Our Islands, Our Future

On a beautiful Maui morning in Sprecklesville, Sarah Shim, retired Kaunoa Senior Services Specialist for Assisted Transportation and Meals on Wheels, presented an on-site fashion show with designs from Hawaiʻi’s past and present. A division of the County of Maui’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns, Kaunoa provides services and activities for seniors with diverse needs seeking to learn and grow through a variety of ongoing programs offered across the county.

Roland Prieto, Kaunoa Senior Services Assistant Administrator, said, “What a wonderful event this was! We have been looking forward to inviting our seniors back to events here since Covid. Sarah Shim did an amazing job, along with the models and guest speaker, Agnes Terao-Guiala, the 2021 Pele Award winner for her book, Hawaiian Women’s Fashion: Kapa, Cotton and Silk. The musical entertainment was provided by Richard Tom and Mele Fong.”

Shim explained, “Hawaiʻi, being very unique when it comes to fashion, has a rich and fascinating history. Hawaiian fashion from the past to present was showcased with traditional styles, patterns, and motifs relating to island history. The fashion show took attendees on a journey through time to show the evolution of Hawaiian fashion.”

Terao-Guiala shared, “Growing up I was inspired by my love for the beautiful fancy holokū, and I began to research the origin and evolution of all Hawaiian attire. I purchased and collected over 200 Hawaiian garments, mostly the muʻumuʻu (a loose-fitting flowy dress) that was introduced to Hawaiʻi in the mid-1800’s. Today’s fashion show showcased a remarkable chronicle of the fabrics and styles of Hawaiʻi, all interwoven with stories of the islands and its people, from early Hawaiians to historic royalty, to modern designers. Presently, Hawaiʻi’s contemporary designers are popular within the local and global fashion industry.”

A fashion show attendee exclaimed, “The show offered more than beautiful fashions! We were educated in how and when the styles came about. Even the men modeled Hawaiian shirts from different periods, including the famous Palaka shirt. Plus, the lunch and musical entertainment were great!”

The models wear a blend of Western, European, and Eastern cultures, truly representing the spirit of aloha in our island history.
Sarah Shim, Host, Hawaiian Fashion Show at Kaunoa Senior