A natural, calming sea breeze under a balmy night’s sky, the vibrant bloom of leis adding more than a touch of colour among the throng of relaxed guests, the aroma of mouth-watering delicacies wafting from one nose to another; such was the inviting atmosphere that pervaded the celebration of the 241st Independence Day of the United States. Hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Brunei Darussalam and its Ambassador Craig Allen, the event unfolded at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall at the Empire Hotel and Country Club on the 21st of August 2017.

In his opening speech, Ambassador Allen touched on the reasons for the chosen theme for this year’s celebration, “Hawaii – The Spirit of Aloha”. While most people are only familiar with the term for its dual function as a salutation or a goodbye, “aloha” actually means “the breath of life”. Far from serving just as a greeting, guests attending the celebration also learned that “aloha” signifies a harmonious way of life which centers on circulating positive vibes all around and spreading compassion for one another. Looking around the venue and seeing happy faces everywhere, it is easy to understand why the theme is so fitting.

After the official presenting of a Leiomano to the Guest of Honor, the Honorable Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office and his spouse, the guests were invited to partake in a Hawaiian-inspired feast lining the banquet hall. Mac and Cheese (but of course!), juicy cubed-chicken and grilled vegetable skewers, breaded shrimp with a side of guava barbecue sauce, and pineapple upside-down cake were just among a few of the culinary highlights for the night.

Fed, watered and surrounded by great company, the colourful crowd made their way around the hall as Brunei-based band Hawai’i Fever crooned soothing tunes in the background making the atmosphere perfect for mingling to. Unable to resist snapping a few OOTDs on-the-go, here are some quick style snaps of the fashionable crowd which stood out in the cheerful sea of fluorescent Aloha button-ups.

Photo: Muslyfe

Florals abound with classy head to toe prints as these beautiful women add their own unique touch of brightness to the room.

Photo: Muslyfe

Pineapples and palm leaves; Talk about a match made in Hawaii!

Photo: Muslyfe

Bringing it from street casual in the day to smart casual at night, this flora enthusiast doesn’t hold back when it comes to expressing her love for the land of surf, sea and sand in her ensemble.

Photo: Muslyfe

There’s nothing like some true blue shades to bring to mind the serene nature of Hawaii and all it has to offer. Throw in some fresh blooms and radiant smiles all around and these ladies prove that you’re good to go!

Photo: Muslyfe

Covering all ends of the spectrum, these gentlemen prove that when it comes to “hanging loose”, formal, casual and everything else in between works equally as well when paired with dazzling smiles and a good time.

As the night came to a close and lines for the popular photo booth finally came to a crawl, the atmosphere was one of cheery fulfillment as guests left the venue still riding on a wave of good vibes brought about by delicious food, exquisite music and jovial company.

Happy Independence Day, U.S.A.!