Backstage at the Safara Fashion Show

Safara Fashion Show 2017

In 2015, the Ladies of Frize Frize and my husband, went to the Safara Fashion Show – which showcases clothing from designers who work with African prints. The event in 2015 was hosted by Gwen Madiba  (who is the founder of the event) and Karreuche Tran. This year the Frize Frize Team worked behind the scene. Medjine was doing makeup, Mendjaly was styling hair and I was doing photography and assisting the girls as much as could.

The Calm before the Storm

My day started at 8:00 am. I had breakfast, made my  lunch and got my camera ready. I left home at 9:45  and arrived at the Rideau Centre Parking at 10:15. I then walk through the Rideau Centre (which has changed so much lately) to the University of Ottawa’s Tabaret Hall.  When I entered the hall, I could feel the excitement of the models, makeup artists and hairstylists – who were led by Master Stylist Paula Whitelocke from Curly Hair Designs.

Before the craziness started, I did a coffee run to Starbucks, it was the much needed fuel for the full and hectic day ahead. Upon my return, Gwen Madiba- founder of Safara Fashion Show, greeted everyone and gave instructions to the hairstylists. Paula gathered her staff around to show them what the inspired look for the fashion show was going to be.


What a rush!

It didn’t take long for the for makeup and hair lines to get long and a bit chaotic – you could feel everyone’s adrenaline, nervousness and excitement rising. Medjine did what she does best by creating beautiful makeup looks – for the various fashion lines. At one point there was so many models around Medjine, that I had act as a security to get people to back-up so she had some space to work…however, compliance did not last long and people were once again crowding her to get their makeup done. Medjine was then joined by 3 more makeup artists,  Shakara Designs,  Miss Thani and Enjolie who also help to get the models ready for the event.

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It was now 5 pm and the fashion show was set to start at 7:00pm. Everyone now gathered there things and cleared the space so it could be prepped for the show. This process was a pain because there was so much stuff to move.

Our part was done…time to watch the show

It was now  about an hour to show time.  All models hair and makeup needed to be completed. It was close, but I’m glad to report that everyone got their hair and makeup done on time! The fashion show was set to get started – you could feel the relief in the room. Finally the girls and I were at ease. Medjine and Mendjaly completed their tasks and could now relax a bit and enjoy some cold pizza that was ordered around 3pm. We then joined the rest of the guests to watch the Safara Fashion Show, where I was able to take pictures of the lovely models, with their African print clothing.

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This was an awesome experience, since I was not doing hair or makeup I was able to observe the work of my business partners. I  now have even more respect for them and the work that they do. Being on your feet for long hours is no joke! You definitely have to have passion and be tough to work in this industry.

Much respect to all  volunteers:

Medjine & Mendjaly, /Frizé Frizé

Paul Whitelocke and her Team of Stylist, Curly Hair Designs

Shakara Designs, makeup artist

Miss Thani, makeup artist

Enjolie, makeup artist

And big thanks to the founder of Safara Fashion Show Gwen Madiba  (and her team) and Angie’s Model Agency.

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