How to Prepare for a Fashion Show

Don't be caught unprepared for your next fashion show. This is a guide for those new to the modelling scene and those who are well seasoned and all in-between.

This post includes; a packing list so you are prepared for anything at the show. A checklist for getting all groomed and ready for the show the night before. And a few extra tips to get you ready for the big night!


The Night Before:

  • Wash your hair - The hair stylists will love you.
  • Remove any nail polish from the fingers and toes and apply a clear base coat - Prevents any nail polish they apply from staining your nail bed, and it looks a lot neater when you arrive.
  • Thoroughly cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturise. See my post Skincare 101 – The Basics for step by step instuctions on cleaning your face properly.
  • Shave your legs and underarms - If there is swimwear or underwear be sure not to forget to shave the bikini line (sometimes a good idea to do it anyway, the agency won't always let you know if its swimwear).
  • Avoid any alcoholEven one glass will make you puffy.
  • Moisturise your bodySoft healthy skin will make you glow on the catwalk, scaly dry legs will not.
  • If requested, get a spray tanSee my post on Spray tans here. Do not have a spray tan if the client has not requested it, or you will need to remove it before the show.
  • Plan your routeBe sure to look up the location for the show on google the night before, plan your route, how long will the drive take? where will you park? Clients love it when models are on time or early. If you are late you can expect a call to your agency and the client may not book you again. Always plan ahead and give yourself an extra 15 minutes allowance for travelling incase there is traffic or you cannot find a parking space.
  • Pack your bagSee the packing list below...

What to pack in your bag:

  • A bottle of waterto keep your hydrated, they won't always have them supplied.
  • Snackssomething easy to eat that isn't messy. The client doesn't want your sticky hands all over their silk dresses.
  • Fashion tapeDouble sided tape will save you if your garment is slipping or too revealing, check with the designer or a dresser before using it to make sure it won't damage the garment.
  • Nude undergarmentsA nude strapless bra, Nude g-string and nude sockettes are basically your model uniform. Go for super plain designs without any branding or patterns and the more seamless the better. 
  • Underwear accessories - Chicken fillets (bust boosters), stick on bras and even stick on underwear and nipple covers can come in use at shows, so if you have them, pack them!
  • PanadolI like to take one as I sit down do get my hair done. It will prevent a headache if the hairstylist is rough or if the hairstyle is tight. It also reduces the pain from the heels later on in the night. It's an essential and a no-brainer.
  • A good book & an iPod  - You will be sitting down for a while. The book is best whilst in hair and the iPod is good during makeup when you can't look down to read a book.
  • You mobileNo explanation required.
  • A portable phone batteryIt will stressful if you can't call your mum/dad/other to pick you up or meet with you after the show. I love the ones by power pod. I can get unto 4 full charges of my phone and it has 2 usb ports so your mate can use it too.
  • Wear something simple - A button up shirt and skirt or pants are great because its easy to get off after having your hair done. Simple is easier, you might have to get changed a few times and that fancy blouse that buttons up at the back will be a pain to get on and off. 
  • Wallet with ID and small changeYou might need small change or cash for the parking and if there is an after party you didn't expect, well you can't get in without ID.
  • A change scarfA small scarf to put over your head when changing so that you don't smudge the makeup, mess up the hair or stain the garment.
  • PerfumeOnly spray it before getting changed if you need it. Never spray it after you are in your outfit as it could stain. You should always be wearing a invisible deodorant that won't leave stains on the clothes, and will keep you smelling fresh.

Other things to note:

Always rock up to a show completely makeup free! (Unless you have been requested to do your own makeup) Gorgeous clean skin is an absolute must! It could annoy the makeup artists if they have to take all your makeup off before they can begin.

Socialise with all the other people backstage, its not common to get to work with other models and its a great opportunity to network.

Shows don't always pay very well but they are good for exposure, so be sure to get some good backstage shots and make a good impression on the runway.

Don't be afraid to say No. If the designer wants you to wear something a bit risqué and you are uncomfortable or underage, its ok to say no. But be polite about it.

If you are underage, definitely refuse to wear anything that is revealing or shows your nipples. This is illegal and any photos taken are considered child pornography. There will be plenty of time to do this kind of thing later in life when you are over 18 years old.

Rocking up early to the show always delights the designers, and makes a great first impression.

HAVE FUN. Make the most of the show, they are a great social event and are so much fun!


Know of anything to add to this? I love getting feedback, Let me know in the comments below!

Photos sourced from, from the Jamie Lee Major, Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015, you can go to the original blog post on the Style Voyeur website here. And you can view Jamie Lee's website here.