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Design student selected for NZ Fashion Week

By UCOL on Friday, 27 July 2018

A photograph of UCOL fashion student Paige MacDonald's signature entry for NZ Fashion Week.

Paige MacDonald’s interest in fashion design began in the sewing class at Rutherford Junior High. Now the UCOL student is preparing to show off her work under the bright lights at New Zealand Fashion Week (27 August - 2 September).

Paige, a third year Bachelor of Design and Arts student majoring in Fashion/Textiles, has been selected for NZ Fashion Week’s Miromoda Showcase, which includes work by established and emerging Māori designers.

Pictured above: Paige with a dress she created recently for the ReFashioned Bridal charity event.

Paige earned her NZ Fashion week spot by placing as a runner up in the Emerging Designers category in the Miromoda competition in June. There she presented three pieces and her plans for expanding the collection.

“The judges thought I had good bones for a bigger collection because of the concept and how clearly the idea came across. They said what I had researched was clearly shown in what I had made, which was really great to hear,” says Paige.

The collection was inspired by an image of the Assumption of Mary, with Paige currently expanding it to eight pieces for NZ Fashion Week. 

“My collection is made up of drapey, oversized clothing with a modern twist. I’ve got modern cuts, silhouettes, and fabrics to keep it relevant. I’m really interested in using drape and flow in my designs, contrasting it with a really tailored fit.” 

Paige is the second UCOL student to present at NZ Fashion Week in the past two years, after Gienipha Tutaki took part in the Miromoda Showcase last year

Paige sees NZ Fashion Week as a great opportunity to get her name out in the fashion industry and build contacts.

“It would be amazing if I got some business opportunities out of it. It’s about showing what I’m able to do.”

Paige got her first taste of sewing and working with fabrics while at Rutherford Junior High (then Rutherford Intermediate). This grew into a passion for fashion design while at Whanganui High School, where she organised the school fashion show and designed her own ball gown. 

From there it was an easy decision for Paige to enrol in UCOL’s Bachelor of Design and Arts  programme, which has introduced her to a range new techniques and helped her to see her ideas from a new perspective. 

“It has really opened my eyes up. [Lecturer] Stephanie [West] has really helped me over the past three years to hone the skills I’m good at and improve everything else so I can have opportunities like being part of New Zealand Fashion Week.”

After she finishes her degree, Paige aspires to own a dress and suit-making business, and hopes her NZ Fashion week experience will set her on that path. 


Pictured above: Paige's signature entry in NZ Fashion Week.

“I work part-time at Jenny’s Dressmaking, where we do custom designs and alternations. I want to have a business like that, but also include suit tailoring and bridal wear.”

“If I ended up having the chance to supply my clothing line to shops or even running my own shop with my collections in it, I would snap up that opportunity as well. Going to Fashion Week is going to help determine what I do going forward.”

Paige has a Givealittle page to help raise money for material and equipment required for her NZ Fashion Week collection. You can donate at  

You can also see some of Paige’s work on Facebook at Nola Fashion By Paige and Instagram @nolafashionbypaige.