If you knew me a decade ago, you knew a very different Erica. At that time, I was winding down the ownership of a boutique that took many, many hours of hard work. The madness of co-owning a retail business does come with a lot of wonderful opportunities and relationships. During that time, we worked with a lot of local artists and designers. It has been exciting to see all the wonderful accomplishments of the artists we worked with over the years, since we closed up shop.
One of those designers was Shannon Hiramoto-Rude of MachineMachine. I have followed Shannon on her Instagram (@machinemachine) for a while now and have an annual obsession with her January posts. She started Mu’uMu’u Month which is celebrated every January. She wears a different mu’u every day for the entire month and posts pictures modeling them while out and about doing her daily activities on Kaua’i. From what I’ve read, 2021 is her 7th year of celebrating this special month that really pays homage to part of Hawai’i’s fashion history.
Shannon has a wonderful collection of many vintage and handmade mu’u that she shares in her posts. Back when we sold her MachineMachine designs at our store, she utilized vintage fabrics to make many if not all of her pieces. I had an affinity for the vintage fabrics and was drawn to her style. I have a small collection of vintage items in my closet and always thought that one day I might have a vintage store. That’s actually why I named my blog Style Preservation. That name has taken on different meaning for me over the past few years, but the love of certain fabrics and styles has never gone away. So for this Mu’uMu’u month, I wanted to share this mu’u, which I think would be considered vintage, as I’ve had it in my closet for 20+ years (man am I dating myself!). It’s a Maile Visions mu’u that I bought brand new way back when I first moved home from college. Back then, I worked part-time at a store called Native Books and Beautiful Things at Ward Warehouse (which is no longer there). Maile was part of the co-op and this dress was my favorite thing to wear whenever I went to work. I always loved that there was a beautiful screenprinted design on a printed fabric. I have just never been able to part with this dress. Maile was also from Kaua’i. She was one of the artists in the co-op that I wanted to be around, whenver she was in-store. I remember her having a very quiet, calm energy. Sadly, I learned that she passed away a few years after I worked for Native Books.This post has brought back lots of wonderful memories and has yet again reminded me of some of the wonderful people that have crossed my path over the years. I wish I had gotten on top of this earlier, as it’s the last day of January, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mu’u Month, especially Shannon on Kaua’i. If you’re interested in finding out more, definitely go to Shannon’s Instagram page. I’ll also link a couple of articles below.