BEHIND THE SCENES - A Day in the Life of a High Fashion Model @ The Fashion Forward Festival with Alana McAleer…
A number of our Grads got to experience walking the runway (and posing for the barrage of photographers at the end of the runway) wearing high fashion looks. We asked one of them, the divine Miss Alana Mcaleer to diarise her Fashion Forward experience – from rehearsal to fittings to hair and make up and backstage madness - to share with all of us…
1pm: Arrival and Rehearsal
I walked in and there were around 50 models in the room - wow!
During the rehearsal we were briefed, given the running order and taken through the entrances and exit points of the catwalk. The catwalk was shaped like a triangle so few of us had never walked a catwalk like it. Therefore we ran each show under PJ’s guidance in order to ensure that everyone knew exactly what was expected of them. There were a few girls missing during the rehearsal so some of us, myself included, got to fill in for them which was great because it gave us some extra practice time.
I was given this singlet style dress which was really cute and a TONNE of jewelery to go with it! I think in the end I ended up wearing about 3 large rings all on one hand and another 2 on the other. I also got to be a “muse” after the show (which means I was like a live mannequin on a designer’s stand) and I got to wear this really cute white, strapless baby doll style dress that had a huge bow on the bust and a hole in the back. I loved both of these outfits however the strapless bra that I had with me did not fit properly under the first outfit so I had to use fashion tape! So NOTE TO ALL THE LADIES; always pack strapless bras of different shapes and cuts!
Off to Toni and Guy where they OF COURSE wanted to straighten my hair! If you have ever seen my hair you will know that it is incredibly thick and very curly (think Afro, only longer and you’ve got my hair) so styling it into a dead-straight high pony tail was definitely a challenge. In the brief we were given prior to the show we were asked to arrive with straight hair so I had straightened it before I got there, but when I got to Toni and Guy they wanted to go over it. It took 2 people and about half an hour to just get it as straight as they needed it but we go there eventually!
5:30pm: Make Up
The make-up team was great! Martin Bray and all the girls on his team were lovely. I had already had my base and lips done but now that my hair was done I was ready for my “purple head” to be applied (see pics). The “purple head” (affectionately named The Avatar by the end of the evening) was definitely a surprise, but not as much as the old school paper 3D glasses that completed the look. When they were first handed to us we thought they were joking but it turned out that we all had to figure out a way to see properly on the catwalk through one blue eye and one red eye and hope not to fall off the end. But the final look was very cool and very fashion forward!
8pm: THE SHOW!
Backstage is always crazy no matter what show you are doing but I had never been involved in one as crazy as this! the change area was fairly small and therefore caused changes to be even more chaotic then normal. There were several times where people didn’t think they were going to make it back to the front of the line in time for their next walk and often the line had to just keep moving with or without people but in the end every item got shown and the show was a success!
I loved the big crowd and all the cameras!! It seemed like the show was over to quickly!! I love feeding off the energy of a large crowd for a performance because it makes me want to perform better. And as for the cameras I just see them as another audience member that you have to make sure you perform for in order to get that perfect shot at the end of the catwalk.
What was the coolest part of this gig?
While the actual show was great and a lot of fun the coolest part of it all was just getting to hang out with all the girls back stage. A group of us ended up playing cards which was random but so much fun!! Everyone was so nice and fun and the energy back stage was just amazing!
What did you take away from the experience?
I walked into this gig thinking that I had been hired as a muse for after the show and I ended up walking in the show… so the main thing I took away from it is to be prepared for ANYTHING!! At the last minute girls can drop out or get sick or designers can decide that they want another outfit in the show that they need someone to wear and that someone could be you! So no matter what you may think you are going to be doing in a show always be prepared for everything because if you’re not then they will find someone else who is!