Japanalia PotLuck Closes the Door

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japanaYou couldn’t tell if it was a goodbye party or a fashion show at Hartford’s landmark Japanalia Eiko on Whitney Street in Hartford Sunday night.

The landmark store, known nationwide for its creative and upscale silk and beyond separates and dress wear, has officially closed but not before its founders and business partners, and former married couple Dan Blow and Eiko Sakai, threw a party for its family of clients.

“You have to know when it’s time to go,” said Blow, who with his partner Larry, will be moving to Eleuthera, Bahamas.  “My sewing machine has already been shipped there and I plan to do some sewing, just something simpler.”

The talented couple began together 40 years ago, Blow said. Sakai will continue with her own business in Glastonbury.

“We dressed a lot of great people,” said Blow whose designs could always easily be spotted in a crowded room. “Kathleen Turner, Peggy Lee, Kate Hepburn and Holland Taylor wore our clothes,” Blow said as he readied appetizers and wine for expected guests.

But if you missed the potluck soiree, there is another chance to say goodbye. Blow was also well-known for the jazz series he coordinated in Hartford and on September 13, there will be a goodbye program featuring good jazz and well-known performers, Blow said, to celebrate Japanalia’s years of providing music and theater to the area.

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