In the short time since I lost contact with the internet, Jane and Cocktail folded, Perezhilton's stats have been questioned, and sadly (at least to me) style.com, my fav fashion go-to site, has started a blog called style file. For some reason I loved their old-school magazine style and their refusal to cave in to the attention deficit style so deriguer for online fashion and design sites. Logging on this morning at style.com I sniffed all the telltale signs of a new blog as I scrolled through the newly slapped up photos with no centering and short captions. I figure it's just a matter of days until it becomes glossier, savvier, and pretty much like all the other fashion mag blogs. I guess there's nothing wrong with that, the way there's nothing wrong with that particular shade of avocado green all the new mid-century fanatics insist on painting their walls and homes, or any house in L.A. that's desperately trying to be flipped for the matter. Just not my cup of tea. Sorry, can you tell I'm a little grumpy that my lovely vacation in Hawaii is over?
Before moving on, I do want to talk about a couple of wonderful artists that I met while I was there. One of our first adventures in Hana was to drive our little PT cruiser over to visit local ceramicist Arabella Ark, formerly known as Gail K. Bakutis, at her beautiful home studio that veered up a hill right after the baby pig crossing.
Arabella is considered one of Hawaii's most accomplished ceramic artists. She fires in the the raku tradition and told me that her clay work is now evolving into a unique mixed media form. Her vessels have been exhibited in numerous juried shows worldwide for over 30 years and I was honored to spend some time with her in what has to be the most scenic art studio that I've ever been in.
Gail gave us the grand tour of her studio and home, and filled us in on the amazing history of Hana as we took in the breathtaking view at the end of her yard (see top photo). Her particular neck of the woods is a virtual who's who of history. When I say that Hana is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world that I've ever been, I'm definitely not the first. Laurance Rockefeller came in 1961 and declared it too special for commercial exploitation, so he built his resort elsewhere (the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island) and bought 52 acres along the Kipahulu coast. He enticed famed aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow to come to Hana and many other slightly eccentric moguls have made their home here over the years. Shortly before his death, George Harrison was interested in creating a spa in Hana, and of course pretty much everyone knows that Oprah has become one of the owners of the Hana Ranch and is building a home here.
Heading over to the other side of the island to cover The Spa at the Four Seasons in Wailea, I was happy to stumble onto the gorgeous work of Derek Bencomo, who happened to be showing his work there. It only took a moment to see that it was world class wood working.
Derek is a self-taught wood turner and creates pieces unlike anything I've ever seen. Often using exotic woods, he shapes them into flowing lines that have the feel of the ocean. Being a surfer, he's inspired by sea-life as well as the land, but they're not easy to describe.
Derek's work is collected by major museums and a couple of the world's top wood work collectors including the Wornicks. With three ongoing series: Come To Me Dancing, Ocean Harmony, and Still Dancing, he has a vast range of work. He talked to us for a bit about what he hopes to do in his next series, which I know will be a huge hit, but I won't go into how he intends to move forward because the art world is competitive. I wish Derek all the best and you can be sure that Trust Your Style will be checking in with him again!
I spent the last few blissful mornings at Big Beach walking near the surf and reading Lipstick Jungle to my heart's content. Back to fashion and style soon, I promise!