How Long It Really Takes A WAG To Prep For The Dally M Red Carpet

A lot of people and hours go into getting red-carpet-ready and the preparation can start months before the event itself.

If anyone understands what it takes to get there, it's model and television producer Jemma Barge.

Twenty-six-year-old Jemma, while having a well-established career in producing segments for television, most recently as Studio 10's Production Coordinator -- is also the partner of Sydney Roosters captain and New South Wales captain Boyd Cordner.

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The pair met through mutual friends and Jemma has attended a number of high profile events with Boyd, including last year's Dally M Awards.

Knowing what's involved, Jemma has been preparing for tonight's Dally M red carpet for more than a month. But she's had to do so around her full-time job.

Jemma told 10 daily exactly what it takes to get ready for a red carpet event like the Dally M Awards.

The gown from start to finish

Jemma first met with her stylist Natalia De Martin a month ago to get gown preparations underway.

"I had a rough idea in my head of the style of dress I was hoping to wear. I wanted a stand out piece this year but nothing too over the top. I believe less is more sometimes and I wanted the dress to speak for itself," Jemma told 10 daily.

The initial steps involved sitting down with Natalia as well as the designer Nicky Velani.

Jemma with the material for her dress (left) and the dress in its early stages (right). Image: Supplied

"Natalia drew a rough sketch and Nicky found the perfect piece of material to match what we wanted. The three of us then had our first meeting," Jemma said.

Jemma has been to six fittings in total and they take about one to two hours each, which she said has been blown out by the fact that the three women love to have a good chat.

The progress on Jemma's dress. Image: Supplied

"Natalia and I meet Nicky at her show room. Each time I met with Nicky, she had made more progress on the dress," Jemma said.

As time went on, the ideas kept getting bigger and better between my stylist and designer. It’s amazing what they have created.

Jemma said while she has had input on the dress, she doesn't consider herself a 'fashion expert' and has allowed Natalia and Nicky to take the lead.

Jemma's dress from the back and near completed. Image: Supplied

"I definitely let the girls do their thing. But I knew what worked for my body and what didn’t which helped with creating the gown."

The hair and makeup

Jemma is lucky enough to have two girlfriends doing her hair and makeup. Her makeup will be done by Eloise Proust while Maria Wassef is styling her hair.

"They have done my hair and makeup quite a lot over the past few years," Jemma said. "With these events, I definitely like to stick to the artists who know my face and hair the most, that way you feel super comfortable."

For this reason, Jemma said she completely trusts Eloise and Maria as the pair are very talented and have been working in the industry for a long time.

"They also encourage me to step out of my comfort zone a little and try new things. I think that’s important."

The jewellery and clutch

Jemma's earrings are from Paspaley Pearls while her rings are from Alinka Jewellery. She will also be carrying a Bvlgari clutch to tie her whole look together.

The shoes

Jemma said being a size 11.5 can occasionally make it difficult for her to find the right shoe. But she's found the perfect pair from Mara & Mine.

"The heels are amazing. Mara & Mine have delivered both comfort and beauty with these shoes that I will be lucky enough to wear on the night."

The prep

Day on a plate

Jemma said she is usually quite healthy when it comes to her diet but has definitely kicked things up a notch the last few weeks and has been 'extra healthy'.

"I always feel better within myself when I eat good food. I feel as though I definitely wear what I put in my body these days -- my face and skin look a lot fresher if I am feeding it with fresh and nutritious food."

Here is what Jemma typically eats in a day:

Breaky: Scrambled eggs, mushrooms, half an avocado, two slices of turkey or  overnight oats with banana and peanut butter.

Lunch: Salad with a form of protein (either tuna or chicken breast), some hard cheese and either pumpkin or sweet potato.

Afternoon Snack: Chobani yoghurt with half a punnet of berries and strawberries with some almonds.

Dinner: A form of protein with a serve of veggies and a small account of carbs (either pumpkin or sweet potato).

Coffee: Long black with a dash of almond milk or an almond milk latte.

Sweet tooth after dinner: A few squares of the Lindt dark chocolate (only if she is really struggling and needs a sugar hit).

Jemma isn't strict on the weekends and definitely enjoys herself when she is out.


Jemma has been training at F45 in Coogee and tries to make it to three to four classes per week.

"I don’t believe I need to smash my body to get results -- I definitely have a rest If I feel I need one. I also try to fit in a long walk or two, always good to clear your head."


Jemma said she hasn't done too much outside of her usual skincare routine to get ready for the red carpet.

"I use Rationale for my normal skincare routine and they are incredible. I have kept up with that and their products have definitely rejuvenated my skin after quite a few years of sun damage."

What she's been doing today

Jemma said she likes to feel comfortable and relaxed before events so "we will be getting ready at my house" before heading to the Dally M Awards tonight.

"My hair, makeup and dress designer will be with me. Unfortunately my lovely stylist Nat will be away but I am sure we’ll be on FaceTime before we head off."

Jemma said her mum will also be popping in before the event and there will likely be a need for tissues.

"She tends to get a little teary-eyed before these things," Jemma laughed.

The time in total

Working full time, Jemma has had to fit prepping for the Dally M red carpet around her work day, noting that her prep time has varied for this reason.

Yet below is a rough breakdown:

  • An hour or two with the stylist before meeting with the designer
  • Roughly one to two hours per fitting -- 12 hours in total with the designer
  • Nails and eyebrows beforehand which took one to two hours
  • Three hours on the day of event for hair and makeup

In total, it has taken Jemma 16 to 18 hours to prep for her walk of the Dally M red carpet. And now finally being ready to head to the event tonight, she looks absolutely stunning.

Featured image: Supplied