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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Apr 18, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House
You are bidding on an amazing 1950's Hawaiian silk brocade gown with train called a Holoku (a formal mu'umu'u). This unusual gown, made by BETE, INC COLLECTION OF HONOLULU , has been in our family since 1959 when my mother, LOKELANI purchased it for one of her many appearances with Don Ho. Nola Nahulu ( one of Hawai ʻ i's most prominent choral conductors) continues to operate in the footsteps of Betty Manchester who started the company, Bete Inc., in 1959 to provide Hawai'I women with an elegant selection of mu'umu'u and holoku.

The more commonly cited explanation for the term, HOLOKU, comes from the following legend, which relies on a more exact translation of the Hawai'ian words: native seamstresses, when sewing their dresses in the days of old, would say "holo!" (run) as they turned the wheel to operate the sewing machine, and "ku" (stop) when they wished to stop at the end of a seam. Consequently, these two words were connected and the term is explained (Hussey, 1940).

The lustrous peach colored brocade is still vibrant, and looks brand new. The tag inside reads, "Bete, Inc. Collection of Honolulu. It's traditional old-style sizing, accommodating up to a 36" bust. Overall length of the dress from the point of exquisite tapestry braid neckline, and tuxedo collaring, to the hem of the dress is 57" from shoulder to hem (the model is 5"5" tall). The sleeves are 16" L and widen slightly at the armpit. This one-of-a-kind and exceptional piece of Hawai'iana is in excellent condition. An elegant and flowing hemline with a sweep of 94 luxurious inches of sophistication. The bountiful pleating in the back of the gown lends to a dramatic entry at any luau or party.

This holoku was a custom-made creation for Lokelani, and is fits sizes 6-10 women. The tailor work is fantastic and not duplicated in today's world. The gown has darting at the bust and shoulder-line. A closure in front with metal zipper is concealed with the delicate tapestry. What a beautiful period dress and made of such a stunning vintage Hawaiian fabric!

This item has been stored out of the heat and sun, and comes from a pet and smoke-free home. All sales final. MONEY ORDER only!! I NO LONGER ACCEPT PAYPAL. Shipping, insurance and handling within the 48 contiguous United States is $20.00. (I will combine shipping charges in the event you win multiple auctions). Please see my other auctions. Good Luck!