All posts tagged: Hawaii

1930s Hawaiian playsuit thedreamstress.com08

Hallelujah textiles: A 1930s Hawaiian playsuit

Do you collect vintage or historical textiles? If you do, you know there are the things on your wish list that you search for, and save up for, and eventually manage to get.  And then there are the things that are so rare, and amazing, and desirable that whenever they do show up for sale they are so ridiculously beyond your price range that it’s not possible.  Or the things that just never show up, because they were SO rare in the first place. I tend to collect more by chance than design.  I don’t love shopping on the internet, which limits my options a lot, and I like the thrill of finding something unexpected at an op-shop or antique store.  And I like the unexpected stories that develop out of a less-planned collection. Still, there are some things that I desperately hope that one day I’ll get to love and care for and study.  My holy grails.  My ultimate wish list.  Hallelujah textiles.  I was lucky enough to be gifted an amazing quilted petticoat by the …

The Word’s Enchanted Island Playground: A vintage Hawaiian holiday

Continuing on my ‘let’s escape from winter!‘ theme, let’s go on a vintage Hawaiian holiday. One of the fascinating things I discovered in researching in old magazines in New Zealand is how early Hawaiian holidays from New Zealand were advertised.  This advertisement for the Union Steam Ships Hawaiian holiday sailings appeared in the New Zealand Home magazine in 1932: It might be 1932, it might be the middle of the Great Depression, your holiday might be 6 weeks long, but there was enough of a market to advertise it! It’s fascinating to see what the ad features: a bit of ‘Old Hawaii’ (looks like they are making poi!), surfing (made popular around the world by actor and Olympian Duke Kahanamoku), the beaches, the famous statue of King Kamehameha the Great in front of Aliʻiōlani Hale (now the state Supreme Court), Akaka Falls, pineapple pickers (Dole’s tinned pineapple advertisements of the ’30s focused heavily on Hawaii, so this makes more sense in context), some tropical flowers (Hylocerius Undatus), Diamond Head, and, of course, Waikiki beach and the Pink …

The last princess of Hawaii

I drove a friend to the airport today – she’ll be flying through Hawaii and stopping over for a few days.  Rather than staying on Oahu or going to Maui or the Big Island, like most tourists, she’s going to Molokai and is even going to see my parents.  I’m so jealous I could cry.  I love Wellington, and I love my life, but I miss my islands desperately. As I drove away from the airport, back to my little house to spend an afternoon baking, I thought of another island maid, torn between two cultures and dreadfully homesick for her own islands as she studied in a cold land halfway across the world.  Ka’iulani, the last princess of Hawaii, also loved her temporary adopted homeland, but she must have missed her home as much as I do: missed the tradewinds, and the easy warmth of the people, missed the endless green lawns of her home, the soft sound of the waves hitting the shore. But I’m getting ahead of myself just a little.  This …