07/04/2017
Hear me out.

Words by

Kristen Byass

People who know Adelaide will bang on about how it's such a hidden gem, but it’s true. 

Sure, if you look on the surface, you might only find footy fans and people who love to remind you Adelaide is the only city in Australia not colonised by convicts. But if you delve a bit deeper, you’ll find Adelaide is rapidly changing and producing one of the most underrated fashion scenes in Australia.

The Designers

Designers in Adelaide march to the beat of their own drum and it truly pays off. Australian Fashion Labels, the parent of labels Keepsake, Finders, C/MEO, The Fifth and Jaggar Footwear was started in 2007 by Adelaidians Melanie and Dean Flintoff.

Ten years later, the label is seen on Instagram cool girls and celebrities internationally. Their sample sales are known to draw camping crowds days before, with every one of their pieces reduced to $10. You can barely buy a coffee in Sydney for $10.

Another successful international designer from Adelaide is Paul Vasileff of Paolo Sebastian. His dreamy couture gowns are sought after by brides and red-carpet celebs globally, and he’s an exhibitor at Paris’ Haute Couture Fashion Week. 

Over on the opposite end of the spectrum, dozens of innovative designers and labels are popping up every year in Adelaide. Notable inclusions are Vege Threads, Good Studios, Acler, Katya Komarova and Tiff Manuell. Oh look! We’ve already interviewed a bunch of them here.

The Markets

Adelaide’s fashion and design market scene is constantly evolving. The Gilles St Market has been the go-to place to pick up homemade jewellery and vintage gems, and explore emerging labels for over seven years. Newcomer Labels Style Market has rapidly grown a cult following too. Travelling markets like Round She Goes have recently added Adelaide to their circuit, because, you guessed it, we have a fab fashion scene.

The Fashion Festival

Started by Couture+Love+Madness designer, Cristina Tridente, in 2007, the Adelaide Fashion Festival has grown to be an official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival. Seven runways and numerous other events saw the likes of Yan Yan Chan, Liz Sunshine (Street Smith) and Coco Rocha experience the best of Adelaide fashion in 2016.

The Boutiques

Yes, Adelaide quite possibly has the worst Zara in the world, a tiny Myer concession-stand Topshop and no sign of H&M. Instead, it has a generous offering of independent boutiques. 

Azalia, Sooki, and Wildchild are all great places to find pieces from Australian designers (both locally and interstate). Coltish is the store to go for all your boho-beachy needs, and TuYu is where you can pick up the perfect party outfit without breaking the bank. You can keep your mass-produced garment selections, Adelaide’s fine with its local boutiques.

The Bloggers

To keep up-to-date with the Adelaide fashion scene, there are a few bloggers you should know about. Though the blogging scene in SA is small, girls like Of Style and Substance, Silky BowThe Adelaidian and Silhouettes of Chic are producing quality content. In fact, Silhouettes of Chic even wrote a blogger's guide to little ol' Adelaide for us.

Next time you hear someone ragging on about how lame Adelaide is, take a scroll through one of their feeds or browse through a local designer’s online store. Appreciate the vibrant culture that is Adelaide.

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