Friday, 2 May 2014

Fashfest 2014: An open letter on Front Row Etiquette

Fashfest night three has drawn to a close, and instead of the exhilarating high and desire to relive the collections that nights one and two left me with; I find myself despondent, and frankly a little pissed.

Let me make this blatantly clear before I go on—this has nothing to do with the wonderful Fashfest team who have put their all into every night and element of the event and who have, for what it's worth, blown my mind.

No. The anger I am feeling tonight is directed firmly at my fellow audience members. Specifically, this is aimed at four men seated across the catwalk from me, who went ahead and ruined my perfect streak of meeting interesting, lovely people seated in the front row, with a catty and raucous attempt at living up to every 'bitchy-gay-fashion-guy' stereotype ever penned in the most basic of sitcoms.
Guys, your behaviour tonight was appalling.

I get that you were cold, and a little tipsy (if the continually knocked over champagne glasses were anything to go by), and you were out with your friends and you wanted to have some fun. I even get that there's a sort of cultural assumption that there will be bitchy gay men at fashion events, because on some sad level I have wanted to be that bitchy gay man at fashion events myself. That's all great, but it doesn't excuse your constant and loud criticism of the models, the designers, and the event. 

I could hear you from the other side of the bloody catwalk!

When was the last time you organised a four night event? When was the last time you designed and created anything more arduous than a Grindr profile? When was the last time that you walked in front of a crowd of over 850 with the sole purpose of displaying the clothes on your back, or lack there-of as may be the case (and no boys, Grindr doesn't count here). Honestly, outside of throwing together the admittedly awesome outfits you wore tonight, what have you had to do this week that even remotely compares to the colossal undertaking of planning and executing Canberra's only fashion festival?

No one expects you to like every single outfit, or to sit in stony silence while you let the show wash over you, or even to get a smile out of you when something you actually DO like struts past. Chances are, like me, you paid for your Front Row ticket out of your own pocket and have taken time out of your life to be here, with the rest of us, watching the show.We do, however, expect that you will observe these basic rules of Front Row Etiquette.

1. Do not rest your feet on the catwalk. It's a fashion show, not your lounge room, so a little decorum and proper posture for 60 minutes shouldn't be too much to ask!

2. When you're done with your champagne glasses/beer bottles, tuck them underneath your seat, rather than leaving them in front of you. It tidier and less likely to get knocked over/spill.

And finally,

3. Keep any 'witty' criticisms that you might have about the models, the clothes, the designers, the event; tucked safely away in the poisonous miasma of your mind.

Because you may have paid for a ticket, but you were not sold the right to be a grade-a cock.

Kind regards, 


  1. Nicely said Grant, glad that I have had the good fortune to be seated next to lovely people each night. This sort of behaviour just ruins an otherwise amazing event for everyone else :(

  2. Thank you for calling these men out. These are the same men who thought it would be appropriate to make cowardly comments about my weight whilst on the runway for swimwear on the Friday night. If I on'y hadn't been in the show I would have had the opportunity to call them out on their rude behaviour.