Fashion: 8 creatives and how they’re preparing for #AFF17


The Adelaide Fashion Festival is that critical time of the year when the crème de la crème of South Australia’s fashion set put their best foot forward. And while they would love to have us believe that those effortless street style vibes were created with their eyes closed, we know those net-a-porter deliveries began trickling through months ago. But heck, who are we to judge. If there is one time of the year when dusting off those Gucci’s and sending the credit card into red is justified, well the AFF would have to be it. I mean, Edwina is watching after all…

But let’s stop for a hot minute and consider the designers and AFF team. With all eyes on the catwalk and production, the pressure to deliver anything but floral’s for spring is very real.  So how are some of your favourite designers and creatives handling the pressure?

We asked 8 AFF creatives to share what the lead up to the #AFF17 really looks like.


Jaimie Sortino

Pre-festival… good nutrition and staying hydrated. Days leading up to runway shows can be chaos with fittings and run times so it can be easy to forget to eat proper meals. I try to have a decent breakfast before I leave in the mornings. I also make sure in between shows or meetings I have a big lunch.



Katya Komarova

I constantly make sure I’m still on track with what I originally came up with. I am always checking on my moodboard and sketches. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the direction when you are such a high level of excitement. I do breaks. I swap tasks, I go for walks.

Naomi Murrell

We’re spending long days in the studio, kicking off our mornings with a warming chai, then breaking for a bowl of udon from our local Japanese izakaya, Nishiki. It’s all hands on deck as we put the final touches on our Spring Summer 17/18 collection, getting it ready to launch simultaneously at AFF, online and in store. Garment fittings, photo shoots, window displays, website content updates – you name it, we’re doing it!

Sophie – Autark

At the moment I am spending lots of time in my studio draping, re-draping and modifying. It helps to have Spotify, lots of coffee and tea and a sweat treat in the afternoon to get me through. As a creative I find it hard to stick to a schedule – but music, candles and mint slice biscuits help!



Cristina Tridente

I work better under pressure! It’s the adrenaline that always gets me through to the festival. Plenty of late nights, hardly any sleep and a diet coke every now and then will get me through! I try to dedicate days to the ‘festival’ and ‘client days’. I find that by designating them it seems to work better to get through all of it! I try to be as organised as I can and leave stuff that isn’t urgent till after the Festival.

Stephanie Chehade

Last year I was super prepared and everything was done and dusted early on so I had no concerns – but this year is a different story! When I’m under pressure and have a deadline, my routine is all over the place! On a usual day I would have 3-4 cups of coffee, so I guess you could say that my caffeine intake definitely amplifies when I am working on a collection.

I also find that getting some fresh air and being active really helps me clear my mind. I love being at the beach, whether it is to go for a walk or to have breakfast/coffee, it really refreshes me. The salt air, mixed with the sound of the waves crashing and seeing the beautiful sun reflecting on the water really helps me destress, regain perspective and inspiration. When I have a lot on my mind and I feel like my head is about to explode, I know I need “my time”.



Chris Kontos, Creative Director of the Adelaide Fashion Festival

Preparing for AFF as the creative director is intense- it includes early starts and late nights! Every minute counts. Looking at the overall project, my job is ensuring every bit of detail is covered and we haven’t missed a thing.

Ash Wilby, one half of LOVE TWAIN, social media team for #AFF17

Coffee – so much coffee, a supportive partner who knows when to let me work, a Facebook ‘active now’ status 24/7 and a stage 5 clinger title to my phone – that is me in a nutshell – and will be for the next few weeks.

Working out before heading to the office definitely helps to set me up for the day – if I don’t exercise at 6am there is no productivity after 2.30pm – so I commit to daily pre-work exercise with a mix of Pilates and cardio kickboxing.

I work so much better under pressure and now that we are down to double digit days until this years festival it is absolutely heads down bums up. So no social outings, just work work work work (as Rihanna would say!) – but it’s all worth it in the end.