Gorgeous Mu‘umu‘u Worn at Mu‘u at the Museum 2023

Decked out in stunning new and vintage mu‘u and holokū from iconic Hawai‘i designers, guests celebrated Mu‘umu‘u Month at Queen Emma Summer Palace.


January has been abuzz with talk of Mu‘umu‘u Month. If you’re not familiar with the concept, let me give you a little her-story: A few years back, in 2014, a tiny mu‘umu‘u movement began with one Kaua‘i woman—artist-designer Shannon Hiramoto, who decided to celebrate the beloved, uniquely Hawai‘i dress style by rocking a different mu‘u every day that January. She posted her looks on Instagram with the hashtag #muumuumonth, inspiring countless others to follow suit.





Since then, Mu‘umu‘u Month festivities have popped up on several islands. And this past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend Honolulu’s biggest event—Mu‘u at the Museum at the Queen Emma Summer Palace.


Hosted by the nonprofit Daughters of Hawai‘i, who preserve the palace and run its operations, the evening also honored Queen Emma’s 187th birthday. The night featured a 50th anniversary fashion show by legendary local label Nake‘u Awai Designs. It also included a best-dressed contest, live Hawaiian music by the Casey Olsen Trio and the Hawai‘i Youth Opera Chorus, and a shopping market with lei po‘o, feather lei, jewelry, accessories and fashions from Hawai‘i makers.


Honolulu Magazine — Mu?umu?u At The Museum - a group of women and men wearing designer Nake’u Awai's attire pose outside the museum

Designer Nake‘u Awai and models / Photo: Sean Marrs Photography



It was such a joyful experience. Not only was the fashion a feast for the eyes—there were beautiful patterns and rainbows of color everywhere I turned, and styles from so many different decades to pore over—it was an instant conversation starter.


Women spanning multiple generations connected over sleeve details and ruffled trims, their faces lighting up when recalling the family member their mu‘umu‘u once belonged to, a once favorite label that’s no longer around or the special collection their mu‘u was a part of.


Honolulu Magazine — Mu?umu?u At The Museum - attended sit in front of the museum listening to performers on the steps of the museum

Hawai‘i Youth Opera Chorus / Photo: Sean Marrs Photography



The best part is that Mu‘umu‘u Month has just started. I can’t wait to see the other treasures that get pulled out of people’s closets. And I can’t wait to start shopping for next year.


For more info on the Queen Emma Summer Palace and the Daughters of Hawai‘i, visit daughtersofhawaii.org, @daughtersofhawaii


Honolulu Magazine - Muumuu At The Museum - women in muumuu shop a rack of colorful Hawaii dresses during muumuu month

Mu‘u at the Museum mākeke / Photo: Sean Marrs Photography



SEE ALSO: Mu‘umu‘u Month! It’s a Thing Now