Right off the bat I’ll admit, it’s taken me a week to long to post this BUT all good things come to those who wait, right? So now I’ve gotten all my cliches out for this post I’ll get down to things…
Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival was on just last week and wasn’t it awesome! I was lucky enough to be chosen as an assistant to Tegan Sewell (Head Dresser on Alex Perry and Loreal Runway 5 and 6). The experience and knowledge I gained was simply fantastic. I’ve been a volunteer at fashion week’s before but it is a totally different experience helping in the lead-up and the pack-down.
Let’s start at the beginning. The day I got my timetable. 8am-11pm was written in tiny numbers in front of me. What were they thinking? If they made it small enough I wouldn’t be able to really see my lovely 15 hour days? I wouldn’t be able to piece together that I got roughly $1.30 an hour? I have to admit that hurt a little. But then I thought, a little sleep deprivation was worth it in the end. Plus, I haven’t been paid for a day of work in over 2 years so at least I was getting some money.
DAY ONE: taping shoes. Need I say more. The upside was Tegan’s other assistants were all nice and not total plebs. We chatted happily away while we did this darling little task.
DAY TWO-SIX: These got so much better. The “uniform” volunteers came in and they were handed the torture that is shoe taping. I got to work on the Loreal Paris Runway 7 fittings with stylist Fernando while the other assistants and Tegan worked on Runway 5. I was in charge of taking down all the intreget notes on how each outfit was styled and what shoes the model was wearing etc. Seems easy, right? Wrong. When you have 3 to 4 models being dressed all at once and every second they’ve switched shoes, switched outfits, had jewellery added and then had jewellery taken off, tops have been tucked and then untucked, dresses over dressed, zips on pants undone and others not, well, it becomes a brain mush like no other. A fun brain mush but still a total pounding.
Apart from fittings we did all those little tasks you forget someone has done; like making up model spec sheets, running order boards and mood boards. We sorted out all those fine details that the stylist requested and then feel into bed every night about 11pm.
DAY SEVEN: Alex Perry Day. Yay!
Today I learnt the difference between a suit dress and a shift dress. I learnt to only ask questions to particular people, even if that meant them going to the real person to ask. I learnt how to iron an Alex Perry gown. I saw how bloody gorgeous Megan Gale is in real life… basically what you see if the photo is all her. I learnt how to look after a group of volunteers. I learnt being nice is easier than being mean. I learnt Alex Perry makes fantastic gowns and places lace and bows effortlessly into his dresses. I also learn’t he should never add an oriental floral pattern in large quantities to an outfit, or mix bright orange and red unless his theme was Bollywood crashes Hollywood. I learnt after parties are for much cooler people than me.
DAY NINE: Collette Dinnegan, Dion Lee, Jayson Brunsdon and many more surrounded me. It was high class elegance today and I loved it. The outfits were hard to put together and the change times were quick. Everyone was so pumped and ready to get the show on. I was in charge of four models getting out on time. The stars were on my side because I had some awesome volunteers who made this job really easy. We had our plans, we knew when we needed to help our neighbour, and which shoes would have our in near tears. The show flew-by so quickly and then it was home time.
DAY TEN: My last day at fashion week. Today it was on me. I had done all the prep work and I was the one who knew the collection. White Suede, Maurie and Eve, Talulah, Joveeba, Bettina Liano, Wayne Cooper and Alannah Hill were our featured designers. To celebrate our last day we hopped over to the Loreal Makeup Room and had our hair done and our nails and our lips painted. We were looking hot and ready to get this show over and done with. The rehearseal didn’t go so well. Alannah Hill was our killer. Her accessories, although absolutely gorgeous and perfectly put together, were piled on and made the quick changes a nightmare. But what fun would it be if there wasn’t a little hiccup?
The show closed and then it was all over. Time to rip down the spec sheets (yes the ones that took hours to make) and box up all the clothes. I was happy it was over because I needed sleep, but really, I could have stayed for many weeks to come and kept the smile on my face.