Powerful performance at Tandanya opens Adelaide Fashion Festival

THE Adelaide Fashion Festival presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide has wowed a 200-plus crowd with an exclusive opening-night event drawing inspiration from South Australia’s Far North.

The event, held at Tandanya on Wednesday October 19, paired fashion with indigenous art, breathtaking live music and an installation that showcased Adelaide designers involved in the festival over the coming days.

Styled by Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF) creative director Chris Kontos, the audience noticed a departure from tradition with the dramatic and edgy feel to the evening.

“The one thing I’ve always loved doing is shocking people, and building a performance around fashion I think is really exciting as well,” Kontos said.

“I think Paul (Vasileff) last year showed with Paolo Sebastian that if you bring a mood to your runway and you have a certain level of attitude or vibe about your brand, it really does emotionally affect people.”

The opening-night event captured elements of Nurlanthi, a performance featuring indigenous and Torres Strait Islander models and dancers that forms part of this year’s Spirit Festival Present program. Nurlanthi will also be staged at Tandanya.

The show included a jaw-dropping live performance by South Australian duo Electric Fields, whose song Shade Away is the hero track of Adelaide Fashion Festival 2016. Vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding enchanted with a part a cappella rendition of the song, before models dressed in white and neutral ready-to-wear looks joined him on stage.

Brands featured included STONE, So It Goes the Label, Jeans Corp, Alpha Be, Simmone Standing The Label and more.

“I didn’t want it to be just runway 101; I wanted it to be really unique in its look and feel, and the models and talent are definitely that.”

Kontos said he looked forward to the broader Adelaide Fashion Festival, and to audience reactions to the innovative designs on show. Local designer looks will show on the AFF Runway, Victoria Square, from tomorrow evening 6pm when Runway 1: BNKR opens the venue for the year.

Earlier today guests enjoyed an inspiring and daring lunch event with entrepreneurial icon and media industry leader Lisa Messenger, with food prepared by Simon Bryant.

The lunch, held at Mercedes-Benz Adelaide and supported by Deviation Rd, Fox Gordon and Wicks wines, Kris Lloyd Artisan cheeses, OTR #AFF16 Survival Kits and The Candle Establishment, also raised awareness about bowel cancer prevention through a charity partnership with the Jodi Lee Foundation.

Tomorrow the program kicks off with the Connecting China Workshop before two runway (BNKR and Contemporary Women’s Fashion) shows in the evening.

The Adelaide Fashion Festival presented by Mercedez-Benz Adelaide will be held from October 19-23. Visit adelaidefashionfestival.com for more information and to buy tickets.