LIHUE — Barbara Green of Definitely Baba said when she designs, the driving force behind her work is making a woman’s dreams come true.
“Fashion designing for me is finding a person’s life spirit,” Green said. “My greatest reward is watching a woman cry after trying on a creation and are overwhelmed at the discovery.”
Green was joined by other Kauai designers Chanterelle Chantara of Chez Chanterelle and Kristyl Apeles of Puka Surf as well as international designer Sha Ali Ahmad of Ahmadcouture in fitting select pieces of their collections to the corps of models who will be displaying work at the fifth Kauai Fashion Weekend Hi-Lights at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club on Saturday.
“This is a special place,” said Chantara, a designer since she was 11 years old. “My work is made on Kauai. Hawaii, in general, has appeal — just by saying the word. I work to help this economy with love for attention to detail. Everything is hands-on and high quality.”
On display, and many for sale, will be collections of fashion ranging from casual wear to custom wedding pieces when doors open to the vendor booths starting at 4 p.m., with fashions from featured Kauai designers being visited by Nita Pilago of Kona and Waihine Toa showing alongside Ahmad and Edgar Madamba from Manila, Philippines.
“Aloha wear goes to an entirely new level,” Green said. “Casual wear fits a variety of people, and I employ contemporary as well as the Filipino influence in designing,” Green said. “Custom wedding pieces have Polynesian, contemporary and Filipino influences.”
In addition to the fashion offerings, many couture, or custom-fitted, there will be live entertainment and offerings of accessories completing the red carpet event before the VIP dinner which starts about 6:30 p.m. The runway fashion show starts at 7:30 p.m. and will feature actress and model Meghan King Edmonds.
Floral fantasy describes the work created by Chantara.
“Whatever I do talks about my love of the islands,” said the designer of eight years. “When I got off the plane for the first time in Hawaii, I saw the variety of flowers and green grass. I told my parents, ‘I’m coming back here real soon, or to live here.’”
The spirit of adventure drives Apeles’ creations.
“A lot of what I do is inspired by the travels and adventures,” said Apeles, a world champion tandem surfer. “I want people to come see this inspiration — rich is life you live.”
Tickets for both the VIP dinner and fashion show, or the fashion show only, are available at Inkspot Printing on Rice Street.