Behind the Scenes at the Emerging Designer Showcase

This year I’ve had an amazing opportunity to work behind the scenes as a volunteer for the Adelaide Fashion Festival. As many of you would have seen, the most exciting event, the Emerging Designer Showcase, was the first big event of the festival.

The designers on show were Orbin Collective, Georgia Guy, GretaKate, casper&pearl, Chelsea Eve, Designer Duchess, Namoi, Necia, Liza Emanuele, Malachi Empire, couture+love+madness and Jaimie Sortino. We were trusted to organise and take care of all the garments, as well as dress all the models in the right way as the designers wanted their collections worn.

Above is the room we were working in backstage to get all the models dressed and runway ready. It was pretty spacious for a backstage room which is always good, as you need plenty of room for quick changes when you’re literally throwing garments everywhere trying to get the model onstage on time!

It’s crazy when you look at what’s happening backstage compared to onstage. I have no idea how the models go from a frantic panic to cool, calm and collected on the runway.

As the Designer Showcase was held in the Old Adelaide Gaol, there were plenty of creepy stories going around. You can see the cell doors in the background behind the racks. The room we were dressing in is the same room they used to hang people, so the cell where they used to store all the dead bodies was especially creepy! The staircase you can see in the background is rumoured to be haunted too. Supposedly a man stands at the top of the stairs and just stares at you. While that didn’t happen, the large metal gates to the stairs mysteriously swung open at one point, creeping some people out! The paranormal activity was thankfully kept to a minimum, probably thanks to some bored, fashionable ghosts who were glad to see something exciting happening in their stony, cold gaol.

These are some of the racks of clothes used. Each model has her own rack with an outfit from each designer hanging on it. Each outfit is ordered for when it will be worn onstage, so there’s not as much of a rush trying to find the right thing to get on the model.

The final collection shown was Jaimie Sortino, a collection of beautiful couture dresses that floated along the runway. As by this point we were finished dressing, we were allowed to head out and watch the finale of the show. It was super hot and glarey last Saturday, so as you can see some of the models are wearing sunnies so their eyes don’t die. The poor girls had to walk through thirty-degree heat in fur and knitwear for some of the collections, and afterwards were practically throwing them off to cool down haha.

The hair for the festival is being co-ordinated by Kevin Murphy, one of the top salon brands in Australia. The model’s hair was fashioned in a beautiful, light pulled-back fashion with some of the hair tumbling down their backs and some framing their faces.

This was the beautiful model I dressed for the show, she was so professional but only fifteen! When I was fifteen I did not look or act like that. I was still some awkward pre-pubescent teen stumbling her way through the Rundle Mall fashion precinct before discovering online shopping. She was an absolute pleasure to dress, I could not have asked for a nicer girl.

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