Fashion / Style

What a week at fashion week as a content director actually looks like

My fashion weeks always start the same way – an aggressive brush out of the last night's blowdry, peanut butter toast (consumed on the way as I desperately try to avoid ruining my day one outfit) and an almost, 100 per cent guaranteed, puddle-filled carpark on arrival at Carriageworks. But this year, I wanted to do things differently. So, instead, I tried to meditate – a practice I find hard enough on a good day, let alone during one of the busiest weeks in the Australian fashion calendar. I was about seven minutes into the guided meditation I found on YouTube, so close to a point where I felt I was "doing it" when I started to hear a faint buzzing noise. Whether I was ready or not, the week had already begun, and my phone was letting me know.

Welcome, let's go.


Day One: Red soles, jewellery stacks and cheeseburgers

Despite the cyclone of chaos that surrounds the first day of the schedule, the energy in the room ahead of the week's opening show – Albus Lumen – was surprisingly calm. I'm undecided about whether that can be credited to the draped fabrics that created a sense breath in the space, or if the energy of the Welcome to Country and powerful smoking ceremony had carried itself over, but it was a welcome change of pace. Ahead of the morning's show, our contributing editor Kitty Callaghan had visited Marina Afonina (the founder of Albus Lumen) and her team during one of the final fittings for the show, meeting and photographing the emerging, new-face models that would be making their debut. Seeing the collection and models transform from those images onto the runway always moves me.

When we emerged from Afonina's 'apocalyptic' set, the rain had settled and the sun had completely emerged. The RUSSH team, including our guest editor, @thekimbino, and our emerging voice fellowship winner, Yvonne Hong, all caught up for a quick coffee, show debrief and outfit check before we raced to the next show. My fashion philosophy for this week is comfortable but confident – experimenting with different fabrics and colours (a big call for someone who typically gravitates towards monochrome), while still feeling like myself and being able to dash from one show to the next with ease.

Those who know me, know that I am a heels girl through and through, but even I'm not too proud to admit that the type of shoe I normally gravitate towards is not conducive to the Carriageworks concrete. Which is why I couldn't wait to debut my new Christian Louboutin Sporty Kate sling in this divine pollen colourway. I've always loved pairing grey and 'citrus' colours, incorporating a base shade with a pop of colour through my accessories and bringing the whole look together. It helps even more so when the heel is so comfortable that by the end of the day, I had actually forgotten that I was wearing a kitten heel and not a flat. The nappa leather is so supple that it kept my feet supported all day – the Sporty Kate sling and I are just too compatible.

Over to the next show on the agenda for the day – and historically, one of my favourites – Next Gen. Four emerging designers, hand-picked by a diverse panel of industry experts, take the stage to debut their brands and collections. And like in previous years, the show did not disappoint. Trust me when I say you'll want to keep your eyes on the following designers – Amy Lawrance, Emily Watson, House of Campbell and Potirakis.

Left with a moment to spare at the conclusion of the show (a true rarity especially on day one of the week), I decided to take myself to the famous Pandora styling suite, which had been the topic on everyone's lips all morning. With the Danish jewellery designer's latest collection, Essence, launching later in the week, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to explore the collection and, obviously, to grow my already generous jewellery stack.

Located on balcony 5 inside Carriageworks, the space is a true oasis away from the bustling happenings below. The new Essence collection – as well as some classic, favourite collections from the brand – are all available for you to experiment with, having the flexibility to try pieces on and mix and match metals to create a look that is entirely yours. And truthfully, if the announcement for the next show hadn't boomed over the loudspeaker, you might have lost me to the styling suite for the remainder of the day!

My last afternoon show before day one evolved into night one was Rory William Docherty; the New Zealand designer making his Australian Fashion Week debut. I first met the designer in August last year, when I made the trip over to Auckland to experience New Zealand Fashion Week – the springboard for designers we now know and love, like Maggie Marilyn and Wynn Hamlyn. Docherty's show was the perfect way to close out the first half of the day, featuring crunchy metallic pieces complimented by pared-back, tailored essentials like trenches, oxford shirts and brown leather brogues. We also managed to grab a quick minute with him backstage at the end of the show – watch the interview on the RUSSH Instagram.

The last show of the schedule for the day was Carla Zampatti, the brand and fashion house making a return to the Australian Fashion Week runway after three years. But before the show began, I managed to fit in some desk time – and by that I actually mean car time – to work through some emails, edit content and publish imagery from the shows that day to the site. My car is my number one fashion week essential, functioning as my office, a revolving wardrobe and of course, endless snack and chocolate supplier. It's one of the small comforts I have found I love during the week, being able to return to a quiet space after back-to-back shows for a moment of reprieve.

But before long, it was time to perform a quick – and very inconspicuous – outfit change before heading out to meet the rest of the RUSSH team before the show. I knew while walking over to Gallery One that at the conclusion of the show I was going to be ravenous. It had been a big day after all, and another Freddo Frog was likely not going to cut it. After much deliberation, "do I wait until I get home, should I eat what's in my fridge?" I remembered that Uber Eats' scheduling function meant that I could time for my meal to arrive just as I exited the show. A quick text to the RUSSH team on site – "burgers, anyone?" was met with a resounding yes, and I was able to put everyone's orders in before the show had even started.

True to the accuracy of the app's scheduling tool, our delivery arrived only a couple of minutes after we walked out of the show, so we headed straight for the quietest destination on site – the carpark steps – to enjoy our burgers and fries in the true RUSSH way. If there's one thing to know about fashion week, it's that the high-low is most certainly real.


Day Two: Misplaced essentials, double espressos and pastel delights

Following a big first day, my Tuesday morning started a little slower – and, away from Carriageworks (distance from the ones you love is important, after all). I headed to Brickfields, one of my favourite bakeries in Redfern and a short walk from fashion week to grab a much-needed double espresso and a savoury scone, while I spent some time working through the marketing plan for our new May issue.

In contrast to yesterday's colourful look, today, I was drawn to the more subtle pieces in my wardrobe, opting for classic silhouettes like my faithful white t-shirt, boxy blazer and pencil skirt. The weather proved to be much warmer than anticipated on day one, so I learnt from my mistake of wearing leather pants and leaned into the autumn sunshine.

Before long, the fantasy was over and it was time to head back for the first show of the day, which saw P.E Nation founder Pip Edwards debut her first collection since becoming the soul lead of the brand. Layering was inherent in the styling, which featured signature knits and fleeces tied and bound over classic athletic-wear like leggings and sports bras. Palettes were kept pastel, and the finale saw the founder herself emerge onto the runway to a resounding applause.

The show was the wake up call we all needed, and as I was ready to set off for my first off-site runway of the day, I had another – I had left my 'touch-up' pouch at home. A minor crisis for some, perhaps, but a non-negotiable essential for me. Sitting on the kitchen bench almost an hour away from Carriageworks, my emergency kit of chewing gum, lip liner, bandaids, Tide to Go pens and most importantly, Paw Paw cream was sitting idle. I had essentially accepted my fate until a colleague exclaimed "why don't you check on Uber Eats? You can basically get anything from there nowadays." A reminder to always share your problems with others (the brain trust is a powerful one), she was right, and in just 10 minutes, a local pharmacy had replenished my missing essentials and delivered them right to the Carriageworks entrance. I was on track again and on my way to the much anticipated Beare Park show at the Art Gallery of NSW.


Day Three: A 'how-to' on doing an outfit change in your car and an interview with a superstar

What do you wear when you know you'll be interviewing an actual superstar on day three of Australian Fashion Week? Levis, a black blazer and a classic Christian Louboutin kitten heel, of course. But before we got to that moment, the day began where all days should, at the Alix Higgins 2025 resort show, titled – I Forgive You God. The collection was dynamic, showcasing an ongoing tension between domesticity and elegance that I have always adored of Higgins' work. One detail from the show notes that stuck with me was the use of the designer's own fingerprints to create the polkadot motif that appeared on some of the pieces. Fair to say, it was one of the most anticipated shows of the week, and for good reason.

I caught up with Higgins quickly post-show to explore the collection in more detail, before running to my car to complete an infamous fashion week wardrobe change. I was going to meet and interview the Hari Nef at Pandora's official launch of their Essence collection, after all. I easily transformed my simple outfit with the addition of my favourite elevated pieces from the new offering. My jewellery philosophy is all about stacking, and the beauty of this collection is that you can be as expressive or as minimal as you like.

The Christian Louboutin Sporty Kate sling in black brought the outfit together, adding a touch of sophistication to my otherwise utilitarian look. They're so easy and comfortable that I was able to slip them on without even sitting down – a true staple you can never go wrong with.

Now, I'd be lying if I said the change of scenery wasn't terribly overdue, and Sydney really turned it on for this launch – the harbour glistened in the background as Pandora's Essence collection sparkled on the guests around the room. For a brief moment, the walls of Carriageworks melted away, and under the sunshine (and in the presence of the ethereal Hari Nef), the stress of the week disappeared. Bespoke Pandora Pink cocktails were thoroughly enjoyed (and I emphasise, thoroughly), making it the perfect garden party ahead of the evening shows.

Oh, and in case you hadn't guessed already, Hari is an angel – but don't take my word for it, just watch my interview with her below.


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Being hump day, it only felt fitting that we made a quick cocktail pit-stop before clocking in for the evening shows. Very conveniently, Odd Culture in Newtown is a mere five-minute walk from Carriageworks, and my favourite watering hole during fashion week. My go-to order is always a Jazz Hands, especially when I'm on a time crunch. After a day of shows, interviews and carpark outfit changes, the lemony, refreshing flavours went down a treat. I reminder to self to slow down.


Day Four: It was a sneaker day, obviously

It was inevitable that I was going to be late one day this week, and the fact that I made it to Thursday before having to perform my first run down the Carriageworks steps is certainly an improvement from last year. By the fourth day of the week, my energy levels have certainly started to drop, but I was on street style duty before the Verner show, so I knew today had to be a sneakers day.

There was no question when I reached for my Onitsuka Tiger Big Logo Trainers. Anyone who is familiar with the brand knows that their sneakers are made with comfort front of mind – genuinely. The pair I wore specifically are fitted with the full length fuzeGEL technology in the midsole and OrthoLite X - 40 sockliner, which enhances cushioning and provides unparalleled comfort. Remember what I said earlier about prioritising comfort?

Not only can I stand on my feet all day in these, but as an added bonus, they look great with all my outfits too. I particularly love pairing a chunky sneaker with a more tailored, structured look, so opted for this boucle-esque hourglass blazer and skirt set from Camilla & Marc. On days like today, an easy outfit is exactly what I needed to steal back five minutes of my day.


Day Five: Goodbye and goodluck

Waking up this morning was... hard. The final day of Australian Fashion Week arrived and the only thing that could get me out of bed was the knowledge that I was heading to RUSSH'S first-ever Literary Showcase event. So, I threw myself into the shower, made myself a long black to go and headed to the State Library, where Jess Blanch (our editor in chief) was set to host a powerful in-conversation with authors Winnie Dunn and Lamisse Hamouda. And powerful it was. And moving. And heartbreaking. And inspirational. It left me feeling energised, but more importantly had renewed a sense of consideration that always seems to disappear during fashion week.

Leaving on a high, I headed back to the RUSSH office to catch-up on work that fell through the cracks this week. My emails were certainly very grateful that I gave them the attention they desperately deserved (sorry to anyone who didn't hear from me all week, I have now bombarded your inboxes on a Friday afternoon). Before long, the afternoon had disappeared and it was time to get ready for the final show of the week, the Pandora Closing Night Runway show.

Thankfully, the fashion team's steamer was still in the office and hadn't been taken on set, because my look for the show was in need of an iron. With 30 minutes before I had to head out the door, I got to work on steaming while the team helped me pick out my jewellery for the night (teamwork makes the dream work). I settled on a gold jewellery moment from Pandora's Essence collection to tie in with the Christian Louboutin Sporty Kate heels in Leche and matching Loubi54 bag. I made it downstairs just in time for my Uber to pull up at the front of the office, and off I went for my final trip to Carriageworks.


Following a seriously unforgettable show, (with another appearance from the mesmerising Hari Nef), I headed back to the office to meet some of the team for a final toast and celebration of the week that was. Realising we didn't have enough champagne on hand for everyone, I ordered an extra bottle of Moët on Uber Eats while in the car, (realising I had really pushed the app to its limits between my burger, Paw Paw and now champagne dilemmas).

Five days of shows, hundreds of pieces of content, an event and a new issue on sale all in the same week. That's certainly something to cheers to.


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