Dual Win For The Premier’s Design Award 2016

Last month, the winner of the Premier’s Design Award was announced at a runway event during the Adelaide Fashion Festival presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide.

TAFE SA fashion students were given a brief of creating a trend driven day to evening wear outfit for Summer 2017 using denim supplied by R.M Williams. It was imperative that 70% of the outfit was made using the fabric supplied and that the design reflected their individual creative direction.

For the first time ever, the award was won by two entrants — Maria Panetta and Anthony May — who will now undertake a 12-month industry mentoring program within the local fashion industry.

We chat to Maria and Anthony about their denim designs and how their graduate collections are coming up in the lead up to the HomeStart SA Fashion Graduate Parades on December 2 & 3.

Maria Panetta

Where did you find inspiration for your Premier’s Design Award design?
My initial inspiration was researching the history of denim, which led me to the rich heritage and history of the Levi’s denim blue jeans.  The elements I incorporated into the design were the colour of the rivets (the metallic leather panels) and the contrasting gold top-stitching thread.

However, the overarching inspiration for the design was time, the theme for the denim armour dress, “S’titch’ed in time” was an expression of how our perception of time can alter our emotions significantly and affect our cognitive processes.

The free-flowing form of the asymmetric A-line bias cut side panel reflected a time in my life where I was carefree and I didn’t feel the pressure of time.  On the other end of the spectrum, the metallic leather armour like panels and the top-stitched seamless panel is all about time pressure and the perception of never having enough hours in the day, a constant “to do” list dominating the mental state.

How do you think winning the Premier’s Design Award will benefit you in the fashion industry?
It will open doors to this fabulous industry and assist me in developing my career, I still have so much to learn and look forward to savouring every new experience.

How is your graduate collection coming along?
My graduate collection is slowly taking form and I have really enjoyed the overall process.  That is not to say that each piece has not been a challenge, it has been my first time working with bias cut silk satin and the learning experience has been interesting and sometimes a little frustrating.

Tell us more about the inspiration and theme behind your graduate collection?
The inspiration behind my graduate collection is from the Golden Age of Hollywood and the gorgeous bias cut evening gowns created by Madeleine Vionett in the 1930s. The Hollywood glamour collection features an earthy metallic colour palette with overtly feminine silhouettes and floor-sweeping hems.

What are your plans once completing your Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology?
I would like to work under the guidance of a couturier.  To have the opportunity to create beautiful garments using the finest fabrics would be an amazing experience.

Anthony May

Where did you find inspiration for your Premier’s Design Award design?
My inspiration came from Rihanna. She is the queen of streetwear and glamour. I wanted to create something that was edgy and glamorous at the same time and I wanted to do something outside my comfort zone and created a look with exaggerated flared sleeves (inspired by Hood By Air) with a feminine and sexy body (inspired by Balmain) and basically morphed them together to create that perfect Riri look.

How do you think winning the Premier’s Design Award will benefit you in the fashion industry?
I think winning the Premier’s Design Award will benefit me in the industry by giving me that slight exposure into the fashion world (of Adelaide), I mean you’ve got to start somewhere and I think this is an amazing starting point. It has basically built a door for me that will hopefully lead to a room full of opportunities but it’s only just the beginning and it’s up to me to really push and take myself to the next level.

How is your graduate collection coming along?
My graduate collection is coming along great. I’ve just finished two fittings and now I’m just slowly finishing every single one of my looks.

Tell us more about the inspiration and theme behind your graduate collection?
The inspiration and theme behind my graduate collection is inspired by India and EDM culture. I love bling and I love music festivals so I thought why not bring those two together.

The India inspiration is from the intricate detailing of beading and crystals used in Indian bridal couture and also the designs on India’s interior and exterior architecture, and the EDM culture inspiration is from the bright coloured visuals that are projected on those extremely large LED screens that you see at Tomorrowland and Ultra.

By mixing those ideas together I’m able to create a collection that has a hint of traditional culture with a modern twist. I would describe my style as sexy, glamourous, and risk taking.

I’m a neutrals palette boy so for this collection I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone by doing injections of colour throughout my collection, not only that but bright rich tones are also what’s trending for Spring Summer 17.

What are your plans once completing your Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology?
My plans after completing my Advance Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology initially was to move to Melbourne as I have family there who do have experience with sewing and pattern making and to really start thinking about my label, even though it’s not recommended to do so after finishing a diploma but I like to take risks, but now since I’ve won the Premier’s award I’ve been awarded a 12 month mentorship for next year to work with successful designers in this industry and who will I work with. I don’t know who yet as that is still to be confirmed but I am very excited to see what the future will bring.

If you’d like to see Maria and Anthony’s graduate collections, tickets to the HomeStart SA Fashion Graduate Parades are on sale now.

Photography by Meaghan Coles & Maria Petroff.

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