Exclusive: Ollie Henderson’s Fashion Week Diary

Earlier this week, heavyweight street style lensman Tommy Ton spoke to Pedestrian about a quality he finds innate in Australian models that girls from other countries sometimes lack – “they’re Cool with a capital ‘C’.” Dishing up the Cool in spades is Ollie Henderson, who you might recognise from her work for designers including Josh Goot, Shakuhachi, Kirrily Johnston and Emma Mulholland, or from editorials in The Gentlewoman, TANK, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar. In addition to her role as model and muse to photographers and designers both here and abroad, Ollie is a bit of a burgeoning artist, cineaste, silent filmmaker and photographer herself (search #tagalong on Instagram) and kindly kept a backstage photo diary for us during the last week – which, in case you didn’t notice – was Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week. She’s also got an awesome tumblr, Pre-Viral Post-Whatever. Oh, and did we mention she has a killer sense of style? It’s like watching Cruel Intentions on an acid trip with David Bowie. But better. Need more proof? After Ollie closed Bless’ed Are The Meek on Friday, Tommy proceeded to chase after and shoot Ollie for about 500m. Cool, right? Thanks Ollie!

Woah, What a week, 20 shows done and feeling beat. Welcome to some of the highlights and lowlights of my week.

Manic Monday

First cab off the rank, Romance Was Born. A 5am call time is never friendly (where do you find a decent coffee in the 4th hour?) but the show was well worth it. The pre-dawn landscape at Walsh Bay looks like an impressionist painting with velvety dark blue hues and twinkling lights from the North Shore. We all became an army of comic book superheroes with fire engine red wigs and plastic eyebrows. Note for future comic book characters; sprit gum (used for wigs and prosthetics) is extremely hard to remove; an issue if you have 4 more shows for the day.

Time for Gary Bigeni. How can a man with this much personal style ever put on a bad show? Gary wears bi-tonal blue hair, fluro yellow leopard print creepers and his heart on his sleeve (or as a wooden necklace). Great to see more of Gary’s personality in this show (okay, so not quite all of it but closer than previous seasons.)

Over to The Tent for Camilla. A big one with 42 models and KIDS! Who doesn’t coo at a dozen children with flowers in their hair? My look has a pillow strapped to my back – sound odd? It is, but the remarkable styling of Mark Vassallo somehow pulls it off. Unfortunately I am tired already and a pillow on ones back can make you feel very sleepy.

Miss Unkon has lovely fake tattoos by Bec Gilmartin for all the girls. Juxtaposed with the ultra feminine clothing, it makes for a great contrast. We became an army of flower power.

Last on the Monday list, Ginger and Smart welcomes you to the world of Punk! Or at least in the hair do. Allen White whips out his magic for the second time today (also for the Romance show) with a coloured Mohawk. Christina Carry wearing it well, although it’s highly contrasted to her usual lady like style.

Tickle me it’s only Tuesday.

Toni Maticevski is first man up. A beautiful show and a beautiful man. Space age hairdos and heavy brows. After over a year of bleaching my brows it’s strange to suddenly have them back.
On to Tallulah and into the cyber century of BLOGGERS! The lovely Nicole Warne opening the show.

Johanna Johnson. What a glamorous show, regal gold EVERYWHERE!!! Gold Glitter is very difficult to remove from the eyebrows. Lucky it’s the last show.

Hump day is here.

Everyday is starting to feel like Friday, 9 shows down and feeling exhausted. Luckily Alice McCall is the first show up. The perfect morning show, it feels like sherbet candy. Babushka is the theme with pretty soft pastels. The sweetie Krystal Glynn having her hair scarf attached by Miss Sophie Roberts.

Off site now for Ellery, with bottles of Belvedere for everyone in the front row and bumping tunes from Graz this was always going to be a fun show. Back stage getting prepped.

Sore toes, pretty nails.

Louise Van De Vorst looking angelic at Watson x Watson. Nice to give the skin a rest with a simple make-up look. Watson x Watson is also winner for the most comfortable shoes award. 4 adjustable straps 2.5 inch heel and cushioned inner sole. Oh yeah!

Coke on the way to Ode to No One, wearing Emma Mullholland (her launch party is tonight so I better show my colours).

Wednesday went out with Ode to No One. Always fun with Jack Budwani calling the show. A last minute alteration to my dress was well appreciated as it was accidentally cut too short. Over exposure crisis avoided. Love the cuffs here.

Thursday Thrills

Good morning for Jenny Kee. And a very good morning it is; an 8am call time has given me time to sleep, feeling fresh. What an inspirational woman, such an honour to work with her. I love here Australiana inspirations.

Bonus! After Jenny Kee I’m left with some sick Gwen Stafani braids – so 90s.

Cutest designers ever!! Roopa again brings us Australiana but the time is pre-colonialism. Opening the show is of course the stunning Sam Harris.

Finally Friday!

Up in the morning when people are still at the pub. NO FUN!

Fresh faced at Suboo. An amazing view from the Summit on George Street, floor number 47. Watching the sunrise over Sydney is worth getting up this early, I take the last caption back. A sporty feel to the collection is a great way to wake up. Pretty pretty Nicole Pollard.

Funny faces at the spectacular Akira show. Jemma Barnes as the man in the moon (The Might Boosh version of) and Rose Smith with a sea creature casually resting on her neck.

Jemma Barnes eating oreos for breakfast wearing a snickers t-shirt. Yummy!

Helen Turner on her knees fixing my skirt at Akira. Thanks Hels.

Chilling With Kendall Walters after the Bless’ed are the Meek show. A very quick turn over after finishing Akira at 11:45 and Bless’ed being on at 12:00. I’m pretty sure there were at least 6 people working on my hair/make-up/nails at once. Nice to take a load off.
And finally it’s over! Just finished the Hong Kong Style show and am well ready for a pint. See you at the pub.