CAREER: Michelle Brooke, daughter Laetitia, and son Khye.
CAREER: Michelle Brooke, daughter Laetitia, and son Khye. Greg Miller

Model family vying for place in Coast Fashion Festival

FOR Forest Glen family the Brookes, modelling runs in the family - and for youngsters Laetitia, 15, and Khye, 9, the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival is the latest chance to "strut their stuff".

The Brookes were part of hundreds of models from over the state who yesterday vied for just 45 positions at the prestigious local fashion event. It was the biggest turnout since the festival started eight years ago, organisers said.

Already modelling professionally with Dallys Models in Brisbane since they first appeared on a runway at the Face of Sunshine Plaza competition last year, both Laetitia and Khye Brooke "own" the catwalk, says their mum Michelle.

She said it felt great having two of her three children trying out because she knew personally how rewarding a career modelling could be.

"Runways are just awesome," said Mrs Brooke, who modelled swimwear herself in America at age 21. She said it was another world for a model once they hit the catwalk - fast-paced, well paid and very rewarding.

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For Laetitia, whose modelling career was already well underway, walking the catwalk was familiar but nerve-wracking.

"I just like strutting my stuff," Laetitia said.

Her brother Khye said he would wear anything he needed to for the festival, but as a keen surfer and skateboarder, streetwear would be his favourite.

Men and women, girls and boys from age 6 to 75 attended three poolside casting sessions at Caloundra's Rumba Resort.

Models from agencies in Brisbane and the Gold Coast also joined the throngs of hopefuls.

Agency 888 model, 16-year-old Paige Marsden, from Brisbane, said she turned to modelling as a natural progression from dancing, which had been a love of hers all her life.

"I've always loved getting out there - performing," Paige said. "I've been a dancer - hip hop, ballet and now contemporary musical theatre."

Paige's dad Kim Marsden said his daughter had a unique fashion sense, with a hint of rebelliousness.

"Late last year she developed an interest (in modelling)," he said. "She's physically fit, she's healthy and has a glow to her - she's been told she's suited to it and we're supporting her."

Scott Bourke, also from Brisbane and with Agency 888, said his modelling career grew out of acting.

"They got me to do all these photo shoots and it just grew from there," he said. "I still do both but enjoy the modelling more (now)."

The Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival will take place on October 17 at The Events Centre, Caloundra.



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