As well as being a contributor to Cocktail Revolution, Georgina Tippett is both a model and a fashion designer. Georgina was recently asked to model in a fashion show in Melbourne, as well as showing and having her own designs in the same show. It’s the first time we’ve heard of this and as far as we know its very rare for a Designer to model her own designs on the catwalk. Georgina shares with us how this unusual opportunity came about and a little about what was involved.
In August this year, I featured as both a model and a fashion designer in the World Designer Runway parades, held in Melbourne during Spring Fashion Week. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the models for the parade. But when the organiser saw my design portfolio I was also invited to show some of my own pieces in the parade too. This was completely unexpected and would mean much more preparation in the few short weeks before the event. But it was such an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t possibly say no.
I’ve studied fashion and business, designed a range of evening gowns and worked as a model. But to be modelling in a parade where I was also going to be featured as a designer was a completely new experience for me. I decided to show the graduate collection that I finished in 2012 that had previously only been paraded in Adelaide. I also had some red-carpet style gowns that I wanted to show too, which had had been photographed before, but never been featured on runway.
I’ve modelled in many different fashion parades in Melbourne and have been lucky enough to meet some new friends and very talented local designers. But this parade was exciting in a whole new way because it would be the first time anyone here would ever see my own designs.
As a designer whose work is appearing in a parade, you have have all sorts of preparation to do and things to take care of that the models never have to think about. For models, the process usually is to attend the casting and then, if they are selected, to have fittings and sometimes rehearsals. On the day of the show they arrive early for hair and makeup, backstage photos, and any final adjustments before their turn on the catwalk. It’s usually a lot of fun and is definitely one of my favourite parts of modelling.
It’s a completely different ball game for the designers. For them there’s far more to it. A lot depends on the details of the parade and how much has been set up by the event organisers, but there is still a lot of decision making left up to the designers too. -Things like finding the right music to accompany their collection, selecting models who best show off each gown, organising any extra marketing materials, special guests lists, hair and make up looks, matching shoes, accessories, and making sure that gowns are labeled and in order. The list goes on! And all this has to be done before the show. On the day of the parade it’s, also up to the designers to oversee what’s going on and to help make sure everything goes smoothly.
For this particular show, although I prepared everything I possibly could in advance, I still found it quite challenging on the day to dress myself as well as oversee the other models for my parade, since I was also modelling the other designers’ pieces too! I had a total of seven outfit changes which made things very fast paced backstage, but it was also a fun and very valuable experience for me.
Modelling and designing are very enjoyable and rewarding in different ways and I really am grateful that I had the opportunity to experience both. Modelling can be rewarding in many ways, such as helping to boost confidence, but probably the most important thing is knowing you’re helping to bring someone’s creative vision to life. And as for designers, I believe there’s no better feeling than seeing your own creations come alive in photos and on the runway.
After the success of the parades, it seems to me that now the time is right for me to start designing again and making plans for my own fashion design business. Amazing opportunities can come along at any time and you shouldn’t hesitate or be afraid to take them because who knows where they could lead.
The fashion world can seem a little daunting at times, especially if you’re just starting out in modelling or design or another creative path. It does take time to clarify your ideas and to find the right support and connections. But it definitely is possible to succeed. There have been many times when I’ve doubted myself and the path I was on, only later to see it took me to exactly where I needed to be. It’s just a matter of working hard, really believing in yourself and what you’re doing and taking opportunities when they arrive. As the saying goes, success is preparation meets opportunity!
– Gowns in all photos by Georgina Mary Tippett
– Photos by Sam With a Camera