Tag Archives: tropical shirts

Voyage of Discovery: Living “Barefoot in Paradise”

Known as the most beautiful restaurant on the beach at Wakiki, The Queen’s Surf was a highly popular restaurant and nightclub in Hawaii throughout the 1950s and 60s, gaining popularity as the yearnings for the mythologies of paradise became more and more prevalent in popular culture!

Tourists from all over flocked to The Queen’s Surf for the music, a tropical drink, amazing traditional Hawaiian food unlike anything served on the mainland, and most of all, the “Hula Cop” who entertained nightly at the famous Barefoot Bar.

The “Hula Cop” was none other than Sterling Mossman, a native Hawaiian who was famous for his wild double life; by day he acted as a Detective for the Honolulu Police Department, and by night would make the transformation to ultra suave and charming impresario and ambassador of Hawaiian culture at the Barefoot Bar.

The Mossmans have always had a special place in Hawaiian culture as a family dedicated to bringing their island’s traditions to the public forefront. In the 1920s, the Mossman family had owned and operated the “Lalani Hawaiian Village”; the first of its kind, an outdoor venue that displayed and sold traditional Hawaiian gifts and objects to tourists – it was closed with the outbreak of WWII.

The Queen’s Surf was a one-of-a-kind experience that is still remembered today for its Hollywood calibre entertainment (with Sterling Mossman doing much of the entertaining himself), and their fantastic full course traditional Luaus; held on the beach, they would definitely give tourists something to remember their trip by. A true taste and feel for life on the islands…

This visceral and enchanting experience, both luxurious and primitive, was something new, right on the brink alongside books, films, and TV Shows set against Hawaii’s lush landscape.

Excited to encapsulate on the growing curiosity and interest towards all things Hawaiian, Sterling Mossman was approached by friend and businessman Clarence Hara who seeked out Mossman to use the “Barefoot”  in the design of a new label of clothing dedicated to the Hawaiian life and style!

Decorating the walls of the Barefoot Bar were “Barefoot” symbols on signs, as well as wallpaper decorating the space. These “Barefoot” symbols became the signature for a new label inspired by Mossman, called “Barefoot in Paradise”…

“Barefoot in Paradise” was a brand known for it’s unique prints, high quality fabric, and attention to detail. It was everything you would expect from the brand that represented the “Hula Cop” – fun, fresh, dynamic, stylish, and most of all, tasteful.

In fact, Sterling Mossman (and his Barefoot Gang) would only continue to rise in popularity as novels like John Michener’s “Hawaii” became huge hits, and TV shows like the 1959 series Hawaiian Eye (based loosely on Sterling himself)  took the airwaves by storm!

Mossman would later appear in an episode of the series, as well as being featured in the pilot of Hawaii-Five O in 1968, in a set modeled after his famous bar.

Sadly, on December 31,  1969 the Queen’s Surf closed its doors, and in 1971, the historic building was demolished leaving only the memories of luaus past and legends of Hollywood glory. Over 700 people showed up for the chance to sit in the bar for one last time, and the chance to rub shoulders with a star.

Go Barefoot, as the brand is called today, still exists sans the actual “Barefoot” logo that had given birth to the brand. In the 1970s “Barefoot” sold their logo to the iconic surf brand Hang Ten, and carried on with producing Hawaiian shirts – but something was different. Somehow, it was just not the same.

Today, there are those who still reminisce about the good ole days at the Queen’s Surf. Perhaps you have your own stories. We’d love to hear them if you do. For more information, TikiCentral has been a great resource in learning more about these legends and contains tons of information on other pop culture tidbits regarding Tiki and Polynesian culture!

At the Eye of we are proud to include an amazing piece from the genesis of the “Barefoot in Paradise” brand. This rare shirt is an early example of the brand’s commitment to quality and material, as well as their daring approach to graphics and design.

The shirt features a menagerie of motifs dedicated to the concept of voyage and discovery; no doubt an ode to the many voyagers who made their way to the islands of Hawaii, turning it into the bright and culturally diverse haven it is today.

A piece of history that explains history in a fun and exciting way! You definitely do not see that very often.

All this history makes me thirsty for a Zombie, though!

Hope we capitalized on a few interesting points…

Part of the fun with vintage clothes is the stories behind them, so we are more than pleased to give you the upper hand when it comes to finding something {amazing}!

 

Thanks a lot for reading! Hope we got you smelling those fresh cut pineapples and cool ocean breeze for the rest of the day! If you have any questions or stories, email the.eye.of.faith@gmail.com

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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+ The Case for Hawaiian Shirts + Vintage Fashion Inspiration {Spring/Summer 2013}

[image: fashion.grunge.style.]

The Case for Hawaiian Shirts really began when I was 8 years old and my mother brought home a Hawaiian shirt for me from her trip to Hawaii. I had begged her to grab me one while she was touring the islands for work. Seemed to me like the coolest thing!

It was a wicked print, nothing too crazy, pretty much an example of a classic Hawaiian shirt.

I remember my locker neighbour saying:  “Whats wrong with you?”

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” is what I wanted to say, but I just shrugged and laughed her aside. She didn’t even have a sense about her as she was herself wearing something completely typical of the girls in my classes around these times…

She just couldn’t appreciate it the way I did. For me, it made me feel the most ahead of the game. I was different than the rest, and that’s always a good thing. For me, there’s just no doubting a really great Hawaiian Shirt.

{Donna Reed + Montgomery Clift, “From Here to Eternity” [1953]. }

{Michael Pitt for Prada S/S 2012 by David Sims}

Lately there’s been a huge influx of Hawaiian and tropical shirts in both runway shows and magazine editorials – it seems the world is finally catching on and getting a little more in tuned with not just my drift, but the truth of the whole matter.

The case for Hawaiian and Tropical print shirts is that they are as much a classic staple in ones wardrobe as other pieces heralded as being part of our sartorial lineage.

There is plenty of mythology revolving around the the true origin of the Aloha shirt (as they are also called) that range from birth in the Philipines to the islands of Samoa.

Until the early 18th century, kapa was the main currency of many islands of the South Pacific. Kapa was a simple patterned cloth found in the South Pacific made from pounding and dyeing the bark of a mulberry tree. These prints later made a splash again in the 1950s.

However, it is safe to accredit much of why we still sport and wear these styles to the craftsmanship and entrepreneurial efforts of one, Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, Musa-Shiya was one of the top Japanese tailors in Honolulu, who profited from his made-to-order custom silk shirts made with colourful and bright Japanese fabrics with Western-style tailoring.

These shirts helped tourists visiting the island make that final transformation to truly being on vacation, taking it easy, and saying goodbye to the stresses of the mainland. Forget your troubles, come on be happy!

Soon after other Japanese tailors were doing the same, and quickly the demand for these tailored tropical refuges only began to soar. The 1953 film, “From Here to Eternity” would pretty much seal the deal with stars such as Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and even Frank Sinatra sporting the casual cuts of florals and tropical sunsets.

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From here on out, it pretty much has become the go-to expression of ease. Picking the right pattern is about 90% of the magic. There must be literally thousands, if not millions of different Aloha prints floating around in this world, and not all of them good. The key is equal parts colour as it is pattern – make sure both are really slamming. Compromise on this and you could really fall flat.

FIT would be another major point. So make sure it fits to your liking. If you’re feeling a little more lax and party you may want to embrace some volume (think Sean Penn as Spicoli from Fast Times, or Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing) or you can keep the cut classic and simple with a bit more of a tailored look to emulate classic stars like Clift, Sinatra, or Delon. Either way – you’re pretty much laughing …

{After World War II, a gradual change in aloha wear took place with the breakdown of rigid dress requirements for business attire. The business tie and jacket certainly were not comfortable in Hawaii’s summer climate. In 1946, the Honolulu Chamber of commerce appropriated $1000 to study aloha shirts and prepare suitable designs that clothing businessmen could wear.}

And just in case you’re unsure, check out our pics of style stunning inspiration that ranges from the {PAST} to {PRESENT}. So take a look, and decide your {FUTURE}…it’s calling!

All year round, these shirts takes you where you want to go!

It’s time to declare the Hawaiian Shirt an equally valuable piece of everyone’s wardrobe. It’s a defining piece with the magical ability to transport us from our everyday, and for those dedicated followers of fashion these pieces are definitely gaining visibility.

This is what I’m saying! If you don’t look back, you can never go forward! So hopefully you appreciate this menagerie of the exotic and wild! Check out The Vintage Hawaiian Shirt for more history, and a look at the web’s most impressive collection of them!

Don’t be stuck staring at your everyday checks, plaids, and plain…carry on the {TRADITION} and accelerate the past!

Take a look at some of the pieces in the +SHOP+ that can help you bring this look to life!

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Crazy Tropical Tiger All Over Graphic Print Cotton Summer Shirt – 

SMALL {$20}

P1016633

Mystic Mayan Prophecy Vintage Bugle Boy Shirt –

SMALL {$18} 

[SOLD]

P1016574

1970s Typographical Graphic Print Surf Shirt – 

MEDIUM {$18}

[SOLD]

P1015441

Phantom Floral  Hand-Blocked Cotton Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$20}

P1016531-1

Ocean Mists 1970s Graphic Print Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$20}

P1017652

Aloha Joe Authentic 1950s Graphic Tropical Print Hawaiian Shirt

{$40}

P1016396

“Paradise Lost”, 1950s Hawaiian Shirt with Cut-Off Sleeves

SMALL {$18}

P1016042

Embroidered Silk ‘Hollywood Babylon’

Art-Deco Asian Metallic Surf Party Shirt

– MEDIUM {$35}

il_570xN.439752522_r106

‘The Tree of Life’ 1970s All Over Wildlife Animal Graphic Print Shirt

LARGE {$30}

Knights of the Sandcastle- Sears Hawaii 1960s Graphic Floral Surf Shirt

Rare 1960s SEARS HAWAII Vibrant Frond Beach Party Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$45}

Dreamweaver - 1970s Ralph Lauren Pscyhedellic Equestrian Wave Warrior All-Over Graphic Surf Shirt - The Eye of Faith Vintage Menswear

Dreamweaver 1970s Psychedelic Equestrian Vivid Ralph Lauren Graphic Print Beach Shirt OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paradise Hawaii 1960s Classic Tropical Floral Graphic Beach Summer Shirt

MEDIUM {$60}

SMALL {$90}

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from {theEye}!

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Stay Style {WISE}, kids!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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