Category Archives: events

Fast Fashion Mothership, aka H&M, arrives in Hawaii

Yes it happened and the best of Honolulu showed up to embrace H&M’s arrival in the paradise state. Just in time for our craving of Spring fashions.

I popped in after work Thursday on its opening day for a peak that ended up lasting nearly 2 hours. There’s only so many lines I’m willing to wait in, and the dressing room wasn’t one of them. I showed up in a solid black body con dress so I could thrown on anything I really wanted to try on with ease. I recommend doing the same if you attempt a visit anytime this week.

I was most anxious to see what their higher end line included. I am already well stocked in fresh tanks & great cottons I rely on H&M for, but what I really wanted are their select trendy better-made pieces. With this they did not disappoint. I scored a sweet off the shoulder navy tencel dress for under $60. My other favorites were a voluminous skirt in blush ($60), a chiffon green print maxi a la Rachel Zoe ($70), a silky halter bodysuit ($10), and fabulous strapless black & cream printed dress ($70) reminiscent of something Balenciaga or Oscar de la Renta might have sent down the runway.

By the time I arrived late last night, the collections were dramatically picked over. Some of it was just the sheer number of things being taken to the fitting room, not necessarily sold. No $5 pineapple tank top, the items from Miranda Kerr’s collection that were sold out online were already scooped, and the opening offers aren’t worth mentioning except for the $4 linen-like shorts.

H&M is a well oiled machine, and there were no shortage of helpers eager to tidy up as the chaos swept in. There were even cleaners sweeping the floor, polishing mirrors, dusting etc. while people selected items from the adjacent rack. I expect the store to be massively replenished daily, so plan to check frequently for fresh finds. Turnover and fresh items are the key-stone to fast fashion. One note, many of the spring styles I had eyed online were no where to be found, hopefully those will make their way here soon.

Parking was a cinch, and FREE for the first 3 hours with validation, a huge plus! A quick ride in the elevator and I was on the ground floor around the corner from the main entrance.

I’ve been anxious for H&M to arrive in my home state ever since discovering the retailer in Paris in 2000. Can’t say I was expecting more, just happy it’s finally here.

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5 ideas to make your wedding rock

Recently I was asked to help coordinate a friend’s wedding. While very exciting, it’s an obviously overwhelming task for many brides. I’m so glad she asked for my help.

Here are some thoughts on how to keep it simple, and why you’ll be so much happier for it.

  1. Don’t be lured into DIY hell. With Pinterest and DIY craft magazines galore showing you just how “easy” it is to make everything for your day of, is it something you really want to do? You’re probably having friends and family from out of town visit for your big day, and the 24-48 hours before your event do you really want to be stressing out if all your special handwritten quotes are elegantly wrapped around each table setting? The thought is lovely, and I’m sure there will be a handful of people who will be delighted to unwrap their unique setting, but that extra stress isn’t worth it if you’re doing it all yourself. Instead sip cocktails by the pool and enjoy the friends and family you rarely get to be with.
  2. Comfort first, for you and your guests. Will you want to walk all night in those satin heels? Will your guests be warm enough once the sun sets? Are there enough places to sit before dinner is served? Is the setting inviting? Are the toilets easily accessible? Does the layout promote laughter among strangers. Will your guests feel comfortable if they don’t know anyone but you and their plus one? Small steps like providing guests blankets, fans, appropriate seating, and a welcoming ambiance go a long way to make sure everyone remembers what a fun party it was.
  3. Delicious goes a long way. Ok so you’re budget isn’t French chef worthy, that’s ok. Don’t try to do too much within a limited budget. Think about what’s really important to you. Would you rather serve special drinks or yummy champagne instead of a 3 course meal? No problem, select heavy pupus (appetizers) instead. No food budget? Thats ok, how about just cake and champagne? Or maybe having a live band is how you’d rather focus your funds. Whatever you serve, just be true to your intentions. Your guests are bound to have fun and leave with satisfied tastebuds.
  4. Logistics matter. The devil is in the details of the event, not the decor. Where will guests park? Does it make sense for folks to drive between the ceremony & reception if they’re not at the same place, or does a shuttle make more sense? Think through the timeline too. Add an extra 30mins at least to every activity to make sure you don’t rush the event. Welcoming guests, champagne toast, eating, cake cutting, dancing, everything takes longer than you think…unless you’re an experienced planner.
  5.  Take pictures before the ceremony, not after. Save your guests from that awkward 2 hour window where the whole bridal party is MIA from the post ceremony bash. You’ve got everyone together, so enjoy it. Either skip the posed picture setting and just hire a day-of event photographer, or do those posed shots the morning of. Save yourself a preventable headache.

Red Carpet Stunners: Oscars 2014

The best part of the Oscars happens before the show even starts. Really who cares other than the nominees who wins? And with that let’s go over the dressed and ensembles that prevailed on the red carpet outside of the Dolby Theatre tonight. Solid colors trumped patterns and prints this year and dominated the carpet. White, silver, pale pastels, nudes, and metallics were the favorite. Gatsby continues to inspire actresses and designers. Deep navy, plums, and reds also had a presence. To my dismay there were no swan dresses or mohawks spotted, as actresses seem to have gone for safe bets for one of the most anticipated red carpets of the year. I’ve selected my favorites here. Tell me your favorites?

Soft colors, nudes, and silver. These gowns wowed us.

Julie Deply

Julie Deply

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Cate Blanchette

Cate Blanchette

Bold colors and deep tones still made an entrance.

Jennifer Lawrence. In what else but Dior!

Jennifer Lawrence. In what else but Dior!

sandrabullock

Sandra Bullock

OliviaWilde

Olivia Wilde & Jason Sudekis

KarenO

Karen O

idinamenzel

Idina Menzel

Kevin Spacey makes Navy glam.

Kevin Spacey makes Navy glam.

GlennClose

Glenn Close

emmawatson

Emma Watson

charlize

Charlize Theron

chiwetti

Holiday dresses to whet your desire

Don’t blow the bank and let yourself be overwhelmed by holiday dress shopping. Even if you can’t drop by our Style Exchange tomorrow at R/D in Honolulu, here are some options we’re offering.

Not exactly what you had in mind? Let us know and we’ll offer personalized suggestions. We have a great collection of holiday worthy attire, let us help you find the perfect outfit keeping you looking your best.

One dress 3 ways: Style Exchange preview

Simple layering with a few key basics is the starting blocks to a great wardrobe. I took a basic A-line H&M patterned dress as an example to illustrate how you can take one item and create 3 very different looks with it. All items are for sale and available at our next Style Exchange happening tomorrow at R/D in Kakaako, 2-5pm. How you can join us!

Add a sweater and a brass necklace. Joie gray linen sweater $24. Brass beaded necklace $10.

Robert Rodriguez aqua open-weave sweater $22. Blue beaded necklace $22.

Add a jacket. Rachel by Rachel Roy tie waist jacket with pockets $28.

Shop my Style Exchange Saturday Dec. 14th

Back by popular demand, I’m throwing another style exchange this Saturday. Avoid parking at the malls, and find unique one-of-a-kind pieces and looks just for you. Looking for something special? I’ve got loads of vintage and fancy party dresses perfect for this festive season. Got something specific in mind? Let me know and I’ll make sure to have it for you.
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Style. Shop. Exchange.

Thank you to all of you who came out to shop my first Style Exchange at R/D. We had a blast and hope you did too. More importantly, I hope you picked up some helpful styling tricks, and also new favorites for your closet. You missed it? Not to fret, we’re doing it again next weekend!

Our next pop-up shop is Saturday December 14th, 2-5 p.m. at R/D once again. Everything will be 50 bucks or less, and I’ve got my hands on lots of new to you gently worn fabulous fashion finds. Is there something you’re looking for in particular? Let me know and I’ll make sure to bring it along and put it aside for you!

Shop Pualana’s Style Exchange: Saturday December 14th 2-5 p.m. R/D 691 Auahi St in Kaka’ako. Free to attend.

 Personal Stylist Pualana Lemelle brings you a carefully curated selection of clothes, shoes, and accessories for a fun afternoon soiree at R/D.

 Light refreshments. Cash and cards accepted.

What to wear to the feast

Whether you’re hosting, attending a family gathering or going out to dinner this Thanksgiving, it’s imperative you dress properly and comfortably for the occasion.

Under no condition should you bother wearing anything with a restrictive waistband, unless you consider self restraint paramount to all things. I love tunics and fancy leggings but ultimately dresses are the best option for upping the ante on this occasion.

In the tropics or in the snow, you’ll want to make sure you’re elegant dinning from the waist up. Go for a statement either with a dramatic neckline, fantastical earrings, or a bold necklace. This will keep the conversation on your good looks, and away from politics or the fact that you’re nearing 35 with no beau to be seen. I recommend hair back, or up, you wouldn’t want it getting in your pumpkin soup would you? And keep bracelets and drapey sleeves to a minimum, the harder to keep clean and clear of your plate.

For those wanting to hide  your middle…

For something a little more bohemian…

Spills no matter! Wear black or a busy print and no one will notice you aren’t a princess at the table…

These are all suggestions I found on shopbop. Your outfit should enrich your feasting experience, not hinder it. Already know what you’ll be wearing? Do tell!

Shop My Style Exchange

Next Saturday I’m throwing a pop-up shop and style exchange for the first time. I’ll be bringing you my carefully curated clothes, shoes and accessories for a fun afternoon soiree at R/D in Kakaako, Honolulu.

Free to attend, everything under $50 bucks. Lots of gently worn designer and vintage goods ready for a new home. Current trends and styles, all sizes represented, though mostly women’s 2-12.

Have a style question? Want to know what outfits work best for your body type? This is your chance to ask stylist for hire ME your burning style questions.

And just because I feel like it, there will be a raffle for prize giveaways including a free shopping session with me! (no purchase needed)

Light refreshments will be served. Cash and cards accepted.

Questions? ask me directly at pualana@gmail.com