It's taken more than a year to prepare, but Adelaide's couture dressmaker Jaimie Sortino is finally ready for what he says is his biggest parade ever. For the first time, he'll show alongside a glittering array of local and national designers, including Carla Zampatti and Willow at A Night of Fashion at the Art Gallery. Not only that, but he'll be among the first designers to ever show in the Elder wing of the Art Gallery of South Australia. But the 23-year-old says there are no nerves.
"It's more exciting (than nerve-racking)," he says. "I've always wanted to show at the art gallery."
"When I found out it was here (at the gallery) it made me ten times happier."
The grand architecture of the gallery has informed the 15 designs Sortino will be releasing for the first time at the event.
"I came here for inspiration and it's kind of a view of soft white romantic Paris," he says.
"I automatically just thought of floaty, elegant, big, and something white just came to me and I ran with white the whole way through.
The gowns, which are all white, comprise Sortino's only collection for the year.
"I try not to go towards seasons, only because I don't like the words spring/summer/winter/autumn," he says, adding that the pressure of seasonal production can be too much for a single dressmaker. "A lot of people think there are other people working on it, but it's just me working on it."
Sortino says he's learnt from previous mistakes, dropping perceived pretension by producing a collection that is more wearable.
"I definitely like to tell a story with my fashion but I've edited it not to be so literal," he says.
"And that's where I think I got lost last year; I just got very literal in what I wanted to do, and (this year) I just went away and really edited myself.
"(Now) I've found a really good balance between making wearable art and making something that also appeals to the customer who has to buy it, and I really listened to the people that wear my stuff.
"I'm excited to see them on the runway, because they've just been sitting on my mannequins for the last year and a half."
To be among the exclusive crowd who will view the designs on the runway at the art gallery, you can purchase tickets here. Other designers showing on the night include Bianca Spender, Willow, Carla Zampatti, Scanlan and Theodore, Couture + Love + Madness, Paolo Sebastian, with curated collections from Claire Inc and The New Guard. Tickets include pre-show cocktails and after-party access.