Paige MacDonald presented at New Zealand Fashion Week while studying at UCOL Whanganui and is now running her own business.
Paige (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Ngāti Raukawa) got her first taste of sewing and working with fabrics while at intermediate. This grew into a passion for designing clothing and eventually led to her enrolling in UCOL's Bachelor of Design and Arts majoring in Textiles/Fashion Design.
The programme introduced Paige to a range of new techniques and helped her to see her ideas from a new perspective.
In the third year of her degree, Paige was selected for New Zealand Fashion Week's Miromoda Showcase, which includes work by established and emerging Māori designers.
Paige's New Zealand Fashion Week collection was inspired by an image of the Assumption of Mary, and was made up of drapey, oversized clothing with modern cuts, silhouettes, and fabrics.
Paige says New Zealand Fashion Week was a great opportunity for her to gain insight into the industry
"It was great seeing what kind of work goes in behind the scenes of shows that size, from the designers to the production teams."
"It was cool to get advice from other designers and companies about the kind of styles to keep pushing. I built contacts with people in the media and other designers who would like to collaborate."
Having graduated in 2019, Paige now runs her own clothing design and alteration business, Nola Fashion By Paige. Her main interest is designing wedding attire, but she also undertakes alterations and designs children's clothing and custom pieces for her growing clientele.
2020 is shaping up to be a busy year for Paige. She already has four weddings she is designing bridal gowns for, as well as outfits for children in the wedding parties. On top of that, Paige is looking to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of fashion designers by studying to become a secondary school teacher at Bethlehem Tertiary Institute.
"I've always wanted to teach, so I'm studying to become textiles and design teacher alongside building my business."