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Frock on


If there’s a ‘Freo look’ in women’s fashion, Fremantle’s fashion designers didn’t get the memo. They’re busy producing everything from edgy street wear to non–crush travel dresses to hand-stitched tunics to floor length gowns. Whatever your wardrobe requirements–special occasion or special treat–Fremantle probably has a fit for you.

Contemporary labels like Megan Salmon and Morrison enjoy widespread popularity, but their flagship stores remain in Fremantle where they began.

At Megan Salmon, find form flattering dresses, tops and skirts with an artistic edge. You’re unlikely to have a twinsies moment wearing something from this store; the prints are distinctive, and the designer prides herself on her solid understanding of what works for women.

For stylish urbanites, Morrison has gear for dressing both down and up. Interesting silhouettes, wearable designs and quality natural fabrics are at the core of the range; a great fit for women who want to feel well put together and up to the minute, whatever they’re doing.

Lovers of natural fabrics and easy to wear styles flock to Pekho on Wray Avenue. Linen dresses, pants, skirts and tunics are all locally made in small runs, and designed to work together in a trans–seasonal way. Designs favour real body shapes, too, bypassing the frowsy with relaxed shapes and flattering necklines. A great collection of jewellery and scarves helps complete the look.

Across the road at Madam Bukeshla, there’s a timeless appeal to the defiantly non–mass produced clothing. Designer Trish Bygott’s artistic streak is in full evidence from the wonderful window displays to the clothes. She uses hand–stitching to create the arty details on her dresses, skirts and tunics, which are made from earthy linens in a natural colour palette.

It’s a similarly artistic vibe at Anjel Ms in High Street. In true collaborative fashion, a group of local designers and visual artists have joined forces with textile producers in Bali, Nepal and India to produce clothing using traditional dying and weaving methods. That’s the Anjel Ms Project–ethically produced fashion that’s pimped with contemporary flair – and this store showcases the vibrant, textured results.

The light-filled studio–style shop at Velvet Sushi adds gravitas to the luxurious drape and womanly shapes featured in the clothes. Flattering, feminine lines are the feature here. While special occasion gear does feature, this label is also about classic, timeless basics in stretch fabrics that pass the crush test and fit women’s shapes. Stylish travellers need look no further for black and neutral coloured dresses, tunics and pants that look great even when they’re pulled straight from a suitcase.

If it’s a serious frock–up you’re embarking on, make a stop at Natalie Rolt in North Fremantle. It’s glamour overload here, where floor-grazing gowns and flowy jumpsuits share space with slinky cocktail frocks and form–fitting two-piece garments. The local designer makes to order, and also has a collection of formal gowns for hire. The luxurious space is a long way from the Fremantle Markets where the designer sold her first collections and grew her following. You can even get your tan, hair and makeup on site.

At Haute on High, the feel is equally top end, though the price tags aren’t as hefty as you might think on first glance. From cocktail to black tie and mother of the bride, there are ready to wear outfits from around the world, plus an in-house label that stretches to bling and clutch bags. There’s plenty of opulence here; think sparkling bodices and flattering drapes. But it’s also accessible. Part of what draws shoppers from far afield is the honest sales staff lending their designers’ eye to fitting you out to perfection.