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fashfest models

Could you be the face of FASHFEST? The search is on…

Wendy Johnson

The search is on. The search for not one, but two, Faces of FASHFEST 2015.  And they’ll be picked from the mass of models who will attend tomorrow’s casting—more than 300 hopefuls so far, including from Sydney and Melbourne, with more pre-registering by the hour.

The atmosphere at the National Convention Centre, where the casting is being held, will be electrifying, with the models each (no doubt) having a bad case of the jitters and all keeping their fingers crossed they’ll get across the line and be chosen as a Face of FASHFEST, or selected as a model to showcase local fashion design on the catwalk.

FASHFEST will be held 13 to 16 May this year, at the National Convention Centre (the space is heated, so get ready to get glammed up).

The casting’s five-member judging panel aren’t just looking for pretty faces but personality and a positive attitude.

For the first time this year, the panel includes Taryn Williams, who started her modelling career in Canberra and now owns WINK Models, one of Australia’s leading commercial agencies with offices in Sydney and Melbourne. Taryn is ‘returning home’ as a judge.

Taryn Williams, owner of WINK Models.

Taryn Williams, owner of WINK Models.

‘Being a model today is more than just being beautiful,’ says Taryn. ‘What media defines as beautiful shifts constantly. It now includes a great ‘can-do’ attitude and an entirely professional approach. Gone are the hedonistic days of the 80s, with models showing up hung over or late. Today, the most successful models are organised, on time and treat modelling as a serious business. They’re also easy to work with which makes them memorable to clients.’

Taryn moved to Canberra when she was 17 to study international relations at ANU. She began dabbling in modelling in her early teens but got really serious about the industry while living here.

Also on the modelling panel is Andrea Hutchinson, co-founder of Canberra’s HAUS Models and the agency’s Modelling Director. ‘The Faces of Fashfest are not only representing the event but Canberra’s image on the fashion scene nationally,’ says Andrea. ‘It’s an important role.’

Andrea Hutchinson, co-founder of HAUS Models.

Andrea Hutchinson, co-founder of HAUS Models.

The Faces of FASHFEST will each get a 12-month contract to work with HAUS Models and WINK Models. The two agencies today announced a new alliance and will work closely on supporting local talent to further their careers by making the step to interstate and even nation-wide campaigns.

The alliance will see Andrea and Taryn help train the two Faces of FASHFEST for the event, and boost their careers post-event.

The Faces of FASHFEST 2015 will also participate in a series of professional photo shoots for the event, featuring clothing designed and created by designers accepted as part of the event. The imagery will form part of the models’ official portfolios.

FASHFEST has always broken the mould with its approach to model selection. It’s never been about just super tall, super thin, leggy women. Andrea—herself a former model from Switzerland—says organisers are looking for female and male models, including different nationalities and some plus-size models.

Fashfest 2015 is looking for diversity in its models.

Fashfest 2015 is looking for diversity in its models.

This year’s model casting has broken all records for Canberra’s fashion industry, far surpassing last year’s turnout which saw 165 models try out for FASHFEST.

Also on the judging panel for 2015 is Hayley O’Neill, a freelance fashion stylist who has assisted with photo shoots for Marie Claire, L’Officiel and other national publications. Hayley runs ‘The Work Diaries, a fashion blog that gives women and men advice on what to wear to work. Daniella Jukic (DJ) owns Alice Be Curious, a fashion-forward women’s boutique and is part of the team behind ‘The Fashion Vault blog. Leighton Hutchinson owns his own photography business and is also the Photography Director for FASHFEST and the dedicated photographer for HAUS Models.

It’s going to be big. Stay tuned for all the goss…

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author