Sunday | November 19, 2017
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Wahine Toa Designs to bloom at Hilo orchid show

The Hilo Orchid Society’s annual show and sale, “Orchids Around the World,” will run Friday through Sunday at Edith Kanaka‘ole Multipurpose Stadium. In addition to the fabulous orchids themselves, one of the highlights will be the Wahine Toa Designs Fashion Show at noon on Saturday.

Rayna Armour, chair of the fashion show, explains, “I have 12 phenomenal women and 12 drop-dead gorgeous men who have volunteered to model Nita Pilago’s clothing line. Most of the models are members of the Hilo Orchid Society and some of the ladies were able to get their husbands to model.”

Ashley Quevedo, owner of the Flawless salon, has offered to do hair and makeup for the show. Stan Kaina and Friends will provide musical accompaniment for the models.

Designer Pilago describes her fashions as “original wearable art and designs inspired by our Polynesian traditions and lifestyles.”

Pilago started sewing in the sixth grade and has been sewing clothing for herself and her family ever since. In 2008 she turned her passion into a business and Wahine Toa Designs was born. Other contributing artists to her business are her ohana, her husband, Angel, and sons, Kaleo and Che, who is a kakau (tattoo) artist.

“My vision for my clothing company is to dress all women. No matter what age or size, we want everyone to look and feel beautiful,” Pilago said. “I was asked by members of the Hilo Orchid Society if I wanted to participate in their annual show and sale and kokua with their fashion show. I thought it would be a great time to showcase not only my clothing, but our kupuna.”

Wahine Toa Designs clothing will be available for purchase from a special boutique set up after the fashion show from 1 to 5 p.m. at the orchid show.

Tickets to the orchid show may be purchased from Hilo Orchid Society members for $3 prior to the show and for $5 at the door; children 12 and under will be admitted free. An additional fee of $3 may be paid at the door to convert the ticket to a 3-day pass. For more information, go to and click on the link to detailed information about the sale.

A Gala Preview Party tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. will benefit the Hilo Orchid Society’s university student scholarships and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center. Tickets are available for $65 at The Most Irresistible Shop and at the mediation center.


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