Designer profiles

The Adelaide Review asks three of South Australia’s best design talent about their Adelaide Fashion Festival collections.


Can you describe the collection you will be showcasing at the 2012 AFF? I’ll be showcasing my new collection – Take From a Dream, which is more bridal inspired. The palette is all white; I’ve focused on using textures of white fabrics such as French laces and Italian tulles. The collection definitely has more of a romantic feel to it. Adelaide has a gang of emerging designers doing some amazing things. Is there a sense of community with Adelaide’s young designers? Definitely! We are so lucky to have that sense of community with the young designers here. We have all gone down the same path really with TAFE and different things. The AFF also plays a massive role in that too, we are so lucky our fashion festival celebrates the young designers we have here. It’s also a friendship we have with each other too, we can catch up for lunch or coffee and de-stress to each other about our fashion design problems! You said that you try and not design with a season in mind. Does that mean you just design when you are inspired and not let the season dictate what you design? My inspiration and creative process is ongoing. I am always looking at my surroundings, or looking at magazines and online, runway shows, pop culture, music – it’s endless. I get inspired by what I feel and what I want to portray with my creativity, not necessarily what is hot at the moment. That is something that has also reflected the customers and brides that have come to me too. NECIA (Alexandra Ireland) Can you describe the collection you will be showcasing at the 2012 AFF? For this year’s spring summer collection I wanted to show the beauty of contrast. I am always intrigued by the manipulation of fabric, and have focused on creating unique shapes and silhouettes to give a practical garment some wow factor! I have used structured fabrics to create unique silhouettes and teamed with fluid silks to create a peaceful contrast. I have gone with a subtle colour palette, which includes Necia’s staple colours; black and white, as well as a quirky print, and a refreshing splash of colour. I’m really excited about this collection. I feel like I have really evolved as a designer since last year. I can’t wait to showcase my work at the AFF! You interned with Gwendolynne Burkin after winning the Best Emerging Designer Award at the AFF last year. What were some valuable lessons you learned from that mentorship? My internship with Gwendolynne earlier this year was a fantastic experience! I came away with some great new techniques and skills in patternmaking, sewing and designing for bridal and couture. As an up and coming designer, it was a fantastic opportunity for me to watch her design process and experience all aspects from design to production. A big lesson that I learnt from my time with Gwendolynne was that it is an extremely hardworking business to get into and dreams are not going to happen overnight. It is a long road ahead, but I’m determined to stick to it and make my way there in my own time.

COUTURE+LOVE+MADNESS (Cristina Tridente)

Can you describe the collection you will be showcasing at the 2012 AFF? Beg Borrow Steal is inspired by the intriguing habits of the bower bird as it collects and arranges discarded, stolen and borrowed objects to attract a mate. Using unconventional materials, the collection explores texture, colour and arrangement. The label launched at the 2009 AFF, how has it evolved in the three years since? couture+love+madness has grown over the last three years. I feel that my approach has matured and is less literal compared to when I began. I’m not afraid to explore and push the boundaries and blur the line between wearability and art. Your work was featured in the recent Design South Australia publication alongside the finest examples of SA design in the architecture, theatre, jewellery and design communities. That must have been a thrill to be chosen as a leading example of Adelaide fashion design? It was by far the biggest honour to be asked to feature in the recent Design South Australia publication. It was really exciting to be showcased alongside so many other iconic local businesses and labels including Tridente Architects (my dad’s business) that was chosen for excellence in architecture. What are some new trends/influences that have inspired you this year? I am really drawn to neon colours. I love how they can exude so much personality from the individual wearing them and am always intrigued to see how they have styled these pieces.  

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