After the unexpected success of the first ever FreekÀ runway 2015, I was really skeptical 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 I guess that’s what brings the balance to the team.
Fast forward 6 months later we back to the drawing board planning Freekà Runway 2016. One of our goals for this year was to be aligned with a major fashion event and the next in the Melbourne Fashion calendar was Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW). 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. The show opened with a poem by Nehanda Rusere speaking as ‹gold› underground followed by our South African dancers from last year 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 menswear streetwear brand who also showed last year. Neoh Couture also one of our designers from last year returned with evening wear, as well as mens poncho’s. To finish off the first half we had SZN, an 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 and 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. 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 world of fairytales of princes and princesses. Mary Koroma Kouture’s hand made avant guard ball gowns left us all mesmerised.
Last but not least we all loved Button Brothers on the cat walk this year so we had to bring them back to finish off the show.
L’entendre and Button Brothers would like thank all those who make FreekÀ possible. To the people who give their time and talent simply because they believe in FreekÀ. 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. Each year I release that FreekÀ is not about us , it’s about generations of a multi cultural community to come. So, the show must go on. See you next year!
MAIN PHOTO: Ryan Murch, Litup Photography