My friend Oran Scott of San Francisco’s Relic Vintage sent me a fun text message recently. He’d come across a sweet little vintage outfit, a Mandarin-style top in orange with matching capris, printed with tropical drinks. It was my size, and did I want it? He attached a photo, and my response was swift: YES.
The outfit is darling no matter what, but when he sent me some detail shots, that’s when my heart skipped a beat. Do you see what I see?
These aren’t any old tropical drinks. These tropical drinks were served at exactly one place on the planet: Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. Not only that, these illustrations are exactly the ones used on the menu:
And here are the unique serving vessels from the Hawaiian Village as seen in the print and on the menu:
This was almost certainly worn by a female staff member at Hilton Hawaiian Village. This same print, with different colors, has shown up as shirts and dresses (Oran’s girlfriend Teresa has a sarong-style dress in black). The Hawaiian Village opened in 1955, and I would guess this outfit is from the ’60s. The Hawaiian Village was originally built by Henry Kaiser, Hilton took it over in 1961. In 1957, a large geodesic dome was built on the property, and landmark Exotica albums were recorded there, including Arthur Lyman’s Taboo. Martin Denny used to play in the Shell Bar. The historic hotel still attracts tourists today.
Man, I love this stuff!
You can learn more at the Critiki listing for Hilton Hawaiian Village. But first, here are more photos of this sweet little number: