RAW: Fashion Festival – Paolo Sebastian – Festival Hall

By Meagan Burbidge

Ethereal, captivating, and graceful are just some of the words to describe Paolo Sebastian’s Autumn/Winter 2012 Couture collection, one of the features of Adelaide Fashion Festival 2011. The large crowd’s buzz of anticipation at last month’s event was greeted with a parade of gowns that absolutely gave justice to the hype surrounding the young designer, Paul Vasileff, whose reputation as Adelaide’s budding couture artist is fast spreading. Considering the designer has hardly hit his 20’s, Vasileff’s aesthetic is remarkably elegant, the quality of his designs and their execution exceeding what might be expected of someone his age.

Inspired by the works of Russian composer Tchaikovsky, Vasileff had the crowd mesmerised from the very beginning of a slow procession of enchanting creations. Opening the show amongst smoky effects and creeping ivy, the first gown set the scene for what was to come – long flowing lines, fitted, detailed bodices, and highlights of sparkle. Underplaying it all was a muted colour palette varying from nude, blush and champagne, up to sleek, shadowy grey hues. The use of intricate detailing paired with sheaths of silk lent glamour without being over the top, ensuring modest classiness without compromising in beauty. Classic, long length’s made of delicate, almost transparent fabrics were topped with structured and creatively detailed bodices – those a fan of strapless will be in heaven. Or, if décolletage is more your thing, plunging necklines are still demure with ankle grazing maxi-dresses. Likewise, short, full skirts emanating the drama of classical music which permeated the entire collection were balanced with high necklines and often full length sleeves – ideal for your inner ballerina.

For those searching for something different to the traditional, and perhaps a piece more suited for chilly evenings, Vasileff also sent out a taupe almost-trench coat in light fabric, as well as the odd pair of tailored pants which managed to hold their own in degrees of sexiness paired with sky scraping heels. Whilst I doubt these exquisite pieces will be in everyone’s price range, those willing to splash out for the races or who simply like to rival the bride at weddings will adore the cocktail dresses – I dare you to try and not look chic in lace sleeves.

Sitting next to the father of one of the models got me thinking – perhaps a good indication of whether a dress is showing too much is whether you can comfortably strut about in front of dad. I’m happy to say there didn’t seem to be anything close to abashment on this man’s face, only a smile of pride – and isn’t that what all women want for their special day? Be it a wedding, school formal, or any sort of party really, Paolo Sebastian pieces truly are something special, this seasons collection demonstrating the designers natural talent for crafting exquisite designs to make the wearer feel nothing short of extraordinary.

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