Holiday Splendor

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The sophistication of holiday dress lies in the simplicity of confident, clean lines that define European chic. For women, Grecian-inspired draping in soft silks complements curves, while one-shoulder details add a touch of bare-skin sensuality. JUST ADD MISTLETOE.

About the setting

Christmas started in September for Kensei Takeda, owner of Chez Kensei Salon, who graciously allowed our crew to commandeer his home for our holiday photo shoot.

“I love Christmas decorations,” he says, taking the advice of a friend by putting up Christmas decorations early to stretch out the season.

A far cry from clichéd red-green-gold, Kensei brings an elegant, gilded European sensibility to his work.

“When I came to Hawai’i and I saw people decorate with snow (images), it didn’t make sense. There’s no seasons here, only summer.”

Over the years, he’s amassed countless antiques and figurines that he displays throughout his home.

“Holiday décor must blend in,” he adds, motioning to carved, wooden elephants from India, adorned with jewels he has collected over 15 years.

Jewelry pieces are reassembled and repurposed with miniature chains appropriate to the scale of each figurine. Hundreds of vintage and antique brooches are combined to dress conical tabletop Christmas trees.

None of this was planned when he first started collecting. Years later, he opened one of his storage drawers, and was inspired to incorporate them into his décor.

He says decorating a home for the holidays need not be a lavish affair. “Just to make yourself happy,” Kensei says.

FASHION EDITOR & WRITER: NADINE KAM
PHOTOGRAPHER: MARK ARBEIT
MODELS: ANYA KOP, AUSTIN KINO
HAIR & MAKEUP: CHRISTINE GARDNER OF FLAUNT
ASSISTANT STYLIST: KYLE KAGAMIDA

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