The invitation read- ‘Frock up in your best fashionable farm wear. You’re invited to a Carrot Couture show on a carrot farm in a secret location in the town of Kalbar!‘
Where is Kalbar, you say? I had to look it up as well. It’s a farming town with a proud German history, an easy hour’s drive from Brisbane. As my trusty assistant, driver and photographer (my husband) and I left Brisbane we pondered how long it had been since we ventured out this way. It was probably all those years ago driving schoolboys to rugby in Ipswich or Toowoomba. The landscape changed to rural very quickly and there were cows ( lots of them), newly minted fields and finally the carrot farm where the welcoming locals were soon showing off their produce, their gorgeous landscape with views in every direction and sharing a drink and a yarn before the show.
I’ve been to many unique fashion events. The creativity behind fashion shows always amazes me. Yet, never before have I been invited to a catwalk show on a carrot farm. This uniquely Queensland event and perhaps a world first, was the brainchild of the lovely Gen Windley (Kalfresh Carrot Farmer’s wife and vegetable lover) in collaboration with the designers behind the Jericho Road Clothing Brand , sisters and teachers, Chloe Rowe and Kate Russell (We teachers are a creative bunch!).
Jericho Road are Gen’s favourite fashion designers and the seed was planted, as many great collaborations are, through connecting via Instagram. Fans of Jericho Road will know the brand is recognised for their signature playful prints. So when Gen suggested a range based on vegetables, the talented pair, who originally hailed from the country, happily agreed. The result is the Vegetable Edit Collection.
Guests at the Carrot Couture Show were treated to a joyful celebration of vegetables. First was the fashion show full of colourful vegetable prints. The models were real women having a great time, dancing and twirling down the CARROTwalk in their Jericho Road creations. They were accompanied by a killer soundtrack including Dolly Parton, my personal favourite ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’, Johnny Cash and of course Daryl Braithwaite’s ‘Horses’. By the end of the show the over 200 guests were up on their feet, all dancing and singing along. A feast followed, with a wonderful spread focussing on veggies, prepared by local chef Kate Raymont. We drank carrot beer and wine from local vineyard – Witches Falls. Country hospitality at its best!
About Jericho Road
Sisters Chloe and Kate have always loved fashion and in February, 2016 they founded their brand – Jericho Road Clothing.The brand began with the Arizona dress, which is still a bestseller. From this time Jericho Road have blazed their own path with a band of dedicated followers.
The name Jericho Road actually comes from the road where they grew up near Blackall, Central Queensland. Their home town has inspired their bold and colourful prints including cockatoos, brolga and cacti to name a few. Jericho Road Clothing is a Brisbane label , ethically manufactured in China. The label produces only a small run of dresses, ensuring pieces are limited edition and highly sought after. Jericho Road Clothing focuses on great quality fabrics filled with fun prints that stand out. Their designs cater for women of all ages, sizes and shapes who all feel confident and happy in these designs.
The Vegetable Edit was no exception with black and white gingham pieces showcasing colourful carrots in the brightest of orange, yellow and green. The cotton and spandex denim pieces were next with the light blue pieces featuring every vegetable imaginable – pumpkins, corn and of course, carrots. The vegetables were embroidered on in a rainbow of colours. These were all very wearable and durable pieces.
There were dresses aplenty in shift style, boxy style and A–line in both above and below the knee shapes. You could choose from a range of sleeves or several sleeveless styles perfect for a hot Queensland Summer. Panelled tops were a standout and tops with buttons and sleeves would take you from work to weekend wear. Accessories included cute veggie earrings or caps. I was lucky enough to receive the carrot dangles, as a gift, in my veggie box and they were greatly admired at the show.
We were also treated to a sneak peek of some pink and black creations from the next collection which were highly covetable and pretty.
Kate and Chloe like to keep their designs quite limited and for each fabric they release they print the absolute least that they can. Their manufacturer has fantastic ethical and sustainable practices which can be hard to find. Jericho Road Clothing features classic designs in bold prints made from natural fabrics. Their motto is ‘work hard and be kind’ and they love collaborating with other like minded people, like the folk from Kalfresh vegetables
Although Gen Windley tried to stay in the background, the collaboration that we saw on the CARROTwalk began because of her vision and connection to Jericho Road on Instagram. I’m sure she never envisaged such a wonderful event as the fashion show on the family farm , which would be the culmination of this unique collaboration.
Kalfresh started in the Fassifern Valley in 1992 when a group of farmers decided to combine and pull the local farmers together. Thirty family farms merged as a team and found strength in bringing people together. They believe that the world can’t have too many veggies and their aim with this fashion collaboration was to promote eating local and to educate people about growing things and the great nutrition to be found in vegetables.
The Carrot Couture Show brought the city to the country with Fashionistas having a wonderful time mingling with the many locals attending the event. It reminded me of where my food comes from and the many wonderful dishes you can make with fresh local vegetables.The fashion show was a true collaboration with some of Jericho Road’s favourite models sharing the catwalk with farmer’s wives and members of the Kalfresh team.
It was a colourful, fun and playful event, much like the Jericho Road designs. We enjoyed a day of sunshine, showers, rainbows and laughter and I’m sure the celebrations carried on long after this happy writer had left carrying another haul of lovely, fresh veggies. The generosity of spirit shown by all was a feature of the day for me. For more unique and glorious events like this check out the program for the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week. Carrot Couture, yes, it is a thing!
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).