Leaving their prints on fashion

Designers Jessie Hamilton (left) and Rosette Hailes-Paku will debut their collection at next week’s New Zealand Fashion Week’s Graduate Runway Show in Auckland. Photos: Supplied
Designers Jessie Hamilton (left) and Rosette Hailes-Paku will debut their collection at next week’s New Zealand Fashion Week’s Graduate Runway Show in Auckland. Photos: Supplied

Brittany Pooley talks to Rosette Hailes-Paku and Jessie Hamilton, the women behind Dunedin label ‘‘Busy Going Crazy’’, in the lead-up to their New Zealand Fashion Week debut.

Brittany Pooley
Brittany Pooley
Auckland will get an insider's perspective into Dunedin's youth culture as portrayed in a new fashion collection which is to feature on the catwalk at New Zealand's premiere fashion showcase.

Otago Polytechnic fashion graduates Rosette Hailes-Paku and Jessie Hamilton have been selected to show at this year's New Zealand Fashion Week.

The designers will debut their emerging fashion label Busy Going Crazy at NZFW's Graduate Show, an annual runway presentation featuring a selection of top fashion graduates from across the country.

''It is a huge opportunity to present our creative vision and, in all honesty, it is as nerve-racking as it is exciting,'' Hamilton says.

''It is a huge honour to be selected and a major highlight of our careers.''

Four Otago Polytechnic graduates will present alongside participants from NZ Fashion Tech and Massey University on NZFW's main runway in Auckland later this month.

Hailes-Paku and Hamilton met in their first year of study at a Wellington university. They later transferred to Otago Polytechnic's School of Design to complete their bachelor of design degrees. Hailes-Paku majored in fashion design and Hamilton in communication design.

Last year, the two joined forces to establish their fashion label ''Busy Going Crazy''.

''Busy Going Crazy is a local fashion brand that values and nurtures individual identity and freedom of expression. Inspired by our own experiences within the creative circles of Dunedin, ''Busy Going Crazy'' subverts tradition, authority and conformity to inspire individuality, rebellion and divergence,'' they say.

The label is an ongoing exploration of how subcultures and aesthetics can amalgamate to become a successful contemporary brand.

With plenty of plaid and pins, the label's debut collection will offer an insider's perspective into Dunedin's youth culture, portrayed through contemporary prints and strong punk references.

The collaborative practices of Hailes-Paku and Hamilton replicate those of many successful labels in the New Zealand fashion industry who are quick to credit co-operative practices for their rise and longevity.

Screen printing was the interdisciplinary crossroads for the two designers. While Hailes-Paku could execute the prints, Hamilton designed them in a way that best reflected their label.

''Rosette was actually the person who taught me how to screen print. Before this I had no idea about the process. I am now an expert in this area and all my designs are print based,'' Hamilton says.

''We are not only design partners but business partners. Our collaboration process is very natural and since we are such good friends it works so well.''

The duo first realised the label's potential when they produced a small run of screen-printed T-shirts and hoodies as part of a pop-up shop that ran during Dunedin's iD Fashion Week.

''After selling out the limited run available at the event we began taking a small number of customer orders and participating in local pop-up shop opportunities, such as GUILD, where we were recognised as the top-selling brand. We have been working together ever since,'' Hamilton says.

Following their selection for the Graduate Show, Hailes-Paku and Hamilton set out to expand on the ideas behind Hailes-Paku's 2018 graduate fashion collection, titled ''The Story of a Girl who Just Wanted Pink Hair''.

This laid the foundations for their NZFW collection of the same name.

''Busy Going Crazy'' as a label embodies the potential of collaborative practices between fashion and communication design disciplines.

Alongside their NZFW venture, Hailes-Paku and Hamilton are still attending Otago Polytechnic completing the design school's honours programme, fostering further collaborations.

''I am making an entire new collection, drawing on the aesthetics and ideas from my original graduate collection,'' Hailes-Paku says.

The collection has the addition of three more outfits, screenprints, a broader colour pallette and the use of metal wear.

''I think the most exciting thing about this collection is the introduction of more colour and a range of screen prints. Jessie's role has included designing prints, which I have screen-printed by hand on to different fabrics and used in a range of different pieces.''

Though Hailes-Paku's initial designs set the collection's direction, Hamilton's skill-set expands both the potential of the collection and the brand itself.

In the lead-up to NZFW, Hamilton set out to further align the aesthetics and values of Hailes-Paku's graduate collection to the branding of the pair's label.

''Rosette's collection and Busy Going Crazy have some overarching values and are of a very similar design aesthetic,'' Hamilton says.

''I do social media and design as well as run our website. I'll be photographing and documenting the collection at NZ Fashion Week as well as designing communication material such as swing tags and posters.''

The duo will be hosting a pop-up store/exhibition in Dunedin after Fashion Week and she is designing the space and marketing for that.

For Hailes-Paku and Hamilton, NZFW will provide the promotional platform they need to share their label with the industry.

''Showing at NZFW 2019 enables us to showcase our collection on a national scale.

''Hopefully, our work will attract interest from the industry and some of our favourite designers.''

To see

New Zealand Fashion Week’s Graduate Runway Show, August 28, in Auckland. Showing alongside Rosette Hailes-Paku and Jessie Hamilton (Busy Going Crazy) are fellow Otago Polytechnic graduates Melissa Coull-Herewini (DOUGLAS) and Georgia Ferguson (FURG).

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