After the unexpected success of the first ever FreekÀ Runway 2015, I was really sceptical and reluctant to venture into FreekÀ Runway 2016 however the boys (Palmer and Tapi) were keen and ready for the challenge and eager to make it an even bigger event. You see, they’re the dreamers, I’m the realist/maybe pessimist and I suppose that’s what brings the balance to the team.
Fast forward 6 months, we back to the drawing board planning FreekÁ Runway 2016. One of our goals for this year was to Align FreekÁ with a major fashion event and the next one in the Melbourne Fashion calendar was Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. So we applied to be part of the MSFW curated program not really expecting to hear back, but within a week of applying they contacted us eager to hear more about FreekÀ Runway and explore how we could collaborate and grow using the MSFW brand.. and so it began
This year FreekÀ Runway in Association with MSFW curated was themed “unearthed” . Our theme was mining with a focus on gold as a mineral. One could describe the show as a journey to uncovering beauty. This year we started with a VIP experience which included a backstage tour of FreekÀ leading into a cocktail hour in our amazing venue , Two Ton Max. The show opened with a poem by Nehanda Rusere speaking as ‘gold’ in it’s raw form under the earth, followed by our South African dancers (representing the miners) with a spectacular gumboot dance choreographed by Nadiah Idris. The guests were then welcomed by our host and MC, Beni Lola who then introduced our first designers .
Remuse Designs opened the runway with natural undertones and effortless chic, accessorised by flowers by Rhi , followed by JVP our fav menswear street-wear brand who also showed last year . Neoh Couture also one our designers from last year and she returned with evening wear, with some surprise menswear too. To finish off the first half we had SZN a contemporary Melbourne brand for the risk taker and the unique.
During the interval it was all about the FreekÀ Market, also a first time for us. This year we introduced the FreekÀ Market as a way to include accessory designers as well allow our clothing designers the opportunity to sell their pieces to the audience and allow the guests to interact with the designs they see on the runway.
After the interval we had a performance from Anthony Valenti and Rachel Constanzo the dynamic Rnb and hip hop duo soon to soar to stardom on the Melbourne scene. While they performed, Exotica Swimwear showed her debut collection of Afro print swim wear. We then had the show stopping presentation from The Prodigal Daughter showing her new collection called ‘the evolution’ inspired by the black empowerment movement. Our last designer took us into a fairy tales world of princes’ and princesses. Mary Koroma Kouture’s hand-made avante-garde ball gowns left us all mesmerised.
Last but not least, we had to bring them back. Our co-hosts,Button Brothers once again had to shut it down, and yes they delivered. It was a #majorkeyalert.
L’entendre and Button Brothers would like thank all those who make FreekÀ possible. The people who give their time and talent simply because they believe in FreekÀ. Our wonderful event Designer Billie and and our Event Stylist Chloe, Bernadette and the fantastic volunteers . Thank you to our sponsors and partners particularly Migrant Information Centre and the Pancake Parlour.
Each year I am left astounded at how much I learn about what it is to be part of a community. I am proud to be part of such a diverse creative community in Melbourne . We are honestly blessed to be living in world where we can dream and we can be who we want to be, a world where we are free to express ourselves. FreekÀ is not about us , it’s about generations of a multi cultural Melbourne to come. So, the show must go on. See you next year. (God willing)
(P.s , yes I’m trying to get back into it, save all that for next blog post)