How I feel about Fashion School – 06


Maxine Tanner | October ,09 2015

I honestly don’t know how students manage to balance uni, work and a social life. If I had to describe a typical week, in my life it would be this:

Go to work, work, finish work. Told you’re working tomorrow, complain, cry, leave work. Go home, veg out, try to study, accidentally fall asleep.

Sleep past your alarm. Go to work, work, eat, write a mental to do list, finish work. Home, veg out, write to do lists, procrastinate, Facebook, Instagram, snap chat, write a report.

Sleep, sleep in, regret sleeping in. Shower, report writing, emails, eat, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, report writing. Sleep.

Shower, eat, uni, hand in report, eat, fabric shopping, go home, procrastinate, sewing. Sleep.

Shower, eat, uni, emails, go home, nap, socialise, go home, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, patterning, sewing. Sleep.

Shower, socialise, eat, to do list uni, emails, go home, sewing, report writing, procrastinate, report writing. Sleep.

Shower, eat, uni, eat, patterning, sewing, procrastinate, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, socialise, go home, report writing. Sleep.

Shower, socialise, uni, eat, report writing, nap, hand in report, to do list, go home, procrastinate, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.

And on that note, I see sleep approaching.

[ Credits: Words by Maxine Tanner, Illustration by me. ]

How I feel about Fashion School – 05


Maxine Tanner | October ,02 2015

As fashion students, we work best with our hands. So you can imagine the constant struggle we face whenever we have to do an ounce of theory work. As I write this I am procrastinating writing two reports due next week. It is natural for our hands to control our work, from feeding a silk organza through the machine, draping bias cut cloth over a form, hand sewing the finest threads through the finest weaves to hand pressing layers upon layers of accordion pleats into netting. Yet of course each semester includes theoretical assessments that are worth a large percentage of the overall mark. Yes I can whip up a five piece collection in a matter of two weeks to the best of my ability, but ask me to sit down at a desk for hours on end to write an investigative report on the working conditions of the Cambodian garment industry and I won’t rise to that challenge.

At a certain point in any type of study it becomes customary for students to pull all nighters before a hand in, but for fashion students it becomes a ritual. There are two types of all nighters. Those where you plan to stay up all night, have an assortment of ciders, Redbull and V at the ready and continually count down the hours until you have to shower and head back into uni (aka your home away from home) where you were less than 9 hours ago. Then there are those where you have a mountain of work to do that you unintentionally stay up all night completing it. In your glassy eyed haze you look up at the clock and all of a sudden its 4AM. In your naivety and lack of time management you decide to treat yourself to a quick nap so you can actually function the next morning. Having nightmares of all the work you still have to finish, you wake up two hours later, so disoriented that you don’t know where you are or what year it is.

The fall out of pulling all nighters only add more stress. In your futile efforts of getting dressed in the morning, you’ll end up layering clean clothes over your pyjamas and not in an attempt to be fashion forward. When you actually arrive at uni your face clearly tells the story of the sleepless past 24 hours and everyone is quick to comment. Your lecturers warn you about operating machinery without sleep but you keep sewing anyway because those pants aren’t going to finish themselves, and you keep the fact that you cut yourself with scissors twice last night, a secret. It gets harder and harder to stay awake for a full day at uni after pulling an all nighter, at which point, napping becomes your saviour. Since you’re not as high tech as other universities that house on campus sleeping pods for students you’ll resort to napping wherever you can and yes that includes during lectures, under tables and curling up into a ball on the floor, rotating shifts with your classmates because you’ve still got that mountain of work to finish.

[ Credits: Words by Maxine Tanner, Illustration by me. ]

We would all love to pull a Linda Envagelista and not get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day, but when you don’t actually go to bed and you don’t get paid to study, you actually pay to go to uni, it is sadly not really an option.



Tamie Cleaver | September 28, 2015

Turmeric, turmeric, turmeric, I’m pretty sure my friends are sick of hearing about turmeric. All they have to do is mention they feel a little under the weather and I’ll prescribe them a teaspoon of turmeric.  Stomach ache, stiff joints, lost a limb, turmeric will sort that. They’re going to be so pleased for this opportunity to now read about my obsession. They’ll have to read it too, in full, as there will be a test!

I first came across turmeric when I started looking into how food is linked to health.

‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ Hippocrates said, and the more I read about the food to health link, the more this made sense.

If you put anything into your body that it doesn’t recognise as food, it sees it as a toxin and reacts aggressively against it. This reaction becomes a battle within your body, and it will take drastic action to win this battle and keep you alive. If it has to create its own toxins to kill of the ones harming you it will, if it has to damage cells to keep the rest of the body moving it will. Your body isn’t thinking about your comfort, how you look or how you feel, it’s trying to keep you alive at all costs. The by product of your body fighting harmful toxins leads to fatigue, inflammations, infections, gut problems and ultimately deceases, including cancer.

These are things I reasonably decided needed to be avoided, so I started eating fresh and clean, meaning lots of veg, plenty of fruit and if something had a number in the ingredients, or a word I didn’t recognise, then I didn’t eat it.

The next step up from this is food your body thrives on, herbs spices, nuts and seeds for instance. These innocuous little foods which we use as decoration, to add colour to our plates, these are really an under used source of vitamins and minerals.

This is where turmeric comes in.

Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, gut healthy, disease fighting, cholesterol reducing, anti-carcinogenic, beautiful turmeric. This is just part of the list of the benefits turmeric brings to the body. Notice how this is the anti list to the symptoms above caused by fighting toxins in the body.

I get turmeric into my diet in everything from soup to roast chicken. But my two favourite and almost daily uses are in a juice and in my scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs

¼ cup of pine nuts

1 dessert spoon of cold pressed organic coconut oil

2 free range organic eggs

Small handful of organic baby spinach, chopped.

1 piece of smoked salmon cut into strips

½ tea spoon of turmeric powder

Salt & pepper

Put a small frying pan on a low heat and add the pine nuts. Dry fry the pine nuts until they start to turn brown, remove from the heat and leave aside. Add the coconut oil to the pan to heat up. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk in the turmeric, salt and pepper. The turmeric tries to clump up so whisk it well. When the coconut oil is hot, pour in the eggs and start stirring with a wooden spoon immediately. As the eggs start to form, add back in the pine nuts, the salmon and the spinach.  Pour the eggs on to a plate, sprinkle with a little dukkah and eat.


1 juicer

2 celery sticks

½ piece of cucumber

¼ piece of fennel

½ thumb sized piece of ginger

½ thumb sized piece of turmeric root

Hand full of coriander

Hand full of parsley

Cayenne pepper

Juice all together then pour into a glass; sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the top of the juice for that extra kick. Drink straight away.

[ Credits: Words by Tamie Cleaver, Illustration by me. ]    

How I feel about Fashion School – 04


Maxine Tanner | September 25, 2015

Here’s how Fashion Week would have gone down if I were there.

My suitcase would look like a Jackson Pollock. A flourish of colours and prints in hundreds of different styles. From boyfriend shirts to turtle necks, moto jackets, cigarette pants, denim culottes, knitted grandma sweaters, studded Jeffrey Campbell platforms, floral printed overalls, colour blocked bodysuits, and faux fur stoles. I would wear anything that had the remote possibility of getting photographed as part of Fashion Week street style.

Whilst pulling my best blue steel out the front of the Topshop Unique show, I would have to compete for the limelight with the parade of internationally renowned bloggers that just rolled in, in one of those oversized black SUVs that the entire cast of the OC drove. In one of my skilful attempts to be in the spotlight I would call out to them as if we were friends, but of course they have no clue who I am and let’s face it I only know them from social media, turning into one of those awkward moments where you call someone by their Instagram name in public. ‘Songofstyle hey girl! How you doing?’ ‘Theblondesalad! You look so fierce in that Chanel fanny pack.’ ‘Whoworewhat! I adore your shoes. Are they Prada?’

Still facing the fact that I am a fashion student on a budget I couldn’t afford any fancy transportation to the multitude of shows that I would of course be invited to. Therefore the only plausible form of transport would be by foot. And no I don’t mean walking. I would never make it to all the shows on time and I wouldn’t pull a Kimye and hold off the show until I arrive, even though I know they would be willing to. I mean rollerblading. Rollerblades are fast, flash and fashion forward. Trust me, Kanye’s next shoe to be released will be the Yeezy Blades 350.

In this modern day and age I would be one of many audience members religiously snap chatting every stride on the runway. Sitting back in the second row I would have to push aside Grace Coddington’s frizz to get clear vision of the Tommy Hilfiger boardwalk styled runway for an A grade snap chat as Grace, stuck in the golden years takes her time sketching each look. At least her mane of red hair would shield me from the splashes of sister act Gigi and Bella Hadid frolicking through the staged beach for the finale.

Cast under a spell of timeless elegance at the Burberry show, I would nudge Anna Wintour out of the way just to get a shot of those sports luxe sandals, adorned with the gold chains – no, literally gold chains, I’m not referring to Kylie Jenner’s boyfriend Tyga. After giving the entire audience a new obsession, I would then ask Cara (yes, we’re on a first name basis) to hold up her personally monogrammed Burberry backpack for a photo, because well, those eyebrows wouldn’t fit on my phone screen anyway.

Embarrassingly enough, I would also have had to apologise to Candice Swanepoel for my letting my Superstar Adidas shoelace go astray on the runway, as I walked across to take my front row seat, leading to her topple at Givenchy. I would have then turned to my left and told Pharrel that he needs to re evaluate his quality control procedures because his laces are to blame for a Victoria’s Secret angel falling from the heavens that night.

[ Credits: Words by Maxine Tanner, Illustration by me. ]

You Me The Monkeys and the Trees


Tamie Cleaver | September 23, 2015

I’ve had a bit of an odd day today, on my way to the gym this morning I happened to check my FB messages, and there was one from my friend in England, it just read, “my mum died this morning Tam”.

I had one of those strange, time standing still moments. It was strange on a couple of levels, firstly my friends mum wasn’t ill so her death was totally and slightly shockingly unexpected. Secondly to read something like that rather than hear it is strange, it kind of visually imprints the message in your brain, and doesn’t give you those few micro seconds to digest the message that hearing it would’ve done.

I wasn’t necessarily prepared for this, but I don’t shy away from discussions of death, so I was maybe more prepared than some. I think about death quite a lot, not in a morbid kind of way, I also think about life, it’s hand in hand. I read a lot about death as well, from all sources, scientists, philosophers, even religions. What I’ve learnt is that we’re not really looking for the correct answer to that all encompassing question of what happens after we die. I don’t think we really want to know the truth, just in case it’s scary. I think we just want to be reassured that we’ll be okay. Even further than that, we want to be assured that our loved ones will be okay.

So this is what I think happens, it’s a little bit of fact and a little bit of fantasy.

We’re all carbon based life forms, you me, the monkeys and the trees, everything around us, including the earth itself, we’ve always been part of one another. We came from this earth, and when we die, we’ll go back to this earth. Our bodies, in whatever form we choose, whole or as ashes, will be buried in the soil. I imagine this being like taking a long deep breath, happy to be home again after our short foray out into the world. After a time, as the earth ages we’ll mix in deeper and deeper. Eventually, our sun, another carbon based form, will explode, destroying our earth and sending us and it, in splintered pieces careering out into the universe. Maybe to form new planets, maybe to sink into the soft hot belly of a distant sun. Maybe to be sucked into a black hole where endless possibilities lie.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an afterlife; this isn’t a consciousness, well, not as we know it anyway. One of the worst things the human race has done is get so scared about death that they have invented an afterlife that’s more important than life. The presence of death should be something that encourages us to live in the moment, be present, it’s a short life, and it’s the only life we have.

As for my friends mum, she’ll be in the piece of earth that fly’s out to another galaxy, and on a planet in this distant place, an alien populace will look up and see her bit of rock, hurtling through the sky as shooting star.

[ Credits: Words by Tamie Cleaver, Illustration by me. ]