Iolani Palace Restoration Project Recreates the Gowns of Hawaiian Ali’i

Mar 18, 2016

Credit Iolani Palace

The public will get a glimpse into the lives and fashions of Hawai‘i’s monarchs.

The Friends of Iolani Palace are unveiling the first dress in their Ali‘i Gown Reproduction project.  Big Island historic dress designer Iris Viacrusis was commissioned to reproduce the clothing based on photographs and artifacts.  There are currently three gowns being reproduced including the lei hulu and peacock gowns worn by Queen Kapi‘olani, and ostrich feather gown worn by Queen Lili‘uokalani.

Teresa Valencia is the curator of ‘Iolani Palace.  She says the ali‘i sought out the top dressmakers in New York, London and Paris and added their own Hawaiian twist into the design. 

The first dress goes on display in Bloomingdales at Ala Moana before being returned to ‘Iolani palace at the end of the month where it will become part of the Palace’s permanent exhibit.