Backstage at Fashion Week

It was a busy weekend in Freetown as Sierra Leone celebrated not only 52 years of independence but several hundred years of outstanding style. SLFW13 continued with a stunning fashion parade on Friday night. The parade followed the traditional salonian style of event planning and started more than four hours after its scheduled start time of 7pm. It kills me to say it, but I had to leave before the models hit the runway. I’ll chase up some images of the actual fashions soon but in the meantime check out the backstage shenanigans.

Tia_on hair_low_res Tiah Knox (yes I am still obsessed with her) was at the helm, not only directing the show but tirelessly working on hair and makeup.

Pass_low_resThis golden ticket got me to where all the real action was happening.

IMG_1166 There were nerves, excitement, sweat and just a whole lot of extremely good looking people  milling around either half naked or dressed in Mohammed Ali style robes.

Two_models_low_resIn keeping with the tropical surroundings, all the ladies wore palm tree style weaves.

Toplessman_lowres……and the boys removed their shirts.

Hotguyinheadphones_low_res..oh look there’s another one, this time sporting the seasons must-have boy trend – headphones.

Catwalk_low_resThrough those four hours I spent backstage waiting for the show to start, the models didn’t stop rehearsing for a moment. I didn’t witness a single Naomi Campbell style spack attack and no-one was throwing up in the bathrooms. These guys performed like true professionals. Props to the models and of course to the Oprah Winfrey of fashion – Tiah Knox.

And check out this extremely artistic video if you want more from behind the runway.

This is how you launch a Fashion Week

An event is not an event in Sierra Leone unless it starts with a parade led by a pick-up truck carrying a five speaker sound system down a busy street at peak hour, and that’s precisely how SLFW13 kicked off yesterday. Resisting the more conventional fashion week launch routine of champagne and canapes, Tiah and her models proudly sashayed down the ever congested Kissy Rd in a carnival of mayhem. Tiah_low_res_micThere’s MC Tiah, reaching out to the people of Freetown and spreading the word about fashion,  “Sierra Leone Fashion Week 2013, an originator, not a duplicator”. Ain’t that the truth.


Model ‘Mr Val’ who has traveled from Bo district to be part of SLFW13 is leading the chant “Originator not duplicator”. The sound engineering team are hard at work making sure the PA system is at maximum level and all ear drums are bursting.

models on parade_lowres

The screaming was loud, the oufits were low-key. Simple jeans and white -Ts were the uniform of the day.


Tiah_Screams_low_resAnd there she is again, the inimitable Ms Tiah Knox. An originator, not a duplicator.