Behind AFF 2016

With the 2016 Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF) just months away between 19–23 October, all the planning is well underway. The new AFF hub location is locked in, the program (with an additional day!) has been pencilled up with A Night Of Fashion at The Art Gallery securing the Saturday night spot once again and, most importantly, the campaign images have been shot.

Headed by AFF creative director Chris Kontos and event manger Robyn Ingerson alongside Marco Cicchianni & Deni Jones from creative agency Cul-de-sac, the shoot features the designs of 15 SA designers modelled by girls of Adelaide’s three leading agencies – Adele McKeen of Pride Models, Lily Nova of Finesse Models and Angel Allan of Azalea Models.

Jessica Elmer from Media Makeup was on the makeup brushes and Daren Borthwick of Clipjoint & The Artist Group styled the girls’ locks – but we’re just going to have to wait until the August launch date to see the final shots.

Renowned Australian photographer Georges Antoni, of The Artist Group, flew down to Adelaide to shoot the AFF campaign for the second year in a row. And when asked why he keeps coming back he says, “…it’s the incredible talent of the designers I get to shoot and the wonderful food in Adelaide.”

“We have a wealth of talent in other satellite cities including Adelaide,” Georges says. “This should be celebrated by all of us in the industry.”

His approach to the campaign shoot was to allow each designer’s outfit shine.

“The creative brief was to shoot portraits to be intertwined with South Australian landscape tones and graphics.”

His favourite on-set moment was when he stopped for a moment to admire how everyone had an important part to play in each shot.

“I realised at that point that this campaign particularly is a sum of all the parts – not only that it’s a collage, but the all the people who came together to make something uniquely Adelaide flavoured.”

Behind AFF 2016


What’s it like making the move from seeing your designs on the runway to now being behind the runway?
I’m really excited to be part of the creative direction for the festival and there’s a lot of pride involved in every runway show we produce. I’m emotionally invested in every event and supporting the designers to achieve their dream of showing on an international standard runway is an honour. I remember being in their shoes and it’s wonderful to play a part in creating opportunities for these South Australian designers.

What do you love most about your new role?
It’s no secret that I love fashion and I love working with people, so you could say that this role was made-to-measure for me! But the real highlight is to promote South Australia as a hub of creativity and innovation – I truly believe that the work that is produced is cutting-edge.

Favourite moment on shoot day?
My favourite moment on shoot day was seeing all of the creative influencers working together to execute an edgy and exciting vision for the Festival. To have so many industry leaders working together with Events South Australia to build the Adelaide Fashion Festival brand is really special. The campaign also ties in a strong South Australian story, influenced by the textures, colours and shapes of the state’s Far North region. It’s a powerful concept and one that is unique to South Australia, creating an inimitable identity for the Adelaide Fashion Festival.

It’s probably like asking you to pick a favourite child, but what AFF event are you most looking forward to?
How could I possibly pick just one? We are taking a slightly different approach to the Adelaide Fashion Festival program this year by matching designers together based on their aesthetic and target market, so there will be a lot of special moments and collaborations throughout the five days. Of course we are all looking forward to seeing what Paolo Sebastian will produce for the festival this year – and anyone who attended last year will know how major his runway show will be – but I’m also looking forward to seeing a number of designers present on the runway for the first time.

SA designers to watch in 2016?
We have so many interesting designers and brands in South Australia, some are intriguing because of their aesthetic and others are unique in terms of their business model and approach to the industry. We’ve seen great things from artist and accessories designer Tiff Manuell and her international relevance is only growing and growing. Acler are sure to have a big year now that they are stocked in Myer nationally. Elizabeth V isn’t new to the industry but after the exposure of AFF in 2015 and the focus on luxurious loungewear we are excited to see what designer Helen Heithersay produces this year. And it’s always exciting to see what comes out of Australian Fashion Labels and their international relevance continues to grow across all brands. I’m particularly excited to see the evolution of C/MEO COLLECTIVE – designer Siham Elmawey has so many fantastic ideas.

19-23 October 2016




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