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:
Twirl Skirt in Blue Tiki Serenade
Rebecca Dress in Blue Tiki Serenade
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!