Words by Aleksija Radicevic
At first, I just couldn’t believe that I would be a part of the biggest fashion week in Australia. In preparation for one of the biggest weeks of my life I did some research on past fashions weeks and I mentally prepared myself to take advantage of this huge opportunity that was coming my way.
I learnt what goes on behind the scenes of each show, setting-up and preparing for each show and how much is involved. The difference in feelings when it comes to seeing models, designers, VIPs and/or celebrities on TV or social media to working with them in real life is such a rush of excitement and time for revelations it becomes difficult to describe.
As my first role, I worked behind the scenes dressing models before the Bassike Show at The Venue in Alexandria. Working with these models that we see on TV and social media was so surreal and exciting. They were so professional, easy and comfortable to work with. I also worked front of house, setting up staging and runways as well as seating guests for a few shows. This was exciting to see shows from the guest’s point of view and to experience such an atmosphere of anticipation and being surrounded by intelligence and the expertise.
The stylists and designers were so helpful with any questions us; volunteers had throughout working on these shows.
I helped with the setup and organisation of two talks; Hair Masterclass and Wonder Women. Helping and being able to watch and be involved with these talks, I learnt so much in regards to hair care as well as the wonder women in the industry, learning what needs to evolve and how the industry is evolving with changing times.
Networking and making lifelong friendships were one major benefit of volunteering for AAFW. I made close friends with a few beautiful girls that happened to go to The Fashion Institute as well on top of bonding with those I was already friends with. Networking with the professional I was surrounded with gave me such joy and fulfilment, knowing I have built connections that will benefit me with my future career and goals.
Volunteering my first time this year happened to also be the first year that Australia Fashion Week had changed major sponsors from Mercedes Benz to Afterpay, the first year that the show was more consumer focused and the first year that the shows were presented live for the whole world to see. To be a part of such a focal point in fashion history has proved to be such a gift of knowledge and experience that cannot be replaced.
Being lucky enough to be accepted as one of the volunteers for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week Resort Collection ’22 and experiencing working with professionals of the fashion industry, seeing the new concepts created by current and future designers, realising this ever-growing industry and the levels it can reach in the future has to be one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. Knowing that I and the 500+ volunteers with this passion for fashion contributed to this milestone of fashion history will be a memory and experiences stamped into my brain for the rest of my life.
Working AAFW ’21 and the rush and feeling of passion I felt made me realise for the first time that this is my life’s purpose, to make a difference and make a mark on the fashion world. I thank TFI and everyone else that was part of this experience with me and that helped and guided me to this direction. This life changing experience for me will forever be a milestone in my life that planted the focus of my passion for fashion.