Sunday, March 21, 2010


After five long days of preparation it was show day, for Runway 5, presented by Cosmopolitan. Check out an hour by hour count down to the show written by assistant Lydia Sawtell aka Downie!!

9.30am: Fernando’s other assistant Selena and I are sent to pick up jewellery from Malvern for tonight’s show. When we arrive we check the invoice and that everything is in the box that we need.

10.30am: Next stop is Witchery. We need to buy crop tops, for the models to wear under some see through tops. The Chapel Street store only has two, so we detour backwards to another Witchery for two more. We also stop to get a quick snack because we don’t know the next time we would get an opportunity to eat.

11.00am: Arrive at the Docklands. Immediately I am overwhelmed by the smell of feet and disgustingly high humidity backstage. First job is to assign all the jewellery to the Wayne Cooper collection; this also involved updating the spec sheet. It’s amazing how every little job, such as this, is so time consuming.

12.00pm: Bettina Liano’s collection has no tights, as the delivery has been lost in the mail. Slight freak out! A volunteer is immediately sent to the city to buy 8 pairs of ‘twilight’ tights.

12.30pm: Nicolangela’s designer comes backstage and adds final touches to her pieces. She adds tights, belts and one more fur shrug.

1.00pm: It is boiling backstage, estimating 40 degrees; I’m feeling exhausted and working in slow motion. You can’t do anything without being uncomfortable and sweaty. This is due to the backstage area being a black tent with no air conditioning, which has had the sun shining on it all morning. Combine this with a hundred or more bodies running around. I sit down and see a sign posted on the wall of the tent saying ‘Cut wall in emergency’, with a Stanley knife sticky taped next to it. I was so close to doing so.

1.30pm: The 9pm show has two dress rehearsals (because the first one went so badly), before we can set up our show. Models are walking around in nothing but nude g-strings; one girl drapes herself over the ‘apparently cool’ air blower. I wish more than anything that I could be in nothing but undies, and then maybe I wouldn’t be sweating so much.

2.00pm: Shoes for the Nina Maya collection are assigned. Meanwhile the models are learning their choreography for the catwalk

3.00pm: Full dress rehearsal commences. Each model is assigned a volunteer dresser. I watch as designer clothes are ripped off the models’ bodies and on to the floor, kicked to the side and stepped on. I can’t imagine how the designers would feel seeing their beautiful clothes treated so badly. But the main priority backstage is to get the model in the next outfit and to the line in time.

4.00pm: Models are sent to hair and make-up. One volunteer is sent home due to not coping with the high temperature and humidity backstage.

Bettina Liano’s assistants are backstage to swap two models outfits, because they didn’t like how it looked in the dress rehearsal.

4.30pm: Catering arrives and we take a break. The food is healthy and small; I think they want the volunteers to eat like models. Mini bagels, sushi, mini wraps, yogurt, apples and salad.

Meanwhile the volunteers that started work at 10 o’clock are finishing taping shoes, before they are given a break.

5.00pm: Selena and I speak to every model’s dresser and ask them to explain any problems their model had in the dress rehearsal. This included shoes too big or too small, zips breaking, insoles and sockets needed and problem changes that are just too fast. After making a long list, we then started to try and solve these problems.

6.00pm: Still swapping models’ shoes. The volunteers start to take turns in steaming the garments.

6.30pm: Models return from hair and make-up and begin to try on shoes to see if their size problems have been resolved.

6.45pm: Despite the public buying tickets for a 6.30pm show, the show is suitably fashionably late and the first outfit call is not until fifteen minutes after ‘start’ time.

7.35pm: Finished! There is a feeling of success and relief backstage. Models return to their assigned rack and are in their own clothes as quick as anything and leave to have a break before they are called to hair and make-up for the next show in 5 minutes.

8.30pm: Finish boxing all shoes and bagging all garments in garbage bags. A total of 40 boxes and bags were numbered and ready to be sent back to the collections venue. My job is done…at least for the day.

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