"Art is not just what we frame and put on a wall. It's the culture, principles and values that are at the core of who we are, that get transferred to the things that we wear," said Vicky Holt-Takamine, executive director and founder of the PA'I Foundation. She launched Maoli Arts Month (MAMo) on O'ahu in 2006 to celebrate and promote the work of contemporary Hawaiian artists and designers.
The MAMo "Wearable Art Show" has taken place annually in Honolulu since then, and this year, the celebration makes its first appearance on Maui as "MAMo @ The MACC," onstage at Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Yokouchi Pavilion on Saturday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m.
The event features a runway show with designs by contemporary island designers, whose creations extend from comfortable and traditional to cutting-edge and downright "fantastical."
The MAMo “Wearable Art Show” will make its first appearance on Maui as “MAMo @ The MACC,” at Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Yokouchi Pavilion on Saturday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. The event features a runway show with designs by contemporary island designers, whose creations extend from comfortable and traditional to cutting-edge and downright “fantastical.”
Participating designers include: Maile Andrade, Manuheali'i and Marques Hanalei Marzan of O'ahu; Wahine Toa from Kona; Koa Johnson of Maui; and an interisland collaboration of Keali'i Reichel and Taup'uri Tangaro, from Maui and Hilo respectively.
MAMo Wearable Art is more than a fashion show.
"It's culturally bound," said MAMo Coordinator Ka'iulani Takamori.
his is a showcase of Hawaiian design in fabric and clothing specifically in terms of cultural motif, curated in a way that makes it more than just a runway fashion show.
For example: Designer Marques Marzan, who is a cultural resource specialist at Bishop Museum, surrounds his life and imbues his art with the "the treasured resources of the earth," which yield the dyes and the fibers he uses in his art-making, he said in an interview with Hana Hou Magazine last year.
Other designs from previous years and their creators have also paid tribute to the land and its creatures, or marked inspiration from ancient chants, including the Kumulipo (the Hawaiian creation chant).
The clothing and fabric designs in MAMo include a wide array of styles, influences and philosophies, covering the spectrum of Hawai'i life and people--everything from ready-to-wear active clothing to pieces that you just might want to frame and put on a wall.
Some designers will use botanical and environmental patterns as a design motif. Others will make their creations with full knowledge and implementation of the spiritual and ancestral connections--such as the unique entwined fiber pieces wrought by Reichel and Tangaro, that harken to koko pu'upu'u, the carrier/protective netting that cradles and adorns a prize calabash.
Tickets for the MAMo Wearable Art Show are $35 and $45 for reserved seating in Yokouchi Pavilion. There are also $60 premium tickets available that include a Trunk Show/Meet the Designers viewing on the upper lanai overlooking the pavilion before the main event, with advance-purchase opportunities for some of these one-of-a-kind creations.
For tickets, call 242-SHOW (7469) or book online at MauiArts.org.