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.



The coloured squares may all look the same to you but I can assure you they are not.

In my computer aided design class we were given 5 swatches of coloured fabrics and needed to create the same colour on illustrator with slight variation by adjusting the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (Black) ) percentages.

Then we had to print our colours and see whether the colour of the swatch matched the colour of the print out.

In the photo is my first attempt. I got close but not close enough.


So I’m slowly realising what life is like as a fashion student.

It is actually pretty amazing, and interesting and exciting, and busy and insightful. And because it is all of these things, that means that it is also very exhausting. And it’s been pretty hard letting go of things that aren’t so important anymore. Well not really letting them go, but putting them aside for another time, possibly school holidays. You know, things like sitting in front of the tv and watching a whole season of breaking bad. Or…hanging out with friends whenever the hell you feel like, which is all the time for me. Maybe cooking some delicious food from the million and one recipe books I own. You know, just stuff like that.

It has been hard adjusting to this new lifestyle of a fashion student, but it’s ok, because I really love the other things I get to do. Things like being creative, painting, shopping for fabric, and the other day I started sewing together a pair of pants I made, which was so amazing because I’ve never actually made anything in my whole life.

Photo on 2013-03-17 at 07.39 #2This is my messy bun for today, I might put a bow in it to make it look a little more pretty and a little less messy.

Photo on 2013-03-17 at 07.43The lighting is not that great in my studio, but this is something I did yesterday, it’s just gouache, I started with black and ended up at white, i probably could have had more boxes, i got to the end and was like, omg, more white, more white.


Hey, I’m back. I wasn’t planning on being back so quickly but I just couldn’t stay away.

I just took these photos. The first one is some illustrations I’ve been doing with watercolor and the DVD’s I’ve been obsessed with. “The Day Before – Loic Prigent”. They’re so good. It’s basically the 36 hours before a fashion show for particular designers. I think I’ve almost watched them all.

The second photo is some beautiful fabrics I bought at “The Fabric Store”.

And the third is the new Gorman a/w 13 look book. I like Gorman’s prints, they also have really comfortable shoes. My faves from the lookbook are the; Ellie malin + gorman collage landscape pant and the unique new york dress.


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Today was my first day of fashion school. It’s only orientation so it’s just business, things like timetables, form filling, campus navigation and stuff like that. It’s still pretty exciting.

We got a few lists, I love lists, one list was for suppliers and the others were equipment lists; so things that we’ll be using in the classes. I have some of the things but will need to go shopping for the rest.

The course leader emailed us a supplier list which is pretty cool, it will just make it a little bit easier to find the things that I’ll need. The supplier list is just made up of places to go to buy fabric, machine accessories, haberdasheries, sewing supplies etc. The name of the supplier is listed, a blurb about their specialisation, the address and contact details. I can see this list coming in very handy.

I visited Buttonmania today, it’s in the Nicholas Building on Swanston Street. There are also a lot of other creative studios in that building, so it was a nice little adventure.


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