Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hau' oli lā hānau


I am currently writing from the island of O'ahu, where I've been enjoying lovely sun and sand for the past week, spending time with my best friend from middle school and making my birthday last as long as possible.

I've enjoyed experiencing Hawaiian culture, particularly local art and style. Though Hawaiians are exceedingly laid back, and greet every day with a shaka, I've adored the bright colors of local artists and designers, which reflect the surroundings so perfectly.

Though I've enjoyed the local art, I can't help but think of my very favorite artist, Henri Matisse. His cut outs are some of my favorite works, and I think they really relate to the mood of the islands.

I shared here that, after a lifetime of painting, Matisse turned to producing paper collages when he was bedridden and could no longer wield a paintbrush.

The bold, bright colors of these works, and themes of nature and jubilation encapsulate my experience of the island aesthetic.

I wore this outfit to my birthday luau at Germaine's in Honolulu, where I learned how to hula dance and that I don't like poi. Hau' oli lā hānau means "Happy Birthday" in Hawaiian.

I'm wearing a silk Diane von Furstenberg maxi dress, Miss Trish of Capri leather seahorse sandals, and a fresh orchid lei.

Thank you to the lovely Jessica Vandagriff for taking these photos!

[Matisse images from,, and, respectively.]


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