The unfiltered (and very awkward) diary of a Fashion Week virgin.

If I had to blame anyone for the trauma of attending Fashion Week as a total virgin, I’d send my counselling bills to our fashion writer Brittany.

She’s lovely and talented and very good at her job. She’s good at fashion week. She’s good at trends and clothes but she’s not good at foresight.

Because if Britt had great (or, you know, any) foresight, she wouldn’t have moved to our Sydney office last month and left me (a news writer) with the responsibility of covering Melbourne’s VAMFF with my unoriginal fashion taste and penchant Adidas superstar sneakers and skinny jeans.

But alas, I was sent to VAMFF with nothing more than my phone and instructions to bring the people (you) wearable trends and advice. Which would be helpful if I wasn’t someone who actually needed to read the post for advice.

This is how my first night went down.

6.30pm Realise my night is off to an absolute cracker start when I’ve finished getting ready after an entire day of weighing up what to wear, head downstairs and my sister proceeds to ask me what I’m thinking of wearing to the show.

6.31pm Weigh up whether I should admit already I’m dressed and ready, or swallow my pride and get changed. Go with the former. She laughs and hits me harder with a few more insults for good measure, asking if it’s themed “emo” and telling me my smokey eye isn’t pulled off particularly well and that I look like I have been punched in the eye. Twice.

6.32pm Silently repeat all the reasons why I want her to move out so much.

6.35pm Mum gets home. Wants to know why I’m wearing denim shorts “with lots of holes in them” that “could pass as underwear”. I tell her it’s you know, fashion. I laugh but it comes across as kind of squeaky and a little bit clunky because I am wearing denim shorts to fashion week and not even I am sure if that’s a thing.

Another extremely helpful fashion study that the Mamamia Out Loud team discuss. Post continues after audio.

8.00pm Finally get to Melbourne’s Exhibition building and keep my eye out for all zee ‘Influencers’. Re-consider why I’m so desperate to see them in the flesh when I follow them all on Instagram and therefore know what time they got their make-up done, how they’ve styled their hair, what they’re wearing and their top three preferences for the name of their second child.

8.05pm Pick up my tickets from the lovely woman from AMPR who is doing the PR for VAMFF. She also tells me I have access to an open bar while I wait which I pretend to be excited about. Am too embarrassed to admit to her I might as well be 12 because I am still on my P-plates and therefore can’t drink while I’m driving.

8.06 Curse Britt, because I know somehow my inability to drink free champagne is all her fault.


8.10 Come to the conclusion that if I have to write about this later, I’ll need a photo of myself to accompany the post. Mentally list the pros and cons of asking someone to take my photo versus taking a selfie publicly.

8.12 The sun has gone down and I think my editor will kill me because all my photos will be too dark.

8.15 Text my editor for advice.

8.16 This is all she has to say:

8.20 Take a few photos. They're all as terribly lit, awkward, blurry and as sh*t as each other. Curse my face and curse Britt.

Hahahaahaha. Hahaha. Haha. Ha.

8.35pm Head to the doors and oh maaaaa Lord people are pushy considering this is 100 per cent an allocated seating event and no amount of pushing is going to save them from their fifth-row seats.

8.37pm All but instantly regret wearing flats because it appears I'm too small to navigate large crowds without heels. If I wanted to fly under the radar, this was certainly one way to do it. People legitimately can't see me. It's funny for about a second until I remember how easy it is to be trampled in large crowds. (Disclaimer: I'm probably about 5'3 *les cries*)

8.40pm All the people start leaving the first show and I'm embarrassed to admit I recognise almost 20 per cent of the people walking out because I follow them all on social media. I need new hobbies. Or just one hobby.

8.45pm The show is delayed so I spend about half an hour standing in said crowd. Not much to report apart from the fact the volunteers ask for VIPs and those in general admission to separate themselves and funnily enough, no-one wants to stand in the general admission line.

9.15pm Get to my seat and recognise the person I'm seated next to. Also follow her on Instagram. Surprise!

9.30pm Fiddle with my phone before the show starts. Realise I probably just committed the cardinal sin of fashion journalism that is to go to a fashion week with a shot battery.

9.31pm Curse Britt. Britt would've known to bring a portable charger.

9.32pm Close Instagram very quickly mid-scroll when I realise the person sitting next to me has uploaded a photo and it's now in my feed. Have no doubt that she saw over my shoulder and will now know I absolutely know who she is and what she ate for breakfast last Wednesday.

9.35pm The girl on my other side is sought-out by the photographer to take photos in the middle of the runway before the show starts. Figure she must be important because she really knows how to pose and has no shame doing it in front of hundreds of people.

9.40pm Within three minutes I've found her Instagram account. (Some call it unhealthy stalking, others journalism.) Has 700,000+ followers. Probably can pull-off the mid-runway photo shoot if she wants to.

9.45pm Show starts. Jessica Gomes opens. Is a genuine vision. Jesinta Franklin follows not far behind. Is also a genuine vision.

9.46pm Try to take some photos of both visions and curse my iPhone potato  5. Blurr-central.

When your photography is clear and on-point and very usable.

10.00pm Watch the show intently, madly making mental notes on just about any piece of clothing that's mildly helpful to the readers.

10.05pm Take a good enough photo to upload to Instagram, filter it well-enough to look like I didn't take it on a potato and upload it. My work here is clearly done.

10.25pm Show ends. Realise there are two types of people in this world: the people who came to VAMFF for the fashion and the people who rush to the VAMFF wallpaper once the show is over to make sure they're able to get a photo in front of the sponsors.

Told you.

What was your experience as a fashion week virgin?