Alfred Shaheen Brings Aloha Friday to Bishop Museum

It was Aloha Friday at Bishop Museum. docents were needed so I volunteered. Helping out at these affairs is always a treat. I know the Museum appreciates docents being there but I so appreciate being able to see openings of special exhibits first hand also. It’s a win, win situation.

This evenings event was the opening of the Alfred Shaheen collection exhibit. When I think of Aloha Wear I’m inadvertently thinking Alfred Shaheen.

This is one of Shaheen’s tunics. He produced all his prints here in the islands and made his own cloth. He sent his textile artist  to the Bishop museum  to  get ideas from the ancient Hawaiian Kapa cloth designs.He also supplied them with rare  books of native Hawaiian Prints.  He wanted to keep the theme of the islands  in his cloth production. (Hi Fashion, “The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen” pamphlet)

Many a time I’ve been at the department store asking for dresses that are along these lines not knowing that it was Shaheen,s styles I was thinking of.

Of course you can’t find such sundresses or mu’us anymore. In fact your lucky if you can find a sundress period. And this is Hawaii. What else would you wear.

I guess I will have to haunt the used clothing stores now if I want to find anything like these. But it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to wear these fitted styles so it is probably best there not around  anyway. I would only feel miserable trying to fit into them.

Elvis Presley wore Shaheen in the move “Blue Hawaii.”

Oh for the good old days.

Shaheen was at the height of his popularity during the 50’s and 60’s. I came to the islands in the 60’s and that is probably why I would love to have these dresses. The older I get the more I long for things from the past.

Yes at one period in time I was able to wear dresses like this. And what’s more I did not look out-of-place. I still wear Mu’u mu’us but they are the full ones and only at the museum because, unfortunately, nobody wears them anymore. Too bad.

A month of Aloha Fridays can be taken care of by all these Aloha Shirts. Casual Fridays are still popular among the male office workers.

Next week will be the Shaheen fashion show. I’ll be working then too. Can’t wait. If you have the chance to come down to the museum the exhibit will be at the Castle Memorial building until February 13 4, 2013. Aloha

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