Frida Las Vegas
#Gay Gallery 27.09
Throughout the months of September & October, the walls of Imperial UP have been brought to life with the pop-tastic work of Frida Las Vegas… A Sydney based artist, designer, maker extraordinaire who resides in the hearts of Sydney’s queer scene! For this edition of the #GayGallery we chat to the lady behind the wheel of this talented fabulous supercar, Stavroula (or Stav as her friends call her), the Adelaide born gal with an eye for style and isn’t afraid of colour.
Who/what is Frida Las Vegas, and how has your career and business evolved over the years?
FRIDA LAS VEGAS is a catchier version of my real name, Stavroula Adameitis, which can be a mouthful to say for the uninitiated! Frida isn’t my alter ego – she IS me – but I love what the pun represents with the mental mashup of Frida Kahlo’s extreme artistic expression and the tack-a-rama glitz n’ glamour of Las Vegas.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve expanded the FRIDA LAS VEGAS universe to encompass neon & acrylic artworks, illustrated prints, fashion and accessories. I’m always motivated to make what I can’t find in the mass market and tell a positive story about Australian popular culture through the unity of art & fashion.
What inspires and excites you as a designer?
Lots of stuff! I’ve always felt an affinity with Pop Art and wanted to make my own spin on the genre through personal storytelling. I love taking a trip through memory lane and thinking about all sorts of random things from my childhood growing up in Adelaide during the 80s and 90s – things like TV show opening credits, soft drink packaging, op shop record covers, you name it. I’m fascinated by what’s happening in our own backyard when it comes to popular culture, rather than looking overseas for inspiration.
Pop Art is notoriously associated with America thanks to the movement’s most famous artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein and I was interested in exploring what Australian Pop Art might look and feel like through a 1980s-meets-Art Deco filter.
The Eleganza Australiana collection currently exhibiting at Imperial UP celebrates iconic LGBTQI Australians, what was your objective with this work?
I wanted to celebrate iconic members of the Australian LGBTQI community who were either LGBTQI performers, champions of queer culture or allies who campaigned for visibility of the community throughout the 1980s and 1990s when it was widely considered ‘risky’ to be in the public eye and openly queer. I hope to shine a spotlight on this handful of homegrown heroes who paved the way for future generations and celebrate their outstanding contributions to Australian popular culture.
Frida Las Vegas encompasses many mediums: graphic & print, neon installations, textile design, fashion design, styling, not to forget marketing and events… What advice do you have for someone starting their own creative business?
Make distinctive work. Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else! Do your work from the heart and follow your gut instinct – it rarely leads you astray. Be prepared to spend lots of time working through the more unglamorous side of running a creative business, like building an e-commerce website or posting packages. You will feel ridiculously satisfied when you overcome those initial barriers and kick goals!
The 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival campaign is a Frida Las Vegas Extravaganza and all over Sydney, we are totally obsessed! How did this opportunity come about?
I’m super chuffed to have created the imagery for the Sydney Fringe 2018 campaign. The festival contacted me about creating a custom print and I jumped at the chance to design something summery and fun inspired by iconic Sydney symbology. I collaborated with fashion label Nicol & Ford who created 1980s-does-1940s inspired outfits, which was paired with the same print as the background. To see your work fluttering in banners and zooming on buses around Sydney is a pretty special feeling – a very Carrie Bradshaw moment!
What’s next for Frida Las Vegas?
I’m very excited to be taking over The Imperial for the closing part of my Eleganza Australiana exhibition with music & drag performances inspired by Australian music from the 80s and 90s. This is from 9-11pm on Friday 26th October, and it will be a really fun night of fashion, art and party – all are welcome! I’m also releasing my summer collection and creating custom glamour sacks for artists, performers and anyone who wants to wear something really special that celebrates their passions, personalities and interests!
If you want to dine in true Frida Las Vegas style, book the Rosa Room (private dining room) of Imperial UP for a neon-pop-art dinner experience like no other >> http://bit.ly/UPReservations
Stay up to date with Frida and her fabulous posse! >> https://www.instagram.com/fridalasvegas/
Photo credits: @timdarin | @danielnoonephoto | @imperialerskineville | @fridalasvegas
Please ask for permission for use of these images, cheers lovers!