“Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage” at Palm Springs Modernism Week

IMG_8149

As I mentioned before, there were several tiki related events at Palm Springs Modernism Week this year, including the lecture “Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage” presented by Sven Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern.

Tonga Hut Palm Springs sponsored the event, and as a bonus for the attendees they distributed free posters of the event flyer, which features Kim Novak posing with a Cook Islands fisherman’s god in a promotional photo for the film “Bell, Book & Candle.” (It’s actually one of several photos of the cast with tikis.)

IMG_8167

In order to make the Hilton ballroom look less corporate and a little more tiki, Sven brought along these two carved saloon doors that once adorned the Reef Bar (since closed) at Caliente Tropics (still open) in Palm Springs. They disappeared 20 years or so ago but were rediscovered recently and will be installed over at Tonga Hut Palm Springs.

IMG_8151

The talk touched on many tiki topics, including Sven’s initial surprise at finding that tiki’s influence in its heyday wasn’t just limited to bars and restaurants but also carried over to apartments, hotels, bowling alleys, etc. (particularly on the West Coast and “recreational states” like Florida and Arizona).

Sven also talked a bit about his upcoming “Tiki Pop” exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly this summer. For those of us who won’t be able to jet off to Paris, there will thankfully be a 400-page catalog (with 900 illustrations) published by Taschen that will be available for purchase.

Related Posts:
Reviews of Tiki Bars in Palm Springs
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Coverage
“The Book of Tiki” 10th Anniversary Art Exhibition

About these ads

(Walking in a) Tiki Wonderland at the Tonga Hut

IMG_6898
Maybe you’ve already started taking down the holiday decorations, but I just have to sneak one more festive post in. (I guess my new year’s resolution should be to be more timely with my blogging…)

IMG_6888

Last month, the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood hosted their annual Tiki Wonderland event with tiki vendors, art, tunes and tacos.

IMG_6903

Mr. Hockey was a good sport and accompanied me, and I think he’s glad he did because the art show introduced him to Krampus. He loves the idea of this scary beast that kidnaps the naughty children at Christmas.

IMG_6911

Tonga Hut had some new merchandise available at their booth, including a T-shirt collaboration ($20) with Vintage Roadside and signature rum barrel mugs produced by Tiki Farm in two glazes ($20).

IMG_6913

Meanwhile, Trader Pup’s Outpost had these neat tapa-style print stockings with shell necklace details ($16). I picked up the red and green ones to hang under my Bamboo Ben outrigger mug shelf in our tiki room.

IMG_6918

Polynesiac Jim makes awesome tiki ornaments (featured in last year’s Tiki Holiday Gift Guide). One of this year’s new designs was based on the “tiki babies” that come down from the Tangaroa tree at Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room. I also loved these Kon-Tiki pirate pendants!

IMG_6922

When Bahooka closed last year, they sold some of the decor during their final days but there was still a lot left. A tiki fan named Steve made a deal with the new owners to purchase all the remaining barrel lamps, plastic parrots and other things. He has a thread on Tiki Central where people can contact him about buying some of these Bahooka artifacts. I talked with him quite a bit and he seems like a real stand-up dude.

IMG_6896

I spent most of the time browsing the wares in the parking lot, but we did duck inside the bar so I could sample the Tonga Hut Rum Barrel ($12), a recent addition to the cocktail menu made with Montanya and Demerara rums, juices, homemade falernum and pimento dram. It was smooth and a little spicy and — as advertised — “everything a tiki drink should be.”

IMG_6900

Related Posts:
Tiki Wonderland 2010 at Tonga Hut
Saying Goodbye to Bahooka
Reviews of Tiki Bars in Los Angeles

Tiki Events at Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014

IMG_6904

The Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014 schedule includes architectural bus tours, films, lectures and even several tiki-related events. Here’s a heads-up so you don’t miss out!

Thursday – February 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Modern Mambo! Modernism Week After Dark Opening Night
$150
Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs

The kick-off party for Modernism Week will take place at the tiki-themed motel Caliente Tropics. It will be turned into a poolside “mid-century modern mambo club” with tropical cocktails, live entertainment and DJs spinning mambo music, naturally.

IMG_2539

Sunday – February 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Royal Hawaiian Estates Self-Guided Tour
$40
S. Palm Canyon Drive, at E. Twin Palms Drive, Palm Springs

We had a great time last year exploring the Royal Hawaiian Estates, a Polynesian-influenced condo development constructed in 1959 and 1960. The exterior features many unique elements designed by architects Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison, and several residents graciously open up their vintage-styled homes to the visitors on this self-guided tour. Thanks to the funds raised during last year’s Modernism week, the restoration of all 40 “tiki apexes” has been completed so the Royal Hawaiian Estates will be looking better than ever.

IMG_2645

Sunday – February 16, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Jet Set Style Fashion Show
$40
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel

“Tiki-style resort clothing” will take to the runway along with vintage evening wear and cocktail dresses from the 1950s and ‘60s at the Jet Set Style Fashion Show. (I’m guessing there’ll be some primo tapa print pieces like in the photo above from last year’s show.)

Tiki-modern

Monday – February 17, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage
$18
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel

Of course, the event I’m looking forward to the most is “Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage.” Sven Kirsten, the author of “The Book of Tiki” and “Tiki Modern” will present a lecture on how “primitive” Oceanic and African art influenced 20th-century avant-garde art and modernist design.

Waikiki-skyliner

Friday – February 21, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Mid-Century in Honolulu – Aloha From a Mid-Century Paradise on The Verge of Change
$12
Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs has in recent years made a considerable effort to preserve its mid-century modern history, but Honolulu seems more likely to bring out the bulldozers. Modernism designer Brad Dunning will give a presentation of photos highlighting iconic buildings and endangered architectural gems. (This is a particularly timely topic with the imminent demolition of the International Market Place in Honolulu, which was founded by Don the Beachcomber in 1956.)

IMG_7144

Saturday, February 22–Sunday, February 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vintage Travel Trailer Show
Adults $15, Students $10, Children 12 & under Free
Hilton Hotel, Parking Lot

Restoring a travel trailer is a labor of love and the people that do it often put their own personal stamp on the finished product. At the Vintage Travel Trailer Show, you stand a decent chance of something tiki among the retro furnishings.

Check out the Modernism Week web site for more information and to buy tickets for these events and more.

And if all those things weren’t enough of a draw, the new Tonga Hut Palm Springs will be open by then!

Related Posts:
Tiki Guide to Palm Springs
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Events