Model casting - behind the scenes

The models line up, get their 'mugshots' taken, a rev up from the show producer offering tips for newbies and then they walk the very long catwalk to the 5 judges, pause, pose and pivot.

More than 500 wannabe catwalk models registered to fill the 60 spots for Fashfest - Canberra's premier fashion event showcasing the creative side of the nation's capital.

Most opted for high-waisted jeans and simple tops, high heels and stilettos, but there were also shorts and skirts to show off legs for days and even sneakers for a comfy walk down the runway.

While models waited their turn they eyeballed the competition, snacked on junk food and some were spotted eating McDonalds.

Former model Andrea Hutchinson founded the event 4 years ago with her husband Clint and is a judge.

"I can’t say I’m looking for anything specific, it kind of just speaks to me or it doesn’t," she says.

"What I think is key is diversity. The body language is really important as well, confidence, their facial expressions, you know, if they’re enjoying themselves."

Tina Nikolovski is the head of Devojka models - a Canberra modelling agency - and sits on the judging panel.

“I think it’s a really awesome platform in Canberra to have so many people, 540 registrations and to have only one restriction to be 16 and over, gives a really good opportunity for a variety of models, different body shapes, different backgrounds to come and show what they’ve got.”

Marie Claire's Hayley O'Neill has been with Fashfest from the start, first as a volunteer, then modelling, styling last year, before moving to judging this time round.

"Fashfest is bigger, it’s better and there’s still that energy where people still want to be a part of it," she says.

“I think Canberra needs Fashfest to put it on the map for fashion.”

For Andrea, Fashfest is about people coming together.

“I think it’s great to inspire the people of Canberra and give them an outlet to showcase their talent.”

Fashfest will be held from September 29 to October 1.