The Fashion Pack: Meet The Team Behind Brisbane Fashion Festival

Forces in fashion

By Teagan Witherow | 1st May 2024

Meet the Fashion Pack – the force behind The Brisbane Fashion Festival (well, some of them). As they gear up for the 17th year of bold, unexpected, and downright innovative fashion, we thought it was about time to shine a spotlight on those behind Brisbane’s premier fashion event.

We scored a sit down with eight members of the fabulous 14-strong team to learn more about the nitty-gritty of what it takes to make the Brisbane Fashion Festival a reality. Here’s what we found out!

Lindsay Bennett – Festival Director (aka the boss)

As the festival director, Lindsay keeps all the balls in the air – from securing financials to wrangling in-kind partners, Lindsay’s role certainly goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the runway. With the Australian fashion industry churning out a whopping $27.2 billion annually and employing hundreds of thousands of people, Lindsay knows that the festival isn’t just about fashion – it’s vital for the city’s cultural and economic scene.

“It’s through platforms such as Brisbane Fashion Festival that we can promote our incredible homegrown talent, connecting them with fashion’s most passionate consumers who want to buy their pieces – resulting in all-important retail sales,” says Lindsay.

When the lights dim and the show begins, you’ll find Lindsay tucked away with the technical production team with a detailed runlist in hand ensuring nothing is left to chance. “It’s essentially a military operation across all areas,” says Lindsay.

Bryce Williams – Administration Director (aka the eyes and ears)

Bryce may be the administration director, but his role extends far beyond crunching the numbers. From running socials to charming designers, Bryce is the backbone of the operation, making sure the festival runs like a well-oiled machine.

When the show commences Bryce manages the 700-strong audience and media pit with upwards of 20 eager snappers (talk about thriving well under pressure). “I can be found at the back of the marquee with direct eye contact with Lindsay and ears to the front of house team.”

For Bryce, the festival does not stop when the last model struts the runway. It’s a whole lot of report compiling, media analysis, and implementing a new year-long social media campaign until the next festival.

Kimberly Gardner – Styling Director (aka the style expert)

Kimberly’s role is all about handpicking a mix of designers and retailers to participate in the festival. “It’s about ensuring each group runways show flows and that the brands largely complement each other,” says Kimberly.

Once all the brands are locked in, Kimberly will liaise with each designer to make sure the styling is on-trend and the looks work well with the set hair and makeup.

Kimberly also organises the model order and backstage logistics, where timing is everything! On event days, she can be found managing a bustling team of some 20 models, 30 dressers, and over 12 designers.

“It’s great at the end of the show when designers are happy, models and volunteers are happy, and the boss says, job well done,” says Kimberly.

Aicha Robertson – Styling Manager (aka the eye for detail) 

As the styling manager, Aicha is like a product technician only instead of in an office, you’ll find her backstage at the festival. With a keen eye for detail, Aicha ensures every zipper zips and every button is secured.

“The role of styling manager is one that I love – it’s fast-paced, highly interactive, and involves making split decisions to ensure what the audience sees out front is a seamless showcase.”

Aicha is the go-to person for Kimberly, bridging the gap between vision and execution, making sure each model is runway-ready from head to toe.  She will listen to Kimberly and convey any changes or challenges to the dressing team before the model steps forward to enter the line-up.

Bernadette Bagley – Production Manager (aka the jack of all trades)

As the production manager, most of Bernadette’s responsibilities revolve around music and timing – pinpointing the ‘sweet spots’ for those picture-perfect moments.

“Long before designers are confirmed, I start to short-list music – it’s about sourcing a variety of music across different genres so that we have a library of tracks to work from.”

On show day, those who have seen Bernadette in action know she brings calm to the chaos. Bernadette is the go-to person for those last-minute pep talks to the models before they strut their stuff.

Lulu Gardner – Lounge Hostess and Styling Coordinator (aka the hostess with the mostest)

Lulu creates that VIP experience alongside Bryce at the festival’s reception. Picture her as both Emily One and Emily Two from Devils Wear Prada, personally greeting socialites and high-profile attendees by name. “It’s fast-paced and keeps me on my game to make sure that everyone is welcomed and enjoying the hospitality on offer,” says Lulu.

“With the reception just one hour, it often feels like a little like a tsunami – you know that 200+ guests are about to descend on the lounge and the next moment you are ushering them into the parade marquee.”

Lulu’s role doesn’t end there! When the show concludes, Lulu will deal with over 160 outfits that need to be sorted and carefully collated to ensure there’s no damage.

Christabella Serra – Volunteer Manager (aka the all-round guru)

Christabella is the heart and soul of the volunteer army. Come July, she oversees hundreds of applications, assigning roles based on preferences and needs – whether that be front of house, driving, back of house dressing or assisting with logistics.

“I love my role as the volunteer manager and have been involved with the festival since 2009 when I applied to be a volunteer myself,” says Christabella.

“It’s been overwhelming to see just how many people of all ages are eager to support and take part in this major fashion event for the city each year.”

Richard Smith – Official Photographer (aka Mr getting your best angles)

As the official photographer for Brisbane Fashion Festival, you’ll likely find Richard behind the lens capturing special behind-the-scenes moments, intricate details of the garments and accessories, and models striking poses.  Before the show begins Richard is backstage, immersed in the buzzing atmosphere, ensuring all equipment functions perfectly and coordinating with his team about positioning and coverage plans.

“It’s a multifaceted responsibility that integrates creativity, technical expertise, and innovative technology to ensure the success of one of the fashion industry’s most prestigious events,” says Richard.

By Teagan Witherow




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