Iconic SA fashion label Paolo Sebastian unveils new couture collection inspired by old-world Italy

Renowned South Australian fashion designer Paolo Sebastian has unveiled his highly anticipated 2024 Spring/Summer Couture Collection, Allora Domenica.

Images: Weronika Mamot from the showcase at Bird in Hand

Renowned South Australian fashion designer Paolo Sebastian unveiled his highly anticipated 2024 Spring/Summer Couture Collection, Allora Domenica, at Bird in Hand Winery in Adelaide last Thursday.

This collection, a tribute to his beloved Nonna Domenica, marks a deeply personal journey for the designer, drawing inspiration from the timeless elegance of old-world Italy and the indomitable spirit of his grandmother.

“This marks one of my most personal endeavours yet,” said Paul Vasileff, Creative Director and Designer of Paolo Sebastian. “A collection dear to my heart, dedicated to Nonna Domenica.”

The collection, Allora Domenica, encapsulates the essence of a bygone era in Italy, where Vasileff’s nonna, Domenica, grew up. It reflects the simplicity, romance, and kindness prevalent in that time, elements that shaped his grandmother into the remarkable woman she was.

“Domenica dreamed of being a teacher, and in the end, she was my very first,” Vasileff reminisced. “My nonna taught me to sew when I was just three years old.”

Allora Domenica features a Mediterranean-inspired palette of gelato hues, including mandorla, pistacchio, azzurro, and fichi d’india.

The collection showcases iconic 50s silhouettes with modern twists, incorporating structured waists, headscarves, and off-shoulder straps adorned with fresh floral work and intricate embellishments.

“I have this vivid memory as a child of a ceramic flower vase in my nonna’s house,” Vasileff shared. “It was a full-circle moment to bring that memory to life in this collection.”

Highlight pieces from the collection include an off-shoulder drop waist gown with floral embroidery and embellished crystal work, a strapless pleated circle skirt gown, and a silk mercado bell-shaped ballgown adorned with a three-dimensional floral veil.

“It was such a treasured experience to reflect on my nonna at all stages of the process,” Vasileff said. “She truly is the heroine of this collection.”

Completing the sixteen-piece collection are two scarves inspired by Domenica’s Calabrian roots, paying homage to her journey from Italy to Australia.

“Nonna Domenica turns 95 this year, and I’m honored to celebrate her in this way,” Vasileff said.

For more information about Paolo Sebastian’s 2024 Spring/Summer Couture Collection, head here.

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