Aug 19, 2019
No Suits Allowed
In the early years of the 20th century, in a nondescript stall in Honolulu’s Chinatown, it’s likely the first aloha shirt was sewn. In the following years, the aloha shirt would serve as a unifying cultural fabric between the Hawaiian Islands and the rest of the world. From sailors stationed in Hawai‘i in the Second World War to modern-day politicians representing Hawaii in DC, it can’t be denied that the aloha shirt has spanned decades, bringing an iconic and authentic slice of paradise wherever it was worn.
In the latest installment of the Summer Slide, our seasonal celebration of the magic moments that make summertime in Honolulu so special, we’re paying homage to the almighty aloha shirt with Vintage Lines, an exhibit curated by aloha shirt connoisseur Dale Hope. Composed of nearly 30 iconic aloha shirts, some dating back nearly 100 years, there’s no denying that aloha shirt expert Dale Hope curated the finest vintage threads for this exhibit. As the son of clothing designer, Dale was practically born into the aloha shirt business in Honolulu. A naturally adept waterman and extremely talented artist and designer, Dale eventually became the creative director for Kahala, before quite literally penning the book on aloha shirt. His personal collection and vast depth of knowledge make him the foremost expert in all things aloha wear.
Part of the magic in the exhibit can be found in the stories behind the shirts displayed. Each shirt displayed features a narrative, taking the viewer into the era when the shirt was produced. Because it’s pulled from history, some stories are inspiring, others sad, and some paint a picture of a bygone era so vivid you begin to imagine the last person to wear the shirt. What was happening in the world at that time, what was going on in their life? Stepping into history via fashion makes for a fantastic afternoon with your friends and the fact that it’s free makes it even more enticing.
We welcome you to travel back in time in this free exhibit as you wander your way through decades of aloha, marveling at the changing techniques, lines, and fabrics that captured the imagination of the world and came to symbolize Hawai‘i to millions of people. Head to the IBM Building Sales Gallery between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily to see the exhibit first-hand.
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