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|Three Stories|Bodkins Bootery|Common Ground Collective|1991 Skateshop

Sharp dressed men

Here comes a cliché: men don’t like shopping. And yet, men need things to wear. Fremantle is wise to this conundrum. It has more than a few stores that have defied retail trends to survive and thrive–some for decades–by offering the right mix of product and service.

“We take the pain out of it,” says Sam Pangiarella at Warrens Menswear, who could be speaking for all the service-driven operators attracting clientele from across Perth and beyond.

Fellas, your wearables are waiting. And be heartened by the knowledge that when trying on strides or choosing your season’s shirts in Freo, you are never more than 30 paces from a celebratory coffee or beer.

As well as suiting up everyone from school ball beaus to wedding parties, Warrens has a phenomenal range of Levi’s and the only Seidensticker shirts south of the river. Clearly you learn something about what guys want when you’ve been in business since 1931. Attentive, intuitive service backs up the quality.

Across the road at Terrace Menswear, there’s a fashion-savvy feel to the gear, much of which is imported from Italy. The always-slick window displays at this 32 year-old institution herald the level of quality to the range, which covers everything from dress jackets to tees, shoes, watches, socks and aftershave. Wearable fashion is the mantra. An investment here is unlikely to date.

Along High Street, there’s variety and contrast. You can pick up a locally made artisan tee or a pair of cufflinks at the Common Ground Collective, or some handmade shoes at Bodkins Bootery, a long standing institution specialising in high quality Spanish, Italian and English shoes (although the Anastazi boots are locally made by hand). Ecuadorian straw hats round out the offering here. There’s a women’s range, too, to keep female shopping partners interested.

Bousfields is a stalwart of the High Street strip, an old fashioned menswear shop where measuring tapes are always at the ready. Get fitted for a suit, pick up a casual shirt or some socks, and don’t go past the range of hats–from paper to wool–gracing the shelves.

At near–neighbour Three Stories, the feel is more surf and skate, with a bit of a twist. The wearables sit alongside a great range of gifts, games, books and art. There’s even a dedicated floor for surfboards and skateboards. There’s more in the street wear offering at Wear2, where the shoes, tees and pants are sourced from around the world. Defiant skaters need look no further than 1991 Skateshop.

Knucklehead Shipping Co at MANY 2.0 bridges the gap between contemporary and bygone era dressing. From jackets to accessories, it’s good quality, dapper stuff with confidence and attitude. You might also browse the vintage clothing in the MANY 2.0 collective for a fun retro find.

Finishing touches? Compendium Design Store is worth a visit for its unisex design–forward offerings. Messenger bags, watches and Solid State cologne are all here.

Fellas, your wearables are waiting. And be heartened by the knowledge that when trying on strides or choosing your season’s shirts in Freo, you are never more than 30 paces from a celebratory coffee or beer.

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Say hello Jo @ The Archive|Say hello to Wade @ Leake Street Cafeteria|Lucy & Michael at Japingka Gallery High Street West End

Shopping, snapping and winning in Fremantle

Someone said to me last week that if Fremantle were a tree, the Cappuccino Strip would be its main trunk, but the beauty lies in its branches because that is where the flowers grow.

How cool is that sentiment?  It was said to me by Michael who runs Fremantle Tours as he took me on a personal adventure in search of the cool, the quirk and the colourful shopping haunts in the city. 

Freo is a total hidden gem when it comes to a little bit of retail therapy and, particularly at this time of year, is the place to be. So, strap yourselves in, and let’s go shopping! This is going to be a colourful and fun ride!

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Many 2.0

Oh, this place just gets it.   There is so much to love, or is that many?  It is eclectic brilliance at its best and home to so much awesomeness.  Think art, sculpture, jewelry, homewares, clothes and even a hairdresser!  The space is relaxed and friendly, leaving you to meander at your leisure and just be inspired by what’s on display.   When I was there I got chatting to Kate who is one of the brains behind Many 2.0 (and the Kate of and she was casually sewing a fantastic hat as we spoke.  Yes, it’s that kind of vibe: creative but chilled all at once. 

Say hello at:  Adelaide Street, Fremantle (the old Spotlight building) or find them on Instagram at @many_projects

Freo is a total hidden gem when it comes to a little bit of retail therapy and, particularly at this time of year, is the place to be. So, strap yourselves in, and let’s go shopping! This is going to be a colourful and fun ride!

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Fremantle Artisan Store

Just like the name says, this is literally a collection of artists, in fact no less than 150 of them!  You are guaranteed to find a unique purchase here as there is so much choice!  All of the artists are local to Freo so it really is redefining the benefits of shopping local.  If you’re an artist you can display your stuff here for as little as $15 a week.  And it’s not just art in the form of paintings; there’s felt, clothing, jewelry, pottery, handmade cards, homewares, shadow boxes, terrariums, crochet, mosaic and woodwork. 

Say hello at 81a High Street, Fremantle or find them on Instagram at @theartisanstore

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The Archive

This place is literally split with two distinct themes: fashion and homewares, so you can choose what you want (or both!).  It’s home to some of the coolest art and cards I have seen, and has a dedicated kids gift section.  Plus, there’s a secret café at the back (Leake Street Cafeteria) for that much needed caffeine hit because this shopping business is thirsty work!

Say hello at 23 Market Street Fremantle or find them on Instagram at @the_archive_fremantle or the café at @leakestcafeteria 

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This is a store that makes you excited to buy for yourself or others.  As the owners said to me when I visited “we sell beautiful things that are designed and made by creative minds”.   Yes, I could have spent longer in here, both in terms of time and money!  Again everything is locally sourced and made so no mass production.  I particularly loved the tea towels that were dotted all over the shop, you can buy them as is or have them stretched and framed on a canvas as a cool piece of wall art.

Say hello at 95 High Street, Fremantle or find them on Instagram at @remedystore

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Common Ground

This store has a little more of a street vibe and the clothes and gifts somehow have a bit more edge.  Again, you can discover a little bit of everything: candles, wallets, cards, hats, wreaths, art, sculpture, jewelry, and – just as I was leaving – a box of plaster skulls (that I think doubled as planter boxes) were delivered! 

What I love about places like this is that you’re not only buying and supporting local but buying gifts with personality and flair.  They are not mass produced so the uniqueness factor is right up there, which is pretty cool in my books.   Go explore the branches, find the flowers and the magic next time you’re in Freo and let me know what you love.

Say hello at 82 High Street, Fremantle or find them on Instagram at @cmmngrnd

Shop, Snap, Tag and Win #FreoWishList

Another cool discovery on the tour was the #FreoWishList which is a fun Instagram competition.  And hello, who doesn’t love a competition?!  All you need to do is find something you want for Christmas at stores in Fremantle, take a pic of it and tag it #FreoWishList plus the shop that you found it in and share it on Instagram.  Easy! You can win up to $500 worth of shopping in the city, perfect for that last minute Christmas haul.  I’ve already shared some of my faves and you totally should too. Get on it quick as it closes on December 22. Happy shopping, happy snapping and good luck!

Find them on Instagram at @fremantlestory

Guest blogger Jo Newman (@sayhellojo

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Shadwallah|Made Local Summer Market|Penny Lanes Music Workshop|Stackwood|Booyeembara Park

Off grid - Fremantle's warehouse district

When sleuthing out the offbeat hubs of Fremantle, ask yourself this: where would the creative types be? Not the shiny places, probably. Not the gentrified bits. Set your GPS instead for the slightly grungy warehouse pocked area around Stack, Wood and Blinco Streets.

The Fibonnacci Centre (affectionately The Fib) is downwind from Monument Hill on Blinco Street. Past the new housing development, behind funky wrought iron gates, the converted warehouse is home to artists’ studios and creative events. Concerts, uke jams, yoga and exhibitions all happen here; get the lowdown while soaking up the eclectic boho vibe at Roark and Co Café upstairs.

Inspired and ready to kick start your own musical journey, wander around the corner to Penny Lanes Music Workshop where you can sign up for music lessons under the watchful eye of Richard Lane (Stems fame) and his team. The place has a friendly community feel with a constant flow of students and a must stop and peruse music shop stocking djembes, mandolin and everything in between. 

The treasure trove effect inspires at Shedwallah on Stack Street, a vast shed festooned with colourful tiles, outsized pots, textiles and homewares with an old Empire feel. Try leaving without at least one funky door knob or cow bell.

At Stackwood next door, there’s a light, minimalist aesthetic to the revamped warehouse. A constellation of creative businesses enhances the buzz brought by occasional workshops in the event space and a seasonal Made Local Market. The communal tables of Stacked Café mingle with the Stackwood shop, a garden-themed affair with lots of greenery.

Speaking of, a short stroll away, abutting the public golf course, Booyeembara Park is an unsung oasis whose landscaped walk trails and bush tracks are seldom troubled by crowds. Think of it as further reward for exploring the path less trodden, and take a load off by the lake.

Editor's note: find something you'd LOVE to add to your #freowishlist for Christmas? Check out our snap, tag & win competition. 

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|Wear 2 Fremantle|Captain Walkers Bicycles|Fremantle Opals|Joynt Venture|Nomad Gnome|Parlapa

What lies behind

Pop quiz question: Where can you get a black pearl, a nose ring, a Nepalese tunic, a kebab, some collectable vinyl, some artwork from a pop-up gallery, painted nails and a Thai massage, all within paces of an easy park?

Hard-core fossickers will tell you that rewards like this abound in the warren-like malls and arcades of Fremantle. No chain store ennui here. Some fiercely individual businesses – many of them operating for more than a decade – have made their homes in the eclectic patch around Paddy Troy Mall and Fremantle Malls (the alley off William Street near Kings Square).

Joynt Venture has moved premises a few times (from the Freo markets to a bolt hole in the piazza to the roomy premises it now occupies) keeping loyal customers on their toes. But they’re happily tucked away off Paddy Troy Mall and, after 40 years of trade, they’re the go-to place for everything from heavy metal and punk tees to hair colour, sunglasses, body jewellery, posters and coloured contact lenses.

Street smart
During the week there’s easy parking around Paddy Troy mall, and the vibe is relaxed; fine conditions for investigating the offerings at Wear 2, the business whose urban gear has been bridging the vintage, surf and skate cultures for seven years. Think tees, footwear, and hats, with clearance items sourced from the US and elsewhere.

Bike bits
Captain Walkers Cycles is a tucked away cyclists Mecca; a destination store with a loyal following, this one for lovers of hip bikes (plus parts and personable service) without the intimidating attitude.

Hard-core fossickers will tell you that rewards like this abound in the warren-like malls and arcades of Fremantle. No chain store ennui here. 

Around the corner on William Street, Fremantle Opals’ slick display and service shows why it’s won the Fremantle Chamber’s Retail Excellence Award for two years running. They’ve got jewel-coloured opals from around Australia and pearls from the north, set in all imaginable ways – rings, earrings, cufflinks and pendants. Not belly bars or ear lobe rings, though. That’s more the domain of The Piercing Places across the mall. And what you can’t find in body bling here is probably not worth having.

Funky threads
Harking back to the Kathmandu style first made fashionable in the 1970s? Nomad Gnome in Fremantle Malls has the solution in full technicolour. Drop-crutch pants, jackets, dresses and skirts in cheerful colours and prints are made to order in Nepal, for folks who like to dress in a way that’s not dictated by this season’s trends.

Spun tunes
Further down the mall, Junction Records offers great fossicking potential, with its shop full of new and second hand vinyl, CDs and DVDs. Having been around for 20 years, they’ve witnessed the ever-evolving music scene and have lived to see the rise (again) of vinyl, and the changes in music buying habits. Specialists in classic rock and psychedelic music, they’ve got plenty for the dedicated flicker-through.

When it’s time to get off the feet, Parlapa will be cooking up an authentic Italian lunch, and The Federal Hotel will be standing by to quench your thirst. And all without leaving this one compact patch of off-strip Freo.

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Stevie and Amy shopping @ Retro Vinnies|Rocka-Billy's Retro|Reloved|Broken Doll|Yeah Vintage

Fremantle vintage shopping trail

Fremantle has the highest number of vintage, retro and ‘op’ shops per square metre! You’ll find the stalwart in a cluster around High Street East & Josephson Streets. In recent years a wave of curated and specialist vintage & retro stores have opened across the city. Current hot spots are in places flagged for redevelopment in the next couple of years including Woolstores Shopping Centre and the space now occupied by MANY 2.0. Right now there is an abundance of shops across Fremantle. Find inspiration from local fashion bloggers and stylists to start your vintage expedition #vintagefreo #vintageoutfit #truevintage #vintageinteriors…
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Kate Hulett, MANY project manager and owner of Kate & Abel|Fit out in progress at MANY 2.0|MANY 000 - Elaine Bradley Ceramist|MANY 2.0 - Vintage Space|MANY 2.0 - Anya Brock's space

Move over MANY 6160, Make way for MANY 2.0

The dynamic retail collective housed in the old Myer building has a new home. From March 2017, the eclectic pop-up with a difference is bringing new life to the old Spotlight building on Adelaide Street.

When it first opened in October 2013, nobody quite knew how long MANY 6160 (then known as MYRE) would inhabit the building vacated by the department store. Six months? Nine? More than three years later, the temporary concept store (a mix of retail and makers workspaces) is still busy incubating independent businesses. It’s part of an emerging trend in retail that shuns the bland, soulless shopping centre vibe in favour of a fresher, more experimental approach.

“MANY has been a huge, important and interesting project,” says project manager Kate Hulett of its first incarnation in Kings Square. She names the unusual nature of the building and the cooperation and flexibility of its owner Sirona and the City of Fremantle as contributing factors to its success. “Where else would you find 20,000 square metres of space to do something like this? And where else would this work but in Fremantle?”

MANY 6160 has housed an evolving line-up of retailers selling hats, artwork, vintage clothing, retro furniture, artisan lamps, jewellery and footwear. Its rooftop has seen two new bars, a couple of motorbike shows and at least one wedding. Its basement has witnessed everything from mini golf to an acclaimed art gallery to performances by Falls Festival DJs. Upstairs, furniture makers, costume designers, upholsterers, surfboard makers, metal workers and artists have toiled away on their own projects, in the company of like-minded folk.

It’s one of the hallmarks of MANY, says Kate. Unlike other small businesses where people work alone, the retailers and makers here can talk, connect and sometimes collaborate as a result of the communal space. As well as nurturing a vibrant community, MANY is a way for people to test their businesses without taking on prohibitive leases.

For customers, the benefits lie in the variety, the original wares and the accessibility. People can wander between shops, read books or enjoy the café without feeling pressured to buy. Kate sees it as a space where mums, grandparents, hipsters and teenagers can feel equally at ease.

Vacating the premises for the Kings Square redevelopment (the space will become mixed use office and retail) has brought a new opportunity: to reenergise another dead space with a new-look pop-up.

Overseen once again by Spacemarket, the Adelaide Street space has a similar vibe but a different look. Retail stores laid out on the diagonal, for example. The café (opening soon) will front both the retail floor and the outside lane near Westgate Mall. It’s hoped that regular events will take shape here.

The makers have embarked on a diaspora of their own. Some have moved to studios at the old Fremantle Police Station (cleverly renamed MANY 000), while others plumped for a warehouse at North Fremantle’s Matilda Bay Brewing. Others still are headed for East Perth.

In Adelaide Street, MANY’s retail philosophy holds. MANY 2.0 prides itself on being an outlet for hard-to-find, often handmade items that are unique to Western Australia, in a space that feels interesting and creative.

“It would be hard to manufacture the feel of MANY in a cold, new building,” says Kate, who has relished revitalising the derelict Spotlight store–which will be demolished within the next two years for new apartments–into MANY’s next temporary space.

“There’s no sadness in the closure of the old place. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to refresh.”

MANY 2.0 opens it's doors for business Thursday 16 March. Shout out to the project partners Yolk Property, Spacemarket & the City of Fremantle for unlocking another underutilised building and bringing it back to life. An official opening with all the bells and whistles is planned for Saturday 8 April. 

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Ottoman Empire, image Rachael Barrett|New Edition Bookshop|The Record Finder|Tahnee Kelland (MANY6160)|When Kara Met Rex (MANY6160)


Are you one of those super organised folk that has their Christmas presents wrapped up and tucked away before the frenzy hits....or are you leaving it to the last minute? Fremantle (and surrounding mini strips) is full of inspiration for gifts you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else, if you know where to look...and we do.

We’ve written a special blog to help you (re) discover the joy (seriously) of a shopping adventure that is unashamedly Freo centric–the inside goss on where to find that special something whether it be for Great Aunt Mabel or your best beloved. At the same time you’re supporting local shop owners that have curated and sourced gift ideas to entice and inspire. It’s all right here in this gorgeous town.

North Fremantle

Antique stores, surf wear and SUP shops, homewares & collectibles; it’s an eclectic mix along Queen Victoria Street and up Stirling Highway. Try Blu Peter, Electability, The Black Truffle and Plata Bonita just a bit further past the Dingo Flour Mill (word on the grapevine is some of the Dockers have picked up a few pressies here).

 Blu Peter and The Black Truffle - North Fremantle

Knutsford Street Precinct

In the warehouse district bounded by Stack, Wood, Knutsford and Amherst Streets; where treasures from world sojourns ready to be discovered. Look for Ottoman Empire and Shedwallah or find locally grown and made wares for your home or garden at the new Stackwood studio.

Hilton and O’Connor

There’s a couple of Freo’s best kept secrets just out of the CBD. Plan a visit to Anna Chandler Design on Zeta Crescent–the warehouse is full of her signature ranges of homewares, a riotous celebration of colour and texture. Pickers and Collectors Bazaar has just opened on Blamey Place and Hobby Tech Toys on South Street has the best range of remote controlled cars, planes and drones for little and big kids.

Wray Avenue Precinct

After ordering your Christmas turkey at Frank’s have a little mosey around this precinct at the intersection of South Terrace and Wray Avenue. Between Pekho wear + wares, Luce Del Sol (for stunning swimwear), Indi + Em, South of the Border and Mercer Cycles you can expect to cross off a gift for most on your list and you might pick up a nice Chrissie frock at the same time.

South Fremantle

Corner Store (and Flower Hound) reside in the space known as The Coop on the corner of South Terrace and Price Street–it’s a Christmas shopping destination in itself. Venture further for Source Gallery, Vanilla Gifts and Homewares, Banjarra Tribal and Ginger Morris. At the end of the terrace pop into South Beach Cycles for the classic sparkling new bicycle with all the trimmings and a final pit stop coffee at Third Wheel right next door.

East End

FAC’s Christmas Bazaar on the first weekend in December is the event to catch in this end of town where WA’s local designers, makers and artisan’s present their wares in the gorgeous grounds of Fremantle Arts Centre. Don’t stress if you happen to miss this shopping event as there’s a great range of gifts and books available every day at Found.

Central city

There is plenty to uncover in the heart of Freo. We’ve put together some favs from some of the shopping categories...a mini directory if you like but there’s plenty more here.

Books–New Editions, Bill Campbell Second Hand Books, Chart & Map Shop & Paper Bird

Fashion and shoes–Hype DC, Bob’s, Hunter Store (MANY6160), Eros, Morrison, Three Stories

Gifts–Remedy, Oxfam, Blue Bhudda, Pigeonhole, Compendium & Pickled Fairy

Homewares and furniture–Il Cibo, Home Provedore, Empire & Amaize Homewares

Jewellery & accessories–Kartique, Kailis Pearls, Creations Jewellery & Fremantle Opals

Markets–Fremantle Markets, Kings Market & Bazaar

Menswear–Warrens, Terrace Men, Bousfields & Europa Sport & City Beach

Music–Record Finder, Mill’s Records, Junction Records & Music Centre of Fremantle

Popups & collectives–MANY6160, Common Ground & Artisan

Vintage & retro–Bibi Vintage, Broken Doll Vintage & Retro, Get Lucky

And best yet...between them all you can sit and enjoy a restorative cup of something served up with a scrumptious treat at one of Freo’s quirky cafés–just to keep you going that is.

**We hear that free parking Santa will be in town again in December–if you see him he’ll pay for your parking**


Fremantle story
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Fremantle Fashion Collective Campaign (Wild Horses) at the Round House Fremantle|Megan Salmon signature store, Queen Victoria Street Fremantle|PS Art Space, Pakenham Street Fremantle|Eros Clothing, Market Street Fremantle|Harper's Emporium, George Street East Fremantle

Fremantle Fashion Collective

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, PS Art Space (pictured below: 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.

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!

Empire Rose and Harpers Emporium

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.

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.

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.”

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 Round House 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.

Special thanks to our guest writer from Style Voyeur

Style Voyeur
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