Paolo Sebastian’s Incredible A/W16 Collection: The Snow Maiden

Paolo Sebastian is Adelaide’s most successful international couturier, and his A/W16 collection The Snow Maiden made its debut closing the 2015 Adelaide Fashion Festival with two sold-out shows.

From the moment Megan Irwin opened the show, sauntering down the catwalk in an elegant high-necked, double breasted black coat, the audience’s collective breaths were taken away. Stunning look after stunning look was paraded on the Adelaide Fashion Festival runway, the quality of craftsmanship obvious through the amazingly detailed embroidery, lace and beautiful fabrics.

A range of styles were used, everything from high necks to dramatic plunging v’s, structured pointed skirts to layers of lace and sheer fabrics cascading down to form enviable trains. Sparkling snowflakes formed magical detailing on the final pale dresses, providing an obvious link to the inspiration behind Paolo Sebastian’s collection, a Russian folk tale called The Snow Maiden.

The popular Disney film Frozen was based on The Snow Maiden, which is why we could imagine many of these exquisite gowns on a real-life Elsa. Through many of his collections, it’s apparent Russian sophistication and culture heavily influences the designer behind the label, Paul Vasileff. Vasileff’s first solo collection back in 2012 was inspired by legendary Russian composer Tchaikovsky, and the opening music for the A/W16 collection was from a movie about Russia’s mysterious Grand Duchess Anastasia.

While many of the outfits offered from The Snow Maiden were pale and dreamy, there were a few darker, sultry looks to satisfy the more striking woman. Sheer black tops were offset by full bodied skirts, and a touch of fur was present to add an element of classical style.

Often with local designers the audience finds themselves noting elements of inspiration in the collection that may have come from larger designers like Chanel or Versace. With Paolo Sebastian’s The Snow Maiden, we can confidently say this is a collection that was not inspired by, but will inspire other designers with it’s original designs of sophistication and elegance.


Designer Paul Vasileff accepting a standing ovation

All photos provided by Meaghan Coles Photography

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