A Day in the Life of… Fashion Designer Anna Quan

We catch up with the designer in the lead-up to her Friday show at MBFWA.


What does a day in the life of one of Australia’s up and coming designers look like? We asked Anna Quan – the designer who brought us shirting with those exaggerated, monogrammed cuffs – who will be showing her latest collection as part of Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week’s Next Gen show. Here she gives us a run down of her day when a crucial showing looms.


I’ve had a late night/morning prepping for fittings. Luckily, I’ve planned my outfit the night before so there are no wardrobe decisions that need to be made when I am pushed for time. A tailored shirt, jeans and some Adidas originals are my uniform of choice.  Today will involve a lot of kneeling, adjusting and standing.


Unfortunately, no time for a coffee [as I’m] late for my 9am call time. Fortunately, I live 10 minutes drive from Carriageworks where the show and fittings are held. Inner city convenience at it’s best!



Arrive at Carriageworks and it’s time to set up my rack, order my clothes in my pre-organised sequence, set out the shoes and jewellery. Today will involve a mini pre-styling session to work out what jewellery and shoes work for each model. In between setup and waiting for models, I have a little social chat with the designers either side of me before the model onslaught.


The first model arrives – my media assistant is ready with her camera to document the look. I call out my fitting notes, shoe size, jewellery description to my second assistant taking notes for every look. Great start to the day, no alterations need to be made and the shoes fit perfectly! With every model we do a final catwalk walk-through and I review their walk for style and speed, making sure they show the garment’s features. Photographers literally have less than 5 seconds to snap the look before the turn off at the end of the catwalk so it’s crucial to do a run-through with every model.



We’ve gone through 6 of the 12 models and now its time for a quick, much-needed coffee. Just before my first sip, the next model has arrived.


There’s a slight [lull] and I wait for the final two models to come through. In between the “downtime”, I review the images of the past models, check the line-up and make further notes of any changes. Leaving myself enough notes post-fittings is crucial as it all happens so quickly.




Final girls come through – I’ve been very lucky that there aren’t any major delays as the models are running around as well doing fittings for a lot of other designers. I was scheduled until 5pm and I get to leave early, I am very happy with that! Now time to pack up my things and bump out.


I do a quick final run through of the imagery with my media assistant who will package my images to send to me this evening for review.




Next Gen designers, including myself are given a tour of the catwalk, backstage, hair and makeup areas and where we will be setting up for the show. There’s a workman adjusting light bulbs in the makeup and hair area. It’s all starting to get quite real. We’re all giddy with excitement. This is happening!


I pick up my backstage passes for the show and say goodbye to the other designers. We wish each other luck as there is still a lot to do, alterations to be made, shoes to be taped.


Back at my apartment, I give myself permission for a little down time, time to eat (I forgot to eat during the day) before my evening image review, replying to my urgent emails and planning my weekend of alterations. It’s been a hectic day, very quick paced but it’s starting to come together and I am excited and pumped. Bring on MBFW!



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