St Albans Fashion Week: our queen of the catwalk - plus video

The Herts Advertiser's own Monique Hall models a Satin Bow wedding dress with her "groom" Robert Kan

The Herts Advertiser's own Monique Hall models a Satin Bow wedding dress with her "groom" Robert Kane - Credit: Archant

Herts Ad readers may know by now I like to throw myself into different challenges, so when the St Albans fashion week director Ellie Ophira asked me to be a model for the show I simply couldn’t say no.

Even though at one time or another I’ve climbed a mountain, bungee-jumped, swam with sharks and gone on a water slide which was basically a trap door over a vertical slope, for some strange reason the simple practice of walking in some nice clothes in front of people terrified me way more than any of these experiences.

Why? I literally don’t know – perhaps because the whole of St Albans had turned up to watch us wiggle on the catwalk.

“Do not fall over, do not fall over, do not fall over” was the mantra my brain became very familiar with as I waited in line to walk during the show. I freaked out that I was going to do a Naomi Campbell and stack it, minus the graceful delivery.

But as soon as I stepped on the bright white runway and was blinded by the overlooking lights my inner Moss made its move and I was strutting like it was all I knew.

An army of photographers waited at the base of the catwalk and over a dozen lightbulbs sparked and flashed while I gave my best Zoolander “blue steel” look.

For anyone who thought models don’t do anything, think again. By the time we were finished my feet were killing me, my arm muscles hurt and I couldn’t stop walking with a sassy flourish.

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For some models, taking part in the show paid off 10-fold as they have been asked to officially model for the retailer they were wearing. For me, it paid off to see the incredible show from a different perspective and to find out what all the fuss was about wearing a wedding dress (not to mention being cheered every time you appear, that bit was alright too).

If it’s possible, the cathedral looked even more beautiful than normal as soft fuchsia lights framed the pillars and alcoves and it was easy to spot how much time and effort had gone into producing this unique event.

Crews had worked around the clock rigging the lighting and placing seats to transform the space into a fashionista’s heaven, and approached the set-up with just as much professionalism and hard work as if we were presenting a show to Anna Wintour in Paris.

Hopefully the stylish seven days will have shone a lasting spotlight on the city’s prominent fashion scene and given a number of retailers a well-deserved pat on the back for keeping us looking incredible.