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Fashion graduate excited to show at Emerging Designer Awards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This is the story of a girl who just wanted pink hair. Or, to be precise, this is a story about the woman behind the story of a girl who just wanted pink hair.

Otago Polytechnic Fashion Design Honours student Rosette Hailes-Paku is a finalist in the iD International Emerging Designer Awards, to be held at the Regent Theatre, Dunedin, on Friday and Saturday, 15-16 March.

Rosette and Otago Polytechnic Fashion graduate Phoebe Lee are among more than 30 talented designers who will show their collections at the awards, being held as part of iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

And the title of Rosette’s collection?

"It’s called ‘The story of a girl who just wanted pink hair’ and is inspired by formative experiences in my life."

Rosette, who graduated with a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at the end of 2018 and has returned to Otago Polytechnic this year to complete Honours, still can’t quite believe her collection will be showcased on such a scale.

"For the last two years I have helped dress models for the show as well as helping at fittings and was involved in organising a pop-up shop on George St during iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

"I get so inspired after seeing everyone’s collections and I can’t believe I am now one of the designers showing my collection in the show. I think the experience of having been backstage at a couple of the shows will help me settle my nerves a bit, but I’m still nervous about judging day!

"After working on a collection for so long, it’s really awesome to have the opportunity to have my work shown on stage among a group of other young talented designers from all over the world."

"My initial inspiration came from my experience attending Catholic school throughout primary and high school. I felt like I was in a place I didn’t belong or fit in.

"I started by taking aspects associated with my school uniform. This included a tartan design. I worked with Otago Knitwear to get my pattern knitted into a merino knit that is used throughout the collection.

"I also wanted to include elements of a straitjacket to symbolise the restrictive aspects of a school uniform. I used boning in the pants and kilt) so they would appear restrictive around the waist, as well as straps and tabs with eyelets so they could be pulled even tighter - in contrast with free-flowing pants and large knife-pleats representing a sense of freedom.

"My colour palette was inspired by the contrast between the sense of rebellion I felt while still being young and innocent and I thought pink and black would represent this best," Rosette explains.

"My goal is to shed light on things that are pushed to the side, things that people don't want to talk about, things that may offend, and things that go against popular opinion."

Supported by Otago Polytechnic, the iD International Emerging Designer Awards is Australasia’s only international young designer competition.

Each emerging designer will show five garments, which will be assessed by a panel of New Zealand fashion designers: Tanya Carlson, Benny Castles (WORLD), Margi Robertson (NOM-d) and Kate Sylvester, as well as VIVA editor Amanda Linnell.

The iD International Emerging Designers will show at both nights of the iD Dunedin Fashion Show. Winners of the iD International Emerging Designer Awards will be announced during the Friday show and all the finalists’ collections and the winners’ announcement will be repeated on Saturday.

Shane Gilchrist

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