September 25, 2014

The Accidental Model

Within all of us there are dreams. There are the dreams we conceive as adults and that we work so diligently to see come to life. Then there are the dreams we carry from our childhood, the ones that may not be the most logical or feasible, but nonetheless we hold onto them in the hope that one day the stars may align just so and fortune will smile in our direction.

As a child, I grew up in the era of The Supermodel. The cohort which was made up of the likes of Christy Turlington, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford. The original and the best. Though some may debate exactly who make up the original band of supermodels, these ladies are it for me. I grew up seeing them splashed on the covers of all the magazines. Long, bronzed and toned limbs generally sporting a high cut bikini. It’s no surprise then, as it is no surprise now, that little girls often grow up with the dream that they can one day find themselves plastered on the cover of a glossy magazine and sashaying down international runways.

I was no exception. Throughout primary school I was very fond of the after school activity and often asked my mother to enrol me in various programs. One I always drifted to were the modelling and deportment classes, although it was more for the fun aspect than anything serious. I certainly was not blessed with the necessary stature nor the luscious locks or impressive facial bone structure that almost all models possess. A model, I would never be.

Fast forward twenty years to the present time where I find myself on the receiving end of an email inviting me to be one of the Restyle Runway fan models for the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival. I guess the saying “never say never” is continually uttered for a good reason. Though it was hardly an invitation to Paris to be a clothes horse for the European fashion houses, the ten year old in me was awakened. Me, on a runway during a fashion festival. Okay then. We can do that.

The two Restyle prompts I played along with at home - stripes and lace!

For those unfamiliar with the Restyle challenge, it is something that has taken place during PFF since 2012. Its purpose is to showcase to the public how op-shop clothing can be incorporated stylishly into your wardrobe, in turn supporting charities and the people they assist. With bloggers invited to apply, each year a group of official Restyle bloggers ise chosen and for the first time this year the ‘fans’ were encouraged to play along at home and follow the daily outfit prompts. I shared two outfits (here and here), the best I could do given the lack of time on my part. It really is a time and labour intensive exercise and full credit must be given to all the bloggers who have been involved with Restyle since its inception.

After a week of emails back and forth between the event organizer and the Restyle stylist, the day of the first show arrived. The most difficult part of it all was waking early on the Friday to make it to the city in time for our hair and make up call. I’m not a morning person so this was a big deal for me. It's times like these that I am most certainly thankful that I live a short drive from Perth city. All the more time for me to sleep in.

Spending so much time back of house prior to the shows was an eye opening experience. The amount of work and sheer number of people needed to pull together what an audience sees as a thirty minute fashion show is immense. Two or three hands working on one head of hair, two people pulling your clothes on and off for you and make up artists hustling to get everyone’s face ready as the clock ticks. For myself, my hair was still being worked on barely five minutes before the commencement of the first show. With two stylists setting the final section of my hair, it was a mad dash to rip off my clothes to change into my runway outfit and head backstage with my shoes in hand.

Runway photos by SOUL of Shu

The second show was definitely a more easy paced affair. We had all been through this once already and we knew what to expect. I was smart enough to ensure that I got into the stylist’s chair early in the morning, so with my hair and make up finished with a couple of hours to spare, it was a waiting game. This is something else I learned. Models do a lot of waiting. Back of house was filled with models, the real models, waiting to get their hair styled, waiting for make up to be applied, waiting for the next show to start. 

Though initially somewhat apprehensive to participate in the show, ultimately I am glad I accepted the invitation as the entire experience was a bundle of fun. It was wonderful to meet new people as well as catch up with the bloggers who I already know. I can now tell that ten year old girl to hang in there because she'll realize her dream when the time is right.

Photo by official TPFF photographer Stefan Gosatti
Yep, took a photo of the media pit!

Gotta have the iPhone selfies!

Just chilling pre-show in front of Myer with Fashion 2.1, Hayley and Jenelle from Inspiring Wit
The look for the first show. My hair had been washed the night before so it had to be worn in its naturally curly state.


  1. Love this post! It was so great meeting you!! xxH

    1. Hi Hannah! It was great to meet you as well. We all had such a great time and so much fun.

  2. Looks like it was an amazing day! You look gorgeous.

    SSG xxx

    1. Thank you SSG. It definitely was a memorable experience!