Find out what went on behind the curtain at the fashion festival model casting.

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a model casting?

No?…Well, me neither. I’ve sat front row at plenty of fashion shows in my time and while I’ve often marveled at the clothes, gift bags and free champagne, all the while wedged between much cooler cats like Alex Perry and Kirstie Clements, I’ve never really given much thought to the in-depth process that brought these long legged dames to the catwalk. Until yesterday.

Yesterday I arrived bright and early at Brisbane City Hall to watch hundreds of hopefuls vie for a coveted place spot on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane catwalk.While the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane will not kick off until 24 August, with multiple designers and runway shows on the menu it’s a task of monumental proportions. City Hall was teaming with long legged beauties yesterday, all strutting about in shoes so high they were probably not designed with humans in mind, and all anxiously awaiting their turn to walk before the fashion festival powers that be.


Inside the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane model casting

Click through the gallery to see all the behind the scenes images.

From an outside perspective its a daunting selection process that makes the mere mortals silently thankful that were weren’t born with super naturally long limbs and chiseled bone structure. The delicate line the fashion industry dancers between beauty, aspiration and body image is something I’m particularly interested in discussing while I wait for the first lot of hopefuls to strut across the floorboards.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane director Lindsay Bennett says the festival organizers have made it a priority to keep health and body image in mind.

“Today’s model casting is about trying to identify those girls and guys who can really sell fashions on the runway, because we’ve all got to remember that today is about selling clothes,” Mr Bennett says.”So we need people who can present themselves well and feel confident when they walk down that runway.

“They’ve got to look healthy, we don’t use a body mass index. We made a decision when we started that we needed to make sure we had a policy in place for booking models. Our personal belief is that following a BMI is not the way to do it, we need to look at a model and make sure that they look good.

“If we do come across any models who we think are overly slim or unhealthy then of course we then talk to their agency and we just don’t use them. We are vastly different to a traditional fashion week, we’re not selling collections two years ahead. For us it’s about making sure the broader community is comfortable wearing these fashions as well, the public needs to feel like this is their show too.”

In the waiting room I see further hope that the body image walls might come tumbling down with this fashion festival when I meet 22-year-old Dallys Models Hayley White. With an inhumanely shiny mane of dark hair and a bright smile that looks like it fell out of a toothpaste commercial Hayley fits right in with the crowd, except when you realize that as a svelte size 12 she’s considered a plus size model. While it’s confronting that such a healthy figure is considered plus size, I’ve decided to look on the positive side. She’s here and defiantly in the running.


“Plus size” model Hayley White

“I’m usually in the plus size division because I’m a size 12, so that’s considered plus size,” she says.”But I don’t really stereotype myself and I don’t walk around thinking I’m plus size. To me I’m just myself so if that’s plus size then that’s just what it is.

“I’ve been modelling since I was about 14, I love photography so I just got into it because I love being in front of the camera. I mostly do photographic work, I’m more commercial and things like bridal runway. But I’m happy in swimwear and confident in anything.

“My career highlight so far has to be when I shot a commercial for Fox 8 for a show called Eat Yourself Sexy. I kind of do a bit of everything, being plus size hasn’t kept me stuck in just one category. I just go against everybody and do what I need to do.”

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Will you beading to MBFF Brisbane? What kind of models are you hoping to see on the runway?