate dinner, but it’s often a lively one with a lot of interaction with the chef,” Cheng explains, pointing out that the trend’s undercurrent is to inspire new conversation and meet new people. The Pig and the Lady website (thepigandthelady.com) is updated regularly, allowing diners to book reservations and

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view the menu. Priced at $55 per person (with a glorious BYOB addendum), recent five-course menus have included dishes that nod to Le’s native Southeast Asian techniques. “It’s hard to say what future menus will look like—it’s whatever is going to inspire me at that time and place, really. There’s a lot of cuisines I’d like to cook—Indian, Mediterranean, Moroccan, Lebanese, Provençal, Basque, Spanish, Szechuan. We’re playing with the possibility of an a la carte menu as well,” says Le, a Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., graduate. “But that’s the beauty—we can constantly reinvent ourselves.”

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photo by Leah Friel

A Side of JAzz with your entrée Another pop-up model/food rave breathing fresh life into the local food scene is “Eat, Play, Love,” an innovative cooking event featuring live cooking demonstrations by five-star chef Windy Gerardi and beautiful music by The Groove Ensemble, meant to invigorate multiple senses. Gerardi and longtime friend Malia Mathis, lead singer of The Groove Ensemble, founded the initiative this past January out of mutual passions. The first event was held at Ko Olina this summer to the theme of summer grilling and hot jazz, where Gerardi taught guests how to grill the perfect ribeye and the proper techniques to roasting peppers, corn and other vegetables, while the band—consisting of Mathis, Ethan Capone and Ricardo Diaz—provided smooth sounds. “We’re taking the fear out of cooking and teaching people real simple techniques that they can use on a regular basis,” explains Gerardi, a Kona native. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, Gerardi traveled the world as a private chef for renowned celebrities such as the late Michael Jackson, among others. “People love to learn about food, and love to learn in general. We love the mystery of the venue always shifting and changing,” “The menu caters to the venue, really,” Gerardi adds. “We like the idea that if we’re at a French bistro then we can have a French menu and offer a nice jazzy vibe. We can go in many different directions—Cuban, Asian, etc. Everything is fluid, everything is always evolving, never constant. When you join forces of music, food and wine it just turns into this really unique and whimsical experience. Who doesn’t love that?” Fueled by technology, Eat, Play, Love has gained quite a following, through their VIP email list.

Five-star chef Windy Girardi of eat, Play, Love has worked for celebrities such as the late michael Jackson.

Simple fAre for the locAvore One of the newest pop-ups on the scene quickly sold out its first few seatings. Plancha, helmed by Chef Bob McGee (Apartm3nt, 12th Ave. Grill, Salt), seats 20 eager foodies every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the location known during daylight hours as Morning Glass Coffee & Café (2955 East Manoa Road). “We want to serve simple, fresh, local fare,” McGee says ahead of his first dinner, a special “nose-to-tail” menu featuring Shinsato Farms. Other recent menu items have included akule, produce from Ho Farms, local quail egg and cheese from Naked Cow Dairy. “I’ll post menus up about a week before, and I’m focusing on micro-seasonal items so that everything can be as fresh as possible,” he says. Dinners will generally include four to five courses (however McGee reserves the right to switch things up and serve up some meals family-style). The cost is about $45 per person, BYOB. “I’m terribly excited about Plancha,” McGee says. Judging from the response, Honolulu diners are too. u For more information on The Pig and the Lady, visit thepigandthelady.com. For more information on Eat, Play, Love and to be placed on the VIP list, email EATplayLOVE2011@hotmail.com. For more information on Plancha, visit planchahonolulu.blogspot.com. h i L u x u ry Oc tOber / NOve m b e r 20 1 1

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SAVOR | Fine Food

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Kona Cherries in the Limelight From Morimoto to The White House, these Beans Prevail By Shawn Steiman | photography By hopper Stone

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

This page, top: the White House maintains a standing order for coffee from Kona rainforest coffee. Bottom: Owners robert (pictured below) and Dawn barnes converted to an organic farm after purchasing the land in 2006.

When global restaurateur Chef Morimoto Masaharu decided to sow culinary roots here in Hawai‘i, there was never any question as to whether or not he would serve the best available fare for his discerning clientele. And, even though most would associate tea as the beverage of choice for his crafty version of nouveaux Japanese fare, he is in fact quite keen on coffee. Consider that Hawai‘i is the only U.S. state that grows coffee, pair that with a chef who insists on forging relationships with his farmers and suppliers, and the opportunity to launch a relationship with the most well-suited coffee farmer was on.

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SAVOR | FINE FOOD

Chef Morimoto personally chose Kona Rainforest Organic Coffee for his namesake restaurant.

“It was only natural that we would want to get the best possible Hawaiian coffee,” says Chef Morimoto, who met with several coffee distributors and producers before discovering Kona Rainforest Coffee, a small farm in the southern end of the Kona coffee belt, on Hawai‘i’s Big Island. After meeting owners Robert and Dawn Barnes, touring the farm and tasting the coffee, Morimoto was impressed—both with taste and the Barnes’ commitment to quality. Morimoto immediately recognized that the distinct layering of flavors in their Rainforest blend would pair well with his rather unique desserts. Kona Rainforest coffee has received other notably significant buyers. In 2006, following a Washington Times article questioning the government’s support American businesses (under President G.W. Bush), White House officials explored several Hawai‘i-grown coffees and chose Kona Rainforest to be served at select events. To this day, the White House maintains a standing order of coffee from Kona Rainforest. No small feat, one might note, considering there is no shortage of competition: there are 830 coffee farms in Hawai‘i and some 700 in Kona alone. So one can’t help but wonder what makes Kona Rainforest coffee so special. Unfortunately, scientists don’t know exactly what causes coffee to taste the way it does—there’s simply no definitive explanation. In certain circles, it is said that the passion of the farmers plays a

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significant role as it guides them to strive for perfection. In my experience, history of the land, the techniques of cultivation and care in handling product are certainly factors that translate to what’s in the cup. Originally planted in 1999, the Barneses purchased the farm in 2006. They immediately converted it to an organic operation while they launched headlong into learning everything they could about coffee farming. The end result was their becoming meticulous and fanatical about the maintenance of their trees as well as processing. (By meeting the strict requirements of organic farming, they maintain healthy, productive coffee trees.) They enact concise parameters concerning which coffee cherries can be removed from the trees; only choice, ripe coffee fruits are permitted to be harvested. Once picked, the fruits are processed and dried under their watchful eyes to ensure no mistakes lead to defective tastes. Then, they store the coffee in a climate-controlled room, shielding it from the elements. Finally, only when needed, they lovingly roast the coffee to their clientele’s (Morimoto, others) specifications and immediately ship it. Pampering the coffee has produced a bean that satisfies not only Chef Morimoto, but also anyone who has sampled the Rainforest blend. Brewed and served in press pots at the Iron Chef’s restaurant, every meal ends with the satisfaction and satiation expected from a concentrated effort at the hands of capable, dedicated farmers. ◆

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SAVOR | wines

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Finely Tuned Tannins Winemaker Fred Schrader Talks Cult Cabs BY RoBeRto VieRnes, MasteR soMMelieR | PhotogRaPhY BY gReg goRMan

In the automotIve world, aston martIn is elite symbol of luxury, style and performance. Zero to 60 in a blink, blinding speed, gorgeous styling and the deep roar of the engine arouse the senses. They are exotic supercars that are the envy of any car aficionado or speed demon. We covet them, lust for them and marvel at them. In the wine world, the “Cult Cabernet” is the supercar. World-class flavor, sleek structure, powerful and intense—every wine lover wants one. And few do it as well as Fred Schrader of Schrader Cellars. If you are not familiar with Schrader Cellars, you are not alone. It is one of a handful of Napa Valley Cabernet producers that make the crème de la crème that California has to offer in minute quantities to a growing horde of thirsty wine lovers and collectors. Schrader wines are only available from the winery through its mailing list if you are lucky enough to secure a spot on it. Or, you can bid on the small quantities that show up now and again at fine wine auctions. But it is not rarity alone that builds the reputation of a Cult Cabernetmaker such as Schrader; it is the uncompromising commitment to quality that is the true source of its fame. And that comes directly from Fred Schrader. “Paying attention to every detail” is how he describes it. It may be cliché, but with Schrader there are “no compromises.” “Quality is first. We have a no-holds-barred attitude and philosophy. We do whatever it takes to make a great wine. If there is any compromise, you go off-course.” And that course for Schrader is to achieve balance—it’s priority No.1, he attests. Despite the gargantuan fruit-forward nature of their Cabernets, they always strive for balance. “We make wine that is delicious in the front and mid-palate, and all the way through to the finish.” Schrader describes it as “nothing but Napa Cabernet,” not trying to mimic any other style of Bordeaux or Australia. A marvelous example is the 2005 Schrader RBS Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is unbelievably opulent, rich and deep with black fruit nuances and vanilla melded together. It seems to expand on the palate, exploding on the finish like a DB9 on a race course. But every race course has a beginning, and for Schrader it all starts in the vineyard. The source for their Cabernet is the hallowed To Kalon vineyard. It was first farmed in 1868 by H. W. Crabb, who owned 348 acres in the valley. With an astute eye, he planted vines in this same parcel Fred and carol Schrader at the beckstoffer toaKalon vineyard, Napa valley.

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Savor | wines

from which Schrader now gets his fruit. By Schrader’s account, the vineyard itself is nothing special to look at—unlike a beautiful Tuscan or steep Mosel vineyard. But if it rains overnight like crazy, it’s dry before the next morning. Schrader attributes it to the phenomenal location and drainage of the parcel. This fruit source provides his winemaker Thomas Brown only the ripest and healthiest grapes. In the winery, Schrader’s philosophy of uncompromising quality continues. Only the finest French oak barrels from master cooper Darnajoux are used. And if the wine isn’t good enough, it never gets labeled with the Schrader name on it. At the same time, Schrader describes their process as “naturalist” preferring to “let the wine make itsel” over the “Magic Chef ” approach that some wineries have. Each lot is vinified separately—according to clone and parcel of To Kalon vineyard—which leads to the six different bottlings available. When pressed to choose one, Schrader replies: “That’s easy. CCS is the best,” listing the one named after his wife’s initials. Like Schrader’s stable of vintage and supercars, which includes an Aston Martin, there are no slow pokes in the Schrader Cellars line-up. Every single one is an experience in richness and hedonism. If you find yourself fortunate enough to snag one of these beauties, sit back and enjoy the ride and taste the break-neck power and richness of these killer Cult Cabs. u

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Fred Schrader in his Napa valley “chicken coop.”

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HILuxury Magazine: October-November 2011  

HILuxury Magazine October-November 2011 featuring George Clooney

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