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Designer Interview: Hayley Elsaesser – Catwalk of Words
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Designer Interview: Hayley Elsaesser

March 26, 2013


Hayley Elsaesser is a 24 year old Canadian-born designer with an affinity for all things bright and colourful, yet she definitely has a bit of a dark side. Prints and motifs are the lifeblood of her aesthetic, and she created all of the prints and laser cut designs featured in this collection.
Three words to describe how you felt while watching your collection ‘Candy Coated Voodoo’ storm the runway during the Sportsgirl National Graduate Showcase at LMFF 

WHAT AN HONOUR! It was truly the best moment of my life so far, and an incredible result of a lot of hard work. I wasn’t even going to enter the competition, as the caliber of work and the event in previous years has been so remarkable I didn’t think I had a chance. The entire process was so much fun, and everyone at Sportsgirl, along my fellow designers were all such lovely people.
Your candy coloured designs are so delightful that I almost want a pet spider. How did the juxtaposition of the two come about?

I am naturally drawn to bright, bold and often girly colours and patterns when I design, yet I’m constantly inspired by eerie and creepy imagery. Embarrassingly enough, I think my collection can be summed up by the fact that when I started designing I was watching a lot of the original 90210 and Twin Peaks, which yielded some sort of haunted Barbie lovechild.
When approaching my collection I knew I wanted to have fun, but I was also up for a major challenge. What would be harder than making spiders and snakes, which I despise by the way, into something feminine and wearable? The goal of my collection was to present something that is intrinsically terrifying and candy coat it in a way to create something youthful and bright but still a little bit creepy.

I really think your collection has the potential to reach the consumer market, following in the footsteps of perhaps Ana Diaz? Do you have any intentions of stocking your designs (Please say yes!)? 
Ultimately this is something I would love to do. I absolutely adore Ana’s fresh and youthful aesthetic, and I have loved to watch her grow successfully as a designer. I would like to follow a similar career path, although I am taking baby steps as I have a lot of learning to do along the way. It is an amazing feeling when a person purchases something you have designed, so I don’t think this is something I can give up!


In light of joining the theatricality of the night’s event I wore a piece from the Henry Holland collection for Sportsgirl. Holland, a London based designer, drew on eccentric older ladies and grannies with crazy coloured hair to produce the range. I guess that fits nicely with my crazy-kind-of-hair! 


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Alice McGenniss-Destro

Catwalk of Words chronicles the life of Alice McGenniss-Destro, a Melbourne-based writer and content creator.
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