Heels & Picks: Feeling posh at Shop A Le’a
BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser
When it comes to fashion, sometimes there are moments when you just have to trust your gut.
One of my most recent moments of fashion truths came about on March 18, when I asked myself the age-old fashionista question: “Can you wear pleather with a blazer?”
The answer is yes, but we’ll get back to that.
While getting ready to attend Ala Moana Center’s Posh Pau Hana, part of the annual Shop a Le‘a fashion event series, my boyfriend and I both pulled black blazers out of our respective closets. Too matchy matchy? Perhaps, but with my pleather mini dress and his turquoise dress shirt to mix things up, we thought we’d be okay.
So what was the party all about? We were off to celebrate the launch of Ala Moana’s annual weeklong fashion blowout, featuring parties, fashion shows, charity drives, giveaways, music, cuisine and some very chic exclusive soirees. It’s a week of fun not to be missed by the fashion forward and casual clothes enthusiast alike. Now in its fourth year, Shop a Le‘a offers something to everyone, with musical performances and fashion shows at Centerstage all week long.
Posh Pau Hana was held in an outdoor area on the third floor of Ala Moana with a who’s-who of Honolulu media, with friends and new acquaintances popping up around every corner. Pupu and cocktails were delivered to tables covered in pink tablecloths (the official color scheme of Shop A Le’a) as DJ Euphorik spun tunes into the breezy Honolulu night air and guests mingled, talking clothes, deadlines, events or just having a laugh.
For the past week, some of these events retailers offered were, for lack of a better term, really cool. Nordstrom had complimentary personal shoppers on hand to help shoppers with everything from finding a gift to updating your wardrobe. Sephora offered personal consultations for updating your makeup look for spring, Christian Dior poured champagne for guests while they browsed, and Amy’s Hallmark offered tutorials on how to build an Easter basket like a pro.
The Mai Tai Bar created a $5 Shop-A-Tini exclusively for the event, while Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offered $2 Plantation Iced Coffee for shoppers in need of a pick me up. Many Ala Moana Center restaurants offered specials during the week, too.
The Shop A Le’a fashion shows saw Ala Moana’s runway filled with platinum blond bob cuts with bangs, a signature look models wore for all the shows. I liked the unified look. It’s a small detail, to be sure, but one that really showed continuity and, of course, fabulousity.
Juicy Couture, Spiral Girl Fashion, Dianne von Furstenburg, Bebe, Macy’s and Banana Republic all took their wares to the runway, styling catwalk looks that were perfect for showcasing the spring’s new trends. Pink on pink seems to be the thing, and as far as I’m concerned, that is excellent news. Nobody has more pink in his or her wardrobe than me — with the possible exception of my boyfriend. (The man can rock some pink!)
But it’s not all couture and parties. Shop a Le‘a also sought to remind guests about one of the best local places to pass along gently-used business attire. “Dress for Success,” a program run by Hawaii’s YWCA, provides pencil skirts, blouses, blazers, heels and all the right items to women re-entering the workforce. (More on this program soon, in an upcoming blog post dedicated to the story of what the YWCA is up to and how it benefits our community.)
As Posh Pau Hana wrapped up, we flipped the collars of our blazers up and said our goodbyes, walking off into the night hand in hand. We were off to a meeting with directors from Studio Life to talk about music videos for my upcoming album at South King Street classic cocktail bar du jour, Pint+Jigger. If you haven’t been, you should go.
As for the pleather and blazer in question? The look plays. Nothing wrong with mixing a little bit of edge with a classic item like a blazer. And let’s face it, I’m an indie-rock girl at heart, with a Betsey Johnson and Vivienne Westwood aesthetic. As far as I’m concerned, pleather is never off limits, no matter what the event.
If you missed Shop a Le‘a this year, get your best pleather dress ready for 2015 and stop by Ala Moana. Your inner fashionista will thank you.
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.