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Catching a break at Malaekahana, on O‘ahu's windward coast.
Vol. 11, No. 3
June/July 2008

  >>   The Giving Tree
  >>   Green Chic
  >>   Town & Country

Green Chic (Page 4)

A funny thing happened on the way to the Life Aquatic: Katrina Bodnyk discovered that she didn’t want to be a marine biologist after all. “I felt like a bottle shaken up, about to explode—I had all this creativity inside and no outlet,” she recalls, explaining her decision, upon arriving from Indiana in 2001, to change her UH major from science to fashion. After graduating, Bodnyk found the perfect outlet for the fizz: vibrant, witty, one-off dresses pieced together from a polychromatic palette of thrift-shop scarves. “I love finding all this cool vintage fabric,” she says. “It’s flowy and feminine, and every scarf tells a story.” One of those Scheherazade-ish scarf dresses won the Resort Wear category in 2007’s FACE of Nu‘uanu competition, and every time the designer steps out in her effervescent assemblages, strangers beg to buy them on the spot.

Bodnyk, who made her first dresses in 2005, relishes the quest for reusable treasures and extols the ecological aspects of post-consumer resourcing. Her next eco-creative step will be to open an all-vintage store in Chinatown, called HI State of Mind. “It’ll be about reusing old things and making them new again,” Bodnyk enthuses. “I’ll have scarf dresses and T-shirts made from old ones cut up and reinvented, and I’ll decorate with old fixtures to create an Alice-in-Wonderland feel.” Not surprisingly, in HI State of Mind’s logo, the “o” in “of” is the circular, three-arrow symbol that means “recycle.”