HONOLULU (KHON2) — January has been proclaimed, once again, as Mu’umu’u Month to celebrate and preserve the legacy and the tradition of Hawai’i’s fashionable garment known as Mu’umu’u — something simple, yet something that has become beloved by women of Hawaii and across the world. 

On Saturday, Jan. 15, grab your most beautiful mu’umu’u and most handsome aloha attire to dress up in and head down to Queen Emma’s Summer Palace for an event called “Mu’u at the Museum.” 

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To find out more about this, KHON2 spoke with the event chair, Alexa Zen. 

KHON2 asked: Tell us about this event and what can people expect when they purchase their tickets to come down.

“The Daughters of Hawai’i, we wanted to host an event in commemoration of Queen Emma’s birthday. Her birthday was on Jan. 2, and we celebrated her 186th birthday. So, we are hosting Mu’u at the Museum,” said Zen.

“We invited some legendary designers to be at the museum and display some very unique mu’umu’u that they own. A lot just came out of the archives, so they have never been seen before or haven’t been seen in decades. We also will have live music by La’amea Music, we are going to have individually wrapped pūpū sampler for folks. It will be a really nice event and we’re encouraging everyone to dress in their finest to compete in a friendly contest or competition for three categories: most elegant, best dressed in vintage and best dressed in Avant-Garde.”

Alexa Zen, event chair for “Mu’u at the Museum”

KHON2 then said to Zen: All of this is actually complimenting this Mu’umu’u-vement which has been seen more prominent now, but how did all of this even start? How did this begin?

“A woman named Shannon Hiramoto on Kaua’i, she is a designer, and she started this movement,” said Zen.

“I know that she loves the mu’umu’u, I know that she loves this garment, but she is also about sustainable clothing and promoting that lifestyle,” explained Zen. “So, she was really encouraging everyone in the month of January to wear a mu’umu’u every single day of the month.”

He added that “It started eight years ago and it’s taken on a life of its own and they’re so many people who really enjoy having a reason to dress up in these lovely garments. So that’s how she has helped influence our event.”

Additionally, mu’umu’u cannot be mentioned without Aunty Puamana Crabbe.

Crabbe is the owner of Puamana Crabbe Designs. She will be featured at “Mu’u at the Museum,” but when we are talking about mu’u fashion, she has a big role to play in that today. 

KHON2 asked Crabbe: What, for you as a fashion designer and mu’u designer, is so important about this simple garment known as mu’umu’u?

“I think it’s always the legacy of the people that have come before us, who have made mu’u what it is now, especially our ali’i, like Queen Emma, being inspired by European gowns and eventually the Hawaiian ladies created their own mu’umu’u or holomu’u, and then it became holokū. So the mu’umu’u have evolved and is ever changing, but always leaving a traditional, the mark, in the history of design.”

Aunty Puamana Crabbe, Puamana Crabbe Designs owner

KHON2 thanked the ladies for their time. 

Now again, this event is called “Mu’u at the Museum.” 

It is really cool to be able to dress yourself up, look good and have a good time.

One thing, you have to purchase your tickets ahead of time. 

Click here to purchase your tickets and for more information.

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Coming down and buying at the door will not be available for the 2022 event.