Hawaii Five-0 Sunset on the Beach – My Fun Exchange with the Cool Alex O

I’ve been covering the Hawaii Five-0 Sunset on the Beach (SOTB) premiere event for many years. Personally, this one was pretty monumental, It is safe to say that Alex O’Loughlin and I have gained a cool rapport over the years – he knows that every year I ask, “who are you wearing?” This year, he called me out and said, “Guess, I want you to guess.”

So, do you think I guessed right? You’ll have to watch it and see.

The video exchange has been picked up by other fashion bloggers.


Not long after sharing my media event coverage, the original Instagram post with Alex was spotted and reposted by a blogger. You can find MY INTERVIEW on this link of Alex O’Loughlin An Intense Study. The blog shared a great variety of event footage that was captured that day, including our cool exchange.

The blog is 100 percent about the actor’s career and it’s a good place to stay updated with the latest Hawaii 5-0 news.

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 9.51.04 PM

Check out their Instagram and Facebook here!


2019 Diner en Blanc Honolulu

Photos by Jocelyne Garcia

More than 1500 hundred guests arrived at the historical Bishop Museum, built in 1889, with the backdrop of the iconic Hawaii Hall.

A few showers, and a brief but massive down-pour had little impact on the straight-up anticipation and excitement of the sixth annual Diner en Blanc Honolulu.

Compared to some of the previous years, the space seemed pretty enclosed giving party-goers opportunities for organic connections with one another, hence, mingling ensued.

From chandeliers to LED lights, there were a good amount of imaginative table settings. Veterans and first-timers were seriously dressed to impress; fashion was in full -effect from feathers, to the traditional white haku lei, to my favorite of the evening – a tribute to Billy Porter.

Champagne by Taittinger, decor by J’Adore Couture, delicacies by La Tour Bakehouse, Bubbly from Aloha Caravan, lounge areas provided by the Alohilani Resort, and many others came together to make this event special.

Those who knew Super CW Christa Wittmier, felt her energy through the music which inspired almost everyone there to dance the night away.

See gallery of photos below…

Ken Downing style whisperer

The last time that style icon, Ken Downing, came to Hawaii was in 1998. At that time he helped to launch the opening of Neiman Marcus Ala Moana. Now, two decades later, in celebration of the luxe store’s 20th anniversary, this Senior Vice President & Neiman Marcus Fashion Director literally lit up the runway with his take on what’s hot on an international level. It’s totally all about the 80s, with a modern flair.

I must say, I have altered the way I think about evening versus day outfits. According to Downing, sequins and feathers, done right, definitely have a place in daytime, even here in Hawaii. Also, for men, look for vibrant Hawaiian accents and animal prints this season.

Seats were filled to capacity, and attendees supported a great cause as 100% of the event proceeds benefited the Honolulu Museum of Art. 

Here’s a look at some of my favorite ensembles and after-party pics. Tap each photo to scroll through the slideshow.

Our favorite looks from HONOLULU Fashion Week 2016

(From FrolicHawaii.com 11/14/2016) – Amanda Stevens


Lynne O’Neill checking out the space at the Hawaii Convention Center as the build-out begins. Photo by Alley Corpuz.

With days and weeks of preparation, a well choreographed fashion show is supposed to look easy, seamless and natural–and then it’s over in 15 minutes. HONOLULU Fashion Week made it look easy, seamless and natural 12 times over three days at the Hawaii Convention Center, November 10-12.

For the third year in a row, Lynne O’Neil, one of the most prolific fashion show producers in the industry, brought her dream team from New York City, including fellow Hawaii-born colleagues Don Sumada, Roman Young, and Bobby Gutierrez, plus Damon Rutland and Bernhard Link Theatrical put on the largest HONOLULU Fashion Week yet with local and international designers setting the tone for the upcoming season.

In addition to the well attended runway shows, the event included a bustling marketplace and pitch panel where local designers had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to investors and retailers. This kind of international buzz about fashion isn’t normally associated with Hawaii, but it’s the events like this that aim to change that notion.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite “local” looks hot off the runway:

Local Luxe

Photos by Travis Okimoto

Local Luxe featured some of Hawaii’s top contemporary designers; Malia Jones, Allison Izu, Ari South, Ten Tomorrow and Kojo Couture.

Live Aloha

Photos by Travis Okimoto

Live Aloha showcased traditional and updated aloha print looks with contemporary silhouettes and styling. Designers included Manuhealii, NoaNoa, Iolani and Manaola.


Photos by Lyle Amine

A rising star in the industry, Manaola Yap, who hails from Hawaii island, brings to life his vision of melding Hawaiian culture and its natural elements with a modern and avant garde vibe.

Kini Zamora – Reach the Runway Benefit

Photos by Lyle Amine

For the third time in a row, Kini Zamora showcased a full collection during HONOLULU Fashion Week. This year, look for rich plum tones and graphic prints to complement his new high fashion silhouettes.

Ward Village

Photos by Lyle Amine

This fashion show featured looks ranging from kids streetwear to super posh fashions from local shops at Ward Village; Kealopiko, The Collective, Big Bad Wolf, Mori by Art + Flea, and POSHd.

Other fashion shows with international and local talent included Asaf GanotNeiman MarcusReyn SpoonerHawaiian Airlines Uniform Reveal, Runway to Runway, LeaLea presents RINKAgram and Hawaii Pacific Health Beautiful Survivors.

South Shore Market opens Friday in Kakaako

(from Frolichawaii.com 11/10/16 – Amanda Stevens_

img_0221South Shore Market opens Friday morning at Ward Village – a new 25,000-square-foot shopping and eating complex on Auahi Street beneath T.J. Maxx. The surf-meets-arts-and-culture marketplace with an urban loft vibe will be home to 18 locally owned shops.

Check out the lineup below to see what’s opening at 10 a.m tomorrow, Nov. 11. Future weeks will bring the openings of Chinatown’s Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop, Kakaako’s Lucy’s Lab Creamery, Kauai’s Brick Oven Pizza and other eating places. Plus there’ll be opening celebrations and discounts this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – look for the schedule at the bottom of this post.



Big Bad Wolf

Big Bad Wolf is an apparel brand for kids aged 2-10. Inspired by streetwear culture and the arts, the store features renowned artists and brands from around the world.

Cameron Hawaii

Cameron Hawaii is a unique beach resort lifestyle brand, celebrating the life and travels of Cameron – a girl who explores the world after moving to the mainland from the Islands.


Eden In Love dressing room with and art gallery vibe.

Eden in Love

Owners Tanna and Bryson Dang opened their first Eden in Love boutique at Ward Warehouse. From their fully stocked scarf bar to an exclusive obi belt collection and statement necklace display, the boutique has something for everyone.



Fishcake Pop-Up

Fishcake is a home furnishing and gallery experience showcasing modern furniture designs, accessories and artwork for the contemporary home. Founded in 2007, the company has become an active player in Hawaii’s design scene and hosts locally made products, exhibits, private events and more.


Flotsam & Co.

Just as “flotsam” describes wreckage from a ship, Flotsam & Co. incorporates found material into its handmade jewelry, giving new form and life to objects which may otherwise be considered debris.




Kealopiko was founded in 2006 out of a paper bag in the back of a truck. It started with a shared vision among three friends to make T-shirts that broke the traditional mold of how Hawaii has been portrayed for so long.



MORI by Art + Flea

MORI brings the unique shopping experience of Art + Flea by showcasing local designers and artists on a retail stage. Its purpose is to provide a compelling environment that embraces the spirit of Oahu’s creative small business community.



Salvage Public

Salvage Public is a menswear brand designed in Hawaii by Hawaiians. All products are made in the United States.



Big Island Delights

Family-owned Big Island Delights has been creating premium cookies and confections in Hilo since 1996. Their product line includes locally grown coffee, crisp bagel chips, jerky, gift baskets and much more.

… and more coming soon

Brick Oven Pizza – Opening 2017
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf – Opening December 2016
Holoholo Market – Opening December 2016
La Muse – Opening December 2016
Lucy’s Lab Creamery – Opening December 2016
Nalu Health Bar – Opening December 2016
Twin Islands – Opening December 2016
Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop – Opening 2017

Opening events this weekend

Friday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Family Fun Zone
Canvas Tote Art
Letters to Soldiers
Balloon Making
Photo Booth
Live Performances by The Willards, Pepe, Martin Saito, DJ Jami Jam, Bryson Andres, Kings of Spade and Hooptown Hotties

Saturday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Family Fun Zone
Canvas Tote Art
Hawaiian Humane Society Pup Up
Live Performances by Martin Saito, Sean Croucher, Big John, Mansions and Scott Ohtoro
Sunday, November 13, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Core Power Yoga Class
Family Fun Zone
Canvas Tote Art
Photo Booth
Meet & Greet with Pro Surfer Carissa Moore
Art Explorium Keiki Art Class
Kapiolani Think Tank – Make Your Own Acai Bowl plus live performances by Martin Saito, Sean Croucher, The Willards, Tahiti Rey and Joanne


South Shore Market at Ward Village
1170 Auahi St.
Monday – Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Restaurant hours vary

You can find more South Shore info here and more on Ward Village here.

First look at Ka Makana Alii

(From FrolicHawaii.com 9/30/2016) – Amanda Stevens

About three years ago, I was part of a project that supported the opening of the new hospital in West Oahu, and it was then I learned about the huge population boom expected on that side of the island. With the build-out of 80,000 new homes by 2025, more than half of the island’s population will reside in West Oahu.


Rendering of Ka Makana Alii.

Ka Makana Alii is expected to accommodate the retail needs of West Oahu residents, create more jobs in the region and provide an affordable hotel option. Sitting on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, this partnership between DeBartolo Development and DHHL is projected to financially support Native Hawaiian programs statewide for decades to come. The unveiling of the 1.4 million-square-foot mall is happening in two phases.

Phase one includes 150 shopping, dining and entertainment offerings, a hotel, and office space. Macy’s, Ka Makana Alii’s anchor store and Hampton Inn and Suites held their soft openings this week while California Pizza Kitchen opens today. Parts of the mall are still under construction, but the official opening of the entire site is scheduled for October 21.

We had first look at what’s to come:




California Pizza Kitchen, take-out wall built of recycled skate boards.





Macy’s mannequin has a tattoo.


The Macy’s store manager shows us a touch of island flair in the home decor section.




A dining area. The hotel offers a free daily hot breakfast, free parking, and no hotel service fee.




Indoor/outdoor pool.


Indoor/outdoor pool.


Rooms range from $160-$250. This is a King Studio. Other rooms are Queen double and King single.


A list of confirmed tenants

California Pizza Kitchen
Forever 21
Victoria’s Secret
Bath & Body Works
Old Navy
Foot Locker
Kay Jewelers
24 Hour Fitness
Hoala Salon and Spa
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Rix Island Wear
Town & Country Surf Designs
Famous Footwear
Reyn Spooner
Plus Interiors
Sura Hawaii
Da Cove
Magnolia Ice Cream
Papa John’s Pizza
Yummy Korean BBQ
Nagoya Ramen
Kickin Kajun
Koa Pancake House
L&L Hawaiian Barbeque
Panda Express
Auntie Anne’s
Moena Cafe







‘Hawaii Five-0’ Season 7 Sunset on the Beach premiere


Friday’s “Hawaii Five-0” Season 7 Sunset on the Beach premiere was like a Waikiki Beach postcard, with idyllic weather from beginning to end. In years past, the beachside premiere has taken place before the show aired on television, but this year the episode was viewed the same evening as the rest of the country. That didn’t deter thousands of fans from opting to watch it on the beach with the celebs.


Fan favorites Grace Park and Ian Anthony Dale weren’t there, but most of the cast members were, including Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Jorge Garcia, Chi McBride, Taylor Wily, Teilor Grubbs, Dennis Chun, Shawn Garnett, Ingo Rademacher and Al Harrington.


The crowd got into the musical entertainment with special guest Darius Rucker belting out classic ’90s hits from his days with Hootie and the Blowfish. Then executive producer Peter Lenkov gave a shout-out to the cast onstage, followed by a heartfelt message from Daniel Dae Kim as he reminisced about their journey on the show over seven years.


The episode began where last season left off, after Danno donated a part of his liver to save Steve’s life, with a lighthearted wheelchair race in the hospital and a parkour action sequence to boot. “Hawaii Five-0” airs on CBS on Friday nights.

Photos by Tracy Chan, Amanda Stevens and Melissa Chang

‘Blair Witch’ lacks the appeal of the original

(From FrolicHawaii.com 9/16/2016) – Amanda Stevens

In 1999, I remember leaving the Cinerama theater after seeing “The Blair Witch Project” with some of my classmates thinking, “I’m not sleeping tonight, this freaked me out!” The movie played like a documentary so we seriously thought the found-footage flick was a creepy and sad story about three students; Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael Williams. They hiked into Maryland’s Black Hills Forest in 1994 to shoot a documentary film on a local legend, the Blair Witch, and were never heard from again. One year later, their video footage was found.


Much like the first “Paranormal Activity,” after it was obvious that the so-called found footage was actually a movie, the accolades began to roll in. “The Blair Witch Project” was produced on a $60,000 budget and grossed over $200,000,000. A year later, “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” was released. It tried too hard to top the first flick and totally missed the mark – it was panned by critics and fans of the original.

Fast forward two decades. I had high hopes for “Blair Witch,” directed by Adam Wingard, a sequel to the original, and no relation (thank goodness) to “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.”

James Donahue (James Allen McCune) sees a YouTube video and catches a glimpse of his sister Heather (from “The Blair Witch Project”) and believes it proves she’s still alive. Intent on finding her, he heads to the Black Hills Woods in Maryland – the site of his sister’s disappearance 22 years prior, that is rumored to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. James is accompanied by his best friend Peter (Brandon Scott), Peter’s girlfriend Ashley (Corbin Reid), and Lisa (Callie Hernandez), a film student hoping to document James’ journey.


The team is equipped with ear-mounted cameras that look more like bluetooth earbuds, walkie-talkies and an aerial drone to aid in their search process. Before heading into the woods, they meet with the duo that uploaded the video to YouTube, Lane (Wes Robinson), and Talia (Valorie Curry). Lane tells the group that he uploaded the footage from a video tape he found by a tree in the woods, and that he will only reveal the location if the four friends agree to take the two locals with them on their search.

The use of technology gave the story line a fresh component. The drone flying over the woods made for great imagery, and the ear-mounted cameras were definitely not as shaky as those from the original flick. The suspenseful subtle scenes from the first night in the forest worked well.


The original film was filled with inferred violence — it kept you literally on the edge of your seat. It didn’t spoon-feed the plot and the pacing was perfect. Unfortunately, the last 30 minutes of “Blair Witch” was rushed and in-your-face. It really needed breaks in the action. It was so constant, it got a bit redundant.

I expected a lot more, especially from Wingard, who directed the cult classic horror “V/H/S.” Although it falls short of “The Blair Witch Project,” there’s enough cover-your-eyes moments that it might be worth seeing at the matinee price or on Tuesday $6 movie day.

Hawaii Craftsmen’s Fibermorphic fashion show

Hawaii Craftsmen’s Fibermorphic fashion show



Fiber art, fashion and performance highlighted Tuesday night’s Fibermorphic fashion show at the Honolulu Museum of Art. The show opened Hawaii Craftsmen’s biennial Fiber Hawaii Art Exhibition by commissioning designers and artists to create unique works of wearable art using fiber processes and techniques.

The exhibition will be on display through Sept. 10 at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. The gallery will stay open until 10 p.m. during Art + Flea’s Summer Wonders event this Saturday, Aug. 27.

Hawaii Craftsmen is a non-profit arts organization that celebrates and supports fine craft. They hold continuing education workshops with visiting and local artists and regularly exhibit work by Hawaii artists.

Photos by Amanda Stevens

Fiber Hawaii Art Exibition
The Honolulu Museum of Art School
1111 Victoria St.
Gallery open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sunday 1 – 5 p.m.

Sneak peek: Goodwill Goes GLAM 2016

(FromFrolicHawaii.com 7/21/2016) – Amanda Stevens

In 2012, Goodwill Hawaii made a bold move to drop its dime store image by revamping into a vintage-glam treasure hunting destination with a large-scale fashion show and shopping event at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Well it worked, Goodwill Goes GLAM! has major fashion cred!


Kini Zamora and Uakea Egami admire the workmanship of this garment embellished with feathers from a down pillow purchased at Goodwill that will be showcased on the runway.

Tonight, “Project Runway” all-star Kini Zamora will return again to produce a fashion show on the opening night. The theme this year is “Doll Me Up,” and local aspiring designers, including students from the UH Manoa, Maui College, Honolulu Community College and Kaimuki’s ME+U Sewing auditioned to work under Zamora’s guidance.


Uakea Egami, instructor from Me + U Sewing worked with the junior designers who were selected as designers for the show.

Adult designers created three looks, while the junior designers designed one look each to be showcased on tonight’s runway. Each designer had a budget of $200 per look to purchase the Goodwill merchandise and create upcycled doll-inspired designs. Following the show, Zamora will award $1,500 in scholarships sponsored by Goodwill Hawaii to the most promising designers he feels has the most industry potential in the years to come.

“Each year the fashion show was about styling items from Goodwill, but this year, I wanted to take it to the next level and add a design element,” said Zamora. “It was so meaningful to mentor designers, especially the kids, it reinvigorated my creativity and gave me great satisfaction to know that the future of design and sewing is strong here in the islands.”

I had a sneak peek at each of the runway show designs, here’s one of my favorite looks:


Adult designer, Matt making some finishing touches on his Kachina doll-inspired ensemble. This look will be showcased on the runway. I love the deconstructed/utilitarian meets Native American inspired look.


A look at the back of the blazer that was reconstructed after being turned inside-out, with embellishments from rugs and shirt remnants. I love the searsucker fabric on the shoulders.

Here’s a look at some of the looks that Kini and his team put together that will be sold during the GLAM! Retail Sales Days following the fashion show.


White button up with black letters, lack and white cheerleader top, grey pants with black side stripe, long pearl/silver necklace, white Chinese Laundry heels.


Mesh zip up top with colored squares, black jeans, black with white specks trench coat, green Nike sneakers.


Graphic multi colored tank top, white mesh tank top, red and brown flannel (worn as skirt), Nine West peep toe heels.

GLAM! fashion show and Preview sale, Thursday, July 21 – 6:30 p.m. $25

GLAM! Retail Sales Days: $2 at Goodwill stores, $4 at the Blaisdell box office

Friday, July 22 – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 23 – 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 24  – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
Free parking at McKinley High School