by Mary Madigan
Frida Las Vegas, aka Stavroula Adameitis, is a Sydney based Artist and Designer who’s Pop Art inspired kaftans, and glamour sacks can be seen on a slew of media personalities and any Sydney Drag Queen worth their salt. Her 1980s-inspired artworks can be found and admired at Sydney institutions like The Imperial, Chin Chin, and Daisy’s Milk Bar, cementing her as part of the Australian culture that inspires her work.
The Frida Las Vegas brand is unapologetically Australian and always a little bit cheeky, from earrings that are modelled after Australian road signs to dresses that pay homage to the iconic canteen snack Chiko rolls.
“I make stuff for people that ‘get it,’ not necessary for a mass market,” she exclaims. The people that ‘get it’ include Drag Queens like Coco Jumbo, Etcetera Etcetera and Felicia Foxx, and stars like pop icons Sam Smith and Katy Perry, who have all been spotted in her designs. Surprisingly, customers in regional Australia also love Frida Las Vegas designs. “I have a lot of customers in outback Queensland. It’s not what I was expecting, but whoever said wearable art should be exclusively for people in cities?” Sam Smith Instagrammed a photo of themselves in Frida’s ‘Road Sign’ kaftan design and matching earrings when they were in Sydney to perform for Mardi Gras. Frida dubbed it “a roo-lly fabulous moment” in her career.
Frida came up with the idea of producing a range of genderless ‘glamour sacks’ and ‘glamour kaftans’ because she wanted to make garments that required a lot of fabric to showcase her textile prints. She also wanted to create clothes that had a maximum visual impact but were practical and easy to wear.
“When I was working out what fabric to use for the garments, I knew it had to be durable. I would test my samples by wearing them out on the town and can personally attest that everything I make you can dance in until 3am in and still look your 7pm best self.”
Unlike many of her artistic peers, Frida has not jumped the pond to pursue her dreams. Instead, she proudly leaves her signature glamour mark all over Sydney.
“In 2010, I interned with Patricia Field, the costume designer for ‘Sex and the City,’ and was planning to stay in New York to pursue my career. I desperately missed the Australian sense of humour and ultimately decided to move to Sydney and forge my path here. Sydney is an electric place to live and work with an incredible talent pool of creative thinkers, do-ers, and makers”.
The community is also what Frida believes will help Artists survive the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. “The Coronavirus pandemic has changed how so many small creative businesses operate within a matter of weeks. What’s important is that artists continue to collaborate and work together with the wider community to spread messages of positivity resilience together using whatever tools we have at our disposal.”