Coffee, Makeup and Phone Chargers: A Day in the Life of Two Models During AAFW

Instagram @serenaawardell / @charlottecoquelin

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week is currently in full swing, taking place at venues around Sydney including Carriageworks in Eveleigh. While Fashion Week might look glamourous via Instagram, for the models working the event, it’s a pretty hectic week. From early mornings to late nights, this week is often a blur of clothing and makeup changes as they run from one show to another.

POPSUGAR Australia was lucky enough to squeeze in a quick chat with two models, Charlotte Coquelin and Serena Wardell, who are currently in the throes of AAFW and we asked all of the questions you’re dying to know about the inner workings of Fashion Week.

Fashion Week Ready

When it comes to preparing for an event like this one, Wardell focused on healthy eating and exercise. “This is my first proper Fashion Week so there has been a lot of excitement and nerves!” Wardell told POPSUGAR Australia. “As castings are over the few weeks prior, I made sure that I was getting enough sleep and drinking a lot of water throughout the day to get through the busy periods.

“I generally exercise to keep confident most days; if not Pilates it will be a boxing class here and there It’s amazing to have my friends in the industry to motivate each other too. We would all go to a boxing class and then to castings and then to lunch.”

Coquelin, on the other hand, has been modelling for a number of years and has established a healthy routine that she rarely strays from. “I have been modelling for nine years so now it’s more of an everyday routine of working out every day and eating vegan and healthy,” she said.

“So, the only change would be probably getting a cool haircut before the castings and making sure my skin is super soft and hydrated before Fashion Week begins. I love Bean Body’s new You Glow Girl Shimmer Scrub. It’s like magic — it exfoliates really beautifully and leaves the most stunning subtle shimmer on my skin. It’s packed full of natural ingredients as well, which I love!”

A Typical Day During AAFW

Depending on whether Coquelin and Wardell are walking in a show, a typical day-in-the-life of the two models can differ but they both have a few rituals that they engage in every day of Fashion Week. For Coquelin, her days begins with walking her dogs very early in the morning, before she rushes backstage to have her hair and makeup done for a show.

“I usually hang around Carriageworks to see new designer’s suites and see my ‘fashion’ friends!” Coquelin said of her post-show routine. For Wardell, it’s a combination of walking in shows and attending them as a guest. “I’m lucky that my shows have been with some of my closest friends, so it’s either all travelling to the show in the morning or meeting at hair and makeup and enjoying the few hours of prep before showtime,” she said.

“If there’s time between shows, we get lunch all together, (which most of the time is Fishbowl). Otherwise watching other shows! It’s really refreshing to sit down and attend other shows as a guest. Fashion week is generally incredibly social, so if we all finish at a show, it’s off to a big dinner somewhere and then an early night so we can get up and do it all again!”

Can’t Live Without

When it comes to surviving the incredibly long days during Fashion Week, both models say they rely on coffee to keep them going. “I usually skip the fashion parties and go straight to bed between long days but coffee is also my saviour,” said Coquelin.

Aside from caffeine, Wardell makes sure she has a nourishing brekkie before beginning her day. “Making sure I have a really good breakfast, sometimes call times can be 5am, so bringing snacks with me too is really important! And staying really hydrated,” she said.

The other must-have item during Fashion Week is a portable charger, says Wardell. “You never know when you might get an email or an update regarding a show. The days are long so having your phone die on you doesn’t end well.”

Coquelin also keeps her phone close during the week, “as my agent sends me more appointments and information through the day,” she said.

Staying Centred

Fashion Week is a marathon, not a sprint. And, as such, it’s important to take breaks during this hectic time. “Having little breaks in between is perfect so you can just get out and walk to get food or just have a breather,” Wardell said. “It’s really important to get off your phone and just take a minute because there’s always so much going on.”

For Coquelin, walking in her first show usually energises her enough to keep her going. When it comes to winding down at the end of each night of Fashion Week, Coquelin’s routine involves her “two puppies and some nice food”. The dream!

Fashion Week Beauty

Given how much makeup the models wear during Fashion Week, it’s important for them to keep their skin happy and healthy in the lead-up as well as during the event itself. Wardell maintains her skin through a mixture of skincare products, lots of water and avoiding makeup in her downtime.

“I rarely wear makeup so it’s really important for me to keep my skin in check the entire week of a lot of makeup,” she said. “Lots and lots of water, chlorophyll in the mornings, warm water and lemon when you get home! Nourishing yourself from the inside is just as vital as what you put on your skin. At the moment I’ve been using serums from Paula’s Choice and the most beautiful moisturiser by Verde Remedy which are a new Sydney based brand so it’s even better.”

Coquelin also tries to keep super hydrated during Fashion Week, to make sure her skin is looking its best, while also opting out of wearing makeup while she’s off duty. To remove her work makeup at the end of a big day, Coquelin relies on Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Micellar Water Cleanser ($29.99).

Wardell, on the other hand, goes in with a thorough double cleanse using Skinstitut’s Gentle Cleanser ($49). “I don’t use that much makeup outside of shoots, so I don’t use a makeup remover. I just double cleanse using a gentle cream cleanser from Skinstitut or every second or third day I swap that out for the Skinstitut foam cleanser that has lactic acid in it. I’ve used these for eight months and my skin has never been better.”

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