Hannah Louise

by Insiders Dunedin

Earlier this week we talked to Dunedin designer Hannah Heslop, the creator of Hannah Louise as she prepares for ID Fashion Week 2014. We Hannah at her flat where she’s been furiously embroidery in preparation for this week’s shows. Hannah is a recent graduate of the Otago Polytechnic Fashion School and in the process of establishing a new studio and setting up her own business. Hannah takes us to Salisbury Boutique where she has been installing a range of wall pieces in featuring her characteristic embroidery loops. The effect is quite stunning, sunlight streams through the shop’s large windows. The light behaves in different ways as it reflects from the gold sequins, blue and purple hues of wool and other shiny fabrics used to create the hoops. 

Hannah Louise’s collection ‘Freaky Princess, Ocean Goddess’ that will appear on the Runway at ID Fashion Week’s Emerging Designers Awards this evening and Railway shows Friday and Saturday nights. The collection is inspired by Pop, Tribal culture and hand craft. These elements were combined to create a fashion forward and wearable collection. Hannah  recites the words of a Regina Spektor song ‘the sea is just a wetter version of the skies’ and describes how she was thinking about New Zealand coastline and being on the shore looking out to the ocean. Very similar hues dominate the Dunedin sky at dusk as it bleeds into the ocean. 

Hannah’s work blurs the lines of art, fashion and craft. Seeing her loops installed at Salisbury I am reminded of Rueben Paterson’s works, the glitter, glitz and iridescent colours. Although we did not see any of the collection that will be shown on the catwalk, Hannah wears a stunning denim jacket with the same embroidered loops stitched on the back. She shows me an image an embroidered crop tee, one of the pieces that will be shown on the catwalk. The method for creating this piece is the similar as creating a tapestry on a loom and is extremely time consuming process. The time involved definitely pays off and creates very interesting and unique garment. 

It’s encouraging to see strong new talent coming through in this city and choosing to build their businesses from Dunedin. Dunedin’s fashion scene is looking bright at the moment! 

Submitted by Jon Thom.

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