Front Row Diary: Fashion Editor Dan Ahwa

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a fashion editor looks like?


Dan Ahwa backstage at the Twenty-seven Names show. Picture / Guy Coombes.

6am: Alarm goes off. Try to get Phoebe (cat) off my face.

6.30am: Get out of bed.

6.45am: Shower and get dressed. Pack bag for backstage as I’ll be styling/working on the first show of the week for Twenty-seven Names. Check off the essentials: lint roller, masking tape, scissors and snacks.

7am: Look at Instagram. See video from @selenquintanillavive Instagram account and decide to tag @kiekie and @mattbenns because they’re Selena fans. It’s funny, and also provides inspiration for them for a busy day ahead.

7.15: Throw spinach, frozen berries, banana, kiwifruit, almonds, chia seeds into NutriBullet. Drink Nutri Blast and watch that other Selena from the traffic report on Breakfast get lashed by rain. Have a chuckle.

7.30: Leave house and pick up Viva photographer Guy Coombes on the way to the venue. Drive past McDonald's as we both stare longingly after bacon and egg McMuffin, but we don’t give in.

7.55: Have coffee with Guy and Viva associate editor Zoe Walker to discuss the day’s schedule.

8am: Arrive backstage at Twenty-seven Names and start prepping for show. The designers Anjali and Rachel are busy with production and trying to work out logistics. I organise backstage with dressers, hair and make-up teams and models with the amazing Twenty-seven Names crew.

9.15am: Have passive aggressive conversation with blogger/photographer/whatever from NZFW who gets annoyed that Anjali and Rachel aren’t at her beck and call for an interview-op, after I explain to her that they are busy trying to organise their show. Have weird staring contest. She gets my drift and stays out of the way.

10.30am: Get models into outfits with the help of the dressers. Models look great, thanks to all the hard working bookers, agents, collaborators such as hair (Michael Beel and team) and Kiekie Stanners from M.A.C Cosmetics and team. Watch the show run though and Ashleigh Good taking over our Viva GoPro for the day. Guy looks on and thinks about all the editing he has to do later from Ashleigh’s footage. Lol.

11.15am: Showtime. Do final checks one by one as the models head out to the outdoor venue.

12pm: Watch the Choose Wool show. Highlights are some looks from Liz Mitchell, everything from Wynn Hamlyn and some clever styling from French83.

12.45pm: Go back to the Viva office and have lunch from Hollywood Bakery (ham sandwich and hot chocolate) and catch up on other work.

5.00pm: Head back down to the venue with Viva writer Rebecca Barry Hill to watch the Nom*D show. Sam Hunt reading aloud at the start of the show gives me goosebumps.

6ish: Post show, head to media room and pretend to write my report but end up having a glass of wine and annoying the rest of Viva team.

6.30pm: Am the only person drinking so head out and have another one with Viva beauty editor Janetta Mackay. Bump into former colleague Fiona Hawtin, and get a picture taken by cool guy Michael Ng. Michael is very bossy and particular and he puts us into position. Janetta tells us to be careful as the perspex box behind us is displaying racy incontinence knickers. Woops.

7pm: Go upstairs to the pre-show drinks for Mercedes-Benz Presents Kate Sylvester. See Richie McCaw. #coolstory

8pm: Head into the Kate Sylvester show. Bold gold jewellery, Cubism references, fur stoles slung nonchalantly, Brian Eno The Big Ship. C’mon Kate, stop being so perfect.

9.30: Turn up to the Kate Sylvester after party at Seafarers Club with the Viva team. Have some negronis and then end up having an interesting conversation with Kate and Zoe about diversity.

1.30am: Get taxi home and try to stop at McDonald’s on Balmoral Rd, but it’s closed. Go home and have cheese toasted sandwich and fall asleep.

View more of our insider New Zealand Fashion Week coverage in association with Mercedes-Benz.

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