Every year at Adelaide Fashion Festival the Paolo Sebastian shows continue to sell-out, and for anyone who’s been to one of his shows, worn one of his dresses or followed his journey on Instagram it’s clear to see why. Head designer Paul Vasileff takes mountains of beads, lace and tulle and turns them into ethereal, beautiful creations that tell a story of a world more magical than ours.
The runway was given a fairytale makeover for this final show, with fresh grass, flowers and shrubs running all the way down. Soft, dim lighting outlined the models silhouettes, while a lone butterfly (which we’re not sure was planned or not) fluttered between flowers and greenery.
Paul showcased two seasons for the finale of Adelaide Fashion Festival, the first being his Autumn 16/17 Gilded Wings collection, first shown in Paris during Haute Couture week. Inspired by the fragile wings of a woodland faery, the collection features the signature sheer panelling and intricate beadwork the label is known for. The delicate flowers and tiny, shimmering beads dusted along the dresses made it seem as if the models were wearing nothing but embellishments alone. In some, their skin sparkled and flowers clung to their figures like you would imagine the creatures in a fairytale would look like.
The second season to show was the Spring/ Summer 17 Wildflowers collection, inspired by a soft, summer breeze blowing through a meadow. This collection paid homage to the bohemian trend overtaking the fashion world, and was a step in a different direction for Paul as many pieces could easily be styled in a more casual way. While the detail and craftsmanship was extraordinary, the movement of these gowns is what mesmerised us. The dresses were so light and dainty, the seemed to almost float along the runway, with a little help from the angelic models wearing them.
In between the first and second showing, a short film was shown that documented Paul’s journey to Paris. He presented the fourteen-piece collection at the La Maison Champs Elysées over three days, making him the first South Australian label to showcase in the romanticised city. In it, Paul talks about his inspirations and passions, and gives us a glimpse into his magical life.
‘I really want to take people to that other world, give them that sense of enchantment and maybe inspire them,’ Paul says.
We feel we can speak on behalf of everyone at Runway 7 on the last night of Adelaide Fashion Festival when we say you truly have enchanted us, Paul.
Photography by NKM Images