The Art of Modelling: Insights from iD Dunedin Fashion Week 2019

iD Dunedin Fashion Week provides opportunities for emerging designers to showcase their work among some of New Zealand’s most influential brands. The gathering of industry elites for the event offers a platform for both the participating designers and models to make their own mark on the event. Apparel Magazine sat down with Ella Barton Buchanan, the model coordinator and event assistant for iD Dunedin Fashion Week, to discuss the significance of this event for up and coming models looking to break into the industry.

“I started working with the iD team at the end of January when the model casting process began,” explained Buchanan. “I’m thrilled to be involved with an event celebrating innovative design and all things creative.”

"The things you may find weird or strange about yourself actually make you more interesting. Embrace them and be your unique self; perfection is boring.”


There were 61 models participating in this year’s event, demonstrating the intense size of the show. During the 20 years of iD Fashion Week, the event has continued to grow with more emerging designers, brands and models gathering each season for the week-long presentation. “Previously, we mostly worked with Dunedin based models. Over the years we’ve expanded and now we have models flying to Dunedin from Shanghai and from around New Zealand to walk exclusively in iD Fashion Week,” shared Buchanan. With models arriving from around the world, there is a great deal of diversity in the cast, a feature that the event has embraced and hopes to nurture. “The iD team have been a step ahead in terms of casting diverse models,” declared Buchanan. The show features models from a variety of different backgrounds with great variations in sizes and overall style.

Along with engaging an ethnically and physically diverse group of models, Buchanan expressed the organisation's commitment to casting those with a unique look, who are able to bring something fresh to the industry. “We look for a point of difference when selecting models,” explained Buchanan. This point of difference can range from a unique sense of style, walk or a strong personality. Having something different to offer the iD team, or any event caster can be what makes your portfolio stand out among the crowd, the experience is secondary. “We selected a new face to walk in iD Fashion Week who didn’t even have a photo to show at the casting, but she had such a unique look and presence. A model doesn’t need to have lots of experience to get the job.” Buchanan expressed how important it is for new models who are looking to break into the industry to embrace their differences and showcase them during casting. “The things you may find weird or strange about yourself actually make you more interesting,” she asserted. “Embrace them and be your unique self; perfection is boring.”