Always in style here in the islands, Hawaiian-inspired attire is adored the world over. (Never mind the recent snafu when, at a recent meeting of world leaders here in Hawai’i, it was decided that the traditional aloha shirt would not be worn for a group photo.) While suits and ties are more appropriate attire for global decision making, the colorful and relaxed look of the islands has always been a big hit fashion-wise, and this season the inspiration of the tropics hit the international spring runways like a hurricane.
Stella McCartney started things off with her resort 2012 collection, featuring Hawaiian print shirts closely based on that classic, almost vintage Aloha shirt style (think Bailey’s Antiques or Peggy’s Picks on Kapahulu), as well as a more subtle Hawaiian print denim jacket and jeans. Other pieces included Hawaiian-print pants and a jumpsuit covered in palm trees and flowers.
Bright colors, prints and floral themes always pop up for spring, but this year’s debut of spring looks from a number of designers were clearly based on inspiration from Hawai’i- particularly of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s eras. Here, larger-than-life and dramatic silhouettes from long, mu’umu’u-style dresses to jumpsuits were the norm. New ready-to-wear collections from European designers Salvatore Ferragamo (pictured) and Missoni included fantastical tropical themes, touting bright colors and prints, ruffles, halters and strapless styles-perhaps meant to inspire a tropical mid-winter holiday for those not lucky enough to make home in paradise.
Hawai’i has always captured the minds of artists and designers, and this round of creativity is no less fun and flattering to behold. Blumarine even showed looks with flower lei adorning the models as they walked the runway, and newer designer Joseph Altuzarra mixed classic-style Hawaiian print dresses with motorcycle jackets, proving the print to be versatile and modern. Meaning that yet again, Hawai’i is-and always will be-in style.