Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane is on the horizon. Here’s how to avoid looking like a faux fashionista fool.

Through some weird twist of fate, I’ve somehow managed to attend quite a few fashion weeks in my time, albeit as a writer rather than a groundbreaking fashion icon.

However, for every moment I’ve spent snuggled between Ruby Rose and Napoleon Perdis backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, swapping goodie bag items with Lara Bingle or sipping champagne with the Stenmark twins, I’ve also seen the horribly embarrassing underbelly of these supposedly glamorous events.

So without further ado, dear reader, I give you the dos and don’ts of fashion week in the hope that you will learn from my mistakes and still retain your dignity long after the catwalk lights have dimmed.

Don’t accessorise on the run

I always say those with effortless style are the ones who’ve never had to do laundry. For those of us without access to Gisele Bundchen’s wardrobe it’s time to reality-check ourselves back into gear and plan out what we’re wearing.

Allow me to illustrate. Last year I left my preparations for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane opening night party until the last possible moment. The panic didn’t really set in, however, until the taxi lights flashed through my bedroom window while I was still wearing my bathrobe and clutching a shoe and curling iron. Now, I’m all for experimental fashion, but I just didn’t think I could pull that one off.

The following moments kind of played out like entering The Hunger Games arena. I was grabbing everything in sight and ready to dole out death to anybody who got in my way. As I ran from the house I scooped up a pair of outrageously big earrings and quickly jammed them into my ears while I scrambled into the dark backseat. It wasn’t until I’d done a full lap of the party, stopping to chat with everybody from former Vogue editor Kirstie Clements to the festival organisers, that I caught sight of my reflection in a mirror and realised I was wearing two different earnings.

Two different, enormous, clashing earnings that made me look like Dame Edna and Cher’s forgotten love child. Apparently everybody int he room had noticed, but as they thought I was experimenting with some odd new sense of style, nobody had said anything. And that is why you don’t dress in a hurry (or in the dark).

Do get excited by celebrity sightings

As I so casually name-dropped in the opening paragraphs, celebrities tend to frequent fashion week festivities.  Frequent fashion festival attendees know that playing it cool is the key to looking like you belong, but where’s the fun in that?

There are not a lot of benefits to being a nobody, but this is your time to shine. Do stalk your idols though the streets on the way to the show (everybody knows the best stuff happens in-between catwalk visits), do nonchalantly look like you’re busily checking your many important emails while covertly taking photos of the front row and definitely sidle in ninja-style to pick up the gift bag that some starlet has left behind.

Real talk here, you just spent your last dime on the uncomfortable shoes you’re wearing and you’re wondering if you can pass for a student on the bus ride home. There’s good stuff in those bags, now’s not the time to be a hero.

Don’t make an entrance

Unless you were carried in while encased in an egg, Lady Gaga style, nobody should be talking about how you arrived.

A few fashion weeks ago I was speeding through the streets of Sydney to a show and since the whole point of me being there was to capture the hustle and bustle that goes on behind the catwalk scenes, strolling in late was not an option. Just as the driver was pulling into the destination and I was almost done panic applying (that’s swiping on coat after coat of red lipstick in a helpless panic, in the vain hope that it will somehow fix the situation — and sometimes it does), another car smashed into us and something clunked against the window.

After quickly ascertaining that the driver was alright I exited the car, stepping over the fallen cyclist who had hit the window (I asked if he was OK as I gingerly stepped over him in my stilettos and he gave me a thumbs up. I’m not a monster) I made my way into the show shouting that I’d be back in a second. It was just my luck that everybody had rushed to the window to see what the noise was all about and so I entered the event looking as if I was fleeing the scene of an accident and taking make-up tips from The Joker.

There’s just no way to recover from that.

Do remember that your life is not a catwalk

Attending an endless stream of fashion shows has the power to influence and enthrall you, but it also has the power to inspire you to make bad life decisions.

A few days in and you’re probably high on champagne, low on sleep and starting to believe the well dressed fashionistas swanning around you are real life people rather than perfectly manicured androids programmed to look like they just stepped out of Anna Wintour’s dream journal (you know she’s got one).

Shopping in a fashion week induced haze will leave you with a wardrobe that’s not workable. I once returned home from a week of fashion week coverage with a pile of sequined pants, outrageous coats and some item I thought was a necklace but may actually be a medieval torture device.

Where are they now? Still in that suitcase, because my life is more basic than Beyonce and impulse shopping is no longer my friend.

Don’t be jealous of the models

Can we just take a moment to bow our heads and give a moment of silence for the poor models who will be treading the catwalk next week?

Because while we may stare at them enviously and kind of wait for them to fall while they strut in front of us the reality is that models do it tough. Backstage they’re the cattle and the beauty crew are the sheepdogs; they’re herded, prodded, poked and skinned within an inch of their lives and then they walk on stage for a few moments before they come out and do it all again.

While the rest of us are in the VIP lounge indulging in some tasty hors d’oeuvre, they’re in the car park trying to untangle their hair before the next show. Life is not easy when you’ve been whacked by the beautiful stick, ladies.

So with this in mind, enjoy next week’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane. For more info, visit www.mbff.com.au.