‘Don’t slip, don’t trip!’: inside Australian fashion week
Guardian Australia goes behind the scenes with the models, designers and hangers-on at Sydneys parade
Its like a hurricane: one minute its calm and then its chaos, says Kate Reynolds from Melbourne design-duo Pageant moments before the start of their debut show at Australian fashion week.
Behind her, 20 or so models are frantically changing into their outfits, half a dozen backstage photographers are herded together and repeatedly told don't cross the yellow tape by an irate producer. A doorman blocks a young woman from hurriedly entering the scene.
Im a model, she protests. No-ones coming in and no-ones crossing that tape, thats what Ive been told, he says. But Im in this show! she scoffs, swerving around him while rolling her eyes at the snappers.
It feels like a microcosm of fashion week, where colour and drama are abundant, punctuality is unheard of. Surviving the week is half the battle.
Held at Carriageworks in Sydney, this years event has seen 43 shows from 67 designers, with garments worn by 1,080 models. There have been approximately 30,000 guests, 400 photographers, 500 volunteers and too many bloggers to count. And after the shows, its still not quite over yet: theres a day of fashion seminars to go.
Fashion is a booming industry in Australia, the luxury sector alone is worth in excess of $2bn in annual revenue and one model on the runway this year, Jordan Barrett, is said to be earning $100,000 for a minutes work.
Were growing as a nation that wants to dress better and be more fashion conscious, says Jordan Stenmark, one half of the Stenmark twins, Australias most recognisable male models. And even though there might only be something like 24 million of us, theres so much talent out here. So youve got to celebrate whats being done back home.
The twins attended the opening show by Dion Lee at Sydney Opera House on Sunday afternoon Lee was making his fourth appearance at the venue whose geometric form has so inspired him and were impressed by his colourful collection featuring sliced Akubra hats and oversized jackets.
I thought the Dion Lee show was fantastic. Hes such a talented designer because he plays with textures and cuts really well. Hes been able to own that. Over the years hes really put Australian fashion on the map.