Dale Hope with Greg Tozian
would have thought that an article of clothing first developed
as a tourist attraction in the 1930s would not only achieve cult
status nearly 70 years later, but also merit its own coffee table
Aloha Shirt: Spirit of the Islands, from Beyond Words Publishing,
is a stunning hardcover tome devoted entirely to the history and
art of Hawaiian and Japanese print shirts. Author Dale Hope, owner
of several Hawaiian shirt manufacturers, covers in words and more
than 700 images the rich history of a garment alternately considered
an icon of retro culture and the epitome of kitsch. The first
Hawaiian shirts hit the market shortly after the Great Depression
and surged in popularity with American servicemen during WWII.
Today, they are coveted by both fashionistas and vintage clothing
collectors, who scour thrift stores, auction houses, and eBay
for the real deal. This work is a must for anyone with an appreciation
for design, fashion, or a good piña colada.