Adelaide Fashion Designers Lead Australia On The World Stage

Hometown Fashion Designers Lead Australia On The World Stage

Paolo Sebastian is in Paris, Jaimie Sortino in New York, C/MEO are working with Solange Knowles and Tiff Manuell has just conquered London. Yep, this is world-conquering the Adelaide Fashion Industry.

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Unbeknown to many but significant to this city, today marks exactly 100 days away from the Adelaide Fashion Festival 2016. We know, it’s like it was only yesterday we were lining the streets admiring the spring and summer collections. For that matter, it seems like yesterday it wasn’t freezing outside every morning. But in this cosmopolitan city though, things are aren’t going to slow down anytime soon so we’d better get used to the pace of the rest of the world, because the rest of the world are starting to look in our direction. And they like what they see.

During the last twelve months, we’d wager that Adelaide fashion labels have notched more achievements than any other creative industry in this city. And we don’t like to make broad, sweeping statements. You need only look at the year in review:

Let’s begin with the C/MEO Collective, who presented their first solo show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, produced by Lara Karamian. This was followed up by a mini-collection produced specially for Solange Knowles; multimedia platform, Saint Herson, and also the first collaboration on the site since it relaunched as an e-commerce store. Not bad for such a new kid on the block.

Then you look at Jaimie Sortino, who has been especially flat out. Following his exclusive six-piece capsule collection for bridal boutique and florist Spina Bride in New York, he was appointed Costume Designer for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s show ‘Witches’. Oh, to be that talented in our twenties…

Jaimie Sortino Witches Costume Collection.
Jaimie Sortino Witches Costume Collection.

Of course, Paolo Sebastian designer Paul Vasileff knows something about about harnessing youthful talent. His last twelve months have been nothing short of groundbreaking. Following red carpet moments dressing “Miss Golden Globe” Corinne Foxx at the 73rd annual event, Best Dressed nominations at the 2016 Logies, and an editorial feature in Vogue being worn by none other than Kim Kardashian West, he presented his new 2016/17 Autumn/Winter Couture Collection ‘Gilded Wings’ in Paris in a private showroom exhibition for international media and buyers. This lead to an invite to a cocktail event with the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the official body of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week that decides which designers are invited to show as part of the official program. “We’ve been able to expand the label’s profile from our Adelaide home base already, so much more than anyone thought that we could,” Paul Vasileff said. “This does feel like an important step in the transition from being an Australian label to truly becoming an international label.” If he wasn’t already well on his way.

Paolo Sebastian, Gilded Wings, Paris 2016.
Paolo Sebastian, Gilded Wings, Paris 2016.

And adding to this long list of success is news breaking today that Adelaide artist and designer Tiff Manuell has seen her initial consignment of more than 300 purses and totes sell out at the Tate Modern gallery in London in just a few short weeks. Now the collection is set to become a staple in the Tate Modern’s Terrace Shop, with the gallery placing a second order four times bigger than the original shipment.

“I’m very excited… it’s hard to know what the response would be in a different market,” Tiff said of the news. “This is the calibre of store I have always aimed for. While the Tate Modern came out of the blue and was a massive surprise, it’s something I had imagined. We create women’s fashion accessories that are not necessarily in the world of fashion. They are craft-based products that don’t follow seasons but we hope will withstand the test of time.”

Tiff Manuell At Tate Modern
Tiff Manuell At Tate Modern

Tiff was one of the feature designers of the 2015 Adelaide Fashion Festival where her accessories and debut collection of wearable art were shown during a living exhibition at Art Hunt Gallery, Adelaide. At the 2016 festival Tiff will present a new range of accessories and her designs will be interspersed throughout the festival.

Tiff is committed to keeping her production in Adelaide with a focus on creating well-considered, original products with appeal to various demographics.

“We have a very hands on product; this business is all about me coming to work every day and doing what I love. Our products have a purpose… the Tate Modern welcomes such an incredibly broad category of people from around the world so they want a unique product that is versatile and user friendly, which we offer.”

Adelaide Fashion Festival creative director Chris Kontos said Tiff’s approach was refreshing. “Tiff is an incredible artist; her bold use of colour and lines is brave and there’s no doubt Tiff’s products sit where art and fashion align.”

 

A snapshot of Tiff Manuell's range.
A snapshot of Tiff Manuell’s range.
A snapshot of Tiff Manuell's range.
A snapshot of Tiff Manuell’s range.

The Adelaide Fashion Festival 2016 on October 19-23, with the official launch coming soon on Tuesday, 9 August. For more information, visit the Adelaide Fashion Festival website, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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