Award-winning designer to re-create pieces worn by King Kalakaua, Queen Kapiolani, and Princess Kaiulani

HONOLULU (Jan. 8, 2019) – Hawaiian royal fashion will be front and center once again at Iolani Palace as Kini Zamora takes a turn at re-creating garments worn by the Hawaiian monarchy, including King Kalakaua’s uniforms and Queen Kapiolani’s coronation gown. The pieces will join the reproduction gowns currently on display in the Palace, which were designed by Hawaii Island-based historic dress designer Iris Viacrusis.

“Many of our alii were fashion forward, matching their efforts to remake the Hawaiian Kingdom into a modern nation-state,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of The Friends of Iolani Palace. “With these additional pieces, our guests will further see the multifaceted lives of Hawaiian royalty.”

Zamora will be creating five garments over the next two years, including two dresses of Queen Kapiolani, King Kalakaua’s Hawaiian Kingdom military uniform and masonic uniform, and a child’s dress worn by Princess Kaiulani.

“It’s extremely humbling to have been chosen to re-create these pieces of our history. The entire process, from research to sketching to piecing the garments together, filled me with a deeper appreciation of the workmanship of the time, as well as made me feel more connected to my Native Hawaiian heritage,” said Zamora. “While our alii had sophisticated tastes and embraced the European formal fashion of the day, their wardrobes also included everyday pieces that were relatable to their people.”

The first gown to be designed by Zamora is the gown Queen Kapiolani wore on February 12, 1883 for her coronation alongside her husband, King Kalakaua. The original custom-made gown was designed by an instructor at Punahou School and constructed in Paris. While Zamora is using modern techniques to replicate practices lost to time, such as intricate and complicated gold embroidery, he is constructing the gown following Victorian design.

Queen Kapiolani’s coronation gown is scheduled to be completed and on display in Iolani Palace on February 12, 2019, to coincide with the 136th anniversary of the 1883 Coronation.

About Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is the only official residence of royalty in the United States. King Kalakaua was the first reigning monarch to travel around the world and built Iolani Palace in 1882 to enhance the prestige of Hawaii overseas and to mark Hawaii’s status as a modern nation. For more information, please call Iolani Palace at (808) 522-0822 or visit