ARTICLE PAUL BUI

PHOTOGRAPHY BYRON SPENCER

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

LIP SERVICE

SHOP ALL WEEKEND

DIY OR DIE

EXTRA CREDITS

clothing and sculptures Pauly Bonomelli  Make Up Natasha Severino (Company1 using M.A.C Cosmetics)  hair Travis Balcke (Company1 using WELLA care and styling products For Renya Xydis City)  manicure Miss Betty Rose  models Tanya K, Christina Carey, and Rachel Rutt (Chic), Fernanda (Priscillas), Cody Bayliss, and Mitch Wright  Make up assistants Sonia Yun and Emma Bartik  Digital operator Jack Salkild  Creative assistant Alex Smith location Studio Hatch  Special thanks Manic Panic hair dyes, Furr

MORE TO LOVE

CHRISTINA AGUILERA IS GIVING LIFE MARIAH\'S MOST UNDER-APPRECIATED MUSIC VIDEOS SYDNEY FASHION WEEK

DIY OR DIE

PHOTOGRAPHY BYRON SPENCER
TEXT PAUL BUI

ONE OF THE MOST NOTICEABLE DESIGNERS WORKING IN AUSTRALIA THIS SEASON WANTS LITTLE TO DO WITH HIS COUNTRY'S UPCOMING FASHION WEEK


April 4th, 2014. Pauly Bonomelli is a multidisciplinary artist who feels just as at home fashioning swathes of synthetic hair onto a Britney Spears t-shirt as he is beading an elaborate couture dress. A formally trained designer, Bonomelli shies away from any design conventions, whether it’s seasons or factories. Not surprisingly, this DIY mindset has has earned him fans in Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and Die Antwoord—all drawn to his hand made, customized and often up-cycled garments.  Bonomelli has previously worked with Aussie brands Ksubi, Romance Was Born, and more recently, Dion Lee. But for this Sydney-based skater, the commerce side has always come secondary to the craft. We caught up with Bonomelli just before Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Australia (which we'll be covering on VMAGAZINE.COM: BACKSTAGE next week), as he launches an online store of limited edition and one-off pieces.

What’s your earliest memory of being interested in design?
PAULY BONOMELLI Every year at a shopping center in Perth they used to have a Halloween party and there were prizes for best costume. I started making my own Halloween costumes when I was 8 and won this competition. I was a green swamp monster one year. Another year, I was a mummy. 
 
Did you keep making your own clothes at school?
PB Yeah, we didn’t have to wear uniforms, so I used to wear whatever I wanted to school. The first screen print I ever did was a t-shirt that said, “To whomever it may concern, I was absent from school yesterday because I think being a truant is hysterical. From, Paul B.” My teachers would get really pissed off.
 
You’ve previously worked with prominent Australian brands such as Ksubi and Romance Was Born. Now that you’ve branched out on your own, tell me a bit about what you’re doing at the moment.
PB Well I don’t want to be just exclusively a fashion brand. I don’t use any makers. I hand dye all my stuff, I do all the illustrations, I like doing all the screen-printing myself.  I enjoy the craft of it, and that’s why I won’t do mass production. There are limited edition pieces, except I won’t send anything off to factories. My buzz isn’t in the outcome of seeing it in a shoot or getting press, it’s sitting at home making stuff with my own hands. It’s for the love of making it.
 
Is sustainability an important part of what you do?
PB Definitely. There’s a huge amount of wastage that goes on in fashion these days. Most of my clothes have been remade from other things, some to the point where they’re unrecognizable. But I always make sure the materials are sourced somewhat ethically. There’s mountains of waste, so I like getting something that is shit or discarded and making it more interesting.
 
I love the references to different subcultures in your work, whether it’s Zef, fetish or hip hop. What draws you to these groups?
PB It’s everything that I’ve experienced in my short little life. In high school it was a lot about graffiti and sportswear. When I was in fashion school all the girls in my class just wanted to be like, Sass & Bide. They wanted to be making dresses, whereas I always wanted to make clothing that was a bit different.  I loved magazines like The Face and i-D. And then you say Zef… to me that’s all about looking poor, but rich. It’s definitely all a reflection of what’s going on around me and within me.
 
You’ve also made quite a lot of stuff for famous people. Who’s been your favorite person to work with?
PB Well, Die Antwoord first and foremost. Having people you admire come back to you and treat you with that same love and respect, that just meant the world to me. Rihanna… I made stuff for her and she was totally incredible. I ended up in a hotel room doing consultations telling her about kangaroos and Australian stuff and she was pissing herself laughing. The exciting people are the ones that treat you like a human being and not like a sweatshop. I much more respond to that.
 
Tell me a bit about the shop you’ve recently launched.
PB I just launched my online store because I’ve been making stuff for ages and I’ve always just given it away to friends. Dr. Noki who is an incredible rag king and textiles designer in London and also a bit of a mentor told me: “Now is the time that you’ve got to whip this shit out of the bag and actually do something with it. Because fashion is eating itself, and it’s time to stop the clones and try and provide customers with pieces that make them feel individual.” Individuality is the key, and people that really love fashion, they don’t want to be walking around (in my eyes) wearing the same stuff that other people have. So I launched the store because I just thought it was time.

EXTRA CREDITS

clothing and sculptures Pauly Bonomelli  Make Up Natasha Severino (Company1 using M.A.C Cosmetics)  hair Travis Balcke (Company1 using WELLA care and styling products For Renya Xydis City)  manicure Miss Betty Rose  models Tanya K, Christina Carey, and Rachel Rutt (Chic), Fernanda (Priscillas), Cody Bayliss, and Mitch Wright  Make up assistants Sonia Yun and Emma Bartik  Digital operator Jack Salkild  Creative assistant Alex Smith location Studio Hatch  Special thanks Manic Panic hair dyes, Furr

MORE TO LOVE

CHRISTINA AGUILERA IS GIVING LIFE MARIAH\'S MOST UNDER-APPRECIATED MUSIC VIDEOS SYDNEY FASHION WEEK
Close page

YOU'VE GOT V-MAIL

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE UPDATES, ALERTS AND MORE FROM V MAGAZINE!

FacebookFACEBOOK
TwitterTWITTER
TumblrTUMBLR
PinterestPINTEREST
EmailEMAIL

V MAGAZINE||DIY OR DIE PHOTOGRAPHY BYRON SPENCER

FASHION INFO |SHARE | |CLOSE X

FacebookFACEBOOK
TwitterTWITTER
TumblrTUMBLR
PinterestPINTEREST
EmailEMAIL