Lessons in fashion from mbff

I woke up this morning with no clue what day it was.

“Is it sunday? Are the kids at school? Why is it light? Where am I?”

After months of lead up work and a massive, manic week I was so tired I slept through and heavy.

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane was over for another year.


It was exhausting, exhilarating, and entertaining, challenging, gratifying and overwhelming.

Overall it was successful and satisfying.


In town and adding some glam, the ‘make-up maestro’ Napoleon Perdis ‘direct from Hollywood’ -and what a rock star.

His outfits over two and half days would have made for another runway show.

He changed clothes in between shows, peered through sun glasses with different coloured lenses, wore emerald, green-studded Louboutin moccasins to match his hot pants, and co-ordinated his sparkly-silver jeans to his footwear the next day.

614-QSM-Napoleon_thumbHis pre- show warm-up backstage to models and make-up artists was even more entertaining than his public appearance in the mall, but adding to the mystique I won’t divulge just what that included.

VIP-349_thumbHis entrance included blaring pump-up-the-crowd music, half naked males, make-up artists in multi-neon coloured bobbed wigs and a walk through the throng of fans before getting on stage to impart some wisdom on make-up techniques.

On the catwalk footy-player turned model Kris Smith for the Myer show- a very accommodating, easy going guy- and the Governor General Quentin Bryce- a very put-together, classy lady- sitting front row.


Of course it was all about the fashion and with around 50 designers including local, emerging, established, couture and bridal there was something to appeal to everyone’s sense of style,  background and budget. And it wasn’t just showcased on the runway in the round.  There were some pretty spectacular looks circling the stage as well.


Although whether you are a designer, a model, a fashion magazine editor or a mum if it’s a new look or a new outlook,  you are never too stylish to learn something new.


So here are the top 7 tips that I have taken from the Fashion Festival this year.

1. Braids and plaits are in.

2. Bold lips are big…again. ( I now remember I learnt that last year, but I forgot I did until I repeated)

3. Make sure both high heels and flats match the outfit you are wearing if you are working at the Festival, because you don’t have time to change anything from day to night, except your shoes.

4. Never model on the catwalk, late at night when you think no-one is watching. (The TV monitor is always on and the mbff staff are usually still working. But to the person who did solo strut, thank you. It made our day especially as we had yet to change back to flat shoes)

5. Champagne is NOT real food

6. Plaits and bold lips do not make you look any more fashionable or attractive  if you haven’t brushed your hair and you have no other make-up on.

and finally

7. Saying No is very difficult-

” No you can’t have an extra ticket, No you can’t bring an extra friend, No you can’t go backstage, No you can’t interview the Governor General, No you can’t move the mannequins, No you can’t shoot from the other side of the stage, No I am not going onstage live and presenting a half hour event in the mall” and so on…


In the end I believe I said yes to all of the above and more.

So the final tip goes to my kids. (Who usually don’t take no for an answer either)

If you want me to say yes to all those things you expect me to say no to, make sure you ask me when :

I am wearing bright lipstick and high- heels, have a braid in my hair and am strutting around the house and drinking bubbles. Or wait until I am working on the festival next year. I think I said No to that too??

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