Posts tagged Adelaide
75 seconds with Emma Steen and Gwen + Beck

Emma Steen and Che Kerr-Pilling epitomise the idealistic joie de vivre that teenage girls envision when they think of success in fashion. The make-up artists turned jewellery designers, buyers and entrepreneurs are fresh-faced enough to be excited by their new Wayville studio, and smart enough to know that passion alone isn't enough to fuel their company. 

Steen + Kerr, the wholesaler they founded as an umbrella for their two labels, is based in Adelaide, but the pair's vision will see it operate nationwide as the year progresses. Steen's hand-made, eponymous range found success in boutiques and mid-range markets before the pair decided they also needed something to offer a younger style set. So they dived into Gwen + Beck, Emma Steen's more energetic cousin on a friendlier budget. 

Want to know exactly how a duo with a dream hopped on the path to success in fashion? Get to know Steen and Kerr in this 75-second clip.

Music by YACHT.
Directed and produced by Chanelle Leslie.
Assisted by Katelin Delhanty. 

Chanelle x

couture+love+madness designer Cristina Tridente
Finesse model Madz Ando wears a couture+love+madness dress in Cristina Tridente's signature glitzy style.

Finesse model Madz Ando wears a couture+love+madness dress in Cristina Tridente's signature glitzy style.

Being in the new guard of Adelaide's fashion designing pack is exhausting. Just ask couture+love+madness designer Cristina Tridente, who works seven days a week.

It wasn't always like this. Three years ago, Tridente was another ambitious fashion graduate with a degree in her fist and nowhere to run with it. Now, she's the coordinator of Adelaide Fashion Festival, and runs her couture+love+madness label on the side, working until midnight most weeknights to pack everything into her life. So other than Red Bull, what fuels Adelaide's one-woman fashion factory? Passion.

"It's what I've wanted my whole life... If you don't have the passion you're not going to make it. There's 100 other people that will," she says.

Fishtail silhouettes feature heavily in Tridente's designs, such as this one worn by Finesse face Charlotte Kleut

Fishtail silhouettes feature heavily in Tridente's designs, such as this one worn by Finesse face Charlotte Kleut

You get the sense that this idea of passion is a mantra for her when the days get rough. And rough they must be, for when I ask if she ever gets tempted to drop out, she titters nervously.

"I thought about it (quitting) and I thought if I stop because I find it to be too hard, who loses out? I lose out at the end of the day if I give up."

Out of Tridente's TafeSA fashion design class of 2009, only five still work in the industry; the other 28 are mostly in retail. So what made her any different?

"I realised early on that it's a really hard industry and there's not a lot of work, especially in Adelaide," she says.

"I had to become adaptable quite quickly to doing other roles, so I've done personal styling, visual merchandising, freelance pattern making, (been a) freelance machinist. It's better to do something in your field than to do something completely different."

Though her label has already met a level of success, she continues to balance it with the huge job of putting together the annual Adelaide Fashion Festival. Adelaide's fashion week may be smaller than most, but just like any city, there's plenty of arse kissing to deal with.

"People think it's just like that on movies, [but] it's actually like that," Tridente says of bitchiness in fashion.

"I'm still the youngest person as part of AFF and it's hard, especially when you're dealing with suppliers who are in their forties and they don't want to listen to a 20-something."

This age divide is definitive of the current state of Adelaide fashion, which is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance of young designers. While scene stalwarts like Alexis George and Sally Phillips continue to be the centre of attention, there’s a new crop of young guns fighting to change the scene. From the rise and rise of Australian Fashion Labels to the international spotlight on Paolo Sebastian, the divide between old and new has never been more stark.

It’s Tridente’s job to bring those clashing perspectives, aesthetics and egos together for one week of the year at Adelaide Fashion Festival. Under her helm for the past three years, the fashion week has become a celebration that has spread from one street in the Eastern suburbs to a 10-day festival across the entire city.

“I feel like I'm doing my part a little bit for the Adelaide fashion industry by pushing it to grow,” she says.

But the more it grows, the more likely she’ll have to give something up. Over the past 12 months, Tridente estimates that she has personally designed and made more dresses than any other year.

 “It's a bit of a juggling act… As the label grows it's going to get harder,” she says.

“I don't think I really expected it (couture+love+madness) to have grown so fast but it's what I've wanted for forever so I can't complain.”

 

Don't expect any dull colours from Tridente.

Don't expect any dull colours from Tridente.

At the opening night of Adelaide Fashion Festival 2012, couture+love+madness was acknowledged as one of the state's most significant up-and-coming labels.

At the opening night of Adelaide Fashion Festival 2012, couture+love+madness was acknowledged as one of the state's most significant up-and-coming labels.

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Adelaide Fashion Blogs - Top South Australian Bloggers
Q&A with If You're a Bird boutique's Lanie Evans

Adelaide's newest boutique, If You're a Bird, sits quietly down the road from Bar 9 in Glen Osmond Road's boutique precinct between Greenhill and Fullarton Roads. If you're on the hunt for local up-and-comers like Ashlee Graham, Casper & Pearl, or See & Ell, you'll find them here alongside small, affordable interstate labels such as Lioness and Madison Square. Its 25-year-old owner, Lanie Evans, went out on a limb to follow her dreams, and I had a quick chat with her at the opening night of her store.

Lanie Evans at the opening night of If You're a Bird.

Lanie Evans at the opening night of If You're a Bird.

How long have you had the idea to start If You're a Bird? 

Two months.  It was a really fast turnaround. I've always worked in retail and I went and tried other stuff for a while; I tried working in an office and I didn't really like it. So I was just talking to my dad one day and he said why don't you start your own. so we sat down and went through it and that's how it evolved.

What made you choose Glen Osmond Rd? 

It's up and coming but it suits me. The buildings are old and a bit crumbling but it's quirky along here. Every single building is different and so are the shops inside

What does the future hold for If You're a Bird? 

The long term goal would be eventually to open the same store interstate but keep the same Adelaide brands. So taking Adelaide everywhere else and showing it off. There are some amazing designers who need to be shown off. 

Who's your favourite South Australian designer? 

I'm loving See & Ell. I love the really bright prints. And that's what I love about Ashlee Graham the label as well because they're still really bold but really feminine and they're easy to wear.  

What's your biggest challenge been? 

The actual store itself was really hard. There was carpet on the floor so we ripped it up and we had to redo all the floorboards. It was disgusting old concrete. The building itself has literally been the biggest obstacle.

 

Local label See & Ell by Libby Spring and Celia Fraser

Local label See & Ell by Libby Spring and Celia Fraser

Bomber jackets by Lioness

Bomber jackets by Lioness

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