So sorry it's been so long since my last post! I sort of, possibly lost my Canon charger - a pretty big blunder for someone who runs a fashion blog. But CRISIS AVERTED I found it. So everyone can stop looking.
Last Friday Jessica Moran - AKA Miss Asia Australia 2nd Runner Up - met up with me for lunch and graciously allowed me to take some photos of her in her pageant dress. It was custom made for Jess after she made it to the finals of the Miss Asia Australia competition. I'm a sucker for anything with embroidered details and since we don't quite have proms in Australia I have an unsatisfied soft spot for long, glamorous gowns.
The dress was designed for the girls in the pageant by Felicitas Bridal who also sponsored the event. I think my favourite though was the tiara. It was made by Royal Jewellery Co.* and, coming in at a whopping $3000, definitely gives off the princess vibe. And what girl doesn't want to be a princess every now and then? Not always of course (because Disney clearly didn't do much research as I recently found out real princess don't actually get Fairy Godmothers or get the chance to dance with cute and fluffy wood animals but actually have to do work ) but just to look like and get treated like one for a couple of hours would be pretty nice. Ironically, Jess played Beauty and the Beast's 'Tale As Old As Time' for the talent segment of the pageant, she gets it.
Strapped for time (having spent possibly too long prancing around in her tiara) I asked Jess a few (what I like to call) 'power questions'
WHY DID YOU ENTER MISS ASIA AUSTRALIA
I was approached one day after uni at Redfern Station by this scout agent called Maria James (she was also the artistic director of the pageant). She told me how beautiful I was and asked me to audition for Miss Asia Australia. At the time I thought she was talking about a pageant called Miss Hong Kong (because as a child whenever I went back to visit my maternal Chinese family I would watch it on tv) which my Chinese side of the family used to say to me when I was little that I should try out when I'm older. I went along for fun, and here I am today
HOW DID YOU FIND THE EXPERIENCE, ANY CRAZY MOMENTS?
Leading up to the final show, we were provided with training every Sunday at Macquarie Grammar School (one of the sponsors), and it was a bit crazy and fun at the same time. when running into cultural differences with Yuan Yuan the Chinese pageant coach (who taught us how to hold ourselves like beauty queens), especially because she could only speak a few words of English, so the girls who could understand Chinese (including me) had to deal with this language barrier and deliver her expectations across the board. But the best experience by far was the bikini photoshoot on a private houseboat around Sydney harbour. Luckily I didn't get seasick, other girls weren't so fortunate, throwing up at least 5 times in between photos (not that you could tell at all with the end results, the photos looked amazing!) - but interesting to see how different it is behind the scenes and how it feels to be a "model" (most of us had never been in front of a camera before). The craziest moment in this entire experience though was definitely the final show at Sydney Town Hall! Everything was a giant mixture of nerves, excitement, nausea and anticipation. It was all a hectic flurry, no one remembered their lines or choreography and made it all up on the spot (I'm sure the pageant coach Yuan Yuan was probably having a fit in the audience as she was quite the perfrectionist!), but it all came together in the end somehow and everyone performed beautifully, but that's show business!
HOW CAN OTHER GIRLS GET INVOLVED?
The requirements are not very strict for this pageant. Height requirement is 165cm and above, must hold an Australian passport (do not have to be Asian), and to have never been married, and ages 18-25. Auditions were held in August this year, so I would assume it would be at the same time next year. Just have a look on Google for the dates. I would definitely recommend trying out for it! It's such a wonderful, random, and exciting experience, and you will gain and learn so much from it, as well as lifelong friendships. I would recommend preparing a talent, but if not then just give it your all at the auditions. I had no idea at the time that I had to prepare a talent, and was made to sing on stage at the audition. The only song I could think of standing in front a huge crowd was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", I knew I couldn't sing, so I just belted it out at the top of my lungs and made it as entertaining as possible…and I made it past auditions. As cliché as it sounds, you have to be yourself, even if it means you're a doofus like me :) It's hard enough being in public, let alone putting another persona on top. Be proud of who you are and own it with no apologies and it will get you far! Trust me :)
Thanks for letting me photograph you Jess, it was a nice being the one behind the camera for a change!
* You can find them at 417 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000 or call (02) 9267 2647