Is hip hop and high fashion your thing? Do you have a highly developed social conscience and a cutting edge wardrobe/record collection? If yes, you were probably one of the cool cats at The Social Studio Winter Gala fashion fundraiser. If not (or you were simply overwhelmed by the choice of social occasions on offer here at the Plus Ones) then you should pencil (or should I say indelible ink) it in for next year.
Held every year at the Fitzroy Town Hall, a grand old building straight out of the 19th century, the event packs in the entertainment. And it’s well worth the warm fuzzy feeling you get from the knowledge that the proceeds of the night go towards supporting the work of the social enterprise, which provides employment and training opportunities to refugees and newly-arrived migrants.
The evening was totally hip (hop), with hip hop artist (see what I did there?) Malesh P kicking off with his unique tunes, followed by spoken word poetry by Abe Nouk. He described himself (via some bewitchingly raw yet ultra cool verses) as an ‘accredited day dreamer’ from Sudan, and is an amazingly talented poet. Then we were treated to a feathery performance by Neda & The Brazilian Dancers followed by the highlight of the night, the fashion show.
First up was the designer Monokeemono whose designs wowed with their diaphanous forms with a touch of street style. Then there were some classic cut, figure-hugging styles (gorgeous) from designer Atong Omoli, and of course pieces from the Social Studio’s own label and their head designer Cedric Munsala Kadile. The designs showed off the Studio’s characteristic colourful prints (many designed by Social Studio students and produced in-house on their digital printer). They demonstrated how a tailored aesthetic combined with an urban sensibility can really pop in hot pink!
All of this fashion topped off with the most sumptuous of African feasts and some out-of-this-world tunes from The Plus Ones’ favourite Sex on Toast. Yours truly even danced to this creatively-named band’s tunes with Monokeemono’s footloose designer, Joanne, who was not only fashionable but super coordinated.
To find out more about The Social Studio and their work visit their website — but if you want to be a truly forward-thinking person, stay tuned to The Social Studio’s Facebook page for updates on their collaboration with uber-cool duo ‘Art Comes First’ at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. You can also visit their Collingwood store, where you’ll find an amazing fashion boutique packed with the fashion lines mentioned above adjacent to The Cutting Room cafe where you can enjoy your own African feast.
Ruth Saxon is an arts student who is currently busy establishing her accessories label in Melbourne after moving from Perth. She enjoys palavering over fashion she couldn’t possibly hope to afford and sampling all that Melbourne has to offer in food and drink (and music, and art).
The Social Studio
128 Smith St
Collingwood VIC 3066