Words by Daniela Cowden
This year’s Brisbane fashion festival ran for 3 days ( Monday 23rd to Wednesday the 25th of August) and the line-up included local artists and many well-known brands, including Aje and Ginger & Smart. The Festival took the runway to the streets (quite literally) by having an outdoor show, in King George Square, in very the heart of the city.
A volunteer briefing was held on Sunday, where the Volunteer Manager ran us through the COVID protocols to follow during our shifts. We also had the chance to meet some of the organisers, who revealed to us that this year’s runway would be orange!
So, how was the experience? Let me break it down for you:
5:00 PM - Arrived to the venue and after checking in with the volunteer managers, I, along with the rest of the volunteers, awaited for instructions in our designated area. After being separated into two groups, Front of House and Back of House, we went to the area where the show would take place.
6:00 PM - We are directed onto the runway, where we are briefed on how to check-in, according to COVID guidelines, and direct guests into the different areas of the catwalk. For easing the block seating sections, we are assigned a letter per person (I went for the letter D, because I thought “D is for Dani!”).
Our volunteer manager takes each letter into their block and helps us familiarise ourselves with our area in case that guests require directions to their seat. We also placed pamphlets on each seat, which have the show’s program along with some ads from the festival sponsors.
7:00 PM - The show starts. I was in an amazing spot (as it turned out D was not only for Dani, but also for the VIP section of the runway!) so one of the main photographers for the festival was standing right next to me. Right before the show starts I ask him if I am in his way, and he tells me where to best stand for watching the show and for taking photos during the show. The show was amazing. Seeing the clothes that were created by up-and-coming designers is an opportunity I don’t take for granted and as each model walks by I admire the talent of the future fashion generations.
8:00 PM - The show finale walks through the runway and as the crowd claps in admiration the guests start heading towards the afterparty area, where the bar is located. Volunteers start clearing their corresponding areas, by picking up any left pamphlets, glasses and any lost property. We head back to the volunteer area, where we excitedly talk about our favourite looks and the designers we can’t wait to follow on Instagram. After debriefing and sharing our experience with the volunteer manager, we are thanked for our time, and are told our shift as finalised.
Being able to volunteer and observe this show from such a privileged position is an opportunity I’ll never take for granted, so I will definitely be reapplying next year!