Three shifts down.

Words by

Anastasia McInerney

Three shifts down, 18 hours worked, 20,000 gift bags packed and countless chai lattes consumed.

Such is the life of a Melbourne Spring Fashion Week volunteer. Or so I’ve found out.

In an effort to process all that’s happened in my first few days as a MSFW vollie, I’ve compiled a rundown of the most notable moments.

I drank so much ~fancy~ water

At Fashion Week, regular water just isn’t going to cut it. ‘Natural mineral’ is the beverage of choice, which is “smooth and velvety” according to the bottle. I can’t say I know what that means, but feeling hydrated has never been so fancy. I’m not sure that I can ever drink from a tap again.

I was part of someone’s very first fashion show

A wheelchair bound patron was able to witness her first ever fashion show, thanks to the access lift. It was such a heartwarming moment that solidified my choice to volunteer. Runway shows give me a rush like nothing else, but I’ve found real human connections more fulfilling this week.

I learnt why I needed that Working with Children Check

Initially I questioned the lengthy process of heading to the post office to have my photo taken (mugshot vibes). But it all became clear when I was assigned to help with the rehearsal for the children’s runway show. Talk about kids with style. These kids had me doting over their impeccably coordinated outfits like a crazy woman. As the role of ‘babysitter’ (like, legit), I was glad there weren’t too many tantrums.

Lint rollers are my best friend

When I thought I had co-ordinated the perfect all-black ensemble, I looked down to the mountain of fluff consuming me. A quick lint roll was a must before I left the house each day, which I managed to ironically sabotage by wearing a grey scarf that shed like a mofo. All hope was not lost, as I cheekily roped the stylist into dusting me off inbetween garments.

Random things happen at fashion week

Nope, I’m not a model, but I was asked to be photographed as I was handing out flyers on the street. I was also a part of someone’s video to congratulate their friend in China on their marriage. A wealth of talent, us vollies.

I need to reevaluate my wardrobe

Not in ways you’d expect. While oh-god-yes-please I would love that $6,000 Valentino dress and those Giuseppe Zanotti heels, I really need to fix my current situation in more practical ways. First the hole in my crotch and now one in my sock. In my defence, I wasn’t expecting to take my shoes off and model on the runway for a rehearsal.

I’ve handed out flyers, rehearsed with kids, dressed models and supervised an exhibition. I’ve also spammed my Snapchat, spent all my money on public transport and haven’t slept enough.

Yes, it’s apparent Melbourne Spring Fashion Week has welcomed me with bell-sleeved open arms. 


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