Interview: Nice as PAI

Talking M&M’s in ice-cream and Skittles in vodka.

Labelled one of Melbourne’s most anticipated brands, fashion label PAI is set to turn heads. Starting with a pasta fight between newly found friends-in-creativity Angie Pai and Adrian Bressanuti, the label oozes a kooky-cool attitude, graphic talent and an all-round fresh vibe. We caught up with the duo to discuss M&M’s in ice-cream and Skittles in vodka. 

So, you guys haven’t been friends for very long, are there any hidden secrets you’d like to share with each other right now? 

Angie: I uncontrollably get food on all my clothes. 

Adrian: My middle name is Pablo and I once had a stamp collection. 

How did you meet? 

Angie: I’d known of Adrian from his previous label (called Adrian Bressanutti) because a friend modelled for him. One time I invited him over for dinner but instead of cooking for him, Adrian ended up making fresh pasta with heaps of fancy stuff like mascarpone and wild mushrooms. Then we just became friends because I felt pretty guilty. 

What did you think you would be doing right now if you didn’t meet? 

Adrian: Working a shitty hospo job hoping something like this would fall into my lap. 

Angie: Slaving away at university and eating Jarlsberg cheese on pay days. 

Where did your design knowledge come from and develop? 

Angie: Mostly from high school in art classes. My studio art teacher (Ms. Pettigrew) was actually the best, always finding and giving me new inspiration. Mum is very artistically inclined as well. When she’s not being annoying and complaining about how women in the Qing Dynasty wouldn’t wear our clothes, she teaches me a lot. 

Adrian: It’s hard to pinpoint a time. I think by forcing myself to be surrounded by objects and ideas that are creatively stimulating. I studied Fashion Design at uni so a lot of the technical processes and discovering my aesthetic came along with that. 

Do you each have designated jobs? How is the design clash? 

Angie: Adrian has experience in tailoring and pattern making so he’s usually in charge of making the perfect canvas to start off. Then I try and look after what to do on the garments, the designs, whether we use embroidery or crochet to execute. The design clash is usually pretty minimal because we try and take on different roles. 

Adrian: It’s much the same for the business side too. We take on such different roles but we always manage to throw ideas at each other and pick up the loose slack. I guess it’s a little unconventional but the balance is real healthy. 

How do you pick your models? 

Angie: Our main drive has always been to share our work with the people who inspired us to start them in the first place, many of these being musicians and artists in Melbourne such as I’lls, Klo, Oscar Key Sung and Banoffee. We’ll ask and if they say yes, we shit ourselves being happy. 

Tell me a little about the design and construction of your garments. 

Angie: It started with me trying to put my illustrations onto shirts but instead of printing them, I really wanted to try and do something different. I started embroidering and eventually asked Adrian for help. Adrian adds the lush, expensive touch with his skilful pasta fingers so they look heaps better now. 

Adrian: Yeah, definitely. So much work went into getting the processes, shapes and proportions down pat. That masculine, oversized feel along side the clean and crafty finishes was something we really wanted to get right from the start. 

Describe for us the ultimate PAI person. 

No gluten intolerance 

No Yoga 

No Quinoa 

Hates Kale. 

If there were three rules to wearing PAI, what would that be? 

1. Probably a main one is wear each garment for their designated body part. But getting experimental is pretty fun, hey. 

2. Wear a hair net if you’re cooking in it. 

3. Maybe don’t wear stilettos. I dunno, nah you can if you want. 

M&M’s or Skittles? 

Angie: M&M’s in ice cream, Skittles in vodka. 

Adrian: I’m with Angie on this one. 

Salami or Ham? 

Angie: I’m taoist 🙁 

Adrian: Is this rhetorical? 

Burrito or Taco? 

Angie: Mum said I have to answer fried rice. 

Adrian: Porque no los dos? 


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