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DESIGN & STYLE

Bring Your Dream To The Surface: Independent Fashion Designer and Label Owner Annalisa Bradley

Thriving with unconventional material and a scattered creative process.
By Concrete Playground
June 29, 2016
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Bring Your Dream To The Surface: Independent Fashion Designer and Label Owner Annalisa Bradley

Thriving with unconventional material and a scattered creative process.
By Concrete Playground
June 29, 2016
  shares

in partnership with

As well as being mother to three-and-a-half year-old Otis and English Bull Terrier Pablo, Gisborne's Annalisa Jean (AJ) Bradley finds time to run her own fashion label, Motel Bible. The creative outlet was launched soon after Annalisa graduated from the Whanganui School of Design. She has since exhibited her work as part of the Miromoda Collective of Maori designers show at New Zealand Fashion Week, completed internships with established labels Penny Sage and Zambesi and is looking to set up her own studio/retail store in Palmerston North in the not too distant future.

On the road to appearing at this year's Fashion Week we caught up with AJ to get an idea of her creative process and how she brings her dream to the surface.

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INITIAL STAGES

With previous collections inspired by the likes of bohemian and beatnik subcultures, romance and rock 'n' roll, AJ finds literature to be the most dependable source of inspiration, "it's usually very descriptive and poetic." The concept for her latest collection derives themes and ideas "presented in works of Pulp Fiction and graphic novels, specifically Preacher (by Garth Ennis)."

She goes on to define her style as, "Some days: dark, tidy, pleated. Other days: '80s swirly cotton, two-piece, vintage sequined batwing shirt, silk robe with metallic socks. Scattered."

"The initial stages of my creative process involve drawing inspiration from something, creating a strong foundation that will help inform some of the details later on. This is usually done scrap book style or created and collated on Surface."

TRIAL AND ERROR

After the initial design stages AJ turns to her mannequin to trial ideas, "A lot changes in this stage of the process which I'm open to as I like to keep everything feeling very natural and fluid. The final is a product of a strong idea of the concept and inspiration and trial and error."

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AN EFFICIENT PROCESS

With an appearance scheduled at this year's New Zealand Fashion Week there's a lot at stake for AJ. To streamline the creative process she turns to her trusty Surface. "This collection of 10+ complete garments will be featured in the 'New Gen' showcase which focuses on up and coming Kiwi designers. The versatility of Surface means I can work on my project anywhere which, when compared to my pencil case and A3 visual diary, is much less cumbersome. It's made my natural process more efficient."

MOTEL BIBLE

Her current project under the Motel Bible label utilises unconventional material. "I am using quite a wide range of textures and materials from leather to linen, silk, denim, cord, wool and hardware which are all commonly used materials and fibers within the fashion industry. I have decided to incorporate a material that is used/seen in a completely unrelated context to create interest. By using piping cord and hardware (ie. eyelets) I have been able to craft wearable garments using a perforated PVC  designed for non-slip purposes."

WHAT'S NEXT FOR AJ BRADLEY?

As well as the upcoming exhibition, the next stage for AJ is opening her own retail space. "The Slow Trade is a space that is currently being used as a workroom/studio leading up to Fashion Week, located within the Square Edge Community Arts Centre in Palmerston North. It is run by myself and Reremoana Sheridan and is set to open Sept/Oct."

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There's a creative fire raging inside you but the daily grind yearns to stamp it out. Want to bring your own dream to the surface? Microsoft wants to give one person the tools, the time, and the salary* to make their project a reality - whether it be writing poems on grains of rice, creating jewellery out of knives and forks, animating cartoon characters, designing moving desserts or making sculptures out of used car parts.

Simply tell Microsoft what you want to create using Microsoft Surface and they could help you make it happen.

For more information visit winayear.co.nz.

*Monetary prize of NZD $60,000

Published on June 29, 2016 by Concrete Playground

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