written by Andrea Hnatievych
At a Glance
On Friday, November 4th, Unexpected of Phoenix showcased a variety of local designers for festival attire, including Nathan Machutta of Firelight Fashions, Em Katherine of Ecosavage, Samantha Underseth of Inner Fashion Freak and DJ/ designer TokyoNotJapan. Hosted by the 2Couriers and with support from the Bambukah Community, Conscious Creative, and the Phoenix Trance Family, the event was combined with this duo’s usual First Friday after-party to create Ancient Future: The Festival Fashion Show. First Friday is a monthly event put on by the community of Phoenix that showcases a variety of art and talented performers.
A Little Background
The idea for the Festival Fashion Show was inspired by episode 4 of The Bloom documentary, which tells the story of transformational festivals such as Burning Man and Lightning in a Bottle. The event’s goals were clear: celebrate the community, inspire creativity, and initiate conscious growth.
The runway models were not meant to be the usual faces of fame, but members of the very community embedded in the festival culture. Applications involved talking about your spirit animal, the ways you embody movement, your style, and what you feel your impact is on the world.
As the clock stroke 10, the DJs began and eager friends rolled into the gallery with wonder of what was to come. A group sound healing began the formal itinerary on the main floor, allowing everyone to take a breather and reflect on themselves before the hectic beauty of the event began. Not much later, the performers came on and expressed their talents gracefully on the runway. These included GoGo dancers, The Sacred G’s (break dancers), poi artists, and professional hoopers.
The Fashion Show began not too long before midnight and the creativity was booming, models showing off their festival wear with excitement. This was not just a walk down the runway, models were able to do whatever their heart desired and dancing was encouraged. The walk began with six epic bunnies from Boss Entertainment and ended with the fairytale-like, body painted goddess by Brandon McGill. The runway was filled with happiness, as for many involved it was their first time modeling and a great opportunity to get involved.
The night had only begun with the performances and fashion show, and the rest of it was nothing short of amazing. DJs kept the crowd entertained until 4am, TokyoNotJapan closing out the night upstairs and had everyone hyped until the very end.
If you didn’t feel like dancing, there were many mystical rooms to check out at Unexpected. The Bambukah Community hosted sound healings upstairs throughout the night (blissful gong healing) and there was a tea room on the ground floor providing a place to relax, drink some yerba, and chat with the lovely ladies serving it. Live painters and vendors were all around, showcasing some of their best creations and enticing the attendees. Massages and Reiki were offered upstairs, and a backlight room full of pillows and blankets led up to the sound healing room.
All in all, The Festival Fashion show was an awesome event that embodied key values of the community that exists in the city of Phoenix and festival culture as a whole. Participation was a huge characteristic of the event and the 2Couriers provide a genuinely unique experience full of endless possibilities and involvement. Speaking as a model in the show, I would recommend that you check the event out for yourself some day. After all, how many chances do you get to be a model for the night or support your friends on the runway?