Thursday, 18 July 2013

Learning Curve

This year has been full of changes for me and as a result, my blog has had to take a backseat. That's not to say I haven't been sewing. I've completed quite a few little projects, but with limited time at my disposal, I've not had a chance to photograph them. Then there's at least a couple of hours Photoshop-ing and composing content... I have other, more pressing priorities to attend to.

Back in March, I started a Diploma in Fashion Business at the Melbourne Fashion Institute. The full time course is only two days a week, but the learning is pretty intensive and I'm finding myself quite exhausted at the end of each class. Not to mention my business idea is very different to that of the course content and I struggle at times to relate to my end goal. I can't divulge too much about my idea at this point in time but I promise to let you know once it comes to fruition.
The Melbourne Fashion Institute has many different courses available - patten making & garment construction, design & illustration, styling & couture - too many fun things to choose from. Business studies are all about Sales Plans, Organisation Structures and Unique Selling Propositions and I often find myself longing to something a bit more creative. Thankfully, there are a few artistic lights shining in the dullness of all this serious business.
The Visual Merchandising component of the course required us to create a mood board, a clothing range and store window to sell our fashions. Rather than just selling clothing, I was trying to sell an era - the 1930s - and my window was based on the image below.
This room was a little too busy to work as good visual merchandising, so I produced a more simplified version - it only needed to be representitive after all.
The chaise and telephone table were easy to source, but I had terrible trouble finding a scale mannequin to suit. I ended up having to make my own from air-modelling clay. Her boobs are a little high on the body but she's to perfect scale. If you're wondering about the missing legs, it's purely because they kept falling off and I ran out of patience.
There are some other wonderfully creative students in my class; we had spray-painted women, disco bitches fighting on the dance floor and a full scale skirt made from Hawaiian leis. I didn't get much of a chance to take pics on the day of presentations, but I did snap a couple at the end of the day, before everyone scurried off home.

A hooded cape by an active/sportswear label.
Our next creative project is to be a t-shirt design - it relates to the sourcing & production component of the course - but that's a couple of weeks off. We've yet to get through Marketing Plans & Finance but at least there's something fun to look forward to.
- Tamara


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Everyone's a Picker

Last week I read a news story about a man who purchased a particularly ugly bowl/cup in an op shop for $4 and then sold it at auction for over $75,000. Turns out, it was a 17th Century Chinese 'libation cup' carved from rhinoceros horn. A rare find indeed, but I get the feeling this guy knew exactly what he was looking at.
It's been a long while since I've been op shopping for no other reason than they've all been picked over. Not to mention that they've cottoned on to how much more they can make on vintage and designer pieces. It's a fair call, the proceeds go to charity after all, but this attitude appears to be creeping into the last refuge of bargain hunters everywhere - garage sales and swap meets.
The last swap meet we went to was the annual Broadford Swap Meet back in April and what a change it was from last year. Practically every stall holder had what they believed to be a 'rare piece' and they were charging accordingly; it sure took the fun out of it. Personally, I blame TV shows like American Pickers, Auction Hunters and the like. Before they came along, people didn't even know they had 'rusty gold'.
With the swap meet prices being well out of my budget, I had to content myself with seeking out some of the more fun stuff on offer.
Phones, phones everywhere...
Something for the car restorer
Who knew the 'Three Men in a Boat' author wrote another book?
Fabulous sewing machine oil cans
Oh, what I wouldn't give to see this baby in action!
The Police Siren Door-Stop Burglar Alarm would make for the perfect prank.
And finally, Thrilling Ranch Stories - Romantic stories of the West (c.1940s). If the front cover is to be believed, it looks like a great read. As you can imagine, I was sorely tempted by this one.
I do hope this weekend's Vintage Clearance Centre sale lives up to it's advertised bargains, I'm in the market for a new coat.
- Tamara

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