Designed by Rachael O’Brien
As one of the four emerging Australian designers to be selected for the St George Next Gen Programme this year, Rachael O’Brien experienced her first ever MBFWA runway show. With everything else going on, Rachel kept a diary. Check out what it’s like to be a new designer on the biggest stage of Australian fashion, with Rachael’s new label, Of Ro.
5:20am: Roll out of bed, shower and load up the car. Garment bags, 12 pairs of shoes, emergency sewing kit, makeup, accessories and yarns galore!
6am: On the road! Leggings, sneakers, two jackets and a pit stop for coffee and bagels to warm our hands and fuel our bodies on route to fashion week.
7am: Arrive and unload at carriage works. Unlike what I expected, the place is strangely calm. Most people have a coffee in hand. Models are starting on hair and makeup and we begin to set up the garment racks.
8am: Finish Prepping.With the help of my mum and friends we steam, iron and even complete a couple of last-minute hems. We’re double checking everything’s ready for the show. We divide up the garments for each model and place them on separate racks. Shoes are labelled and assigned to each girl. 9:30am: Check! Each of the four designers in this runway show are called in for a final lighting and music check. It’s amazing to see how the team have interpreted our collections. I’m loving how they’ve tailored the lighting to convey our mood and enhance the features, textiles and silhouettes of the various garments.
10am: Get Ready. In between watching the model walk-throughs and briefing the dressers backstage about how to dress the models for the runway, I quickly change and do my makeup for the show. A quick couple of minutes and I’m all done.
10:30am: Call in the chaos. It might have been peaceful upon arrival. But with 4 designers, 24 models, 24 dresses, photographers and media teams, backstage is exciting and chaotic.11am: Showtime! After the hundreds of hours of work that goes into creating and prepping the collection for a show it’s crazy that in 3 minutes it’s all over. I have an amazing team of friends and dressers that help me get the models runway ready in just a couple of minutes. From broken shoes to backwards skirts and last minute bag additions, the backstage pressure is intense and thrilling. It is so amazing to see the 10 models make it onto the runway and bring the collection to life!
12pm: Pack up and a toast. After ducking out onto the runway to chat and thank various show attendees we pack up everything backstage. By 12:30 a glass of champagne is in hand and we meet members of the St George team. It’s amazing to be able to chat with the people who had helped to make this experience possible. We take in their feedback on the show and talk to them about our ideas.
1:30pm: Wind down. $4 pizza’s, drinks and celebrating with friends in the afternoon is the ideal way to wind down from the exhilarating experience of MBFWA.
Rachael O’Brien: Instagram
Rachael O’Brien’s Of Ro Website