Fashion Tribe: Joyful hearts come together
BY NADINE KAM / firstname.lastname@example.org
Marking the 10th anniversary of the Joyful Heart Foundation she founded, actress Mariska Hargitay was in Honolulu for a benefit, as well as a picnic dinner event honoring foundation benefactors.
Hargitay, who portrays New York City detective Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” was inspired to start the foundation while vacationing in Kailua-Kona. She had always been moved by viewers response to the compassionate character she plays on television, which isn’t far from her own heart. The aim of Joyful Heart is to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
She is such a genuine person. Usually, I find the people behind such organizations to be glib and business-like because of the nature of fundraising, but she is such a believer in her cause and full of gratitude that people are willing to come together to help, that this is the second time I’ve seen her tear up talking about it.
I was able to attend a resort chic picnic event at a private home in Nuuanu, catered by Town restaurant. In honor of event underwriter Tori Richard, Ltd., guests were invited to show their support by donning Tori Richard attire, vintage or new.
I was invited to Tori Richard headquarters to try on some vintage dresses, excited by the possibility of seeing this secret trove. Even so, I thought it would be a long shot finding something to wear because, No. 1, I am short, and No. 2, 1960s and ’70s styles are very slim so a combination of long length and narrow widths often don’t work with a post-millenial body. It didn’t matter because I have my own vintage and new-ish Tori.
The first one-shoulder dress I tried on was snug but with a green print suited to my coloration. I also tried on a mod purple-and-white mini that fit a little better in the middle, but my fitter seemed to like the first dress better, so I was sold.
As I got dressed that night, I thought this is what it must feel like to be a movie star getting ready for a red-carpet event, when you’re not in your own clothes and feel that little bit of self-consciousness. To me, behind the smiles, the stars always seem to exude a bit of uncertainty and discomfort on the red carpet.
Well, half the time I get invited to events, I’m not quite sure what they entail. I just get an outline, and this picnic really turned out to be a picnic with a mixture of low tables and lawn mats. Naturally, I have the sort of friends who want to try something different so we ended up sitting on the lawn, and if I knew that ahead of time I probably would have been more comfortable getting up and down off the ground in my own vintage Tori.
Even though the dress I wore had a casual look, women of past decades exhibited more decorum, in part, because of the clothes they wore. They were constricting, nipping in the waist—with the help of girdles—and sort of putting a lot of emphasis on the bust—something I don’t invite. The dress imposed good posture. These days, mass clothing allows us to be a little more lazy and slouchy. It’s a different story with certain luxury brands and fits, that continue to demand decorum. It is one thing to understand this theoretically, and another to feel the difference.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage appears in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.