Monday, May 19, 2014

A Tropical Twenty-ninth

Last weekend I had some friends over at my place to help me celebrate my 29th birthday which fell during the week on May 13th. I decided it needed a theme, so it had to be TROPICAL!

It gave me the perfect excuse to use one of my 1950's Alfred Shaheen dresses. I can't get enough of them! To me, they're meant to be for me. They are colorful, beautiful, and made in and inspired by Hawaiʻi.

 This one has a design that looks a lot like ʻōhiʻa lehua, a flower (and tree) native to Hawaiʻi. 

And I finally got the chance to use my beautiful feather hat i got from Vintage From Paris in Malmö. Unfortunately I didn't have a photographer handy at the time to help me take pictures of my hat, so I did the best I could. 

My hair looks blue-black!

As an aside, I wanted to be careful not to make it a bogus, aloha-tiki-hula-hula party, though, because that stuff just gets tired and offensive for someone who is interested in 1950's kitsch but also happens to be a real live actual Native Hawaiian. That said, I think the idea of "tropical" is fun and doesn't have to offend someone's culture.

So I went with bright colours, flamingos, and tropical fruits incorporated into the meal.  Whenever I have parties, I'm so focused on getting food out and making sure everyone is all set that I almost always forget to take party pictures! So the coconut candle and flamingo table decorations didn't get to make it onto the blog. But of course I managed to take pictures of the food!

I also got this joker to take a picture with me. He was a big help throughout the day!

I was serenaded by my friends - accompanied by guitar even!- as I blew out the candles on the lilikoʻi (passionfruit) cake I baked.

All in all, it was a lovely (early) birthday weekend filled with friends, food, and fun. It can't get better than that! 


  1. I just found your blog and love it! And your dress is just beautiful and perfect on you! I currently live in New Zealand (but am originally from Denmark) and that flower looks so much like the pohutukawa flower that grows here. I really wish that I could find similar vintage dresses with the local flora of New Zealand. It's so beautiful! But unfortunately I don't think things like that has been made here.

    I completely understand how the balance between the kitsch and respectful attitude can be tricky and find it interesting that you write about it. To me difference in culture is deeply fascinating and I love to live here in New Zealand and learn about different ways of doing things. It really opens your eyes :)

    I look forward to following you blog.

    Cheers, Mirjam

  2. Hi Mirjam!

    Thanks so much for reading my blog!
    I think it's really neat that you've done the exact opposite of my move - from Scandinavia to Polynesia instead of Polynesia to Scandinavia. What brought you there? Living in Polynesia as a Scandinavian must be a really interesting cultural experience for you too.
    Retro/Rockabilly/Tiki is to varying degrees quite popular in Scandinavia (and even more so in parts of the United States) and so I can be quite protective of my native culture when it comes to "tiki culture". There aren't many indigenous people who are really interested in vintage, so I think it's something non-native vintage enthusiasts don't even realise they might need to consider.
    I really appreciate your comment - I don't get too many comments, so I was so happy to see yours. I hope you continue to enjoy my blog!


  3. Oh, one more thing, Mirjam-

    Thanks for mentioning the pohutukawa! Not surprisingly, pohutukawa and ʻōhiʻa lehua are related, as is so common with Polynesian flora and fauna:

    Just another thing that makes us Polynesians feel connected across our sea of islands :-)