Hayley Elsaesser is a Toronto fashion based designer known for her bright colours and bold prints, and legion of celebrity fans. Hayley graduated with honours in Fine Arts Fashion and was selected along with 11 other fashion graduates from across the country to participate in the L’Oreal Graduate Showcase at Melbourne Fashion Week. After overwhelmingly positive feedback from the media and public alike, Hayley’s brand was born. But was that the whole story? I had to know more….
Choupette Social Girl: What pop cultural influences are visible in your current collection?
Hayley Elsaesser: My current collection is called “Gutterball” and it’s inspired by the movie The Big Lebowski. Very often they are very literal pop culture influences and references in my work and this is no accept ion. For this movie I’ve taken different imagery and developed prints around it. I love to use components that are not always initially obvious that make you think a little. I think I’ve always used movies and other ideals of pop culture as escapism, especially as a teen growing up in a small city. I love the exaggerated versions of reality, which also reflects in my designs.
CSG: How do you express yourself through your bold yet timeless pieces?
HE: My prints are always a direct representation of my thoughts around a certain inspiration. Every print goes through a development process and every single part of it has a purpose. I design all of my prints which is a huge way for me to express myself.
CSG: How do you feel about the fashion industry’s standpoint on body-related issues? What needs to be done?
HE: This is something I’m very passionate about and have spoken a lot about. I think it is an incredibly dangerous and antiquated way of thinking to have all models need to achieve a very certain set of measurements and beauty ideals. I think there is a new generation of designers breaking the mould and going against the old school ways of the industry, including using models of all different kinds. I myself do this, using novels of all shapes and sizes which means I have to make my samples in different sizes. This is challenging at times but it is something that needs to be done so it will eventually become the norm.
CSG: The response to your recent NYFW presentation was amazing! Tell me about the inspiration behind the collection?
HE: This collection is called Déjà Moon, and it was a collaboration with My Little Pony. It was all about childhood nostalgia and the cosmos. It was an incredibly fun project for me that I really enjoyed, and I could not be happier about how the presentation looked. We had some amazing people on board we worked with from the set to the hair and makeup and footwear. I feel very happy in it as my into in the the NY fashion scene.
CSG: What’s next for the brand?
HE: I have lots on the go, and not a lot I can talk about just yet! This year already has a LOT of really exciting things going on which is such a great feeling. It’s very rewarding to see your hard work finally pay off in a big way!