Behind the scenes at the casting for Melbourne Fashion Week

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley
Images by Sonja Maria Sujecki

Welcome to the Meat Market.

Last week, hundreds of local models flocked to North Melbourne’s Meat Market for this year’s Melbourne Fashion Week casting day.

For anyone who doesn’t know how such a huge casting works, here’s a basic rundown.

Models from over 28 agencies arrived, lined up, and registered early on Wednesday morning. Once they were given a number, they’d take some quick snaps and show off their walk-on video.

The real deal, however, happened in front of a panel of 12 judges. Groups of models would walk before the judges, who are responsible for choosing who appears on the MFW runways.

Of the 400 hopefuls in attendance, about 120-150 are expected to be picked.

We had the chance to chat with some of these models after their walks, to get an idea of what their jobs are really like. Like the unfazed pros they are, they were just as likely to mention their coffee plans as their nerves.

Whether you’re an aspiring model or just deadly curious, check out our behind-the-scenes photos above to see how MFW finds its local talent.

People Agency

What has your morning looked like so far?

Busy, messy and exciting. Mostly exciting.

Have you been involved with MFW before?

This is my fourth year. But I still get excited every year.

Do you feel like this year’s casting went well?

I think it’s all great, but that’s because I’m always confident.

How did you get into modelling?

I’ve been interested in modelling since I was a child, cause I’m really tall (laughs). All my family said ‘Oh, you should have a try’. So I just did it.

What’s on for the rest of the day?

I still have to go do a shoot. It’s a busy day.

Eva and Dre
Duval Agency

How are we feeling post-casting?

Eva: I’m so glad it’s over. That’s the scariest part, in there. It’s ten times scarier than any runway. It’s a panel of judges and they’re just sitting there… judging you.

Dre: And none of them ever smile.

Eva: If you even get them to look up, that’s good. I’m pretty confident, though.

Have either of you been involved with MFW before?

Eva: I have. I’ve done all the underground shows, but none of the big ones. But they’ve been looking for very David Jones type of girls until now.

Do you think that’s changing?

Eva: Definitely. We’ve been told they’re looking for a way more alternative vibe and heaps of diversity. That’s why I have hope this year, that my weirdness will help me.

Dre: Well, it’s about time!

How did you both get into modelling?

Eva: I was told by heaps of people in the industry that I should do it. So I got some headshots done with a friend and just applied, and I got a bite.

Dre: For me, it was just people messaging me on Instagram. Then Duval messaged me and asked me to come in for an appointment.

WINK Models 

Have you been involved with MFW before?

No, never. I’m very, very excited.

What has your morning looked like so far?

Very good, apart from traffic. But I found a way. I’m very resourceful like that. I made it here on time and found parking easily, which I’m very proud of. It’s very cold, but it reminds me of my home country so I’m happy.

Where are you from?

Slovenia. I’ve lived here for 27 years now, but I still have an accent.

What’s on for the rest of the day? 

I’m going for coffee. I’m going to treat myself.

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