Heart of Haute Blog
An interest in the exotic (and largely imagined) lifestyle of the South Pacific has been a part of American fashion and culture since the 1920s. In the 1940s, many served in the South Pacific during World War II, and returned home with tales of palm trees and rum. Hawaii's 1959 statehood and the advent of quick and more affordable jet travel made it a popular - yet still exotic - travel destination. "Trader Vic" Bergeron opened his first restaurant in California in 1934, serving an approximation of Cantonese food and concocting cocktails like the Mai Tai. Mid-century America was crazy for Polynesian pop culture in the 1950s and 1960s: Tiki bars, backyard luaus, and Exotica music and movies were everywhere.
The tiki trend vanished from the mainstream in the 1970s, but it has recently found new devotees and an increase in popularity. Those who still still celebrate the sips, styles and sounds from this era meet up at various tiki weekend parties all over the country, and Tiki Oasis is the biggest and longest-running event.
Each year, Tiki Oasis has a different theme. For 2016, the theme is Party on Monster Island - “From rubber Godzillas tearing apart the South Seas to surfin, Go Go dancing Frankenstein and Wolfman, creatures have always been lurking in paradise.”
If you attend Tiki Oasis, you will probably want a couple of outfits that work with the Party on Monster Island theme, plus some of your best and brightest aloha wear, whether vintage or new. Here are our ideas for Tiki Oasis 2016:
- The 1940s brought us loads of creepy monster movies, from Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man to The Cat People. For a 1940s scream queen look, try the Madison Dress, the Manhattan Dress, or the Diva Suit in Navy, Red, or Black. The Betsy Blouse or Gretta Top are great separates to complete your “sexy scientist who saves the day” look. For a ton of movie gossip and inspirational images, check out Heroines & Scream Queens of Classic Horror: The 1940s.
- For a classic 1950s damsel in distress look, try our Diner Dress, the Elizabeth Dress in our new border print Bethany Floral, or the Haute Circle Skirt in Picnic Gingham. Get ready by watching Creature from the Black Lagoon or Plan 9 From Outer Space. Shop Vampira’s closet with the Ella Top in Black Stripe, The Mod Dress in Black, and the best-selling Super Spy Dress.
- Some of the monsters in vintage media came from other planets. As space exploration increased in the 1960s, so did our imagined fears. To create a retro 1960s space babe look, try our Doreen Dress, Coco Skirt, Twirl Skirt in Cosmos print, or the Fifi Dress in a Navy or Orange space age star print. Need more alien invasion inspiration? Check out this awesome list of horror, fantasy, and science fiction films of 1960s.
If you are looking for some tiki bar basics, don’t miss out on our Paradise, Sweetie, and Rebecca Dresses, all available in our tapa cloth inspired Tiki Serenade Print. Don’t forget to pack a new hair flower, and a sweater to ward off any air-conditioned chill. We have colors and styles ranging from basic black to fashionable coral. Need to save some money for mai tais? Check out our Sale Rack for some exclusive South Pacific Style savings, including:
Enjoy your visit to Monster Island, and if you wear Heart of Haute at Tiki Oasis 2016, don’t forget to tag yourself as a #hautehoney!
Step 1: Order your Paradise Dress
Step 2: Check out this great event on July 25th in Hollywood!
Special Event Ticket Prices (for Movie & Entertainment): $13 General, $11 Student/Senior, $9 Member. Food and drink sold separately, except for Primo Beer which is included in the ticket price for those 21 and over. Please bring I.D. if you want to drink alcoholic beverages.
12:00PM - 7:30PM A Tiki Marketplace will open at noon in the Egyptian Theatre Courtyard, selling new and vintage tiki related art, memorabilia, clothing, accessories and more. Vendors include Wonderama, Eric October, Hawaiian Lei Bath & Body, Viva Dulce Marina and Tiki Swag, and Clever Vintage Clothing.
5:00PM - 7:00PM Enjoy performances from King Kukulele & The Friki Tikis and the Polynesian Paradise Dancers in the Courtyard. Co-authors Luis I. Reyes and Ed Rampell will sign copies of Hawaii Movie and Television Book: Celebrating 100 Years of Film Production Throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Plus a Tiki fashion show!
Bar: A no-host bar will offer two specialty tiki cocktails, plus beer and wine. Cash or credit accepted. There will also be complimentary beer from our sponsor, Primo - Hawai’i’s Original Beer!
Snacks: To treat yourself to a tiki luau box to snack on as you enjoy the courtyard entertainment, the additional $15 meal box ticket (of your choice) must be purchased in advance on Fandango.com by July 20th.
Tiki Veggie Box
Grilled Herb Marinated Vegetable Skewers, Ginger and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Indonesian Rice Noodle Salad, Steamed Edamame with Sea Salt, Roasted Wasabi Green Peas and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.
Tiki Summer Roll Box
Assorted Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Chicken and Scallion, Asian Vegetable & Beef and Enoki Mushroom), Carrot Miso Dipping Sauce, Steamed Edamame with Sea Salt, Roasted Wasabi Green Peas and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.
Tiki Chicken Box
Chicken Yakitori Skewers, Ginger and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Indonesian Rice Noodle Salad, Steamed Edamame with Sea Salt, Roasted Wasabi Green Peas and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.
Tiki Beef Box
Beef Yakitori Skewers, Ginger and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Indonesian Rice Noodle Salad, Steamed Edamame with Sea Salt, Roasted Wasabi Green Peas and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.
7:30PM Join us in the auditorium for an exciting pre-show with King Kukulele, showing rarities and surprises, followed by the feature film:
Phoenix based Pinup Photographer and long-time-darling friend, Tara O, is making her way to Sunny California yet again to capture the beauties we have in our sprawling land. Care to take a stab at Pinup modeling? Need a fun NEW never-shot-in-before Tiki themed location? Book this shoot! I'll be there, too ;) All bookings will also be entered in a drawing to win a Heart of Haute dress of their choice, up to a $120 value. Whoa! Yeah, I know. I wont enter the drawing, though.
To set up an appointment, please contact Tara directly at : Tara@taraophotos.com And if you're in need of some Tiki Tiki dresses, let's take a gander at some of the styles HoH has to offer!
Hope to see you there! Aloha!
With Love and No Regrets,
Mandie BeeFollow Heart of Haute's board Tiki Style from Heart of Haute on Pinterest.
The modern tiki trend is a revival of the early to mid-20th century American obsession with Hawaii and all things tropical. Music, movies, décor, and fashion from the south pacific were adopted and adapted by mainland Americans as early as the 1920s. The trend hit its height in the 1960s, with tiki bars in both major hotel chains and countless backyards. Searching for your own South Seas style inspiration? Vintage movies are a great way to explore and expand your retro aesthetic. We previous shared our top 5 movies for Mod style inspiration. Here are our 5 best Tiki movies – enjoy these 20 years of Polynesian-inspired fashion in American film.
Ship Ahoy (1942) Opening with drummer Buddy Rich and the rest of the Tommy Dorsey Band playing “Hawaiian War Chant,” this movie has loads of amazing music (keep your blue eyes open for a very young Frank Sinatra in the band), and Eleanor Powell’s incredible tap dancing. Her gorgeous costumes range from leis and cellophane skirts to nautical pinup looks. The wartime plot won’t win any awards, but the sounds and sights are more than worthwhile.
Pagan Love Song (1950) Whether or not you buy Esther Williams as half Tahitian, there are loads of stylish sarongs, bamboo décor, and hair flower inspiration. Underwater sequences, songs, and the scenery of a more rustic Kauai make it an enjoyable escape. Pin up icon Esther Williams was actually pregnant while filming this difficult movie!
South Pacific (1958) James A. Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific is required reading for anyone wanting to understand the role of World War II in Polynesian pop. The myth of Bali Hai is just one aspect of tiki culture that came from Michener. This 1950s movie was an adaptation of the musical that was based on the novel. Filmed in both Kauai and Ibiza, the movie features all of the songs from the musical production.
Blue Hawaii (1961) One of three movies Elvis shot in Hawaii, he also recorded the popular soundtrack in Hawaii. Famous Oahu sights like Waikiki Beach and Diamond head appear, though much of the movie was shot on Kauai. A fun exploration of post-war Hawaii and American dreams, and a good example of the 1960s “beach party” movie genre that helped to expose many people to surfing and surf music.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) Marlon Brando leads the rebellion against a ship’s cruel captain – based on a true story that occurred in the 1700s. The 1960s film version of this South Seas story was filmed on location in Tahiti, with gorgeous tropical colors. Despite long and expensive shooting and production, it was nominated for many awards. Whether you are packing up for the Hukilau, Tiki Oasis, Tiki Caliente, or just hosting a killer luau at home, Heart of Haute has the aloha wear you need. Take a look at our new Hula Honeys and Tahiti items, and the bold Ukulele tapa print Tiki Serenade. Our modern fits and 100% high quality cotton fabric will keep you looking amazing and feeling comfortable from the Mai Kai to the Bali Hai.
Las Vegas is a great vacation spot, year-round. Winter still has better weather than most of the country, and killer off-season deals. For total Vegas virgins, my crash course is that there are 2 main tourist areas – downtown and the strip. They are not far apart in a car, and there is a bus (the Deuce) that runs between the two. I personally like staying downtown, but still going up to the strip.
Where to Stay in Las VegasDowntown is a little bit more “old Vegas,” with vintage casinos, cheaper prices, and Sinatra and Elvis impersonators everywhere. Take some free pulls on Fremont Street, get your photo with a Million Bucks at Binion’s, play some giant board games at the Gold Spike, and check out the cocktail lounge in the El Cortez (formerly owned by Bugsy Siegel). The Strip is the Strip – I don't have much new to say. Things are a lot bigger and further apart than you may think – keep that in mind when choosing where to stay.
- The Venetian has one of my favorite lobbies and is centrally located. The also-central Flamingo has more kitsch at less cost.
- The Platinum Hotel is my favorite non-smoking, non-gaming, off-strip spot, with huge suites and a rare indoor pool.
- The Delano at Mandalay Bay has the only affordable 2 bathroom suites I've found. Mandalay Bay has lot of in-house shopping and dining options, and is connected to the Luxor.
- Look into the suites at the more expensive spots if you have a big group – they just may be cheaper than 2 or 3 rooms, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Circus Circus has an actual midway and amusement park in addition to the casino, and free performers all day long.
If you want to see a certain show, look into a night staying at the hosting hotel. That will give you the option of getting dressed up and rocking some killer shoes without a killer journey. The Beatles LOVE at the Mirage has been described as life-changing, and will give you the chance to hang at the 1960s ultra-mod Revolution Lounge – complete with go-go dancers. Pack some of our best mod looks - the Carina Dress or CoCo skirt are perfect.
Maybe it is because I need Excel for any math beyond my fingers, but I am just not a big gambler. However, I will post up at a low-stakes slot on occasion to rest my feet and get a few free drinks. If you like to gamble, do some at the casino where the shows you want to see are – you just may get offered a free ticket.
A Stylish Retro Suitcase
Now, let’s finish packing! Visiting Las Vegas always gives me shoe anxiety. It’s the dichotomy of wanting to look your retro best and having to walk miles each day. I really advise being comfortable – painful feet will ruin your night. Yes, you will be next to a woman in a ball gown, but a great grandma in sweatpants will be on your other side. Truly anything goes. I do flats and even simple sneakers. For vintage inspired Vegas glamour, you can’t go wrong with the classic style of our Milan and Monte Carlo dresses for a fancy 1950s supper club dinner.
Hitting Frankie’s Tiki Room, or the luau at Treasure Island? Pack a skirt or dress in our Tiki Serenade print for a tropical desert moment. Frankie's is worth a trip for retro tiki freaks - it’s between the strip and downtown – keep that in mind to save on cabs. They do offer an aloha shirt discount for drinks on Fridays!
All of those flashy late nights will wear you out. Bring some comfortable knits for a relaxed look on a tired day. Recover with some relaxed shopping at the Container Park downtown, or at any of the malls on the Strip. Our best-selling Super Spy dress and top are flattering and refined yet comfortable. Don’t forget a sweater – it gets cold in the desert at night, and casino A/C is no joke. Las Vegas has loads of interesting subculture, both past and present.
Whether you like, art, food, fashion, music, theater, burlesque, intense rides, or plain old people watching - craft cocktails or foot long frozen margaritas, spenders or free fun seekers - everyone can enjoy Vegas. Overall, Enjoy yourself, and put $5 on red for me!
It's tiki time! From Tiki Caliente, East to Hukilau, and back West to Tiki Oasis, the season of Polynesian pop weekenders is upon us. Subculture weekend events keep getting bigger and bigger; Viva Las Vegas has been going strong for over 15 years now. These events make fun short vacations - it's a great chance to meet like-minded retro fashion freaks, and show off your best outfits.
Retro style parties are practically a vintage fashion competition. The problem with vintage clothing is that there is no size range - it either fits or it doesn't. At Heart of Haute, we can help everyone get the look, with vintage inspired clothing in sizes from XS to plus size 3X! Looking for some new pieces for your tiki pin up look? We have two great aloha prints in red and navy (look like a vintage Mai Kai Calendar girl), in 3 dress styles.
We are excited to offer our Sweetie Dress, Paradise Dress, Ellie Tie Top, and Twirl Skirt in the new tapa cloth inspired Tiki Serenade print. What is tapa cloth? It is a fabric traditionally made out of bark in Pacific Islands such as Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji. The word tapa comes from Tahiti - in Hawai'i, this fabric is known as kapa. It is decorated by stamping or stencilling, usually in a geometric pattern of decorative images. For clothing, tapa patterned cotton fabrics like our Tiki Serenade are now more common. The bark and fiber tapa cloth is often used in decor, or for ceremonial purposes.
There are a lot of pool parties at these events, so don't forget a cover-up or two; our Knotty Dress and Ellie Tie Top are good choices. Pack the Sweet Sweater for chilly nights or air conditioned venues. Don't forget your feet - the Keke Wedges from Bettie Page shoes will get attention while keeping you more comfortable via a platform and wedge heel. Finish your look with a hair flower (or five), and you are set - whether you are taking off for a weekend, or just taking over a stool at your local tiki bar. I will be at Hukilau 2014 - will you?
P.S. Remember to check our sale rack! There are some retro tiki style gems - a unique version of our Paradise Dress, the poolside-perfect Nice Dress, some halter tops, and more.
- Bring more than one bathing suit. A lot of the events are poolside, and you don't want to be pulling on a soggy suit after a midnight dip in the Ocean. A stylish swimsuit cover up, like our quick drying Knotty Dress, is also a must.
- At the Hukilau, the Mai Kai can be quite warm inside. I like a cocktail dress that will still keep me cool. The Sweetie Dress in Hip Kitty has an authentic vintage shape, and a print that will help you stand out in the sea of floral aloha wear. Get to the Mai Kai with plenty of time before your dinner show reservation to enjoy the gardens and the great happy hour prices in the Molokai Bar. The Moonkist Coconut is my favorite drink.
- The Paradise Dress has a great retro wiggle dress shape in a perfect tropical pattern, with a faux sarong front that ties at the waist.
- There is a lot of standing, dancing, and walking around. I like wedges for just a little more comfort.
- Tiki Oasis has a theme each year - for 2013, it's "Hulabilly." For this mix of Hawaiian and country rockabilly style, bring our Ellie Tie Front Top in Red Gingham, a sweet Heart of Haute top, or gingham headbands and hair bows. Our best selling Sweetie Dress comes in red, blue, olive, and black gingham - the perfect fit for this "Hawaiian Hootenanny."
- Accessories! These parties are not the time to be subtle. I always bring tons of hair flowers, sunglasses, and jewelry. A few extra to loan to your best friend is always a good plan.
- I don't actually stay at the official Hukilau hotel(s). I like the Best Western Oceanside. It's right next door and has a cute little pool and free breakfast.
- Don't overdo it! Take a nap every afternoon and alternate drinks with water. Have some snacks in your room and wear sunscreen.