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Agnes Terao-Guiala
Agnes Terao-Guiala
book cover
Cover of Hawaiian Women’s Fashion: Kapa, Cotton and Silk
woman in dress
Page from Terao-Guiala’s book

Hawaiian Women’s Fashions: Kapa, Cotton and Silk, a book by an alumna of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), shares the beauty of Hawaiʻi with the world.

Written by Agnes Terao-Guiala, the book takes readers back in time to the roots of traditional kapa paʻu (wrap-around garments made from fabric of pounded tree fibers), the muʻumuʻu and the aloha shirt that we all know and love. The book features current designs of Hawaiiana fashion that have been seen on runways in Milan, Paris, London and New York, and historic photos of nearly 200 authentic garments.

In addition to her home economics major, now known as the Family and Consumer Sciences department at CTAHR, and connections to CTAHR’s Fashion Design and Merchandising program, Terao-Guiala was inspired to publish the book after seeing a lack of information on the topic of Hawaiian women’s fashion. What really motivated her, however, was an article about Richard Goodwin, one of the main designers for Alfred Shaheen, who died before creating a book about Hawaiian women’s fashion with links to the history of Hawaiʻi.

“The article inspired me to start researching Hawaiian women’s fashion and the Hawaiian women who were the fashion leaders in the islands,” Terao-Guiala said.

Her book is available for purchase online and at the Bailey House gift shop, where 10% of sales are donated to the Wailuku Museum.

Read more about Terao-Guiala at the CTAHR website.

—By Marissa Nash, FDM undergraduate and CTAHR Student Ambassador

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