A phrase that comes to mind when I think to my experience at this year’s So Frenchy So Chic event is joie de vivre. For our non-French speaking readers, that is ‘an exuberant enjoyment of life’ – and in this case, particularly in reference to French life.
Held in the beautiful surrounds that is Werribee Park, I was instantly met with a sense of luxury upon my arrival. Lush green grass spread out beneath my feet, gorgeous trees and greenery creating natural means for shade and the prestigious Werribee Park Mansion acting as the perfect backdrop for the day’s festivities.
The sun was shining and the champagne surely flowing, as I looked for a place to set myself up among the other festival goers for the day. A few meters from the SKYY Vodka cart suited me just fine. And with my picnic rug rolled out, I laid back and the enjoyment began.
French indie-pop band Juniore kicked off the musical line-up, with their groovy beats setting the tone for the day to come. They were followed by French/British pop group Francois & the Atlas Mountains, who combine their indie and folk pop sounds with African rhythms.
By this stage (and a few visits to the SKYY Vodka cart) I deemed it time to check out the food options. On offer were crusty baguettes, salad jardinière and cheese platters and charcuterie, just to name a few. I found myself having to choose from a mouth-watering variety, with gastronomic artisans tempting me left, right and center. I settled on the delectable French classic, Croque Monsieur and I can tell you now, I was not disappointed.
Now fueled and ready to go, French three-piece L.E.J took to the stage and were the ones to get me to my feet. The ladies drew quite the crowd to the stage with their gorgeous covers of pop songs, performing the likes of Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ and ‘Panda’ by Desiigner, using a combination of harmonies, percussion and cello. Adding to the excitement of their set, the trio arrived on Australian shores with a new album of original songs, mixing things up a bit.
With my dancing shoes now well and truly on, I was delighted as French singer and rapper Fefe took to the stage. Originating from Nigeria, Fefe spits out rhymes to the sounds of chic-afro beats with a sense of style and enthusiasm that makes for a truly unforgettable experience.
Finally, General Elektriks took to the stage to close the show. General Elektriks is the musical project of French-native keyboard player, composer, singer and producer Herve Salters, who had the crowd dancing their hearts out, with his soulful, vintage funk-meets-jazz groove.
A child-friendly event, So Frenchy So Chic welcomed children under 12 free of charge and ensured the younger ones were kept entertained with croquet, life-sized chess, hopscotch, face-painting and more.
There to keep the ladies looking and feeling their best was the Lancome Lip Bar and Kerastase Braid Bar. Also there ensuring everyone was sun-protected were La Roche-Posay. Talk about keeping the smiles going all ‘round!
A day of wining, dining, dancing in the sunshine and celebrating the Frenchy way of life, So Frenchy So Chic is a refreshing festival, which truly draws a crowd of all ages and ensures everyone finds their joire de vivre.
Where: Werribee Park, Werribee
When: January 14
Reviewed by Helena Metzke