AFF18: Paolo Sebastian Stuns At Adelaide Fashion Festival Launch – Photos & Video

The Adelaide Fashion Festival couldn’t have been opened by a more anticipated designer, Adelaide’s own Paul Vasileff and his label Paolo Sebastian.

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Photography by Leah McQueen

The Mercedes Benz Adelaide Fashion Festival couldn’t have been opened by a more anticipated designer, Adelaide’s own Paul Vasileff and his label Paolo Sebastian. Launching the five day festival with three back-to-back, sold-out parades, Paul presented his 2018-19 Autumn/Winter couture collection inspired by the works of Russian composer Tchaikovsky and the opulent Russian winter grandeur.

There was a sense of fervour as the guests filled the historic Torrens Parade Ground Drill Hall, ready to be stunned. Despite the collection being introduced during Paris Fashion Week in July, it was the first time it had been unveil in Australia, and everyone there knew that seeing the gowns in person far surpasses any photos. And they were right. The meticulous detail and lavish embellishment only translate so well in photography. The parade was simply beautiful.

Unlike previous shows, designer Paul Vasileff opted for simplicity in his staging for the runway. When in previous years he’s had meadows of grass and flowers, or paths and mystical trees, this year he opted for a minimalist white catwalk, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra taking centre stage at one end.

From the opening piece, a pure white sweeping dress with a tailored embroidered jacket on top, it’s clear that Paul’s vision as an artist has diversified. The collection showcased a juxtaposition of dreamlike and almost airborne skirts, alongside opulent cashmere and military inspired designs. Peppered amongst the collection were Paul’s signature ball gowns and ballerina-inspired dresses, with layers of French tulle and hand sewn detailing. 

Simplicity is more often than not employed in the design of this couture collection. The magnum opus of which is a black gown that is all the more glamorous for its straightforwardness. Nonetheless, it’s a decidedly different design to the embroidered ballerina silhouettes that dominated the runway.

That is not to say that the collection has drifted from the essence of Paolo Sebastian, the closing gown, a jaw dropping glacier blue silk chiffon dress with a veil that flows on the catwalk, is so inherently Paolo Sebastian that it could not be mistaken for the work of any other designer.

The Nutcracker is a magnificent collection that displays the signature illusion necklines and carefully placed embellishments that we all expected. More importantly however, it also displays the growth of Paul Vasileff as a high couture designer. As Paolo Sebastian’s 17th collection was presented to Adelaide, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece The Nutcracker, we were transported to the dreamlike realms that only Paul can command. 

For more Adelaide Fashion Festival galleries, news & event info, click here.

For more Adelaide Fashion Festival galleries, news & event info, click here.

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