From the Publisher


By Diane Haynes Woodburn

Diane Haynes WoodburnWhat do you think?” I asked my husband, as I toyed with pinning a red rose the size of a dessert plate in my hair. “A little Frida-esque?” We were getting dressed for a dinner party hosted by our friend Hermine, a fabulous cook and artist who loves great gatherings, bold color and lots of flair. This night the theme was Latin, and Hermine had told us to dress appropriately. I experimented with a second rose, balancing the heavy bouquet like a bad hat. “What?” I asked Jamie, who eyed the procedure a bit askance. “It’s a fashion statement!”

Perhaps I’ve been overly influenced by the fashion buzz at Maui No Ka Oi.  We’re into it this issue nearly cover to cover, beginning with our photo spread on resort chic, showing off an eclectic mix of local and couture designs. Our Native Soul story celebrates Hawaiian clothing old and new, and even Tita takes a look at what it means to be fashionable—tita style. “Great Finds” uncovers some “gotta have” accessories, and in his column “Get the Look,” Rick Cowan explores that fashion imperative for home decor: color.

I had expected our senior editor, Rita Goldman, to roll her eyes at the decision to place fashion in this issue’s spotlight. Rita’s penchant is for pithy subjects with a large serving of philosophy on the side. She surprised me by giving fashion the nod.

“Fashion is quintessentially a thing of time and place,” she said. “It reflects its surroundings and culture; it changes with the seasons and with the human fascination for novelty and variety. We may not always like change, but think how dull our lives would be without it.”

“Yes,” I replied sagely. “That is exactly what I meant.”

Of course, since change is inevitable, our opinion of it is moot. I like what Bertrand Russell said about change: that it is “indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.” (There’s a sentiment anyone who followed the summer’s Congressional brouhaha over debt ceilings would agree with.)

You see? Interpret fashion as transition, and we all become great minds.

Here at Maui No Ka Oi, we are experiencing significant transitions, as former colleagues depart for new ventures, and new talents join us on our journey to bring great Maui stories to your doorstep. By the time you read this, Cecilia Fernandez Romero, our incredible art director for nearly a decade, will have departed Maui for Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Mexico, to be closer to her family in Argentina, and to pursue her photography and art. Shannon Wianecki, our dining and associate editor, is following her own creative Pied Piper, working on projects in education and environmentalism, but, thankfully, still lending her lyrical voice to these pages on occasion.

We will miss them, but are happy to welcome two new faces to the staff of Maui No Ka Oi. To the lofty position of art director comes John Giordani, who four years ago had the good sense to leave his native New York (where he distinguished himself in publication design at Spin and Details magazines) to make Maui his home. And Marti Rosenquist, whom many of you already know as a past contributing writer for us, and the author of her own blog, “What’s Cookin’ Maui.” The position of dining editor is in her capable hands (and pen).

Over the next few issues, we’ll experiment with our appearance and content, trying on new ideas for color and size. Let us know what you think.

“Tell me what you think,” I repeated, imploring my husband to give me some fashion feedback: a nod of approval, a wince . . . anything at all.

“You look fine,” he answered without a second glance. “Let’s go.”

Some things never change.


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