Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tribute to the Aloha Shirt

I had the hardest time trying to come up with my spread for Diane's "Mid-Century Modern" book.  Months ago, I had gotten this idea to make origami aloha shirts from Alfred Shaheen prints.  Alfred Shaheen was a pioneer in the field of fashion here in Honolulu in the 1960's and 70's.  His prints were bold and iconic.  Today, the aloha shirt remains the standard attire for Honolulu businessmen.

Also about the time I was making all of these origami aloha shirts, I bought a Tim Holtz  filmstrip die.  I started playing with the idea of fashion contact sheets and took several images of Shaheen and his design team, their factory, the models and fashion sketches and created a "filmstrip" by  reducing their size and printing them out onto transparencies.

I liked all of the elements that I had created, but I just couldn't figure out how to pull it all together into a cohesive Mid-Century Modern piece.  Since Diane's book is nearly full and only a few blank pages remain, I turned my focus to creating a larger space in which to work.  After all, I had already made 16 aloha shirts and 9 filmstrips!

I grabbed a stack of pages that I had removed from another altered book and to my surprise, there were two chapter pages that had been removed which were titled "The Craft" and "The Men."  Well now THAT got me thinking...Shaheen, the Man and the Aloha Shirt, the Craft.  I used those two title pages to create a foldout which gave me a large enough area to work with.

As you can see, I used the filmstrips to illustrate the "craft" and the "man."  Those title pages open up to reveal a four-page spread.  I used an old map of downtown Honolulu for the background and sprinkled my origami aloha shirts all over town.  Thanks to Alfred Shaheen, the aloha shirt was and still is Honolulu's official business attire.

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