Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let's Play the Match Game...

Aloha kakou!! Let's start tonight with this... Aloha Wear.  I can see many of you out there wrinkling your brow as you try to figure out what I am talking about. Try this...Hawaiian shirt.  There ya I know what is popping into your head...
Yes, THE infamous Magnum PI shirt. Working and living as we do in Hawai'i, Leialoha and I see literally hundreds, if not thousands of these things a year, (Not this one...but many like it) and I have come to realize that different places in the US and other countries tend to have different themes for their Aloha Shirts. (That is what they are actually called). For instance, when I was living in Florida, there seemed to be a fondness for, in no particular order...parrots, volcanoes, beer bottles, guitars, hula girls, pineapples, coconuts and some others that escape my mind right now. Truth be told, I do not know of many locals here who would wear an aloha shirt with ANY of those things on them. Does that make an aloha shirt with dolphins and parrots inferior to mine? Not at is just interesting to me that different places go for different things. Truthfully, not many of us here wear aloha shirts as part of our every day attire. But when we do, it tends to be something decidedly non-grass skirty...if you know what I mean. These are a few companies that make aloha wear that is very popular here in Hawai'i:

Reyn Spooner
-This is a very popular maker of aloha wear, and they are very well known for their pullover style. In particular, they are known for their annual Christmas/Holiday design, which changes each year. I got turned onto these by my steel guitar teacher Alan Akaka. I htink he has pretty much every one dating back from when they started issuing these special runs. They have Hawaiian Santas on them, other holiday images, and in each one, is hidden the year of issue. They look like this:

I started my collection last year, and thanks to Leialoha and EBay, I have a half dozen right now.

Sig Zane
-Sig Zane is a Big Island guy, who takes his inspiration from things found here on the BI. One of his most popular designs is based on a street map of Hilo. He is also worn by one of the most popular Hawaiian bands around called Na Palapalai as well as local boy Mark Yamanaka. Leialoha has quite a few of his dresses. Like this one:

-This is without a doubt, our favorite local clothing company, and this where the title of the blog tonight comes from. See, when we are onstage, Leialoha and I like to wear matching aloha wear, and if you see musicians and bands out and about in the islands, chances are that many of them will have matching aloha wear. Manuheali'i designs are strictly loud and proud, and not what many from the mainland would think of as aloha wear. Here is an example of a pattern that they offer:
and this one is a little laid back to tell the truth. They make pullover styles, which for me, work great on stage, and Leialoha will usually pick out our outfits. At last count, I think we are somewhere north of 25 matching outfits. They have kind of become our signature look over the last few years. I love wearing aloha wear on stage...about a million times better then the suits and tuxedos that I used to have to wear when we played in the Wheelhouse. C'mon, which would you rather gig in? This:
 Or this:

Speaking for me...I'll take #2 every day, all day.

So tomorrow will be our day to go through the closets and start getting our things together for this season. Fortunately, this year, with the new house, we can keep ALL of our clothes in one place, and then go home on Hilo port day to get new clothes and fresh outfits. I may try to get a picture of our closets tomorrow...the sheer amount of aloha wear is astonishing. Oh, and here is a little tidbit for you mainlanders out know the loose fitting, caftan-like thing that some women wear. What is it called? Moomoo? Nope, check it...courtesy of my friends at Wikipedia: Mu'umu'u This is one that only locals get right...I'm not sure how over the years it has been accepted as Moomoo...but when you're in the islands, you can make yourself sound very local if you drop the correct pronunciation.

Lastly, here is today's thing about living in Hawai'i that I love.

I have never been in a place where tattoos are so accepted and appreciated as in Hawai'i.  I particularly love the Polynesian style of tattoo, and many of you know that I have started to "collect" Polynesian style ink. There is something about the look and design that I just love, and there is meaning behind almost every design that is usually very personal and special to the person getting inked.

So, everyone have a great night, and I have some news to drop tomorrow. Malama Pono...

A Hui Hou,
Dave Soreff
(of Elua)

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