OLYMPIC swimmer Alicia Coutts loves fashion and dressing up.
“I have so many clothes – really, a lot of clothes,” she admits. “I recently extended my two-door wardrobe, basically doubled it, so it now covers the whole wall in our bedroom. The spare room is also full of my clothes!”
Alicia’s love of dressing up makes her well-placed to model at Fashfest, Canberra’s annual fashion event, where she will wear a fabulously dramatic black dress by Vicky Kidd-Gallichan of local label Rockstars and Royalty.
“I’m really excited to be involved in Fashfest and to see all the local designers’ work,” she says.
“The Rockstars and Royalty dress is amazing; so much work has gone into it. I’ve never worn something so original; it’s a complete one-off. It looks hard to get into, but the front is detachable, and it has boning in the neck which gives great posture.
“The catwalk is something I’ve never done before but I’m looking forward to it. I just hope I don’t do a Carrie Bradshaw and fall on my face!”Alicia, 26, will take to the catwalk – and stay upright, we’re sure – on the Wednesday night of the four-day local fashion event, but that won’t be the end of her model moment.
“I’m also modelling Mont adventure wear on the Thursday night, which will be a bit more sporty, and then on Saturday night I’ll be wearing another designer, but I don’t know who yet. I’m looking forward to finding out – I’m so excited,” she says.
Alicia says she enjoys getting glammed up for formal events, particularly if she gets to wear a designer gown.
“I go to things like balls and awards ceremonies quite a lot, and I’ve been lucky enough to borrow two Alex Perry dresses, and a Collette Dinnigan gown,” she says. “I’ve also bought a stunning Rachel Gilbert dress for an event.”
For day-to-day wear, Brisbane-born Alicia says she’s been loving high-waisted shorts all summer, but now that it’s getting cooler it’s all about jeans, blazers and coats.
“I can always justify a new coat because it gets so cold here,” she laughs. “I may need one with buttons, one with a zip, or a hood, and then I need scarves, belts, handbags, and I love sequins and sparkles… it’s all so much fun. Boys just don’t get it!”
After eight years in Canberra, where she came to train at the AIS and subsequently met her fiance, she says she still loves her adopted home.
“It’s not so hectic and busy, and it’s spread out but small enough that everything’s nice and close,” she says. “And the different seasons give me so many opportunities to shop…”
Alicia says she likes Forever New for its good styles and reasonable prices, but that gorgeous evening gowns and serious glamour will always be her favourite style.
“I can walk quite well in high heels, so I should be okay on the catwalk – as long as I’m not put into massive platforms!”
Fashfest, Canberra Airport, April 29-May 3. Tickets at fashfest.com.au
Photos: Andrew Campbell
Dress: Vicky Kidd-Gallichan, of Rockstars and Royalty
Make-up: Kylie Kotzur
Hair: Form Haircutters