Page 4 - MidWeek Kauai - May 5, 2021
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          The work of fashion show extraordinaire Lynne O’Neill is causing ripples of excitement among her UH Mānoa students, who are ready to unveil their virtual showcase.
 Don’t be fooled by her small stature: Lynne O’ Neill packs a lot of
For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen this past year.
   presence in a tiny package. You’ll see it come through as she commands the at-
However, the doyenne of the run- way didn’t let the pandemic stop her from making a connection to her be- loved home-away-from-home and impart her wisdom on the next gener- ation of fashion industry profession- als. She, along with fellow fashion show producer Amanda Stevens, are co-teaching University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s FDM 430 Fashion Show Production class.
tention of a roomful of industry professionals at one of the many fashion shows or events she’s pro- duced over the years. Her ability to guide these pro- ductions is so leg- endary — she’s been doing it for decades — that she’s been im- mortalized in pop culture. (Margaret Cho famously portrayed a character in- spired by her in Sex and the City’s classic episode, “The Real Me.”) She’s even earned the nick-
“This is the first time that I’m teach- ing a class at UH Mānoa,” O’Neill says. “I’ve always wanted to teach a fashion show production class and I finally had the opportunity because the pandemic necessitated virtual classes.”
     name “The Model Whisperer.” Reputation in the fashion world aside, O’ Neill is nothing but warm and genuine when you meet her. And, as synonymous as she may be with fashion shows, another constant in her life is her love for
A veteran of 30-plus years’ worth of New York Fashion Weeks and count- less other productions — highlights include Dolce & Gabbana’s fashion show for its Soho store opening and DVD launches for The Rolling Stones and Usher for Best Buy, as well as con- sulting on Sex and the City, Sex and the City: The Movie, Gossip Girl and Bravo’s The Fashion Show — there’s no doubt she has a lot of knowledge to impart.
  the islands.
Born in Hawai‘i and raised in
“I didn’t want it to be a tradition- al classroom experience, but rather
California, O’Neill would return to the islands often in her child- hood — she even has “working
 at Dole Cannery” cred, and is a former employee of King’s Bakery as well. That siren call of the Aloha State has beck- oned throughout her life, and she usually returns annually.
(From top) University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s FDM 430 Fashion Show Production class co-teacher Amanda Stevens Zooms in for class with students Jada Rogers, Lauren Bloom, Marissa Nash, co- teacher Lynne O’Neill, Melanie Simmons, Mikayla Thomas, Peyton Carlin and Summer Kishi. COURTESY PHOTOS

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