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Heels and nerves of steel

Models walk a makeshift catwalk in the basement of a car park in Kingston in a hope to be selected for Canberra's Fashfest. Click for more photos

Fashfest auditions

Models walk a makeshift catwalk in a car park in Kingston in a hope to be selected for Canberra's Fashfest. Photo: Jay Cronan

THE SEARCH for Canberra's next top models began on Saturday with a casting call for Fashfest catwalk models.

Fashfest, a four-day festival from May 1-4, will showcase Canberra's established and up-and-coming designers, and is using local talent in every aspect, including the models.

Canberra supermodel Anneliese Seubert will be the official face of the festival, with Fashfest directors spending Saturday afternoon hoping to discover the next Seubert, putting 40 locals through their paces on a makeshift catwalk in an underground car park.

They will need 25 models, including half a dozen men, for the festival and hoped to ''get lucky'' with the first turnout of Canberrans eager to impress.

''Most of them have done at least some photo shoots before, but being a model in front of a camera for a photo shoot or catwalk are two different things,'' Fashfest's director-model Andrea Hutchinson said.

''Obviously now it's all about the catwalk; it's about how it feels on the catwalk, how they walk, so we'll see how they go.''

After checking in and getting their photograph taken, the models strutted their stuff, with four judges at the end of the catwalk busy taking notes.

The scene would not have looked out of place in a Next Top Model television show. ''Yes, it kind of has that feel to it, with the little table with all the judges there taking notes,'' Hutchison agreed.

Many looked comfortable on the catwalk, but nerves got the better of others, with warnings issued not to shuffle their feet, march quickly or display ''handbag arms''- swinging an arm as if carrying a phantom handbag - before a second 'walk-off'.

''Even if you just walk on the catwalk, your personality still shows, so it's about being comfortable, confident and also realising that, at the end of the day, you're going to be walking in front of 500 people plus, so you have to have that confidence,'' Hutchinson said.

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