This Spring, Fremantle Festival will celebrate everything fashion, culture and the arts with a slew of curated events that run for 10 days, featuring a range of high quality and thought provoking ticketed and free to the public events, including my favourite – the annual sell out Fremantle Fashion Collective on 4th November.
This year The Fremantle Fashion Collective will once again present its runway show to the local community, the media and industry at large at the local creative hub, PSAS (pictured above: otherwise known as Pakenham Street Art Space), showcasing 7 Fremantle based fashion designers including: Wild Horses, Pekho, Little Dove, KINN, Empire Rose, Megan Salmon, Yuuki and retailer, Harpers Emporium.
(Harper’s Emporium, 85 George Street, East Fremantle)
Tickets to Fremantle Fashion Collective’s premium runway show are so sought after that when I called the designers to ask some questions, they begged me for the ticketing information so that they could swiftly buy theirs for friends and family haha. This ‘ain’t no media release fodder people, tickets sell out fast!
So how does one get tickets to revel in this glory? Well before I get to that sweet spot, it has to be said that the WA fashion industry has Fremantle to thank for some of its most successful and longest standing fashion designers. The likes of Empire Rose and Megan Salmon began their fashion careers in Fremantle in 1996!! And it goes without saying that there is definitely something in the water in Perth’s port city with the likes of muso John Butler, actress Emma Booth, model Tahnee Atkinson, music producer/ frontman for Tame Impala Kevin Parker and Author Tim Winton, all born and bred in Fremantle at the mouth of the Swan River, the gateway to the West.
(Fremantle Fashion Collective Campaign – Image: Songy Knox)
To find out more about Freo life, I called one of my friends who just so happens to be Kathryn Cizeika, none other than owner, designer and founder of Empire Rose to have a chat about the upcoming event and to get some insight into what inspires her. What I got was a heartwarming Fremantle story of her beginnings as a high school student designing clothes from the age of 15. That is where she met her life-long friends (think a foursome version of Romy and Michelle but with layers instead of lycra).
“I am a Freo girl through and through. I love living by the beach, the multicultural vibe and the scene here. All my friends are in Freo and speckled throughout the industry. We all still live, dine and shop here and love nothing more than to support the local businesses in Freo.” And by ‘we’ she means the likes of model agent and scout, Christine Fox of Vivien’s Model Management (discovering Gemma Ward is just one of her career dot points), Penny Sedgwick who started Department and now owns Freo’s, Eros Clothing and Leith Groves who is founder of retail heavyweight, Varga Girl and a soon to launch online store.
They all met while at high school at Fremantle’s John Curtin High and have remained besties ever since. After taking herself through Uni and working her way up via retail merchandising, Cizeika opened her first studio in 1996 with the launch of Empire Rose. 20 years later she is one of the most successful designers in the industry and will showcase her wears at the Fremantle Fashion Collective on November 4th.
(Eros Clothing, 79 Market Street, Fremantle)
Amazingly, 1996 was an important year for Megan Salmon also, who’s first foray into fashion began with the creation of label ‘SPPPSSP’ with fellow Fremantle based designer, Rebecca Paterson. The label only lasted 4 years but she was hooked! When I asked Salmon if Fremantle inspires her design, she replied, “I adore and love Fremantle and could never live anywhere else. I love the bohemia and it is a part of me in that way.”
(Megan Salmon, 55 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle)
The Fremantle Fashion Collective not only celebrates local fashion designers and retailers, but engages with many local creatives from event staff behind the scenes, to the campaign crew which was made up of an entirely Freo based team. The campaign shoot took place at the iconic Roundhouse with Photographer Songy Knox at the helm, model Teagan Joffe from Chadwick Models wore the collections and was primped and preened by local salon Djurra, with make-up by The Make-up Factory. As you can see, the images perfectly reflect the beach-side lifestyle and vibrant culture Fremantle is famous for.
Thanks to major sponsors, Gage Roads, Chadwick Models and campaign photographer Songy Knox, the event is set to be the best night out for the local community and wider industry – get on it! TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
‘Til next time,
xxx SV xxx