I’ll never forget how I fumbled through my first Australian Fashion Week

“Fake it ’til you make it” 

That’s what my Dad said to me the day before leaving for my first Australian Fashion Week.

At the time I didn’t think anything of it, passing it off as a classic dad comment. But as soon as we landed at Sydney airport and made our way to the hotel, I realised just how true those words were going to be.

I quickly learned that Australian Fashion Week was an entirely different beast in comparison to New Zealand Fashion Week. Bigger, better and bad for my self esteem. 

Walking into day one completely naive I was shocked by how many people were outside waiting to get their photo taken. With massive publications such as Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue covering street style, it was no wonder everyone was dressed to impress, I just didn’t think I would be that impressed.

It was like my Farfetch cart had come to life. MiuMiu and Ganni and Prada oh my!

It seemed as if everyone had their personal style perfected down to the last detail. Almost every look was polished, every ensemble carefully curated. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some rogue choices that I would never be caught dead in, but it’s really humbling when there are a dozen photographers and none of them are taking your picture. I loved my outfits, but to quote everyone’s fav messy girl, Carrie Bradshaw, “Suddenly I felt like I was wearing patchouli in a room full of Chanel.”

Nevertheless, I trotted around directing our photographer and gushing over influencers I had followed since cut creases and Adidas superstars were cool. 

Carriageworks acted as the perfect backdrop for Fashion Week and you could tell that bucket-loads had been poured into making it feel like an expensive affair. From the array of ​​Porsches, the exclusive American Express lounge to the gravity-defying eBay pop-up, everything felt super boujie. 

My first show was Carla Zampatti. Sat in the back row with little-to-no view of the runway, I was still buzzing. One thing that AFW really nailed in my opinion was the composition of each show. The lighting, sound, setting and ambiance was always on point. The sound design was so good I could feel the bass in my chest – that paired with the Carla Zampatti pieces was pure perfection. 

Interestingly, when I first walked into the show I was hit with this amazing smell. I don’t know if they were pumping Diptyque Do Son into the air but it was great. Like I said, boujie. 

That night I worked till 11pm and hoofed down a Gyros from Uber Eats. 

Day two started off strong and I was less susceptible to the cool outfits and celeb sightings. I was still navigating AFW with the grace of a deer caught in headlights, but with a tad more pep in my step. 

We headed off-site to the Bec and Bridge show (which I did not have a ticket for) to pap influencers in the hopes they would re-post. Lame sentence I know. With the sun setting over the Sydney Opera House in the background and my feet bleeding in $65 Zara heels, someone handed me some free Lanolips and my day was made.  

Side note: I saw a TikTok of a creator calling out a group of influencers who apparently turned up to the Bec & Bridge venue, took pics on the runway and then said “Ok, should we go to dinner now?” without even staying for the show. The amount of wild stuff I heard influencers say could be an article of its own. Here are some of my favs:

“OMG why the f*ck is no one taking pictures of me?”

“I’m not front row but I’ll get someone who is to airdrop me some pics to post.”

“Can we take some more I feel like I was smiling weird.”

“What are they wearing this isn’t the Met Gala.”

“I need a drink.”

Acler: This was by far my favourite show. Clip-on bangs and oversized gold accessories, what more could you want? The runway set-up was like nothing I’d seen before. Huge criss-cross-like structures lined the centre of the runway which the models would weave their way through when walking. I was sat in the third row this time and got a goodie bag. Nice. 

What solidified this show in my top spot was definitely the final song. Girls On Film by Duran Duran blasted through the speakers and was the perfect ending to a perfect show. I got offered to take an extra goodie bag home as there were heaps left behind by the attendees. I turned it down in fear of looking like a greedy freak, but once I got home and realised amongst the travel sized hair care products there was an Acler ring, so I was pissed I didn’t loot all the abandoned bags. Opportunity missed. 

Afterwards we went out for dinner, I tried a betel leaf for the first time and had a delicious gossip for dessert. 

The next morning I found myself at the airport four hours early for my flight in the name of anxiety. The last three days had gone by so fast and I left Fashion Week feeling like I could’ve done so much more. Nevertheless, I got another Street Style gallery up while eating airport McDonalds and before I knew it we were back in NZ. 

Overall I had a great time. A stressful, busy, eye opening time. I smiled and nodded through references I didn’t understand and pretended to know names I had never heard of before, all in the name of “fake it ’til you make it”. Although I often found myself repeating this iconic dad quote in my head, I felt completely in my element and will never forget how I *gracefully* fumbled, faked and made it through my first Australian Fashion Week.

*Side note The Wiggles just followed FNZ on instagram so I can confidently say on that stat alone Australian Fashion Week was well and truly made!

Imagery from Getty Images