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Monday, August 13, 2018 12:32pm

5 minutes with Paul Vasileff

Paolo Sebastian_runway_Meaghan Coles_DESIGNER PAUL VASILEFF__DSC2294.jpg

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will be performing at this year's Adelaide Fashion Festival event, Paolo Sebastian presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide & Unley Runway 1 and 2. It's a special moment for the ASO, as Paolo Sebastian is the darling of our fashion industry. Designer, Paul Vasileff, built the couture house from ground up - it now shows in Paris! 

We spoke to Paul ahead of the festival to shed some light onto how this collaboration between Paolo Sebastian and the ASO came about, and why it is so important to him.

Paolo Sebastian at AFF 2017. This image by Meagan Coles.

You have achieved so much at a young age including being named 2017 Young Australian of the Year, what keeps you motivated to achieve and strive for excellence?

I think having such a wonderful team and support system around me has got us to where we are today. There is still a very long road ahead of us, but I think you can't help but want to do your very best when you have so many people who believe in you. 

When did your relationship love affair with classical music and in particular Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker begin?

As long as I can remember, Sleeping Beauty has been my absolute favorite Disney film.  As a child, I was captivated by the enchanting scores, which was obviously an adaptation of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty.

I discovered Tchaikovsky's compositions around age eight and have been inspired by them ever since. They have even inspired previous Paolo Sebastian collections, such as our SS13 Swan Lake Collection.

What elements of the music did you draw inspiration from in the design of the collection?

When I listen to a piece that inspires me – and in the case of this current collection I was listening to "dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" –  I was instantly inspired. I began to imagine the models parading down the runway and could envision how they were dressed head to toe. It's a very fleeting vision, so I find when it hits I have to be very quick to note it all down. The same happened a few years ago when we did our Swan Lake collection. It's like being in a live daydream. It's very exciting because you're so full of ideas and inspiration.

Your inspiration in the last Disney collection was quite obvious in your designs,  is this same for The Nutcracker? Tell us about some of the pieces in the new collection?

For this collection, I really wanted the designs and the textiles to fit in the world that is created by the musical score. So when we were creating these garments, I had to be sure they lived comfortably in the musical realms of The Nutcracker. Ultimately all I ever want to do with my work is to transport people and offer them a sense of a enchantment. 

What does it mean to you to have the ASO performing live during a parade at the Adelaide Fashion Festival?

It's a dream come true. I have so much respect for the incredible talent of the orchestra (ASO), especially since the music is such an important part of the story behind this collection. I am so grateful that people will be able to experience the two in unison. When I first approached AFF and the ASO with the idea, I was almost certain that the answer would be no, so I was extremely surprised to that everyone was so onboard and accommodating to bring the vision to life.   

What’s your first memory of listening to the Nutcracker?

I would say as a child reading the storybooks and listening to the musical score during Christmas time is my first and fondest memory of the Nutcracker.  Funnily enough, it was actually during the Christmas break when I started designing this collection. I bought a storybook for my Goddaughter which was a Tchaikovsky musical book. when the Sugarplum Fairy began to play I thought...well so much for holidays, I have to start the collection while I have the inspiration. 

Music is…

So important in life. It can really set the mood and tone of our day and life. I find whenever I listen to classical music, particularly Tchaikovsky, I'm instantly whisked away to another world.

Paolo Sebastian presented by Mercedes-Benz Adelaide & Unley Runway
Runway 1: October 17, 5.15pm
Runway 2: October 18, 5.15pm
AFF Runway, Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide
Prices start from $99


Paul Vasileff and our players at our photoshoot with The Advertiser for the Paolo Sebastian runway at Adelaide Fashion Festival 2018.

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