Brief history of Aloha Shirt

Brief history of Aloha Shirt

Andrea Tuzio · 4 years ago · Uncategorized

The sunny white beaches, the blue waters of the Pacific and the golden sunsets.
These wonderful images, besides hurting us because we could hardly see them this summer, are also a symbol of one of the most beautiful places on the planet, the Hawaii Islands.
There is, however, a further sign of recognition that distinguishes one of the most famous archipelagos in the world, the Aloha Shirt.

The history of Hawaii and the Aloha Shirt are intertwined in a tale of legends that we try to explore here. 

Although the Hawaii Islands were still politically independent at the beginning of the 20th century, US businessmen flocked to the archipelago to buy land to grow sugar cane and pineapple. Clearly, these plantations needed labor, so laborers from Japan, China and all four corners of the Pacific began to arrive and each brought their own costumes, language and clothing.

Among the many tales that have been handed down about the birth of the Hawaiian shirt, it seems that the most accredited are those who describe some Japanese and Chinese tailors, who came to work in the fields, created the models that would later become a reference point in the world of tailoring.

Let’s start with a particular story. The student Gordon Young, in the early 1920s, developed a shirt that we would call pre-aloha, which immediately became very popular among his colleagues at the University of Hawaii. In fact, the mind behind this prototype was his mother who was a seamstress and tailored shirts in yukata cotton, which was used for Japanese women’s work kimonos. 

In June 1935 then, a tailor who had a small shop in downtown Honolulu, Koichiro Miyamoto called Musa-Shiya “The Shirtmaker”, published in a local newspaper the first ad advertising his shirts, decorated with beautiful designs characterized by bright colors, calling them for the first time Aloha Shirt. The price was 95 cents, both for those already made and those made to order.
An important testimony of Musa-Shiya’s work, his wife and business partner, Dolores Miyamoto, gives it to us: she remembers that they made shirts for Shirley Temple, for the American actor John Barrymore, who went directly to their small shop in Honolulu to order a shirt in original Japanese fabric. It was the first time the two made a printed shirt.  

Another well-known story about the origins of the Aloha shirt is the one linked to the Chun family and the King-Smith Clothiers company.
Ellery Chun stated in an interview in 1964 that after seeing some Filipino boys wearing very garish swallow-tail shirts, the bayau, she had her first shirts printed by a tailor in 1932/33. Those same shirts were then taken to the warehouse of his father, King-Smith Clothiers, and then displayed in a shop with a small sign that read, Hawaiian Shirts. Ms. Ellery was the first to register the trademarks “Aloha Sportswear” and “Aloha Shirts” in 1936 and 1937 respectively.
Ellery’s sister was one of the pioneers in textile design, reporting on shirt fabrics the images that had struck her during a cruise, like flying fish. 

As we said at the beginning, there are many stories about the genesis of this iconic garment and of course we can’t bring them all back, over time we all have worn one at least once in our lives.

From Elvis Presley to Harry Truman, Leonardo Di Caprio in Buz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I., etc.

We close with one hope, that we can put them on and show them off as soon as possible.

Brief history of Aloha Shirt
Brief history of Aloha Shirt
Brief history of Aloha Shirt
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Has food truly conquered us?

Has food truly conquered us?

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography

Over the past year, the internet seems to be obsessed with food culture, fueling a trend that is now evident even in the world of visual culture. From the Tomato Girl Summer, which many mock retrospectively, to the foodie fashion girlies, Balenciaga’s collaboration with Erewhon, and the massive success of The Bear. Food appears to be experiencing a rebirth, but in the worlds of art, photography, and design, it has always been present. Is this just a passing trend, or is it the glorification of an element that has always been part of our lives?

Un’illustrazione di Maisy Summer

From Tomato Girl Summer to the pomegranate

It was only in 2020, with lockdown recipes—does anyone remember Dalgona Coffe?—that so much talk about food emerged. On TikTok, @wishbonekitchen made us dream by showing us her life as a private chef in the Hamptons this summer. Unforgettable were her Heirloom Tomato Gallette and the garden where she harvested fruits, vegetables, and herbs. In 2023, it seems to have been the summer of food not only with the release of the second season of The Bear but also with Tomato Girl Summer. On the other hand, according to Danielle Cohen on The Cut, it now seems to be the time of the pomegranate.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Cansu Porsuk Rossi (@cansupo)

Thanks to its shape and the vivid red that characterizes it, this fruit is widely recognized as a symbol of fertility in many parts of the world. But not only that, we find the pomegranate in mythology, art history, and, according to Cohen, even in the Torah. In short, fruits and vegetables seem to be largely protagonists of this rebirth, so we have collected some works and photographs by artists and photographers we have talked about in the past and more.

Browsing through our archives, we remembered Michael Crichton‘s photos and his photographic series, Conceptual Food, as well as Dan Bannino, who many years ago narrated the eating habits of the powerful. But there is also Stephanie Sarley, an artist who, with fruit fingering, challenged the way the art world has represented the female reproductive organ throughout its history.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Stephanie Sarley (@stephanie_sarley)

Why it seems not to be just a passing trend

The success of food in visual culture can be attributed to its tangible communicative power. We see and experience the colors and textures of food daily, all evocative elements of memories that we have been collecting forever. In conclusion, we can only wonder which will be the next fruit to receive all this attention, already dedicated to tomatoes and pomegranates, even before avocados and bananas.

Has food truly conquered us?
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Has food truly conquered us?
Has food truly conquered us?
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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography

29 ARTS IN PROGRESS recently showcased Michel Haddi: Beyond Fashion, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the Franco-Algerian photographer, marking his first solo exhibition in Milan. Starting from January 16, the second chapter of this exhibition opens, featuring unconventional shots infused with a street and urban soul. Additionally, there are elements of irony and sensuality that highlight Haddi’s complex personality.

michel haddi
© Michel Haddi – Debbie Harry, British Vogue, London, 1994 | Courtesy of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

In this second chapter, nude shots and unpublished works by Michel Haddi are presented, stemming from advertising campaigns he personally captured. The displayed photographs capture the spirit of their time, thanks to influential figures such as John Galliano or Patsy Kensit, who have played pivotal roles in the realms of fashion, cinema, and music.

Michel Haddi has the ability to portray his subjects with both irony and depth, and each of his shots tells a unique story. His life, marked by a turbulent start, has nevertheless propelled him to become one of the leading fashion photographers from the 1990s to the present day.

Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
Michel Haddi beyond the fashion shots
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Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

A few weeks ago, the Huxley-Parlour gallery in London announced the new exhibition by Joel Meyerowitz, which opened on January 17th. We couldn’t help but talk about him, the American photographer born in New York in 1938, famous for his street photography, and recognized as one of the pioneers of color photography. The London exhibition, titled “Dialogues,” highlights this aspect effectively. Pairs of photographs engage in a dialogue concerning light, color, and composition. The pairings are chosen to investigate the development of color in the artist’s work, set within non-hierarchical and unresolved compositions.

The exhibition in London

Meyerowitz’s imagery blends a distinctly American aesthetic with a meditative approach to color. Spanning from 1964 to 2011, the exhibition at Huxley-Parlour reveals Meyerowitz’s enduring interest in the sensory and evocative experiences of his surroundings. Paired with lesser-known images from the artist’s extensive archive, the exhibition features some of Meyerowitz’s most famous works, including his early street photography and images from his seminal series, Cape Light.

Joel Meyerowitz and the Color Revolution

Joel Meyerowitz is widely acknowledged as one of the first photographers, along with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, to bring color photography from the periphery to the center of fine art photography. Historically, where black and white photography was considered a serious medium, color was widely viewed as technically inferior and aesthetically limited, relegated to advertising campaigns, television, and personal holiday photographs. In the London exhibition, it’s interesting to trace Meyerowitz’s shift from black and white to color. On display are works from “A Question of Color,” where Meyerowitz, carrying two cameras, paired black-and-white and color prints of nearly identical scenes.

Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
Joel Meyerowitz is the master of color photography
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A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi

Giulia Guido · 1 month ago · Photography

Not even a week ago, Alessia Glaviano – Head of Global PhotoVogue – a guest on our Spigola podcast, reminded us that it no longer matters whether you shoot with a camera or a smartphone. What matters is the intention behind the shot, not the means. We pondered deeply on this statement, and although there was initially some skepticism, we concluded that to take a true stance on the matter, we had to try it ourselves: capturing moments solely with a smartphone, but with the same attitude we would have had with a professional camera. Xiaomi provided us with the opportunity and the means.

Almost by chance, Xiaomi presented us with a challenge: to visit a distant place and attempt to capture its uniqueness using the brand-new Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G. And so began our journey, short but very intense, in Bangkok.

All the promises of this new device – which, along with four others, forms the new Redmi Note 13 Series, further enriching the brand’s Redmi Note lineup – were substantial. Starting from the battery, rechargeable to 100% in just 19 minutes with a lasting capacity of days (not hours), and of course, the camera system consisting of 3 cameras, including a main 200 MP camera, an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

We decided to put Xiaomi to the test in every moment spent in the Thai capital. The first stop was at the Royal Palace and the Wat Pho temple, where the goal was to capture the colors of the mosaics and decorations.

Xiaomi

Being one of the most touristy places in the city, we encountered many people who, like us, were fascinated by the architecture of these sacred places. The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G came to our aid in this moment as well. The smartphone is equipped with AI-based editing tools that, among other things, allow us to remove people who accidentally end up in our shots. You know those photos you see on Instagram of tourist spots always empty? Now you can have them too, effortlessly!

But a city is not only visited during the day; often, it comes to life at night, illuminated by a myriad of different lights. In our case, the lights were those of the legendary tuk-tuks, indispensable in a trip to Bangkok. In this case, the challenge was formidable: darkness, colored lights, movement. All the ingredients for a challenging shot were present.

Xiaomi

Not content with just the shot, we continued to play with AI tools and added a bit more movement, some stars, many stars.

When traveling, we know very well that we are not only captivated by architecture, landscape, and glimpses, but we also focus on the faces we encounter on the streets. However, we often don’t have much time to photograph them, sometimes because they move, other times because we are the ones on the move. That’s exactly what happened to us in the characteristic Thai markets, first and foremost the Floating Market.

Reviewing the photos on the return flight and at home with friends was like reliving the journey once again, leaving no detail behind.

Xiaomi

In Bangkok, on the occasion of the launch of the new Redmi Note 13 Series, the brand also introduced the brand-new Redmi Watch 4 and Redmi Buds 5 Pro. Visit Xiaomi’s website to discover all the features of these devices.

Xiaomi

Photos shot on Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
Photography
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
A photographic journey in Bangkok with Xiaomi
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