Adelaide’s Emerging Face of Fashion: Jaimie Sortino

After a spectacular finale to the 2010 Adelaide Fashion Festival at the Chambord SA Fashion Showcase, we caught up with the winner of the SA Emerging Designer Award, Jaimie Sortino..

Congratulations Jaimie. Before we get onto the award, we’d love to hear about your fashion journey so far..

My fashion journey has been amazing so far. I’ve always had a passion for art, textiles and fashion of course. It really kicked off in year 12 where I did a textiles course and fell in love with volume, texture and using a lot of fabric to create designs. I went on to study fashion at TAFE SA, but the confinement of structured learning just didn’t suit the organic style of my designs, so after a couple of years I headed off and from there everything has really fallen into place.

Designing dresses for Delta Goodrem and Erika Heynatz has been an amazing platform to get exposure. I’ve been working on my own dresses and designs and networking with the amazing people involved in the Adelaide and Australian fashion industry.

Tell us about your design style:

My design style is very hands on. I don’t really follow blocks or patterns, aside from when I’m designing bodices. The rest of my work is all drape, playing with fabric, getting a texture and getting a look. For me is a very free and organic process. When I’m in the studio I’ll always play music to set the mood and drink plenty of tea!

Finish this sentence… It is great to be a part of Adelaide’s fashion scene because…

I think that the best thing about Adelaide fashion is that it is so diverse. We are so lucky to have so many boutiques and upcoming labels here and I am excited to get my dresses and garments out there soon.

Why was your latest collection titled RAW?

Raw really sums up my style. For this collection I wanted to show a lot of texture, raw fabrics and frayed edges.

You were just named the top Emerging designer in the AFF Chambord SA Designers Fashion Showcase. What does it mean to you?

It means the world! I am still in a little shocked actually! I feel so honoured that such an amazing panel of judges picked my dresses on the night and have belief in my designs and the Jaimie Sortino label. It makes me more determined to make Adelaide Fashion and the Adelaide Fashion Festival proud!

And you get to drive around in a BMW for an entire year?..

Haha! It would help if I had my drivers licence! I don’t think that this issue has ever come up for BMW before but at the moment I’m talking with them to see what alternative arrangements we can come up with, aside from my new role as Ambassador for Adelaide BMW.

We’ve heard rumours of a men’s range…?

Yes! I’m very excited to start menswear. At the moment I really only do menswear for myself simply because I can never find anything in stores I like. I’m looking to find an Australian manufacturer and then I’ll get started, but I’ll keep you posted.

Will your trademark shredded T-shirts be made available?

Hopefully! I love my shreds, though maybe not as extreme as I the one I wore at the AFF Awards. I get a lot of positive comments about them so we’ll see!

Do you do custom orders?

Definitely. All of my dresses are made to measure. Most are all one offs as well. That’s also a thing I really want to keep to my name. Being a one of piece makes the dress much more special. This idea was also behind the music I used for my showcase. Rihanna’s track “Only Girl (in the world)” – because a girl should feel like she’s the only one in the world who matters when she is wearing a Jaimie Sortino dress!

Where to next for Jaimie Sortino?

I’ve just been accepted in FBI Fashion College in Sydney, so I’ll be starting there in February. It will be such a big move for me and I’m going to be there for 2-3 years. I’ll be visiting Adelaide regularly though, and will definitely be back here permanently in the future. In the meantime I’ll be busy in my role as Ambassador for BMW and as always I’ll be making dresses!

To check out all the photos from the Emerging Designers parade, click here.

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