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Wardrobe evolution

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    Acid Dolls' Urban Ballerina dress ($72) is paired with a floral-accented belt ($36) worn as a headband.
    Acid Dolls' Graffiti Zoo dress ($72) is worn with leggings ($30), Betsey shoes ($140), and Lady Bloom for Acid Dolls earrings ($30 and $36) on Erica Miguel.

Fashion icons are defined by an unwavering vision and instantly recognizable style. The rest of us aren’t made that way, flitting from season to season, picking and choosing from trends and pieces that catch our eye and best reflect our moods, attitudes and predilections in the moment.

It’s one of the reasons Acid Dolls creator and designer Cindy King is presenting three segments during her "Urban Revolution" fashion show Sept. 4 at the Royal Hawaiian Center. The unveiling of her Fall/Winter 2010 Collection will be divided into "Urban Ballerina," "Wild Hard West" and "Graffiti Zoo," each reflecting different facets of womanhood.


Acid Dolls fashion show

» Place: Royal Hawaiian Center fourth-floor terrace, Building A

» Time: 7 p.m. red carpet VIP party, 8 p.m. seating, 8:30 p.m. fashion show, Sept. 4

» Tickets: $20 for standing; $45 VIP

» Call: 387-9682

"I think they’re all me," King said. "I don’t have a set style. I like to change it up every day."

The Sept. 4 event will start with a red carpet VIP cocktail party, with food from neighbors Doraku Sushi, Senor Frog’s and Panda Express, followed by the show at 8:30 p.m. All guests will receive a $10 Acid Dolls gift certificate and a chance to win prizes from eight participating merchants.

On the surface, the collections range from the pretty and romantic to the dark and strong. "Urban Ballerina," geared toward the girly girl, comprises soft pinks and light grays, with floral embellishments and lace-up details. "Wild Hard West," conceived as an evening collection, features shimmery coppers paired with faux leather for those who like to have fun with their wardrobe. "Graffiti Zoo" addresses the punk spirit with urban, graphic prints and bold colors.

In the bigger picture, the show traces the evolution of women’s status in society, from being tamped down in corseted, ladylike garments, to finding freedom in the West, to being liberated free spirits today.

In keeping with that message, a portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Women Speaking Out, a nonprofit group that helps women speak out against dating violence.

Since opening her boutique in January at the Royal Hawaiian Center, King finds her attitude toward design changing to accommodate customers’ tastes.

"Because I work in the store, I see what people are buying. As a designer, I can think of the greatest thing in my head, but if I make it and it’s in the store and not selling, it’s a waste of time.

"I’m continually editing, figuring out what’s selling and what’s not. If it’s not, I take the design and try to do something else to it, then put it back and see if it sells.

"I have the space to do it here. I can do things like add straps or make things strapless if people ask because I want them to be happy about what they purchase."

The store also allows her to test her designs before going into full production, and she urges her interns, typically fashion design students from the University of Hawaii system, to do the same.

Each segment of her fashion show will end with a couture gown inspired by the collection, working backward from the way it’s usually done. More typically, dramatic one-of-a-kind looks serve as inspiration for a pared down, more wearable and retail-friendly collection.

"I’m constantly trying to do new things," said King, who will make the couture gowns to order. "I like how people feel about it, that it’s special and made just for them."


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