Walking through the doors of the Regency Ballroom at Hyatt, I was both nervous and excited. It was a large room full of round tables with numbers for the guests, and to the front was the ramp with a backdrop that showcased the names of sponsors and “The Melbourne Cup Charity Lunch” written on top.
I went backstage to wait with the other contestants of the competition who had been shortlisted along with me. We waited patiently for about 15 minutes till our designed outfits finally arrived. Separated by a black curtain, on the adjacent side was the hair and makeup for the models. The curiosity in me was building. I needed to see what my creation looked like on a model. Walking past the curtain onto our side was a young, pretty girl. She was looking into the mirror, adjusting her makeup. I walked up to her and asked if she would model for my garment. It was a perfect fit. I can’t explain the satisfaction I experienced in that moment. I took a peek outside and took a look at the audience. I was overwhelmed to see the turnout. The place was packed with the finest gentry of the city.
We all headed to our table and waited for the show to begin. My model was fourth on the ramp and as she walked I could feel a sense of achievement. Just sitting there, with all those people and watching them applaud, it was enough for me but fate had more to bestow upon me that day.
It was now time to announce the three winners so once again we went backstage. I said a little prayer in my head and kept my ears open. And just then, I heard it. I had won the second place! I walked up on the stage with the model and received my prize from the esteemed judges. It was the first time that I had participated in such an event and I had come second. I could have sulked thinking I didn’t come first but it was such a good day that even the thought of disappointment didn’t occur to me.
That experience has been the beginning of a new chapter for me and the events of that day will stay alive in my memory forever.