Crazy about shirts

by Laura Martínez

But not just any shirt: Only Hawaiian and Western shirts make up the collection of more than 400 pieces owned by Diego Calvo. His obsession with American style started around the year  2002 and is now part of his identity. You’ll be able to view 10 pieces hand-selected by him, at Adda Gallery  Ibiza (Paradiso Art Hotel) from the 8th of June.

Unbeknownst to Ellery Chun craftsman and creator of the Hawaiian shirt – of the absolute object of desire he’d dreamed up. Attributing its invention to a sole person is complicated, as in the 1930s, multiple factors were at play to bring this garment into existence.

This man of Chinese origin owned a small shop in Waikiki (Hawaii) and one day (probably out of boredom) decided to sew together fabric pieces from old kimonos together and sell them as souvenirs for tourists. And voilá, it resulted in the first Hawaiian shirt prototype, which continued to evolve until the result – with its numerous variations – that we know today.

We recall various stills of Hawaiian shirts in movies, as the main show stealers, that remain forever in our cinematographic memory: Leo DiCaprio in ‘Romeo & Juliet’, our beloved Brad Pitt in ‘Once upon a time in Hollywood, Al Pacino in ‘Scarface’ or the unforgettable shirt worn by Tom Selleck in ‘Magnum’ -which you will be able to view first hand, courtesy of Diego Calvo- Without a doubt, it’s one of those timeless classics, considered by many as a true relic, with a considerable amount of worldwide enthusiasts who collect this fashion item. 

Far from becoming a thing of the past, the Hawaiian shirt never left and never will, it will always be a statement piece of the warmer seasons and an absolute icon in fashion, as we see it interpreted by multiple fashion brands like Dolce & Gabbana or  Acne Studios.

The exhibit is a kickstarter to a series of installations at Adda Gallery Ibiza from the 8th of June, with SURF VIBES,  a strong art collection that merges surf culture with the art world, two elements that have always gone hand in hand. The sea, waves, music, sun, beach… Are the inspiration behind the interpretations that the selected artists gave to these art pieces. Using surfboards as their canvases, and world-known POSCA markers as the main tool to create their artwork.

*The Hawaiian shirts and their stories, brought to you by Diego Calvo can be viewed in Adda Gallery Ibiza from the 8th of June.

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