Hawai‘i Designer and “Project Runway All Stars” Alum Kini Zamora Recreated Queen Kapi‘olani’s Coronation Gown

Fit for a queen.
kini zamora iolani palace
Photo: David Croxford


Kini Zamora embraced a historic fashion challenge: recreating Queen Kapi‘olani’s coronation gown that’s on display in ‘Iolani Palace’s throne room in time for the anniversary of the Feb. 12, 1883 royal event. Zamora’s reproduction bodice, skirt and regal robe took a year to create and feature intricate gold fern embroidery fashioned to mimic the original. It was painstakingly sewn together on O‘ahu using techniques of the time (no zippers allowed!). As a Native Hawaiian designer, Zamora says he was proud to conjure a piece of the ali‘i legacy “and bring a picture to life.” The  $20,000 gown was funded through donations.


SEE ALSO: O‘ahu Museum Ideas: Return a Royal Relic to ‘Iolani Palace


Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman