The buzz of excitement as everyone arrived for the fashion show was almost pulpable. Audience members of all ages, sizes and shapes, were wearing a wide range of outfits from designer to, like us, dressy day to day wear. It was as if this was a secret place where only some people came. Gathering every so often to feast on the sights that were about to appear on the runway in this done up shed on the Melbourne dockland site. It had the feeling of a club or community where people came with common expectations.
"It always starts late," my daughter reassured me as we waited patiently, like the other audience members, in great anticipation of the start of the show. We had had several conversations during the day leading up to our arrival at the event. "What will you wear?" "The black dress or the colored outfit?" "Black's probably safest."
Watching those arriving, particularly the ones who seemed to enjoy their own walk down the runway quite a bit, brought its own delights. A few struggled with their stiletto heels while others strutted with such confidence that they could have easily been mistaken for one of the models.
Then the music increased. The show was about to begin and the sound and feeling of a jet taking off took over the narrow shed. It took me a moment to remember that the major sponsor of the show was Virgin Australia so the jet sound was obviously about that. That had explained the photographer taking photos of the Virgin flight attendants taking photos of audience members a few minutes earlier. A bit strange I thought but advertising does that I guess.
I sat a bit spellbound as I watched the models walking down and back along the runway. I found myself amused as the models first appeared and the audience members, as one, raised their iphones above the crowd to take photos. The models' faces were stern and still, gazing ahead without obvious awareness of people around them other than their colleagues on the runway. It was important after all not to collide with each other. A wide range of clothes appeared, some I could imagine wearing and others not.
More than once during the hour in that shed, I had a feeling of being on the set of Sex and the City. Perhaps that's why I had the duplicity of feelings - of being out of my comfort zone yet feeling like it was strangely familiar, as if I'd been there before.