Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Father of the Aloha Shirt

Ellery J. Chun gave the aloha shirt to the world.

Although he first created aloha shirts in 1931, 
it was in 1936 he introduced the "Aloha Shirt"
 label to the distinctively bright, colorful
 Hawaiian attire. The term and 
the style caught on, 
and countless clothing manufacturers 
followed suit.
Chun first sold aloha shirts -
- originally inspired by 
palaka garments of plantation workers 
and silk shirts 
of high school classmates 
sewn from leftover kimono 
material by Japanese housekeepers -- 
at the family store, which he renamed 
King-Smith Clothiers, 36 N. King St.

The Honolulu native graduated from Punahou 
[ Like president Obama] in 1927 and majored in 
economics at Yale, class of 1931.

By 1933, he began to produce 
ready-to-wear patterns
 from cloth imported from 
the U.S. mainland, Japan, 
China and Tahiti. Surfers 
and beachboys snapped up 
the bold, breezy styles, 
and visiting Hollywood celebrities
 and other rich and famous ones 
began sailing home to 
display the new fashions.

In 1991, the state Senate 
honored Chun for creating
 the aloha shirt, on the 60th anniversary 
of his landmark contribution to distinctive
 Hawaiian apparel and the state of Hawaii.

From the Redwood Forrest

A  L  O  H  A !
Climb the mountains 

and get their good tidings.
                                                John Muir

" This is their temple, 
vaulted high,
      And here we pause 
with reverent eye,
      With silent tongue 
and awe-struck soul;
      For here we sense 
life’s proper goal. -

To be like these, 
straight, true and fine,
To make our world, 
like theirs, a shrine;

    Sink down, O traveler, 
on your knees,
      God stands before you 
in these trees. "
                           Joseph B. Strauss, 
                                                      “The Redwoods,” 1932