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‘Nola’ grows, as emerging designer sets to graduate

By UCOL on Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A photograph of a Nola dress on the catwalk at New Zealand Fashion Week

Well on her way as an emerging designer, 2018 was a big year for Paige MacDonald, Ngāti Kahungungu, a UCOL Bachelor of Design and Arts - Whanganui student, who combined study, growing her own label ‘Nola’ and going to New Zealand Fashion Week.

“I’ve sewn since I was around 11 or 12 at Rutherford intermediate,” says Paige when asked what started her on a path towards fashion design.

“Once I finished school and decided to take my interest to the next level, UCOL was an easy choice, I had heard so many good things about the fashion programme before I began.”

“Last year at NZ Fashion Week I showed an 8 outfit collection for the Miromoda Maori Emerging Designer show. The collection was inspired by a painting of Virgin Mary in the Assumption, while also mingling my Scottish and Maori heritage as elements.”

“Going to NZ Fashion Week definitely had to be the most memorable part of last year, I entered the Miromoda competition for an assignment brief. Everything I needed to do in the lead up to the show was done outside of class. So it was huge for me.”

Lecturers – Fashion and Textiles, Stephanie West also acknowledges what an enormous opportunity this was for Paige, and the hard work she put in, in the lead up “Seeing students grow and learn as they progress through the degree is always rewarding, however, it’s a privilege to join them on such a special journey such as Paige’s. Paige came to us straight from school with a passion for creating and a clear direction, and by her third year she was inspired to enter Miromoda 2018 after seeing Gienipha Tutaki succeed and show at NZ Fashion Week the year before.

“Paige worked hard on designing a cohesive collection that she presented to the Miromoda judges, receiving high praise. As a finalist her 8 piece collection was seen on the runway at NZFW18, proudly representing Whanganui and UCOL. Throughout her degree Paige made the most of every opportunity and will go far within the industry with her infectious passion, determination and drive.”

“I was hoping to be able to showcase another collection for my end of year exhibition but hadn't been able to complete my last collection due to a family death. That collection I’ll finish one day soon - it’s a collection based on embroidery.”

Paige has managed to accomplish a lot while also working on completing her UCOL Bachelor’s degree, “I’m very proud of myself for making it to the final steps as a degree graduate because in the past 3 years I’ve had so many obstacles outside of study whilst working two jobs at a time and interning at Jenny’s dressmaking. I’m extremely proud of all the work I’ve put into my assignments and what I’ve produced as an emerging designer and a student. I’m very appreciative of all help and skills I’ve been given by my tutors.”

Now that she has finished her degree studies, Paige is working on focussing on her business and seeing where she can take it “Nola fashion design and alterations is a business focused on bridal, tailoring and women's wear. I’ll continue with repairs alterations and custom pieces for all ages and both men and women.  My biggest goal is to grow my business as a local or even national designer and keep building my skills. I definitely am going to keep entering competitions and getting my label "Nola" out there.” 

If you want to keep an eye on what Paige accomplishes next or to experience her line ‘Nola’, check her Facebook page.