SEW FABULOUS Mackay designer Anna Dutton in her studio ahead of the Real Body Runway Show.
SEW FABULOUS Mackay designer Anna Dutton in her studio ahead of the Real Body Runway Show. Emma Murray

Designer likes to keep it real

ANNA DUTTON, owner and designer of Anna Dutton Couture doesn't usually find herself walking the runway.

She's more comfortable behind the scenes making alterations or last-minute final touches on her collection.

But tomorrow night, she is set to strut her stuff on the runway for the Just Saying Project's Real Body Runway show at Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.

The show will feature the style and stories of women from Mackay with a focus on 'self-acceptance and body love'.

Show organiser Fallon Drewett said she approached Ms Dutton to be part of the event because "she is always doing her best to make everyone else beautiful".

"For her to even to say 'yes' to this is so brave because I know it is something outside of her comfort zone," she said.

Ms Dutton will be wearing a gown from her own collection on the runway.

Two of the other 'role models' have also chosen to wear her designs.

"The ladies came to my studio, tried on a few gowns and chose the ones they felt most beautiful in," she said.

"Most designers love to get models and celebrities in their gowns. It's never been a priority or interest for me. It has happened and it's great when it does."

But she much preferred to dress the everyday woman.

She grew up watching her mother run a bridal and evening wear business.

Sewing was in the blood, by four years old she was sewing on her own and by age 15 her own bridal and evening wear business was up and running.

While her mother's work was more traditional she "specialised in coloured, non-traditional, very detailed designs".

"Preparing for this even has been such a great experience. It brought me out of my shell, it's a big thing for me to put myself out in front of a crowd," she said.

Ms Dutton is one of 35 women set to walk the runway tomorrow night.

Each have chosen songs they identify with and gowns they feel comfortable and confident in.

An MC will read out a short piece the women penned as they walk the runway. The event will also feature a panel of self-love speakers who will share their personal stories on self-love, body image and self-esteem.

It is billed as an entertaining night of empowerment for women from all walks of life.