Paige MacDonald's interest in fashion design began in the sewing class at Rutherford Junior High.

Now the Whanganui UCOL student is preparing to show off her work under the bright lights of New Zealand Fashion Week.

MacDonald, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Design and Arts majoring in fashion and textiles, has been selected for NZ Fashion Week's Miromoda Showcase, which includes work by established and emerging Māori designers.

She earned her spot at the event, which runs from August 27 until September 2, through her runner-up placing in the Emerging Designers category in the Miromoda competition in June.

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"The judges thought I had good bones for a bigger collection because of the concept and how clearly the idea came across," MacDonald said.

"They said what I had researched was clearly shown in what I had made, which was really great to hear."

The collection, which she will expand to eight pieces for NZ Fashion Week, was inspired by an image of the Assumption of Mary.

"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."

She said NZ Fashion Week was 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."

After attending Rutherford Junior High, MacDonald's passion for fashion design grew at Whanganui High School where she organised the school fashion show and designed her own ball gown.

UCOL's programme has introduced her to further new techniques and perspective.

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"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."

MacDonald wants to own a dress and suit-making business one day.

"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."

MacDonald has a Givealittle page to help raise money for material and equipment required for her NZ Fashion Week collection. People can donate at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/paige-macdonald-nzfw-2018-emerging-designer.

Paige's work can be viewed on Facebook at Nola Fashion By Paige and on Instagram, @nolafashionbypaige.