Each year at Carnevale an exciting runway show is held showcasing talent from a select number of local fashion designers. This year’s show featured collections from Elana Andonas, Elena Asikas, Siedana, Cassandra Mamone and GretaKate and was brimming with amazing talent and innovative designs. We took our seats with little understanding of what these emerging designers could do, and left remembering every one of their names.
We saw stunning formalwear from Elana Andonas, bright and bold street wear from Elena Asikas, elegant event wear from Siedana, delicate jewellery from Iliana the Label and the always-beautiful bridal creations of GretaKate.
The two youngest designers in the show, Elana (Lani) and Elena really blew us away with their unique and eye-catching designs. The Adelaidian was fortune enough to sit down and have a quick word with Lani and Elena and find out all you need to know about these two new faces on the Adelaide fashion scene!
When did you first realise you wanted to get into fashion design?
Elena: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I taught myself how to sew by hand and make clothes for my dolls and I just loved it! I continued it as I grew older to see how far I could get and to learn as much as I could about sewing and fashion design.
Lani: When I was younger I received a little purple sewing machine and I started making dresses for my dolls. I didn’t know how to sew properly so they never stayed together, I’d just end up sewing them by hand or glueing them back together! From then I knew I wanted to do something in the sewing area. When I was in year 10 I started studying Applied Fashion and Technology at TAFE part time, and decided this was the direction I wanted to go in. Now I try to do plenty of shows like Carnevale to motivate me to sew as often as possible.
How would you describe your label?
E: I’d describe my designs as bit quirky and different. If I’m in a crazy mood I always try to create something a bit crazy! I design everything from formal to casual wear, depending on my mood at the time. I’d like to think all my clothes are something a little bit creative and different, and I design my clothing to be quite versatile.
L: My style of clothing is very elegant and sparkly, and the collection is full of quite elaborate creations. My designs are a reflection of how I like to dress as I always dress very formal. I love to use beautiful fabrics too, mostly lace or very soft materials.
How would you like to see your label grow over the next year?
E: I’d like to see people wearing my label, getting it out there more a bit more, doing as many fashion shows as possible and promoting my label every chance I get! I’ve just started my label so I really want to see where it can take me.
L: Over the next year I’d like to do a few more runway shows and to create some awareness about my label. In Adelaide I feel it’s quite hard to break into the formalwear industry, because people don’t go to many formal occasions unless it’s a school event or a graduation. I’d love to try and do some shows interstate too.
Who are your main inspirations as a designer?
E: All the designers from Adelaide inspire me so much, and any Australian designer really. I think it’s so cool how they’ve built their labels to an national or international scale.
L: My number one inspiration would have to be Paolo Sebastian. I look up to him so much because I did work experience with him a few times and he mentored me really well. Any questions I had he answered, and he was really good with me. Internationally Phillip Plein would have to be my main designer inspiration because his designs are so edgy and I want to transfer that into my pieces.
Have you done much work experience?
E: I’ve undertaken work experience at a few different local places. I was with Liza Emanuele for a bit, I went to Miss Gladys Sym Choon and worked with all the designers there and I’ve also been with Wild Child and Australian Fashion Labels.
L: I’ve interned with Paolo Sebastian twice and he made you feel part of the family, he was so lovely to work with. He let me sit in his fitting rooms and cut out his fabric, and I was gobsmacked and cutting it so carefully. Even now, he saw my show at Carnevale yesterday and him just saying ‘good job’ I was so happy! I also did work experience in Calvin Klein Collections and the head pattern maker taught me a whole heap which was amazing because I wasn’t expecting that.
Do you think the 2016 Adelaide Fashion Festival might be on the cards?
E: With TAFE and Uni we might be participating in Adelaide Fashion Festival this year and we would really love to do it, it would be so great! Next year we’d love to try and do Melbourne or Sydney Fashion Week and see if we can get our foot in the door there. We figure we’ve got nothing to lose anyway, so we’re just going to go and see what we can get into and what they’ll allow us to do.
Both Lani and Elena will be studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts Fashion at Flinders University this year, and we can’t wait to see what they’re going bring to the evolving Adelaide fashion scene! You can find Elana Andonas on Facebook or email us to get in contact with Elena Asikas. Keep an eye out for these two at some of the exciting new fashion events Rundle Mall will be hosting this year!
Photography by Vueey Le