July 4, 2016

Cows for Cambodia!

At the start of this year, I took a bold move to try something new, (which I've always wanted to go for): #carpediem: Travelling solo and (as a future teacher) working in a less-fortunate school and giving my best via volunteering.

I had looked at various 'student-teacher' exchange programs where student-teachers can travel abroad and volunteer in other countries but they were always too over-priced and not very realistic for a university student's budget.

Then at the start of the year I came across via facebook 'Cows for Cambodia' and the rest is history!

Here is my little spiel about the donation I need to fundraise (I have already paid for my flights & accomodation) but we are also required to fundraise $2000 to donate to the families of Siem Reap in Cambodia.

NOW I'm going to drop an EXCLUSIVE BOMBSHELL tonight!!

I have in the pipeline plans and materials ready to go to start producing a small, one-off line of jewellery, accessories and fashion all inspired by Cambodia, which I aim to sell online this year before November, possibly via my Etsy store. PLEASE keep in touch with my facebook page www.facebook.com/BelindaZanelloFashion for updates! 

ALSO I am putting 100% of ALL profit from my client Bridal Fashion Illustrations and any illustrations towards the Cows for Cambodia donation. 

So far I have raised $870 out of the $2000! Please spread the word and help me reach my target! 

Dear Friends!

As a student-teacher it's been a big goal of mine to volunteer in another country & offer whatever support, compassion and care I can in a school environment. This is my chance in November 2016 to be a part of something I know I'll never forget, filled with gratitude to my friends who supported this cause, "Cows for Cambodia" (see http://www.cowsforcambodia.com/) (See also "South Aussie with Cosi").

Not only will we be volunteering in Siem Reap's (Cambodian) schools teaching English, but also we get to help build houses and deliver rice, but most importantly participate in 'Cows for Cambodia'  working with Cambodian families (especially single mothers) to break the poverty cycle.

And it all begins with having a cow which provides milk, manure, pulls their cart, plows their field, and is treasured by the family (and under contract, well-nourished and vaccinated, etc). By having a cow, families are breaking free from the poverty cycle, their children are attending school and less villagers are dying from preventable diseases. It is an incredible change!


I am already funding my own flights and accomodation but am required to additionally fundraise $2000 as a donation which I will personally see put to use in Cambodia across various purposes with Cows for Cambodia! And I will take photos! You know me!

Women of the World Charity Fashion Show!

I am a student member of the Uni SA team which is raising funds and awareness for the IWDA: International Womens Development Agency. 

After four hard months of planning, preparing and securing sponsors and participants we launched our big fundraiser night: "Women of the World" on Fri 13th May 2016, in the Bradley Forum, City West Campus of Uni SA.

We raised over our target of $2000 to donate towards the IWDA. ($2574)

The night included drinks, canapes and finger food served by Uni SA volunteers, stalls from supporting groups and sellers and sponsors. Traditional cultural garments from around the world were modelled by our international and multicultural Uni SA students. 

We had students representing: Vietnam, Kenya, India, Afghanistan, Italy, Malaysia, Japan, Somalia, Samoa, and more!

There was live music, multicultural dancer performances, goodie bags and door prizes too! Overall our feedback was that it was a very fun, successful and professional night and we were commended by Uni SA staff and the public. 

We are so grateful to every volunteer, participant, team member and guest who came and supported our event! Thankyou again! 

Runway Photography by Wedding Photography by Israel Baldago

  Local Adelaide designers:

Dance Performances:

Vocal Artist:

  • Deayana-Mai Batten

Make Up Artist:

Promotional Shoot and Graphic Design:

Camilla Illustration, Burnside Village Comp!

A few months ago Burnside Village hosted a fashion illustration competition, to showcase the stores/designers/labels within their shopping centre.

While I may not have won for my Camilla, 'El Duende' Winter '16 garment in watercolour, it still receieved some sweet praise from the official Camilla instagram account which made my heart skip a beat!

This was the best prize of them all!

Thank you, Camilla! x

Check out my instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/belinda_zanello_fashion/

Juding the Oz Comic-Con Cosplay Championships!

High calibre talent at Oz Comic-Con's Cosplay Championships in Adelaide, 2016! Thankyou for having me as your Cosplay Panel Judge!
It was incredibly difficult as there were so many unique and skillful cosplayers, especially in regards to armour and paint work! 💖

You all deserved an award and it was an honour to appreciate all your hard work up close! Huge fan!


Special mention goes to the overall Cosplay Championships winner for SA 2016 (who now goes to compete in the nationals), Lilla Bee Cosplay for her cosplay of The March Hare, based on the illustration by Sakizou. (Beautiful professional image by Steamkittens, 2016).
The panel and myself were beyond impressed with the level of creativity in problem-solving, the broad skill-level employed in techniques used, fabric manipulation and adaptation and the great level of costume-construction, including a corset and bustle and the regal collar stand on her shoulders! 

Illustration by Sakizou
Image by Lilla Bee Cosplay

Image by Steamkittens
Oz Comic-Con Adelaide - Belinda Zanello profile

 I had a highschool student contact me regarding Steam Punk Costumes for their Research Project, and thought the conversation here might be worth sharing too! 

Is steam punk just dressing up or does it have other meaning to you personally?

To me personally, I think all forms of costuming and conventions are a great form of escapism from our everyday realities. It is also a great opportunity for artisans, designers and people who are wanting to learn more about craft, sewing and visual arts for their costumes. 
where was your first steam punk convention/ event?

 I have only ever attended conventions in my normal clothing (not in costume), first time at Avcon around 2010 maybe.

Where do you think the steam punk dress idea originates?

 From what I’ve heard, they are inspired by the Victorian era and the industrial revolution with many gears and mechanical parts and mechanical limbs! I think there may be a bit of sci-fi in there too somewhere!
How do you think steam punk has evolved?

I think it has the ability to evolve into many styles and cross over into other genres like sci-fi if there’s time travel or bionic limbs, etc! I think steam punk is fairly new though in the last 10 years and has plenty of time to further evolve still. 
 Do you think steampunk is just a fashion phase or will it continue to evolve?

 I wouldn’t call it fashion, it’s more of a cosplay genre, I hope it is not a phase, I think it will evolve given time.
What do you need for a basic steam punk costume?

 Your costume needs to be from the Victorian era (1800’s) and I think your character needs an element of inventiveness with the mechanical aspect of steam punk. Maybe goggles, a mechanical arm, and an adventurous spirit!
Do you think steampunk has a broad appeal? Why?

I think it is (like all cosplay) very inclusive to all demographics of people, from all walks of life. Steam Punk doesn’t discriminate based on your age, gender, race, sexuality, disability, etc. I have seen many different people dress up for conventions and it’s all about celebrating the costume and the culture around that which has been built around it and its supporters.

Are you involved in role playing/cosplay activities other than steampunk?

I have unfortunately not had time to create a cosplay costume, but this year was fortunate enough to have been asked to be a Panel Judge at the 2016 Adelaide Oz-Comic Con, for the Cosplay Championships in April. It was truly inspiring to see so many great artisans and their hard work, it was even harder to pick the top 4 winners and then the overall winner! Adelaide has talent!
 How is steampunk different from other cosplay?

It is different due to it’s theme which is unlike any other and is it’s own creation. There is a whole pop culture around it, in comic books and video games now. Whereas cosplay is more about creating a costume from an existing character from pop culture, or sometimes making your own costume from a character. 

Thank you everyone! Please come say hi on my Facebook Page!
Belinda Zanello: Fashion & Costume 

August 16, 2015

Featured in VERSE Magazine, Uni SA

Thrilled to report that my digital photography was featured in Issue 5 of VERSE MAGAZINE, Aug 2015, University of SA, pg. 54/55 and pg. 26.

Grab a copy on campus or online at http://versemag.us11.list-manage.com/track/click…

Many thanks to my beautiful models and body artist friend Vanessa Kalderovskis xx
Model wears silk corset and rose garland by made by me.

Both images were shot by me in 2013 while I was studying Digital Photography at Uni SA.

The image of the 'sleeping beauty' with a rose garland crown also made the NCAP: National Campus Art Prize exhibition, and was the only finalist from SA in 2013. It was exhibitted at the Nexus Art Gallery on North Terrace, Adelaide, along with all the other finalists Australia-wide.

Thankyou to the publishing team at Verse Magazine, Uni SA for making this happen!


June 1, 2015

Carer Support Personal Styling Workshop!

Last month, I ran a 'Personal Styling' workshop for 33 carers, who were having a "pamper day" and a well-deserved day-off to relax and invest in themselves. 

"Carers are people who look after someone who is frail aged or has a disability, a mental illness, a chronic illness, an intellectual disability, or a physical disability. They can be a family member, friend or neighbour". - Carersupport.org.au
It was very inspiring to meet so many men and women who put their own lives on the back burner at times to focus on someone else's wellbeing and quality of life. One of my best friends is a carer to her father, and I see the level of commitment and love involved in such a full-time role.

Some of the statistics involved in a carer's own quality of life include: 35% feeling isolation, 30% felt depression, in 2003 48% of Carers were caring for 40 hours or more a week, 34% felt weary and lacking in energy, 44% have a disability of their own or suffer injuries or illnesses left unchecked usually because they do not put themselves as a priority, and sadly 34% report their relationships are strained or experience divorce or relationship breakdown because of the stress of caring responsibilities. - Carersupport.org.au

Which is why I was thrilled to contribute to their special day, called "Discover Yourself" held at The Farm, in Willunga. The workshop included a lovely bound booklet with activities to help find your best colours to suit your complexion and hair colour, activities on how to dress for your height and build and most importantly how to express yourself and tell your story of who you are.

There was a powerpoint slideshow I created, detailing design principles we normally take for granted, but which are employed everyday in designs to make us appear at our best. Principles such as linear emphasis, scale and proportion, colour theory and we even had a look at Trinny and Susannah's make overs.

It was lovely after to receive some great feedback from the carers and the lovely staff at Carer Support, thankyou for having me and I look forward to running this workshop again in future!  

 To Contact Carer Support:

Eastern Carer Support Centre

290 Glen Osmond Road, Fullarton
(08) 8379 5777
View a location map

Southern Carer Support Centre

241 Main South Road, Morphett Vale
(08) 8433 9555
View a location map

Other Contact Information

General Queries     supportadmin@carersupport.org.au
Media                         media@carersupport.org.au
If you have any feedback (whether it’s positive or negative) or suggestions you’d like to share with Carer Support, please email us at feedback@carersupport.org.au
Facebook                  www.facebook.com/carersupportsa
Twitter                       www.twitter.com/carersupportsa

February 4, 2015

Dear Year 12 students

Australia Day Fashion Illustration 2015. BZ
 To my faithful readers,

I thought I'd share this post because a lovely teacher, SACE Co-ordinator and friend of mine asked me to answer some questions which her Year 12 students might have.

I hope if you're reading this that it helps, and if you ever feel it gets too much or you're lost, that you go back to the beginning and remember what it is you love and stay true to yourself and what you want out of life. B. x

 Subjects you did - were some because of prerequisites for courses?

Because Fashion Design was only taught through Tafe at the time (it now is at Flinders Uni) I had no pre-requisites, so I chose to play my strengths and pursue SACE subjects that I enjoyed and I was successful in.

They were my own version of pre-requisites to help fuel my tertiary studies and I made them work to that advantage. E.g. in Italian, for my major assignments I focussed on the history of Italian Fashion. (And last year in London I got to attend an exhibition at the V&A on just that! It was like coming full circle.) Also in Visual Arts I focussed my major on wearable art, and couture fashion. In Drama I focussed on Costume Design. I was the only student to graduate with straight A's in my year. 
Tips for getting through year 12 Challenges during the year
Australia Day Fashion Illustration 2015. BZ
You really have to be priority #1. Don't be too accomodating and sacrifice important study time because: a) your dream boyfriend wants to see you all the time, b) your casual job wants you to pick up shifts at the last minute, c) your social life just can't wait.  It can. And it will.

You get one really good shot at Year 12 and if you play your cards right and put yourself first (meaning a minimum of 8 hours sleep at night, nourishing yourself with HEALTHY food to balance cognitive performance, getting a bit of fresh air and exercise a day, and a good balance of work/play to have down time to socialize with your friends (once you've earned it and not before!).

You have to be fair with yourself and do the work. INVEST IN YOURSELF. You are your own asset to your future, the time is now.

Help available during the year

Never underestimate the support that is there within your Year 12 subject teachers. They want you to succeed, they want to know their efforts meant something and they will go that extra mile to show you that you can achieve what you set your mind to. I am so grateful for my teachers for inspiring me, it inspired me to be a teacher so I can pay it forward one day.

 What career pathway did you have during year 12?

My pathway wasn't as concrete as some, but I knew I needed to follow my strengths and passions. I knew it was either in the fashion or costume industry at the time, but I got both, and then some! It then lead on to teaching, and it may grow/change further again in future too.

There's no point pursuing a career just for a six-digit salary that leaves you feeling empty and unsatisfied. Material advantages fade in time, pick something which makes you want to get out of bed in the morning because you want to, not because you have to.

What stayed the same / changed? Why? Good change?

I hadn't anticipated I'd catch the teaching bug. It happened in my final year of Fashion Design at Tafe, when the tafe lecturers noticed my aptitude in helping struggling students to keep up with the class. I'd finish my work first, and instead of waiting around doing nothing, friends would come and ask me for help and it went from there.

The Tafe employed me as a Peer Tutor and it was really rewarding seeing my help make a difference; and especially when it's about something I love, sewing. So it was a no-brainer. I still love working in the fashion and costume industry for the State Opera company, or as a stylist on photoshoots and the occassional music video, or creative projects for myself. And I hope in future I can have the best of both.
+/- aspects of study/ life since you left school
It's funny how good study habits can still serve you well years later, ingrained into your psyche. I'm very grateful as I started Uni 5 years after finishing Year 12 (prior to that was at Tafe for 3 years, then had 2 years off to work for the State Opera). I think that academic drive that you either have, or develop in school never leaves you and has really helped me stay focussed and committed, even when the deadlines are all on the same day, or personal conflicts are happening in real life, you really learn what you're made of in Year 12 and it stays with you for life.

*I'd also like to add, (to my year 12 Italian teacher Ms Bamford) it's been 7 years since her Italian class, and last year I finally went to Italy and was STILL able to make simple Italian conversation with real Italians in Florence, Venice and Rome - which is a testament to brain synapses - the connections are all still there dormant in your mind if you need them! Tantie grazie Caroline! 

How are you finding your career journey? One key piece of advice
My journey has had interesting twists and turns, pleasant surprises, reality checks, ups and downs, but nevertheless you have to stay true to who you are and what you want out of life. Never settle. I think my journey is still only beginning, it's important to dig even deeper to find the courage to pursue your dreams and it can be terrifying, but it's more terrifying to wake up one day and realize that it's too late. And if you do, I hope you have the courage to start over again, no matter your age. It's only a number. And life's too short to not enjoy it. Carpe Diem.

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