Blonde Highlights

Rick Hamada
By Roz Makaula
Friday - May 12, 2006

“WHEN IN your life have you felt most beautiful?” That’s the question former Miss USA and Miss Universe Brook Lee was asked in the brand new book, Universal Beauty. Her witty response was, “Still working on that.” The hardcover is a collection of new photos and highlights of all the former Miss Universe title holders. (Border’s says it has six copies in transit).

Sandy Stenen, Alan Zukerkorn and Michelle Van Veenendaal at Michelle’s disco birthday party at Sarentos
Sandy Stenen, Alan Zukerkorn
and Michelle Van Veenendaal at
Michelle’s disco birthday party
at Sarentos

At a reception in New York City, hosted by Apprentice boss Donald Trump, the “worldly beauties” of the past eagerly awaited the unveiling of the new book. Of the 54 stunning queens dating back to 1952, only four would be chosen to grace the front and back covers (no runner-ups). Well, guess which Pearl City girl was one of the four? At the event, Lee wore a stunning red silk frock designed by Nick Verreos. He’s the fan favorite designer who won the Barbie doll challenge on Bravo’s Project Runway, before getting Heidi Klum’s version of “You’re fired!” (Auf Wiedersehen!) Wendy Fitzwilliam, the woman from Trinidad and Tobago who won her Miss Universe title at the Stan Sheriff Center at UH-Manoa, was also in attendance. She sported a gorgeous figure, fit for two, and may give birth on Mother’s Day. Singer Marc Anthony‘s first wife (yes, he married a Miss Universe before J.Lo), Dayanara Torres, was a “no show.” ...

While in New York, Lee caught up with an old friend, former Miss Hawaii Melissa Short, who took her and stylist Paul Tamaoka of Bottega Antoine to the famous (mortals cannot get a reservation here) Nobu restaurant. Sitting four tables away was singing super-star Lionel Richie. For those of you who were born after 1980, he’s Nicole Richie‘s pop star father. ...

Chris “Krispy” Hastings and Dean Cain
Chris “Krispy” Hastings and Dean Cain

You could have heard Mr. Richie’s music if you attended Michelle Van Veenendaal‘s sassy birthday party at Sarento’s. Her husband rented out the entire Ilikai Hotel restaurant (elevator included) until 2 a.m. for her private soiree. The ‘80sthemed music was reminiscent of the “Power Station” days at the famous Hawaii Five-O spot. Star of an Oceanic Cable commercial Lance Rae was “camera happy,” snapping away at friends wearing the disco drab of angel’s flight pants, polyester suits and platform shoes. Celebrity personal trainer Sandy Stenen debuted her Farah Fawcett do (love your blond girl), complete with Charlie’s Angels headband and the ever-popular “Nancy Sinatra boots” (or “Jessica Simpson boots” if you’re in the Nicole Richie generation). ... Speaking of walkin’, top trainer Kimo Kockelman had a little extra pep in his step. The Hawaii Kidney Foundation’s annual Run/Walk was on Saturday. The walk portion was a mile-long and Kockelman chose to do lunges on every step. That’s about 1,600 lunges total. For those of you who work out, you know three sets of 10 is the norm. According to my calculator, that’s 1,570 lunges more than are necessary for a tight derriere - ouch! ... But if Kockelman continued his trek, he would have lunged right into one of my favorite restaurants in Kaimuki. If you haven’t popped in to 12th Avenue Grill yet, do it soon. Just don’t go on Saturday, because that’s my favorite day and I want to be able to get a reservation. My personal favorite is the pork chop and apple sauce (nothing like the Peter Brady version).

It’s also a great place to scope the work of talented artists. Hanging on the walls now are the most incredible photographs of children you will ever see. Tracy Wright Corvo doesn’t just take a picture, she captures a moment. Visit her website,, and get a “look see” for yourself. ... X-ray vision isn’t needed to spot Hawaii’s Burberry stylist, Chris “Krispy” Hastings “hobnobbing” with former Lois and Clark star Dean Cain. Hastings says Cain caught him throwing a shaka at a Hollywood party, so he walked over, introduced himself and said he was hapa. ... In a recent issue of New York magazine, Pearl Harbor actor Josh Hartnett said the reason he turned down the role of the new Man of Steel was because he didn’t want to wear tights. It was good fortune for Brandon Routh, the actor who eventually landed the job. Last week, my friend Ray Suitor of Honolulu Coffee Company introduced me to Mara Santino. She’s the casting agent who works with Routh. Mara told me Routh looks great in tights. No - it’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, he really is Superman ...

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