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The Australian Five Present Their Collections in New York City

January 28th, 2012

Five of Australia’s most promising young designers showcased their collections on Thursday, at a private cocktail event held at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York. It was an opportunity for the five designers: Michael Lo Sordo, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velevska, Christopher Esber and Kym Ellery to showcase their Fall/Winter collections to U.S. buyers and press.

New York’s top tier press and fashion industry executives viewed the presentation, which was the culmination of The Australian Five program – a joint effort of Woolmark and the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation (AINYFF). The program was part of G’Day USA – an annual initiative designed to promote Australian business in the USA.

“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York‟s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” explains Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough. “The people who have come together to support this project is a testament to the value of both Australian designers and the Merino fibre in the international market,” says Rob Langtry, Global Marketing Director of The Woolmark Company.

At the cocktail event were AINYFF’s Malcolm Carfrae, Richard Christianson and Julie Anne Quay; Victoria‟s Secret model Shanina Shaik, daughter of the former Australian Prime Minister Katherine Keating, Aussie actor Emma Lung, photographer Sante D‟Orazio, Argentinian model and “It girl‟ Tati Cotliar and Calvin Klein designer Kevin Carrigan.

Check out all of the photos below.

Adrian Erdedi

The Australian Five – G’Day USA 2012

January 12th, 2012

The Woolmark Company, in partnership with the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation, recently announced The Australian Five initiative in New York City.

Five of Australia’s most talented fashion designers – Christopher Esber, Fernando Frisoni, Kym Ellery, Magdalena Velveska and recent SOYA winner, Michael Lo Sordo are taking their incredible collections to New York City for a unique program at the Crosby Street Hotel on January 24th to 27th. The program is part of the G’Day USA initiative – an annual program designed to showcase Australian business capabilities in the USA – Australia’s largest trading and investment partner.

“The Australian Five is focused on bringing the best of Australian design and putting them in front of New York’s best fashion editors, stylists and buyers,” explains Woolmark CEO Stuart McCullough.

“The people who have come together to support this project is a testament to the value of both Australian designers and the Merino fibre in the international market, and to the important role expatriate Australians play is spreading the word to international markets of some of our unique talent and products”, says Rob Langtry, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of The Woolmark Company.

“This is a unique opportunity for New York opinion formers to view the work of five talented young Australian fashion designers in a very intimate and close-up setting, meet the designers and really see the fabric innovation and design skill” added Malcolm Carfrae, Co Founder of the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation.

The program will present a multitude of opportunities for the designers to forge relationships with key members of the American fashion industry. Beginning with an educational seminar hosted at the Australian Consulate, industry greats such as Harper’s Bazaar USA Editor-at-Large Brana Wolf and Features/Special Projects Director Laura Brown, Founder and Creative Director of Chandelier Creative Richard Christianson, V Magazine and AINYFF’s Julie Anne Quay and Malcolm Carfrae (also Executive Vice President of Global Communications at Calvin Klein). This incredibly influential people will be some of the many experts on hand to guide these designers towards their dream of cracking the lucrative US market. The program will culminate with an exclusive cocktail party and live model presentation on January 26 at the Crosby Street Hotel.

Nancy Pilcher (Editorial Director-At-Large, Conde Nast Asia Pacific) is taking on the role as mentor, assisting the designers to present their brands flawlessly to the US market.

G’day USA celebrations are managed and produced annually by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Australian Trade Commission, Tourism Australia, Qantas Airways and the State Governments of New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. DHL will support The Australian Five through preparing them with high quality, reliable export and import services.

www.merino.com // www.ainyff.org // www.australia-week.com // www.wool.com.au

MORE ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

Fernando Frisoni


Fernando Frisoni AW12/13 is based around ideas of strength, versatility and competitive instinct. The collection, titled Stadium, draws reference from the functionality and form seen in the sports arena.

Designs brought to life by a rich wool textures, effortlessly and a sexy and considerate take on the luxury sport aesthetic resulting in garments which are both chic and highly wearable.  The collection stays true to the Fernando Frisoni philosophy which encapsulates casual sophistication whilst celebrating minimalism and uncomplicated silhouettes.

Magdalena Velevska


Magdalena Velevska’s AW12/13 collection has been designed and driven through the use of innovative textiles, and applying these in contemporary yet wearable ways.

Sequin wool felting is a feature of this collection. A felting technique is used to connect a fine Merino wool jersey with silk georgette which swiftly provides a unique sequin shine. The fabric is than further embellished to add spark and take the development out of an androgynous feel into a luxurious territory.

Five pieces of extraordinary knitwear made from 100% merino wool yet look like intricate lace are a feature of Velevska’s AW12/13 collection.

The knitwear is three dimensional in texture and uses a blend of two different yarns to achieve the unique effect – one flat and smooth, the other more textured and bulky.

Michael Lo Sordo


Michael Lo Sordo’s AW12/13 collection, ‘Gold Rush,’ is comprised of a sophisticated colour palette - black, midnight blue, olive, cognac and of course gold.

The finest of merino wool’s is set alongside boiled wool and felts, waxed silks and viscose, soft nappa leather – all creating dynamic changes in appearance and feel.

Lo Sordo has also developed by hand a state-of-the-art foiling technique – using wool’s inherent property to absorb heat, gold is manipulated into the wool fabric with heat, creating an imperfect but yet perfect design finish. Rare manual finishing techniques and creative uses of multiple textiles is a signature of Lo Sordo’s that shows the utmost innovation, and understanding of modern style.

Christopher Esber


AW12/13 for Christopher Esber is all about examining the essence of couture shapes, about looking at the points on the body where volume sits then contouring other areas to give a sense of dynamic, sports inspired, panelling and a rapid sense of urgency.

AW12/13 see’s Esber play with a woven wool and mohair fabric that brings texture and drama into the pieces and also features bonding of wool felts onto leathers for reversible classic pieces from outerwear to the staple dress.

Kym Ellery

Ellery AW12/13 is filled with a multitude if aesthetic wonders.

As the seasons have ticked by, so have the challenges that Ellery has adopted to give the range a touch of something thoughtful and intriguing. Time after time Ellery has mastered many different techniques which cross the boundaries of conventional garment design.

AW12/13 brings a new masterpiece to the fore with an exciting relationship forged between fine Australian Merino wool and lurex to create knits which enchant and devour the body. This intricate knitted fabric is then put through a fusing process to bond it to the inside of leather so that the garments are fabric lined and feel luxurious next to the skin.

www.AdrianErdedi.com

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Michael Lo Sordo Wins Prestigious Qantas Spirit of Youth Award

January 10th, 2012

As if 2012 wasn’t already looking promising for the young talented designer, Michael Lo Sordo.

Today Michael took home the very prestigious Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, which will now see him receive $10,000, flights with Qantas and a mentorship for one year with the adorable girls from Zimmermann, Nicky and Simone.

Michael Lo Sordo was recently selected as one of five very special Australian designers jetting off to New York in just over a week with The Woolmark Company, which is in partnership with the G’Day USA initiative. Over there, they will get to showcase their designs on a global scale, with enormous potential for each of the designers and their brands.

Easily one of Australia’s finest designers establishing himself in Australia, 2012 really will be a big year for Michael, and I know for a fact everyone will be supporting him and his incredible talent for many years to come.

Congratulations Michael!

Adrian

Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2011 – Fernando Frisoni

May 13th, 2011


Fernando Frisoni showed his Summer 2011 womenswear collection entitled ʻZoraʻ offsite at the point of the Sydney Opera House during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. The clouds disappeared and the sun shined over the beautiful harbour. Everyone has the opportunity to sit front row, with the maze-like catwalk running up and down the length of the marquee.

The Brazilian born designerʼs fourth womenswear collection sees Frisoni go back to his roots and truly realize his brand DNA. Inspired by the 1920ʼs, a decade of a modern era in fashion, a decade in which women first liberated themselves from constricting fashions and began to wear more relaxed shapes and embrace androgyny. Also drawn in by the minimalism of 1960′s op art sees Frisoniʼs summer collection take on a palate of mainly black and white.

The luxury silk-blend mesh and textured linens in modern blends took to the stage, impressing the audience. Silhouettes are loose and to be worn with ease and confidence. A boyish pair of board shorts made in the finest luxury silk crepe, crisp white cotton shirting complete with capes and tails, and beautiful textured silk low crutch pants. The silk fringes transport the 1920ʼs into a todayʼs ultramodern shapes.

The collection reflects two sides; the black and the white; the naughty (the flapper) and the well behaved (the aristocrat). Androgynous, sexy, timeless and chic. ʻZoraʼ is the perfect balance of the 60ʼs and 20ʼs, showcasing shapes which reflect a futurist existence, the Fernando Frisoni woman is sophisticated but simple, sheʼs modern, original and powerful.

His Summer 11 collection brings with it personality, attitude and glamour where nothing is compulsory and individuality is everything ʻZoraʼ. A simple collection. A divine location. A fabulous affair. Well done Fernando.

The King Of Community Television – Yianni Zinonos

August 9th, 2010

He’s a smart, cultured and hilarious man, with real ethics and kindness that makes him one of my great friends.

Yianni Zinonos is one of the funniest guys I know. He is random and witty, and constantly makes me laugh – that is the basis of any great friendship.

He’s generous, kind to everybody and gives everyone the time of day. His TV show “Yianni’s City Life” is one highly rating TV show aired nationally on Mondays 8pm, Wednesdays at 8:30am and Fridays at midday on TVS, channel 44.

He works hard, and plays just as hard! But he has halved his work load of late, for reasons I’d like him to explain to you…

Projects you are currently working on?

I’m completing series 9 of my national TV show Yianni’s City Life. We film for a couple of months at many different events such as Fashion week, Vivid, Biennale, Italian festival,  Sydney Film Festival, etc. This current series is events based. I have was also featured on the highly successful ABC1 series “The Making of Modern Australia”. Its a 4 part documentary series about the lives of different Aussies since the end of the second World War.

I have also been out there promoting my TV show in the media, with several write ups in the press. I also work in fashion as a freelance designer and pattern maker for several emerging fashion labels, such as Fernando Frisoni. Recently I have started writing a blog – How to start a fashion label. Its all about setting up small business in the ragtrade. I have worked in fashion for almost 30 years.

My favourite piece of clothing is…

The humble t-shirt. I am a summer person, that’s when I’m in my element.

The feature I love the most about my home is…

My cute tiny green garden, which is grassed, and surrounded by overgrown trees and bushes. Its my little piece of paradise.

The foods and drinks that most excite me are..

Sushi, I love it, its healthy, lite, the one food you can enjoy that won’t make me fat!

I also love my “Soy Decaf Flat Whites”. Yes you wouldn’t want to be serving me in a cafe! In summer I make my own flavoured mineral waters with fresh fruit crushed into them. I am famous for my gluten free buckwheat pancakes, with home made chocolate sauce.

My  greatest extravagance is…

Working part-time. I have worked fulltime for 27 years, and now the time has come to take life a bit easy, I finally figured out its more important to just have the time to just simply live, rather than work as hard as I used to. I am happy to have less material things, its more important to be calm and relaxed than constantly stressed out.

The greatest lesson I learned is…

The importance of self esteem. I work in media, and entertainment, and nothing happens if you aren’t confident, or believe in yourself. Success is more about who you are as a person rather than what we do.

If we have a great energy everything else will naturally follow.

My advice for someone who wants to get into fashion?

It’s alot of hard work, its an industry that can chew up so many resources both financial plus efforts. Go into fashion because you want to develop your craft as a designer and business person not because you want to be rich and famous. Get your priorities right.  It’s the same for TV. Don’t do things for your ego, get involved because you want a better community.

How do you balance your life between work and home?

My work life balance is better now I am working part time. I live and work from home, which also doubles as a tv studio. Its great when I’m not too busy i can just breeze through, though  when I’m doing too much I get stressed out, I cant relax, then my health suffers. Its not worth working too hard without a very good reason. We delude ourselves into thinking we constantly need all this extra money, when I would rather live  a more humble way, and have the extra time to chill out here and there.

Which celebrity wardrobe would you most like to raid?

I don’t think about raiding any celebrity wardrobe because I design cut and make all my own clothes, even my undies!

How did you get into doing what you do?

I got involved in fashion since my childhood, my mother was a dressmaker. I used to make dresses for dolls, much to the discomfort of my family when I was a child. About 10 years ago, when things in fashion where very slow, I started working as an extra, on films, TV commercials, and drama series etc. It was alot of fun, then I started taking acting lessons for fun, then I got a part scholarship to study film making, while I got involved in community TV as work experience.

I used to produce and present a weekly segment on one of the programs for  a few years. Then I was offered my own program, which eventually went national.

Around the home my design rule is…

Minimalism. I don’t like clutter. There’s alot of white walls, polished Sydney Bluegum floor boards, privacy, and natural light. It’s all very simple.

My mother and father always told me to…

Get married… Sorry, I haven’t gotten around to that yet.

What charities do you support?

I have promoted alot of charities and community organizations through my TV show. Its great Karma, I really feel that’s my way of giving back to the community someway.

How often do you cook at home and your signature dish?

I will cook at least one main meal at home each day. I can because I work from home.

I do an amazing gluten free pasta dish with bolognese sauce.

Your thoughts on Australian fashion compared to International fashion?

Australian fashion is great at certain things only, from the Worlds reaction. We are good at swimwear, beachwear, surf wear, its more the casual stuff the global market wants from us. Yes there are many small designers selling overseas, but we are an absolute speck in the ocean. Too many Australian designers never make it overseas because they are busy copying what already been done there… We need to be more creative  and experimental, develop our own signature, then we will have something to promote.

I cant leave home without…

My keys, my small wallet with my I.D, business cards, some cash, and a credit card.

Plus I always try to not leave the house with  out making my self look half decent.

What frustrates me most about Sydney…

The congestion. Its become a claustrophobic, cramped place. It’s loosing its charm, there are too many people around, its becoming too expensive, everyone is stressed out. It’s not as relaxed and care free as it used to be when i was growing up.

If I where Clover Moore I would…

Shoot myself for allowing those ridiculous bike lanes. No one uses them, they have created even more congestion. There is no where to park, where there wasn’t enough parking places to begin with. Those bike lanes have sent many business broke, cause such havoc in residents lives. I can’t believe where our money is going!!!!! It would have been cheaper to pay the cyclists to catch a cab than the $80 million wasted…

My ulitmate holiday destination would be…

Miami, and New Orleans, I have always wanted to go there.

One of the most embarrassing moments I have had was…

Recently appearing in an ABC documentary about the lives of Australians. There I was on national TV, in all these naked photos of me on holidays in Mykonos on a gay beach. I dont think my mother was too happy!

One success I am proud of is…

My work in producing, and presenting a national community TV show for the last 5 years. I really enjoy being out there in the media, communicating. I get to work with the most extreme variety of people, from politicians, artists, entertainers, community organizations, and charities.

This had made my life very interesting and enjoyable.

One failure I have learnt from is…

Not to be vulnerable. When you are vulnerable as I have been in the past people can be nasty and vindictive. They do horrible things to you. If you are strong, and believe in your self, if you are confident, people tend to pick on someone else.

If millions of kids admired me…

I would tell them not just to think of themselves, but to think of others. I would tell them the importance of self control, and self discipline. Also how its good to be involved in community, to somehow give back, not just take.

My best grooming tip is…

To work on your soul, to be a good person, be happy, because that’s what really radiates the best king of beauty. Its from within.

http://www.tvs.org.au/programs/yiannis-city-life