AfroFreak Fashion Week celebrated in Land Park at Sol Collective

Photos by Stephen Crowley
Words by Monica Stark

Fashion week would have been nothing without the presence of the African creative genius flare. With styles spanning from Africa to sister lands of South America, India, Australia all the way to London, AfroFreak Fashion Week held at Sol Collective (2574 21st St.) in Land Park included three Saturdays of live vibration, creation and tastes to feed your spirit. It is African celebration month, after all. There’s one more chance to catch AfroFreak Fashion Week as the last show will be held this Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.
Designer and curator Cleo Cartel wrote the Land Park News some information regarding the event.
Between the regulars and those chosen from a model call, the models wore Cleo Cartel or Urban Gypsy original designs.
The first time Sol Collective has hosted this event, Cleo said the event was created to have different programming during Black History Month, not only to focus on history but to also focus on fashion, art, music and food!.
“It’s time for Sacramento to have options to support the real arts on every level! People are in love with visuals; what better way but to give a live art installation that’s all a fashion show is and everyone feels like they are a part!”
Amongst her favorite outfits that were worn during fashion week, Cleo said, “Absolutely, the afrojumpsuits; they’re fun, easy to wash and can be paired with any shoe. Love them!” The 10 models at fashion week wore outfits made from textiles originally from Kenya, Nairobi and Nigeria
“It’s important to live, love and laugh, support and try cultural things that support and advance our communities. There needs to be Japanese, European, Hispanic fashion shows too. We need to know what drives each other culturally from the food to the politics, to the clothing to the science we need to understand each of our cultures in the communities we live in, in order to thrive.”
Marketing coordinator for the event Ciara “CiCi” Anguay, a Pocket resident, said she told Cleo “the show was extraterrestrial. It was out of this realm even with what high fashion would present. The level of detail. The way she choreographs things. She has the ability. Rappers freestyle and (Cleo’s) ability to think on the fly and paint a picture for you that will captivate you and leave you feeling spellbound is amazing. Her artistry is like no other. The degree of the senses that are stimulated when she is presenting you with her craft is extraordinary. The rehearsals are amazing. Because when you come in there you have no idea how she is legitimately going to use everyone as an instrument to create something very melodic. I loved the whole thing… She stimulates creativity because no one has ever shown us you can do fashion and music and morph them together effortlessly. There’s almost always a separation. Because she choreographs things and blocks it as a film director would do, it changes the whole dynamic of your perception of music, fashion and how it can be integrated together cohesively.”
She added that generally shows aren’t choreographed. “They’re not going to take you on a journey the way she takes you on a journey. The whole thing is beautiful because you don’t know what to expect,” she said.
Sharing her love for the space, she said she loves Sol Collective. “There’s so much heart. It has soul. It does. I am really big on energy that I feel in certain places and (Sol Collective) just has a soulful, warm feeling. It does epitomize their mission statement – arts, culture, activism – and it does embody that because when you go in there you feel it.”

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