Fashion Tribe: Inside Bloomingdale’s opening gala

Nov. 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

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BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Bloomingdale’s Hawaii celebrated its inaugural Hawaii store opening in style, with a VIP gala that took place Wednesday.

PHOTOS BY MARCO GARCIA / getty images for bloomingdale'sBloomingdale's celebrated its Honolulu grand opening in style with a VIP party and Rockettes-style greeting Nov. 11 at Ala Moana Center. Bloomingdale's executive vice president for creative services Jack Hruska, center, stands with Rockette's inspired greeters.

MARCO GARCIA / GETTY IMAGES

Bloomingdale’s celebrated its Honolulu grand opening in style with a VIP party and Rockettes-style greeting Nov. 11 at Ala Moana Center. Bloomingdale’s executive vice president for creative services Jack Hruska, center, stands with Rockette’s inspired greeters.

I was lucky to be the first one in the store, warning gatekeepers to avoid getting trampled. In addition to the eyeful of the store itself, guests found themselves greeted by leggy models in Rockettes-inspired tuxedo jackets, with leotards and top hats, as well as waiters bearing cocktails.

In town for the occasion were Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO Tony Spring; executive vice president, ceative services Jack Hruska; the store’s vice president and general manager Carolyn Edward; and “American Idol’s” Colby Benson.

The initially limited guest list swelled to 900, but due to the spaciousness of the store, it was easy and comfortable to mill around and view all the merchandise.

Most packed was the second-floor Aloha Room, destined to become a gathering place for special events, where chef Roy Yamaguchi was serving up caviar on mini cream cheese blinis.

Scattered elsewhere over the store’s three levels were drink and food stations featuring small bites from Ed Kenny (Town), Chai Chaowasaree (Chef Chai, Chai’s Waikiki), Chris Kajioka (the upcoming CK restaurant); Lee Anne Wong (Koko Head Café, Hale Ohuna); and guests did not leave without a “Tiny Brown Bag” of sweet treats from Michelle Karr-Ueoka (MW Restaurant).

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comGuests were presented with kukui nut lei, in Bloomingdale's signature black-and-white, as they walked through the doors.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Guests were presented with kukui nut lei, in Bloomingdale’s signature black-and-white, as they walked through the doors.

Just past the greeters, cocktails awaited, and there were more options upstairs such as the En Vogue cucumber and pink sugar martini, below.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Just past the greeters, cocktails awaited, and there were more options upstairs such as the En Vogue cucumber and pink sugar martini, below.

galamartini

Among the stylish guests were Marissa MacNaughton in Fendi, with Ian MacNaughtton in Kiton with Brioni shirt.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Among the stylish guests were Marissa MacNaughton in Fendi, with Ian MacNaughtton in Kiton with Brioni shirt.

Dr. Shim Ching, center, with his wife Candice, left, in Pucci, and Marisa Gey, in Versace.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Dr. Shim Ching, center, with his wife Candice, left, in Pucci, and Marisa Gey, in Versace.

Small bites ranged from chef Roy Yamaguchi's caviar over cream cheese blinis and Madeira creme fraiche, to below, chef Chai Chaowasaree's festive somen.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Small bites ranged from chef Roy Yamaguchi’s caviar over cream cheese blinis and Madeira creme fraiche, to below, chef Chai Chaowasaree’s festive somen.

galasomen

PHOTOS BY MARCO GARCIA / getty images for Bloomingdale'sChef Lee Anne Wong show off her dish of smoked nairogi profiteroles. So yummy that I had two!

MARCO GARCIA / GETTY IMAGES

Chef Lee Anne Wong show off her dish of smoked nairogi profiteroles. So yummy that I had two!

From left, Bloomingdale's executive vice president for creative services Jack Hruska, company chairman and CEO Tony Spring, and executive vice president/drector of stores Charles Anderson.

MARCO GARCIA / GETTY IMAGES

From left, Bloomingdale’s executive vice president for creative services Jack Hruska, company chairman and CEO Tony Spring, and executive vice president/drector of stores Charles Anderson.

Guests received Tiny Brown Bags, a takeoff on Bloomingdale's signature brown shopping bag, filled with baked goodies from MW restaurant.

MARCO GARCIA / GETTY IMAGES

Guests received Tiny Brown Bags, a takeoff on Bloomingdale’s signature brown shopping bag, filled with baked goodies from MW restaurant.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comTown's New York-meets-Hawaii bites were Delmono pulehu steak and lup cheong Madeleines.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Town’s New York-meets-Hawaii bites were Delmono pulehu steak and lup cheong Madeleines.

Chef Chris Kajioka's nod to the Big Apple was a fall squash "Everything Bagel" risotto with the flavor of green apples.

NADINE KAM / NKAM@STARADVERTISER.COM

Chef Chris Kajioka’s nod to the Big Apple was a fall squash “Everything Bagel” risotto with the flavor of green apples.

To mark their entry to the local scene, Bloomingdale’s also made donations to 10 local-based organizations: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Friends of Iolani Palace, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Joyful Heart Foundation, Kapi’olani Health Foundation, Kōkua Hawai’i Foundation, Nā Kama Kai and the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.
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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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