MAMo Wearable Arts Show – Hawai’i Theatre 2017

MAMo Wearable Arts Show 2017 at Hawai’i Theatre, Honolulu, Hawai’i.

After over coming the feat of entering my first runway in 2016, I was “kicked out of the bird’s nest” to learn to fly on my own. As afraid as I was, I accepted the challenge and decided to apply for the 2017 Wearable Arts Show, not only on O’ahu but in Maui as well. It was definitely a giant step and I welcome challenge.

Kamealoha Forrest

First things first, the THEME

So how do i even begin to prepare? It was much easier being a co-artist, the theme was thought of already, they had makeup, hair, music, majority of the models. The hard work was already done for me. So where do I start?

Ku & Hina: Kuho’one’enu’u & Papa O Hina


I began to pule, to dream, to reminisce in moments where the kupuna gave me clues and messages that didn’t seem to connect at those particular moments.

Then it came to me, Ku and Hina, the embodiment of duality and balance as I knew it and how i saw it. Being that I started hana kapa, I looked deeply at the patterns of kapa, the shapes, the patterns, the way our kupuna thought. I wanted to honor that, but I also needed to honor it in a way that stood out, so I decided to go back to theme, to go back to the simplicity of it all, to both po (night and realm of our kupuna) and to ao (day and the realm of the kanaka). This is when i wanted to keep things black and white, to have couples of Ku and Hina walk down the runway and not only show the clothing but the power behind it.


The big picture

So aside from the color, the theme, the artwork, how was I going to display it all? I really wanted to reflect all sizes. We are all beautiful! I also wanted to show a progression of traditional attire, to traditional contemporary, to daily wear to evening wear. It was important to show how the designs of our past are just that, the past, not old! It’s a living artwork stemmed from generation to generation.


A great deal of aloha goes out to so many people, it took a village to make this happen. I first need to mahalo my kupuna who have guided me and shared their insights in the darkness of po, to my family, my daughters, to John and the boys for my relentless days of creating and making things happen. I want to thank one of my anchors, Lee Mott, for always reminding me to think big. To all our models, makeup, hair, kokua…MAHALO PIHA!!!

I want to thank my entire team for all that you have done. To my kako’o: Kalani Lee-Kwai, braddah you were my rock two years in a row, you held things down from the get, Mae Paiekulani Jeremiah-Wong tita, from behind closed doors leading up to the event you provided light, positivity and strength, you led with grace and smiles, Joyce Kwok Nako my sister, thank you for being there to calm me, to make sure all the clothing was in tip top shape, for nurturing me and the models, I love your calmness it really helped me, and to Haunani Kaleoaloha, mahalo tita for stepping up to the plate, keeping things running and organized to the end, for being a beautiful soul..I want you on our team again. You’re awesome, you all were!

To our Ho’onaninani Crew: Dustin, Amber, Paulette, Hinano, Melleen, Nanye, Lud..holy smokes! You folks did some magic!! You took my hair and makeup inspirations and brought them to life. Our men and woman were for the gods! Your patience, giving, love and aloha was shining! We got tons of compliments on our hair and makeup…What did Robert Cazimero say? “Now that’s how you do hair!” Cheehu!!!

To those who played with our ears and our vibrations: Mehanaokala, sister you are holy smokes…work that oli to the vibes of Ku and Hina. Thank you so much! Kumu A’ia’i, Kealani, Camille, Hinalei, and Kauiki…mahalo for bringing kapa to the forefront, it is the sounds of our Kupuna….you were all rockstars!! Mahalo. To Mailani Music and Kahea for your talent and voice, for working hard and making this happen. Yes…He Hawai’i Au Mau A Mau!!! To Kamealoha, mahalo for your amazing talent and for your haku action to the Mele Kuku Kapa….your Kupuna are so effing proud of you, I know it!!!

To SuiKeala (Sui, Christine, and Otto) and to Kahanu for working hard to bring their magic to the stage. Your mana was definitely present and we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without you all! Mahalo!!

To Uncle Mickey and Cody of CM Digital Hawaii for all the pictures and recordings. I look forward to see how everything was captured.

To Aunty Vicky, Kaiu, and Pa’i Foundation mahalo for this opportunity. This experience has allotted me inspiration and connection. It’s allowed me to grow and expand. I am ever so grateful!

To my wonderful models: Kawika & Ha’eha’e, Joey & Kulani, Kamealoha & Kahanu, Sam & Teave, Kahoku & Aloha, Kaleikoa & Wendy, Roman & Pashyn, Kumuona & Leah, Kaips & Helen, Sam & Sybs, John & Kuulei, Brutus & Des…..holy smokes you folks were on fiyah! You all pulled through and sprinkled your magic mana dust! Thank you all for being unreal, solid, and downright HOT beings! I hope you all had fun!! I did!


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