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Couture for a Cause, the student behind the gown, Iolani Maile


1.       What sparked your passion for fashion?

What sparked my main passion for fashion was the fact that I had the hardest time finding FASHIONABLE clothes for my plus size figure. I noticed that not only I was facing this problem, but many other women on the island of Maui. So, of course, I wanted to learn how to design clothes for plus sizes.

2.       Is this your first year showing at Fantasia Ball? What do you look forward to?

Yes, it is my first year showing at the Fantasia Ball. I look forward to the fashion show, the people’s reactions towards the designs, and the amount of people that came out to support the IMUA Family Services. THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY!

3.       Why do you think it’s important to support our keiki?

A cliché answer, but the children are the future. Every child should have great support from adults (family, teachers, counselors, etc.), gain knowledge, and become stronger.

4.       Can you relate to not picking up on something as quickly as your peers? Can you explain?

Totally! In elementary, I always had a huge interest in basketball. When I first started to learn how to play, I had the hardest time remembering the rules, what I can and can’t do, and the form of my shooting was horrible. But again, I was so interested in basketball. So I did whatever I could to learn and remember everything by listening to the coach, watch fellow teammates, and practice.

5.       Can you describe your design aesthetic?

My design aesthetic is classy. Something simple, yet beautiful. Something out of the ordinary, but yet sophisticated for a lady.

6.       3 wardrobe tips for our guests getting ready for Fantasia Ball 2014?

–          Dress to impress

–          Don’t wear slippers!

–          Still feel comfortable in your clothing (have extra space in your clothes for you … AFTER you eat)

7.       How many hours have you spent working on this look?

Approximately 13 hours, which includes brainstorming, pattern construction, cutting fabric, sewing, fitting, and alterations. But I’m still working on my dress.

8.       When you graduate, where do you see yourself?

Coming back to school to get a Bachelor’s degree in Business. My goal is to run my own business of plus size clothes.

9.       How can fashion make a difference in today’s world?

Fashion could bring back old fashion trends in today’s world. Fashion could make lost cultural clothing come back to life. Fashion could help boost one’s confidence. Fashion could provide job opportunities for people. There are things that fashion can do that people may have never thought.