As promised I really wanted to share with you a blog post with everything that went on backstage (and front stage) at Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week (BBFW for short). I think you will feel my excitement reading this because I don’t take these shows for granted, I take in every detail and appreciate every moment and one month on I’m still buzzing!
I guess it’s easy to say this trip was definitely one of my career highlights so far (it topped last years!) Not only did I walk for one of the biggest bridal designers, I actually (successfully) opened and closed the show (without throwing up)! I’m only kidding, but it WAS nerve wrecking! Definitely a pinch me now moment!OK, I’ll tell you the full story from the start – how I got to work abroad in the first place! This story is something I haven’t shared with many…
Two years ago, a few models from our agency got called for a bridal casting to go work at events in Amsterdam & Barcelona . . but I didn’t get a call. It was to do with my height (I was too tall for the dresses). But for some reason I was so determined to get this casting that I rang my lovely agent Mandy and sort of gave her no choice but to get me this go-see (casting) and told her that even if I got rejected, I just needed to hear it for myself. You know?
I remember I bought kitten heels so the dresses wouldn’t look short on me, I wanted to be really prepared. I did the casting, met the lovely team of Lark Bridal and went home. Waiting for the reply felt like forever, all the girls were texting each other to see if they got any news.
I finally got a message, I can’t even remember was it days or weeks later but who was one of the models booked? Me! WHAT!? NO WAY?! My determination to meet the client has paid off, I was going to work with one of the biggest bridal designers in the world!
So fast forward two years, I’ve worked with Ruth & Jason and the Maggie Sottero team from the US on multiple occasions; they still haven’t gotten rid of me so I must be doing something right 😀 and we are like one big family now! By the way you need to check out Ruth’s Instagram account, she is #WomenInBusiness goals!
But my point is – don’t give up guys, go after your dreams, don’t say what if, go and get the answer!
OK, back to Barcelona.
#BBFW is huge. This year they had 22 000 visitors attend this event and they had about 400 designers involved! It’s quite an incredible set up!
Before you enter the venue at Montjuïc, in Plaça Espanya, there is an enormous billboard outside which gets you super excited! After all, Barcelona is the capital of bridal fashion! When you enter the building you pass through this gorgeous lounge area. This year they had a huge screen set up with LIVE stream of all the catwalk shows, there was also a pianist playing beautiful songs nearby and they had lots of interactive booths for entertainment. The event was sponsored by Valmont Group, a Swiss cosmetics brand. And this leads me to tell you a little about what really happens backstage.
When you arrive backstage to hair and makeup, each model has their own make-up artist and a hairdresser, so about 20 MUA’s and 20 hairdressers!! They are given briefs to follow and you might even have a nail artist to do your nails and toenails to complete the look. Models have a special VIP lounge where they get facials, foot rubs and massages in between shows. I know right?! We had a small station with food and non-alcoholic drink and couches to relax on too. Bare in mind some models do 3-4 shows a day and it’s really hard work! Your hair is pulled, makeup re-done 4 times, feet are sore etc so it’s nice to get a little pamper session in between all the chaos.
Everything is super organised and it all happens very fast! Maggie Sottero Designs show was in the morning, so we got there for 9 am and our show was at 11 am, all finished by 12 noon and they start prepping for the next show! No messing around!
I was opening this show and OMG I was so nervous! I had to carefully listen to the music to walk on the right beat and try not to puke! Ha! All sorts of things were going through my mind, I just really didn’t want to let the team or myself down. But I did it, I got to the end, I passed 300 people whose eyes were all on me and I smiled to about 50 photographers. It might sound like nothing to some, but it’s such an adrenaline rush!Our amazing agent Mandy was backstage doing her thing! She was in charge of the rehearsals, fittings and all backstage chaos. She is incredible! She flew in on her own, met 20 models from different countries and had it all set up for the next day! The fabulous Lorraine and the girls from Lark Bridal were helping backstage too, such troopers – imagine buttoning and zipping up and down huge bridal dresses under pressure every day for 3 days straight, not sure if she had any fingers left after! We love you Lorraine and the girls!
I was so glad to have Katie with me this year too, it was her first international runway show and she did so well! The little star! Here is us hugging after the show was over.Before we walked on the runway, there were lots of photographers backstage capturing pre-show moments. We got some last minute make-up and hair touch ups and I even had a lady come over to me and apply moisturiser on my back. Yes please and thank you!!
Once all models came off the runway, it was more photos, chats and hugs. The amazing Ruth, Christine and the team were there to give interviews about the new collection. It really is like what you see on TV. Excitement, lots of energy and smiles.
After the show we joined the other Catwalk models Alice, Carhla and Eliska at the Maggie Sottero stand where we modelled more bridal dresses for the lovely buyers for the next 2 days. I really want to highlight that, as much as this is a dream job there is lots of work involved too. Mandy and all the models, we work our asses off but we like to have fun too! We had lovely dinners at night, shared special moments from the day and just lived in the moment. I’m lucky to be a part of a team who enjoy every day as if it’s their last! You meet so many amazing people this way and create long-lasting relationships.
A sincere thanks to Ruth, Jason, Tom, Christine, Jenny, Wayne, Mandy and all the team for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.
I hope this blog post gave you small insight of what went on backstage at Barcelona Bridal Week. It’s one of the more glamorous shows, they are not ALL like this, half of the time we change in a cold corridor of some function room haha. True Story!
Thanks for reading,