story by Pat Davis
Roberta Power was a photographer and collage artist long before she took up clothing design, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that she falls back on familiar language when asked to describe her line of custom-made fashions.‘"I do lots of cutting and pasting," says the twenty-six-year-old Missouri native, whose home- grown Oaks Hawaii label has lately become a hot property among Honolulu’s hip, late-night set. "I really like to put together contrasting colors and fabrics to make something different—a lot of my clothes could be called collage, but that’s how I see the world anyway."
photo by Kim Kinard
Like any good collage artist, Power uses a lot of recycled materials—particularly boxy vintage dress slips, which she hand dyes, reshapes and flat out remakes into everything from slinky, form-fitting dresses to more casual tops and skirts.
Power sells her clothing at the occasional craft fair, by private appointment or via the Internet (at www.oakshawaii.com). And because she has relatively little overhead—have sewing machine, will travel—the prices for these handmade, one-of-a-kind designs are remarkably low, ranging anywhere from $20 to $80.