Monday, November 22, 2010

Adelaide's emerging designers enjoy BMWs and free rent

The Adelaide Fashion Festival appears to revolve around young designers. Its timing is designed to coincide with the graduation of final year students at TAFE SA, whose fashion campus in the CBD, incidentally, recently received a $4million upgrade. The graduates get to show their work in a big runway showcase at the Festival. Frockwriter shot the 2010 TAFE show from backstage, when we attended the first few days of the event as a guest of the organisers. Then there is the festival's gala finale, the Chambord SA Emerging Designer Award. The 2010 winner was Jaimie Sortino (below), who we just happened to meet and photograph on November 9, following the Festival's opening party. Sortino was awarded the use of a BMW for one year, which is ironic given that he doesn’t have a driver’s license. Sadly, we had to get back to Sydney and missed the closing night's festivities, but head to Sonny Vandevelde’s blog for some great backstage shots of that show. Earlier in the week we did, however, meet up with two other Chambord finalists, Julie White and Alice Rawlinson, who designs under the brand name Divine Madness (above - and below, with White), at their Hindley Street studio/boutique called Workshop. Providing yet further evidence of Adelaide’s fashion incubator focus, White and Rawlinson share the space with two other young creatives... rent free.  

jaimie sortino/chambord SA emerging designer award/sonny vandevelde

Workshop is part of an initiative called Renew Adelaide, which is based on the Renew Newcastle urban renewal program that was pioneered by writer and broadcaster Marcus Westbury in that city in 2008. Its mission statement: to revitalise the Adelaide city centre by pairing up creatives with empty spaces and abandoned buildings. Legal squatting in other words.
It reminds frockwriter of the Stalbridge Chambers studios in Melbourne’s Little Collins Street in the 1980s which birthed, among others, Scanlan & Theodore co-founder Fiona Scanlan, milliner Tamasine Dale and w√ľnderkind Martin Grant, who launched his label at age 15. Also the existing China Heights collective in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Just without the overheads.  

julie white

divine madness

julie white

julie white


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